Sheffield demo as British Gas engineers strike over new contracts

British Gas engineers held demonstrations outside Sheffield City Hall and Barnsley Town Hall today in a dispute over new contracts.

Saturday, 9th January 2021, 2:18 pm

Thousands of staff are taking part in a five-day strike in response to an attempt by the firm to push through pay cuts by threatening to fire workers.British ~Gas engineer David Lowe said: “ I’m a British Gas engineer and am being threatened with fire and rehire to strip my contract to the bones.“The fire and rehire is a legal disgusting practice which companies use to rip up your contact and impose you a lesser contract.“This practice is illegal in many countries but not ours.

“We voted 86 per cent to reject this contract being imposed on us and are now in day two of a five day strike and the company is not respecting this.”

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British Gas engineers protest at proposed changes to their working practices and contracts in Sheffield

British Gas owner Centrica has said it had done everything it could to avoid a strike, adding it would prioritise vulnerable households and emergencies during the walkout.

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary, said: "GMB members from Land's End to John O'Groats have stayed home, stayed safe and supported the first national gas strike in a decade.

"The months and months of fire and rehire pay cut threats from British Gas CEO Chris O'Shea have provoked thousands and thousands of GMB engineers and call centre staff to strike, the only option left to them by a business that made £901m operating profit yet still plans to sack them because they won't accept the scale of cuts it demands."

The Star has approached Centrica for a comment on the hiring policies which led to the strike action.