GMB Announce Five 24 Hour Strike & Cover Ban By 6,000 British Gas Engineers
GMB union announced today that 6,000 members working as British Gas Engineers will take part in five 24 hour stoppages in their dispute with the company over their pension rights:
Monday 12th December 2005, Monday 19th December, Wednesday 21st December Friday 6th January and Monday 9th January 2006.
These twenty-four hour stoppages will take place from 7 a.m.to 7 am. In addition GMB announced that members will be suspending out of hour cover from the 12th to the 23rd December 2005and from the 4th to 10thJanuary 2006 inclusive. This covers the period from 8 p.m.to 8 a.m.
2 years ago British Gas/Centrica gave employees the right to choose to close their schemes or to pay an increased contribution rate to keep them open. This was done in a formal vote and British Gas/Centrica promised to abide by the result. The engineers voted overwhelmingly to keep their scheme open and have paid an extra 1% contribution. British Gas/Centrica is now reneging on that agreement after only 2 years. This has infuriated the engineers.
Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary said: “We have now set out our initial plans for carrying out the very clear strike mandate that our British Gas engineer members delivered. It is now absolutely imperative that British Gas meets with GMB to resolve this dispute.
"We are offering cover during this period of industrial action to British Gas customers who are at risk - which means the elderly and those with very young children who do not have heating. We have also avoided action over the Christmas and New Year period to try to minimize the impact on the public.”