MORE than 1,000 West Midlands British Gas workers, including those in Redditch, are taking strike action – with many volunteering to work for good causes instead.
GMB union members at British Gas will down tools on January 25, 29, 30, 31 and February 1 over what they say are the company’s strategy to fire them and rehire them on worse terms and conditions.
British Gas engineers and staff voted by 89 per cent to strike after boss of parent company Centrica Chris O’Shea threatened to fire them if they didn’t ‘accept’ cuts to pay and terms and conditions.
The union says British Gas’s parent company Centrica reported an operating profit (before exceptional items and tax) of £901 million in 2019 while the operating profitability of its UK home heating business rose by 27 per cent in the first six months of 2020.
A Centrica spokesperson said: “We’re operating in an incredibly competitive market.
“Our pay for engineers will remain the highest in the sector, but we need to get productivity back to where it used to be and for some, we need to increase the working week from 37 to 40 hours.’’
The company added it had lost two million energy customers, one million services customers and over half its earnings in the past 10 years.