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From: The Socialist issue 1122, 24 February 2021: Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Search site for keywords: British Gas - Gas - GMB - Fire - Strike

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

British Gas strike Leicester February 2021, photo Steve Score

British Gas strike Leicester February 2021, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

British Gas workers were back out on strike from 19 February after their strike was suspended over the previous weekend for talks.

British Gas management had previously stated that there would be no further negotiations, so reps see the company as taking a step back foot by agreeing to the talks, alongside their pledge not to use hire and fire again.

But as one striking worker told us on the Leeds picket line: "It's too late to say they'll never use fire and rehire again once they've already attacked our pay and conditions!"

A new offer from the company is being finalised, but without removing the planned implementation of fire and rehire, then workers were of the opinion that 'nothing has fundamentally changed'.

The wider trade union movement must rally around the British Gas workers to defeat the use of fire and rehire. Other employers seem to increasingly be reaching for it as a tool to attack pay and conditions, and if not stopped at British Gas, its use will accelerate further.

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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.

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Article dated 24 February 2021

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