Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Local services :: Fire



spotArguments for socialism




spotAround the UK

All keywords

All Campaigns subcategories:






Black and Asian



Corporate crime



Election campaigns





Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare


Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

* Local services

Low pay



New workers party



Post Office



Public Services




Stop the slaughter of Tamils


The state



Welfare rights


Workplace and TU campaigns



Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1119, 27 January 2021: Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Search site for keywords: British Gas - Workers - Fire - Gas - Socialist

Workers fight British Gas 'fire-and-rehire' plans

British Gas engineers on strike in Liverpool , photo Neill Dunne

British Gas engineers on strike in Liverpool , photo Neill Dunne   (Click to enlarge)


British Gas workers, primarily engineers, are currently locked in a battle with company boss Chris O'Shea over his attempts to impose attacks on terms and conditions through firing and rehiring the workforce.

29 January was the 9th day of strikes by the workers, organised in the GMB trade union, ahead of the deadline of 31 March for workers to sign the new contracts.

In Leeds, around 50 workers joined a socially distanced march around the British Gas call centre in Holbeck near the city centre. They marched in groups of no more than six, joined by a delegation from Leeds Trades Union Council including Socialist Party members.

The workers are determined to see this attack on their conditions defeated, especially when British Gas parent company Centrica reported an operating profit of 901 million in 2019.

As one worker explained, as well as trying to increase the working week from 37 to 40 hours for service and repair workers, the company is also cutting their holidays and removing premium payments over Christmas and bank holidays. Meanwhile O'Shea himself will take home an annual package worth almost 800,000 this year, twenty times the basic earnings of an engineer!

The recent victory for workers at British Airways Cargo over fire-and-rehire plans was mentioned by a number of workers and has certainly given a boost to the confidence of workers that this attack can be defeated.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party


Around 50 British Gas engineers took part in a socially distanced strike protest in Liverpool against unfair and unreasonable 'fire-and-rehire' intentions from British Gas execs, who hypocritically are on six-figure salaries.

A minute's silence was taken by all in attendance to remember the life of an engineer who had taken his life during these past few months.

These engineers are committed and aim to see this through to the very end, with more strikes announced.

Neill Dunne, Merseyside Socialist Party


Leicester Socialist Party members are regularly supporting the British Gas engineers picket lines on Aylestone Road. GMB members have been very visible there throughout the strike days, with banners and placards, and get constant support from passers-by, motorists and even joggers stopping to offer their support!

One picket, Rob Greenhalgh, told the Socialist: "We are getting a lot of support from the public and from some MPs. Even our customers understand why we are on strike and fully support us. There's strength and unity within the engineers. We will continue to stand firm together as we believe it's important to stand up against this immoral use of fire and rehire."

"We don't want to be in this position we would rather be serving our customers. But the business has been totally immoral in the way it has approached things. So, we now have to step it up. During February we are taking four-day actions every weekend from Friday to Monday.

"Any support and solidarity from other trade unions is welcome because unity is strength, and it could be your workplace tomorrow. We all need to come together to stop fire and rehire and make it illegal."

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

The Socialist Party says:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Local services keywords:

Care Homes (43)

Closures (164)

Cuts (3511)

Disability (104)

Fire (293)

Fire service (71)

Huddersfield (234)

Libraries (95)

Library (123)

Nursery (38)

Probation (51)

Water (130)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 27 January 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle19 Apr Oxfordshire & Aylesbury Socialist Party: Poland under Stalinism

triangle20 Apr Bristol North Socialist Party: Vaccinations, innovation and capitalism

triangle20 Apr Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Election Question Time with candidates from TUSC


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party




Workplace news

Lessons from history

Campaigns news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1129 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version