British Gas 5,000 job cuts! – GMB has vowed to fight for every job

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‘GMB will fight for every single job,’ the GMB union said, reacting yesterday to the news of yet another 5,000 job cuts at British Gas.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, announced that it is to cut 5,000 jobs this year to ‘arrest the decline’ of the company. That amounts to a quarter of the entire workforce!

The company blamed a big loss in 2019 on the energy price cap and falling gas prices.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘A combination of the SVT cap and too little too late management decisions have left a once proud brand crippled and weak.

‘Slashing thousands more jobs is not the answer. You cannot just cut your way out of a crisis.’

Unite Regional Officer Mark Pettifer said: ‘These job losses are another blow to the already fragile British economy and have created worrying uncertainty amongst the entire workforce.

‘Following today’s conference call, there was no clarity as to how these job losses at the various management levels would affect those delivering frontline services, such as our members who provide an essential service to British Gas customers’ homes across the country.

‘It was all a bit vague and unsatisfactory – and we will be pressing the company in the days and weeks ahead ‘‘to put flesh on the bones’’ as to how these job losses will affect – or not, as the case may be – those in customer-facing roles.

‘We are demanding much greater clarity and reassurance for our members who are providing much needed services to the nation’s households.’

Unison national energy officer Matt Lay said: ‘This shock announcement has left employees reeling. Throughout the lockdown, staff have been working incredibly hard keeping services running for customers. They’re bitterly disappointed and angry too.

‘The outlook for the UK’s big energy firms is certainly challenging. But simply shedding jobs, refusing to rule out compulsory redundancies and threatening to force the remaining staff on to inferior contacts is not the answer.’

There are massive job cuts across the industry.

Last month, Ovo Energy – which bought SSE’s retail division earlier in 2020, making it the UK’s second biggest domestic gas and electricity supplier – said it was cutting 2,600 jobs.