British Gas engineers reject offer aimed at resolving dispute

Members of the GMB union are staging four more strikes and action will continue this month.

British Gas strikes continue
British Gas strikes continue

British Gas engineers have launched a fresh wave of strikes after overwhelmingly rejecting an offer aimed at resolving a dispute over pay and conditions.

The GMB said its members had voted by almost 4-1 against a revised offer, and walked out on Friday for four days.

National officer Justin Bowden said: “A revised British Gas offer at Acas for the field staff bargaining group has been overwhelmingly rejected by GMB members in a very big vote.

“Strike days 27 to 30 will go ahead, followed by action for the rest of this month.

“British Gas didn’t take ‘fire and rehire’ off the table, the main obstacle to a possible settlement.

“This huge vote to reject the offer by gas and electrical engineers shows that there will be no resolution until the company do so.”

Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owners Centrica, said: “There is a job for everyone at the end of this difficult process, but we must change. Over 80% of our workforce have agreed to the new terms and understand that our company needs to adapt to protect 20,000 UK jobs.

British Gas strike
GMB union members voted against a revised offer by 4-1 (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Whilst we’ve reached collective agreements with the majority of our trade unions, we have been unable to secure an agreement with the GMB despite two extensive rounds of talks and making significant concessions.

“We’ll now talk directly to those colleagues who have not yet agreed their new contracts and we will go the extra mile to try and avoid the need to dismiss and re-engage.

“My hope is that, through individual consultations, all remaining colleagues will choose to stay with us and help us deliver both the transformation of Centrica, and the net zero transition that our country needs.

“We will move forward and create the Centrica of the future, because we have a responsibility to reverse our decline and protect and grow jobs. This includes the recruitment of an additional 1,000 engineering apprentices that we can now take on as a result of making changes to our contracts.”

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