British Gas boiler workers to strike
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.