British Gas - Your pay conditions and pensions on the line

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Dear Colleague

Re: British Gas

Your pay conditions and pensions on the line - Company plan to cut pay for 80% of the workforce.

More detail is now emerging about the plans from the new management regime. They’ve told us they plan that 80% of you are going to be worse off if they get their way. It’s no accident that in yesterday’s announcement about slashing jobs the company also made it clear they are going to try and break trade union organisation in British Gas.

It’s our collective strength and union organisation that has made sure you remain the best paid and protected workers in the gas industry. The company is looking to move to a low cost model, ripping up your pay conditions and attacking pensions and to get away with it they need to try and break the union.

Your GMB London Region Shop Stewards do a great job every day on your behalf. Most of the work they do goes unseen and they have been vital in making sure engineers have been insulated from the worst of the attacks on jobs, pay and conditions as has happened in other parts of the business. Over generations this union fought to clean up the gas industry too so that you enjoy the standards of Health and Safety you enjoy today.

We need to make it very clear to all engineers that you are not going to be immune from the proposed attacks this time round. They have made it clear they intend to cut all terms and conditions excluding base pay. The income you have enjoyed is now under attack and they will come after pensions too. They plan that you and your families will be poorer and with all the proposed cuts things like Health and Safety will be compromised as well.

These attacks aren’t down to the COVID crisis as the company have tried to suggest in the media. Years of mismanagement and failure by the so called leadership have taken a once great company to the brink. A cabal of millionaire executives caused this mess and now they want the ordinary workers who made the company what it is, to pick up the tab.

We’ve been here before. We’ve faced huge challenges like this in years gone by. GMB London Region was here when the industry was nationalised, when it was privatised and when it was broken up. We’ve endured financial crisis, restructures and mismanagement in the past. In fact, we’ve been in this industry for 135 years and the new management regime will learn that the union will have a vital role to play advancing pay and conditions and on matters like Health and Safety for a long time to come.

The company have effectively declared war on your livelihoods and your future. Everyone now needs to face up, soberly to what we confront. The view from GMB London Region is very clear. If you think your hard fought for pay, conditions, pensions and other terms and conditions are worth fighting for then this union will not be found wanting. Every member does need to understand though, that the union is you and the officials of the union can’t throw the punch for you.

Over the coming days we will be consulting with members about the way forward. If we stand together and if you are prepared to campaign and fight, we can successfully resist. There are tough times ahead, if we stand together in solidarity, we can prevail.

In solidarity,

Gary Pearce, GMB London Region Organiser


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