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ANGRY British Gas engineers are set to burn their “sign-it-or-be-sacked” contracts today as they take to picket lines for the seventh day.
The response of 7,000 GMB members to the profitable company’s attempts to slash pay and impose inferior conditions was a nine-to-one strike vote, followed by “rock-solid” industrial action.
The ceremonial burning of contracts that the engineers have been told to sign by March or face dismissal will take place across Britain at key offices of British Gas and its transnational owner Centrica, including the group’s head office in Windsor.
Centrica boss Chris O’Shea has used the mantra of “competitiveness” to attack pay and conditions, despite the group hitting a £901 million operating profit in 2019 and its British domestic-heating arm increasing its operating surplus by 27 per cent in the first half of last year.
GMB national secretary Justin Borden said: “GMB members at British Gas are burning the new contracts to show graphically their defiance of the imposition of hourly pay 15 per cent below the agreed rate.”
The union estimates that the strikes have already created a backlog of 100,000 service call-outs — and further action is planned for January 25, 29, 30 and 31 and February 1.
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