Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 7, February 27, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Workers' Forum

British Gas Workers Take Further Strike Action as Centrica Reveals £700m Profits

British Gas engineers began four days of further strike action from Friday, February 26, to Monday, March 1, their 23rd to 26th strike days, as parent company Centrica announced adjusted operating profits of almost £700 million. Preliminary results for the year ending December 2020 [1] show that Centrica recorded £699 million in adjusted operating profits, and a £52 million statutory profit compared to an £849 million loss in the previous 12 months. This is according to the company's own accounts. Around 7,000 British Gas engineers are demanding that the company withdraw its plan to sack them all and rehire them on worse terms and conditions. Their demand is: "No to Fire and Re-Hire!"

Talks between GMB and British Gas have taken place at ACAS, but GMB says the company's refusal to withdraw its fire-and-rehire plan remains the main obstacle to a potential resolution. The Field staff bargaining group rejected the fire and rehire cuts in December and has already taken part in day of strike action.

GMB national secretary Justin Bowden said on Friday: "Last summer, when British Gas decided on fire and rehire pay cuts for gas engineers, it was already a profitable company - as yesterday's results confirm. So there is no need to hurt workers, customers and shareholders. Refusing to take fire and rehire off the table is the main obstacle to a settlement at ACAS.

"Strike days 23 to 26 will go ahead at British Gas from today and GMB's executive has determined action could continue to mid-April in this deadlocked dispute. After 22 days of strikes, more than 230,000 homes are in a backlog for repairs and 300,000 planned annual service visits have been axed. The company is misleading the media that it is catching up after 24 hours."

(Tim Lezard, Union News)


For further details and analysis of the strike, see Workers' Weekly:


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