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British Gas workers

British Gas workers, Photo: Margery Thorogood

Solidarity with workers in GMB is crucial, as they continue their strike in defence of conditions at British Gas, reports Margery Thorogood.

GMB has just announced 12 new days of strike action during February against British Gas plans to introduce new contracts or, if workers refuse, ‘fire and rehire’. As GMB National Secretary Justin Bowden said, “British Gas has refused to take ‘fire and rehire’ off the table. So, unfortunately, we are still taking strike action.”

Outside Centrica in Windsor this morning, the GMB picket was in place. Many toots of solidarity from passing motorists, and local people stopping to chat, indicated loud and clear their support for the engineers in their fight against this ruthless company.

News was announced today of the likelihood of energy prices rising. This must be the worst possible time with so many people suffering the ill effects of Covid on their jobs and incomes, but it beggars belief that British Gas might be one of the companies to do so.

As reported by one of its Regional Officers in my last report, British Gas is extremely profitable; currently enjoying a £901m operating profit. So there is no need to save money. The fact that the CEO Chris O’Shea’s pay has doubled adds further insult to the situation. Clearly it doesn’t need to raise prices and nor does it need to cut the pay of its employees.

Support for the GMB engineers is growing, not only from the public but in the wider trades and labour movement. ‘Fire and rehire’ is beginning to get a hold and needs to be stopped in its tracks. It takes little time for such appalling employer practices to catch on and become the norm just as happened with zero hours contracts.

It’s time to fight back and resist.

Messages of support and solidarity for the engineers are all over social media. You can all help too. GMB is asking people to sign this letter to the board of British Gas. Financial support is also welcome via contributions to the strike fund.

And hear at close hand the thoughts of GMB strikers in the videos of an interview with Neil, GMB rep., and the pickets together with their banner stating their case.

SOLIDARITY WITH THE GMB STRIKERS!

END ‘FIRE AND REHIRE’!

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