British Gas engineers extended their second five-day strike to seven this morning amid the company strategy to fire and rehire workers on poorer conditions, union GMB said.
GMB National Secretary Justin Bowden said: “British Gas engineers are being fired and rehired and have been left with no choice but to take action again.”
However, according to British Gas parent company Centrica, it has lost 3m customers over the past decade and is “in need of change”.
GMB claimed that the strikes have already caused major disruption, with an estimated 100,000 homes across the UK waiting for services, however, Centrica disputed this.
A Centrica spokesperson told City A.M. this morning: “We’re operating in an incredibly competitive market and British Gas has lost too many jobs and too many customers over recent years.
“We can’t continue like this. We need to take action to modernise and refocus the company in line with what our customers need now, not what they needed 20 years ago.”
Centrica said that its pay for engineers will remain the highest in the sector, but the company must boost productivity and for some workers, increase the working week from 37 to 40 hours.
“We’re not changing base pay or pensions and we will reward increased productivity through additional bonuses,” a Centrica spokesperson said.
“83 per cent of our employees have already accepted the new terms – including the majority of our engineers. Our changes are ultimately to protect and create jobs for the future.’’