British Gas workers in Kent are back on strike as company fails to drop fire-and-rehire attack

These Kent bases engineers were out on the A249 in Maidstone  on Monday morning drumming up support from passing motorists heading towards the M20. 

The latest four-day strike by 7,000 service engineers will end on Monday night, bringing the number of strike days to 22 since the dispute began last year.

Last weekend’s stoppage was suspended to allow talks to take place through conciliation service Acas.

The GMB union reiterated today that a deal would only be possible if fire and rehire is dropped.

Another four-day strike is scheduled to begin on February 26, with further action through to the spring already sanctioned by the union’s national executive.

GMB national secretary Justin Bowden said: “GMB entered into these Acas-brokered talks in good faith, but a deal is only possible if the company takes its fire-and-rehire plan off the table.

“After 18 days of strikes, more than 210,000 homes are in a backlog for repairs and 250,000 planned annual service visits have been axed.”

British Gas owner Centrica said it was unable to comment “as we are in a critical stage in talks with GMB through Acas and this is a confidential process.”