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Five Days of Strike Action Set for British Gas Over ‘Fire and Rehire’ Plan

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Five Days of Strike Action Set for British Gas Over ‘Fire and Rehire’ Plan

Over 1,000 British Gas workers in Scotland will begin five days of strikes from 00.01 hours tomorrow morning (Thursday 7 January) as part of the biggest dispute seen in the sector for over forty years.

In a direct response to the ‘fire and rehire’ plan for British Gas operations laid-out by Centrica Plc Group’s Chief Executive Officer Chris O’Shea, over 10,000 GMB members across the UK four nations will take part in the action.

O’Shea has refused to accept efforts by GMB to negotiate a way forward for the business. Instead, after months of talks, workers have been told to accept the slashing of wages and conditions, or face being sacked.

All British Gas divisions and services, including Service & Repair, Electrical Services, Smart Metering, Installations, and Customer Services will be impacted.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Commercial Services Hazel Nolan, blasted Centrica’s executives for their role in creating their own company crisis and exploiting workers during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Today is CEO pay day, Chris O’Shea will take home a pre-bonus wage of £775,000, and Centrica have recorded a £901million operating profit for 2019.

While GMB members in British Gas acted as emergency workers during the COVID19 pandemic, Chris O’Shea & the Senior Millionaires Team of British Gas were busy plotting how to slash workers terms & conditions.

“In the grip of a global pandemic, Chris O’Shea’s anti-worker, ‘fire and rehire’ agenda would set a dangerous precedent for major UK employers, opening the floodgates for widespread attacks on workers’ jobs, pay and conditions. This is not how a country builds back better.

“GMB members are being told they’ll be sacked and then forced to accept new terms and conditions - across the board cuts in wages pensions and leave. Take it or leave it. Centrica are turning a once great British industrial institution into a cowboy contractor.

“We have no choice but to fight-back.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Commercial Services Hazel Nolan on 07921 885786 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.

Notes to Editors:

Socially distanced picket-lines will be in place at the following Centrica / British Gas locations:

  • Centrica Headquarters (Scottish Gas Offices), 1 Waterfront Avenue, Edinburgh, EH5 1SG.
  • Murdoch House, Bothwell Rd, Uddingston, Glasgow G71 7UD