If you’re with British Gas, you need to read this right now

British Gas van
Kerry-anne Mendoza

Thousands of British Gas staff are waking up today without a job simply for refusing to sign away their rights. The company told workers to accept new contracts or face unemployment. Despite months of negotiations, British Gas is firing them anyway.

If you’re a customer, you can actually make a stand with these workers that matters. You can switch suppliers today and cite their hostile working conditions as the cause. If you’re not a customer, you can speak to your friends who are.

 

Fire and rehire

British Gas is running a ‘fire and rehire’ heist. This is where a company fires employees to avoid meeting the terms of their contracts and rehires them on a new, worse contract. After seeing its profits drop by “more than a third“, British Gas is culling staff and imposing worse conditions for its engineers. The problem is the heating part of the business remains profitable. So it feels like rank and file workers are paying the price for mistakes made by people with far greater salaries.

As engineer Daniel Caie wrote in the Tribune in March:

It’s important to stress the depth of service within British Gas. I’ve been with the company for nearly 10 years now – and I am still the joint-newest member of my local team. Countless engineers would be able to say that they joined after leaving school and worked for the company all the way to retirement.

One look at the LinkedIn of our CEO shows that he has worked for six companies in 20 years. Engineers who have given their working lives to the business have a healthy sense of reservation about someone who is unlikely to hang around to see the long-term damage wrought by fire and rehire.

Caie and his fellow engineers continued to hold out. They fought for a solid year. But today, Caie took to Twitter to say goodbye to the company:

And he was far from alone:

This time, you can do something

Unlike much of the bad news at the moment, you can actually do something about this. GMB Union and the employees are asking for your solidarity. You can call or email British Gas right now, and you can switch suppliers. You can tell them that you won’t support a company that treats long-serving, loyal staff this way:

Thousands of others are taking action, and together we can stand up for working people everywhere.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – AnnaSmith1986

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  • Show Comments
    1. Well now British Gas…This is war. I’m going to take you to court myself, for demanding money from me without fixing my heating. Disabled lady has had enough. I’m in Unite, lets see what I can do by chatting to GMB. You deserve this British Gas.

    2. British Gas has two problems. One, as Daniel said, is that its senior management has very little experience of energy supply. They come from banks and telecom companies and don’t understand that energy is a public service. But the other problem is that so many customers have switched away from British Gas to loss-leading new entrants into the market to take advantage of cheap introductory offers, it is almost impossible for long-established companies like BG to compete. Switching away from them to punish them will only result in more cost cutting and more job losses.

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