British Gas Set To Hit 38 Days Of Strikes As Employer Refuses To Remove Shameful ‘Fire And Rehire’
Over a thousand British Gas workers across Scotland will walk out again tomorrow (Friday 19 March) for strike days thirty-five, thirty-six, thirty-seven and thirty-eight, as the fight continues against their CEO Chris O’Shea’s shameful ‘fire and rehire’ imposition.
Engineers will walk out from 00.01 hours on Friday 19 March until 21.59 hours on Monday 22 March, and again on Friday 26 March to Monday 29 March, taking the total number of strike days in the dispute to forty-two. Socially distanced picket lines will be in operation tomorrow morning at British Gas facilities in Edinburgh and Uddingston (see ‘Notes to Editors’).
The latest wave of strikes was confirmed after workers across the UK voted by a resounding majority of four-to-one against proposals tabled through ACAS over the future of their terms and conditions, with Centrica refusing to lift the ‘fire and rehire’ imposition.
British Gas are set to issue dismissal notices on Monday 29 March to staff who refuse to accept the ‘fire and rehire’ imposition. After thirty-four days of previous strike action, GMB understands that more than 250,000 homes across the UK are in a backlog for repairs and 350,000 planned annual service visits have been axed.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Hazel Nolan said:
“British Gas is set to sack key workers if they do not accept Chris O’Shea’s ‘fire and rehire’ imposition - it’s a shameful way for any employer to behave let alone a great British industrial institution.
“Left unchallenged it also sets a dangerous precedent, where even the biggest employers can exploit a public health crisis to attack workers’ rights, and their terms and conditions of employment. That’s not modernisation, it’s Dickensian.
“But the message from our determined and dignified members is loud and clear: Stop the fire and rehire in British Gas, and let’s return to proper negotiations over the future of this business and its workers.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Hazel Nolan on 07921 885786 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
GMB Scotland members in British Gas will take part in socially distanced picket lines tomorrow, Friday 19 March from 10.00 hours, at the following British Gas Services Centres:
- 35 Bothwell Road, Uddingston, North Lanarkshire, G71 7TW &
- 1 Waterfront Ave, Edinburgh EH5 1SG.