British Gas workers back strike action in management row
British Gas workers have voted massively in favour of strikes over claims of "macho management" at the company, raising the threat of walkouts by engineers and other employees, it was announced today.
The GMB said its members backed strikes by 82%, and industrial action short of a strike by 90% in a high turnout of the 8,000 workers balloted.
The union has given British Gas a week to respond before deciding its next move.
General secretary Paul Kenny said: "The vote clearly vindicates what we have been telling the company. It is now time for them to sit up and take notice.
"We are giving British Gas a week to give us a constructive response. We want an independent inquiry into the profit at all costs culture at British Gas.
"We will met with shop stewards to determine what form of action should be taken should British Gas fail to lift the conflicting demands on its workforce."
The GMB said British Gas had turned from being a reasonable employer where people had job satisfaction into one with a culture of bullying, customer exploitation and profits at all costs following recent management changes.
Matthew Bateman, director of heating services at British Gas, said: "We are not surprised by this ballot result, given the GMB's recent false accusations and reckless scaremongering.
"The GMB has still not told us the grounds for this dispute, even though we have asked for this information several times.
"We are, of course, disappointed by the GMB's action - especially as our engineers, who have worked so hard over winter, recently voted British Gas one of the top 25 big companies to work for in the Sunday Times survey for the second year running.
"We have robust contingency plans in place to make sure our service to customers is unaffected, and we remain committed to talking with the GMB and avoiding this unnecessary industrial action."
Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles said: "We are facing a spring of discontent as yet another union flex their muscles and threaten to walk out.
"We need a strong government to stand up for the interests of this country, not one that's reliant on union barons propping them up.
"If the Prime Minister has any grain of moral authority left, he will show some backbone and condemn this walkout."
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...