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10 February 2021

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Striking British Gas workers fighting to win

British Gas workers' on strike in Leicester February 2021, photo Steve Score

British Gas workers' on strike in Leicester February 2021, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

British Gas engineers were out on the picket lines and protesting around the country again on 5 February - the day they were meant to have signed the new contracts which are a huge attack on their terms and conditions. They are not accepting them! They have been consistently picketing since the strike began and the support in Leicester from passers-by has never been better.

Paul Carvell, GMB steward said: "5,000 engineers are being dismissed and re-engaged on poorer terms and conditions.

"Today is D-Day: You were meant to have signed by 12 o'clock. A week ago, Chris O'Shea (CEO of Centrica, British Gas' holding company) said people who signed the new contact now would get the best deal and those that don't will get a worse one. But now he has swung 180 degrees under pressure. Yesterday he said if you have signed and there is a better deal you will get the better one.

"The strike and the support is getting stronger. O'Shea is making catastrophic mistakes. Payroll emailed everyone telling them what money would be deducted in their wages in February which only further infuriated the engineers. They take weeks to pay you overtime they owe but can deduct strike days almost immediately.

"He has been dragged before a parliamentary committee and questioned on 'fire and rehire' and Acas is now involved. GMB always wished to get a negotiated outcome but will not accept this despicable tactic of 'fire and rehire' being used."

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Article dated 10 February 2021

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