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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2021

British Gas workers on strike against fire and re-hire pay cut

British Gas van, Photo: KRoock74/CC

British Gas van, Photo: KRoock74/CC   (Click to enlarge)

British Gas workers begin five days of strike action on Thursday 7 January, with potentially more to follow. It comes as bosses pursue a 'fire and re-hire' policy and issued an ultimatum for workers to agree cuts to pay, terms and conditions on pain of dismissal.

The strike ballot of GMB members returned an overwhelming 89% vote in favour of industrial action. Alongside the 4,500 service and repair gas engineers being called out on to strike will be 600 central heating installers, 540 electrical engineers, 170 specialist business gas engineers, and 1,700 smart metering engineers.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 6 January 2021:


Feature

2020 - a year which drove home the catastrophic failures of capitalism


Schools

Workers' action wins Tory U-turn on school safety


News

3 lockdowns, 20+ U-turns ... We can't trust the Tories

Nottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

UNICEF feeds children in the UK for the first time

News in brief

Hospital security staff on strike for 12 an hour

British Gas workers on strike against fire and re-hire pay cut


NHS

Protect the NHS - Funding, Pay, PPE, Public ownership

Protect lives and livelihoods, fight to defend the NHS


Engels

Engels on the origins of women's oppression


Universities

Universities: refund the rent, cancel the fees, for fully funded, publicly owned education

University teaching moves online in England


Reader's opinion

Books that inspired me: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Technology and AI response: Capitalists only invest for profit


 

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Related links:

Strike:

triangleHow militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act

triangleGMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

triangleStrike back for free education

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Gas:

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triangleBritish Gas engineers on strike in Liverpool, photo by Neill Dunne

GMB:

triangleBritish Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

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