British Gas engineers stage eighth one-day strike over pay and conditions saying the row has left backlog of 150,000 customers
- British Gas engineers are holding eighth one-day strike over pay and conditions
- Additional strikes are planned for later on this week and into next month too
- GMB union claim backlog of 150,000 customers are currently waiting for service
- Some engineers were seen burning copies of new contracts during strike action
British Gas engineers are staging their eighth one-day strike in a dispute over pay and working conditions.
Members of the GMB union are embroiled in a deadlocked row, with more industrial action planned later this week and into February.
The union claimed on Monday that the backlog of customers waiting for service is nearing 150,000 as a result of the industrial action, a figure the company disputes.
British Gas engineers are staging their eighth one-day strike in a dispute over pay and working conditions. Pictured: A striking engineer burns a contract of employment outside the company offices in Leeds on January 22
The company said it had ‘strong contingency plans’ in place and would prioritise vulnerable households and emergencies.
Last week members of the union were pictured burning new contracts during one of their strikes.
GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: ‘The backlog of households awaiting services for British Gas is growing at treble the 6,000 per day the company admits.
‘At the end of strike day eight, the backlog will have grown to more than 150,000 household waiting for services.
The GMB union claimed on Monday that the backlog of customers waiting for service is nearing 150,000 as a result of the industrial action, a figure the company disputes
‘The fire and rehire changes being imposed on engineers mean hourly pay rates would be 15% below agreed pay rates along with other worse term and conditions.’
A spokeswoman for British Gas owner Centrica said: ‘We’re operating in an incredibly competitive market and British Gas has lost too many jobs and too many customers over recent years. Our business needs to change to survive and protect 20,000 jobs.
‘We know change is difficult but we have offered a fair deal that has been negotiated over 300 hours with unions – we’re not cutting base pay and pensions are protected.
‘Eighty-three percent of our employees have already agreed to the new terms and we believe the vast majority of our workforce understand that the company needs to change.’
GMB National officer Justin Bowden previously accused British Gas of a ‘fire and rehire’ policy which would lead to a pay cut and longer working week for its members. Pictured: A British gas engineer burns a contract outside of Centrica headquarters on January 22
British Gas added: ‘We’re sorry we are having to reschedule some work but we are catching up within 24 hours.
‘The majority of our workforce are not on strike and are working incredibly hard to ensure our customers are taken care of.’
Speaking earlier in the week, a British Gas spokesperson also said that changes are being made to modernise the company, with pay for their engineers remaining the highest in the sector.
They said that working hours would increase from 37 to 40 hours a week but that no changes would be made to base pay or pensions and productivity will be rewarded with additional bonuses.
GMB National officer Justin Bowden previously accused British Gas of a ‘fire and rehire’ policy which would lead to a pay cut and longer working week for its members.
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