Bri­tish Gas boiler work­ers to strike

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Alan Tovey

THOU­SANDS of boiler re­pair staff could walk out from Bri­tish Gas this win­ter af­ter work­ers voted over­whelm­ingly in favour of strike ac­tion.

Mem­bers of the GMB union gave 95pc back­ing to in­dus­trial ac­tion af­ter Bri­tish Gas owner Cen­trica threat­ened to fire its en­tire work­force of 21,000 un­less it ac­cepted new and less gen­er­ous con­tracts. The sup­port in a con­sul­ta­tive bal­lot paves the way for a for­mal vote, rais­ing the spec­tre of win­ter walk­outs by swathes of the com­pany’s work­force at a time when heat­ing re­pairs would be cru­cial.

Cen­trica an­nounced in June that it was plan­ning to axe 5,000 jobs af­ter the Covid-19 cri­sis piled on more pres­sure fol­low­ing years of fall­ing cus­tomer num­bers and shrink­ing prof­its. The firm also told staff that it wanted to “sim­plify” their terms and con­di­tions.

A Cen­trica spokesman said: “We know that change can be very dif­fi­cult and we are do­ing all we can to sup­port our peo­ple – but we ur­gently need to act now to win back cus­tomers, grow our com­pany and pro­tect more jobs in the long run.”

GMB rep­re­sents about half of the Bri­tish Gas work­force.

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