Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has condemned the disgraceful treatment of staff at British Gas, and offered his solidarity with GMB members who have now been taking industrial action for over 40 days. The long-running battle by the union seeks to protect terms and conditions for workers, and rejecting immoral ‘fire and rehire’ practices within the company.
New contracts proposed by British Gas would see engineers working an extra 3 hours a week with no guarantee of additional pay, and also includes a mandatory on-call work outside of the 7am to 9pm window which until now has been compulsory. There will also be increased demands on workers to make themselves available for shifts at any time between 7am and 9pm, every day of the week including bank holidays.
For any workers who don’t accept these changes, British Gas are threatening to use a ‘fire and rehire’ mechanism put in place before negotiations with GMB began – a threat it refuses to withdraw, going so far as to set dates for workers to sign the new contract or face dismissal and re-hiring on worse terms.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“It is utterly disgraceful and immoral that British Gas continues to threaten its employees with Fire and Rehire, despite GMB working hard to reach a negotiated outcome. Pressuring employees into signing a new contract which presents an invasion on the work/life balance and could leave engineers out of pocket is unacceptable, and my full solidarity lies with the striking GMB members at British Gas.
“Morale in the company is at an all-time low, with workers treated so badly that less than 10% of GMB survey respondents said they thought they would be at the company in a year’s time. The current culture of bullying cannot be allowed to continue.
“The Government has agreed that Fire and Rehire is wrong but are yet to take any action. Changes are urgently needed to give workers the protections they need against this draconian practice.”