Cen­trica staff get con­tracts ul­ti­ma­tum

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Ed Clowes and Alan Tovey

THE owner of Bri­tish Gas has is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum to more than 21,000 staff: ac­cept new con­tracts or you could lose your jobs.

It comes af­ter Cen­trica said last month that it would be ax­ing about 5,000 jobs af­ter years of de­clin­ing cus­tomer num­bers and shrink­ing prof­its. It also said at the time it would work with staff to “sim­plify” terms and con­di­tions for em­ploy­ees.

The com­pany said yes­ter­day that mea­sures to ter­mi­nate em­ploy­ees be­fore re-en­gag­ing them on fresh terms, known as an s.188 no­tice, re­main a “last re­sort”. Unions hit out at the plan. Justin Bow­den, na­tional sec­re­tary of the GMB union which has more than 10,000 mem­bers at the com­pany, said: “On top of the 5,000 job losses an­nounced in June, Cen­trica now wants to make cuts to pay and terms and con­di­tions.”

How­ever, the com­pany in­sisted pay packs were not be­ing cut.

A Cen­trica spokesman said: “Base pay and pen­sions will be pro­tected but sim­pli­fy­ing and mod­ernising their terms is es­sen­tial if we’re to be­come more flex­i­ble and price com­pet­i­tive.”

Talks be­tween Cen­trica and the unions ap­peared to col­lapse yes­ter­day. Mr Bow­den added: “It re­mains to be seen whether... Cen­trica has the abil­ity to ne­go­ti­ate.”

Cen­trica said: “We want to con­tinue with con­struc­tive talks and the s.188 no­tice pro­vides an op­tion of last re­sort if it turns out we can’t work to­gether to achieve this. We un­der­stand the im­pact this will have on col­leagues and this is not an op­tion we want to use but we must make these changes and we must con­clude these talks be­fore the win­ter pe­riod.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.