Cooking with gas
Image Source: Terri Bateman
Chloe Shakesby

Trade union lights fire under British Gas as five day strike begins

A UK trade union has announced that thousands of British Gas staff will take part in a five day strike.

The GMB union said that its members working at British Gas, which is owned by Centrica, will start the strike from today in protest of poor pay and working conditions.

This comes after Centrica planned to cut around 20 per cent of its workforce - which would amount to 5,000 jobs - and change contract terms.

Despite the strike, Centrica has said that its services will not be affected.

A spokesperson said: ““We’ve done everything we can with the GMB to avoid industrial action.

“While we’ve made great progress with our other unions, sadly the GMB leadership seems intent on causing disruption to customers during the coldest weekend of the year, amid a global health crisis and in the middle of a national lockdown.

“We have strong contingency plans in place to ensure we will still be there for customers who really need us.”

GMB’s national secretary, Justin Bowden, commented: “British Gas boss Chris O’Shea’s attempts to bully workers into accepting cuts to their pay and terms and conditions has provoked this inevitable outcome – massive disruption to customers in the depths of winter and a stain on the reputation of an historic company and brand.

“GMB is calling on the public to ask why British Gas CEO Mr O’Shea is provoking an engineers’ strike with ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts, in the depths of winter.

“This is against the backdrop of the company reporting operating profits of £901m in the latest available annual accounts.”

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