MP Nadia Whittome has tabled a motion in Parliament condemning British Gas for using “fire and rehire” tactics against its staff. It also calls for a change in the law in order to prevent other companies using similar tactics.
British Gas engineers and office workers in the GMB union have been on strike for eight days following threats by the company to fire them and then rehire them on worse pay and conditions. The proposed changes will mean some staff will be expected to work around 150 hours more per year with no guarantee of extra pay.
Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, said:
“Many of these workers have been with British Gas for decades. They’ve been on the frontline during the pandemic: entering COVID positive households, keeping them warm and putting themselves at risk in the process. It is shameful that pay cuts, increased hours and threats of dismissal are the thanks they get from British Gas.
“Firing then rehiring staff on less favorable terms should not be an option available to employers. I’m calling on the government to ban it for good.”
Sean Redgate, GMB Midland & East Coast Organiser for British Gas members, said:
“British Gas workers have had enough of the bully-boy tactics of British Gas top brass.
“From pickets and petitions to burning their new contract, our members have been showing that the only way to move forward with negotiations is by taking fire & rehire off the table.
“These are key workers who have worked throughout this pandemic, putting themselves at risk to keep homes warm here in Nottingham.
“It’s shocking that such underhand tactics are being used by British Gas to cut pay and conditions, when at least four members of British Gas parent company Centrica’s board are multimillionaires. It’s time they forced British Gas to do the right thing; get back around the table and listen to their loyal workforce”.