British Gas workers will strike again on 20, 22, 25, 29 January, and 1 February. Engineers in the GMB union are resisting attempts by Centrica, British Gas’s parent company, to sack workers en masse and rehire them on worse terms and conditions. Workers estimate that the new terms would lead to engineers working up to an additional 156 hours unpaid each year.
Despite insisting the new contracts are a financial necessity, Centrica recorded operating profits of £901 million in 2019, and an adjusted operating profit of £229 million in the six months to 30 June 2020 on the domestic heating side of its business alone, a 27% increase on the previous year’s figures.
Centrica bosses say the changes represent “modernisation”, and have made appeals to national class unity by denouncing the GMB for striking “at a time that our country needs everyone to pull together.”