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‘Fire and rehire must be outlawed’ says Portsmouth MP in latest call to protect British Gas workers

Stephen Morgan MP has said that ‘fire and rehire’ tactics must be outlawed, and Government must push for ‘real negotiations’ between Centrica and local British Gas workers to take place.

This comes as British Gas engineers across the country are currently striking over its parent company’s use of ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to force changes to workers’ contracts.

The new terms would mean workers could have to work 156 extra hours per year with no additional pay. It would also put shifts on an uncertain six-week roster and extend the period during which engineers could be asked to work each day. Built into these new contracts is also the ability for British Gas to change the terms with 28 days’ notice, with no negotiation.

In a letter sent this week to the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP, calling for Government action, the Portsmouth South MP urged for ‘real negotiations’ to be conducted and disclosed that he had met with engineers in Portsmouth who have been affected by the renegotiation tactics.

According to the letter, the contract dispute has led to ‘stress and anxiety caused by the uncertainty and potential changes to working conditions’.

The letter also described that one British Gas worker said he would find it impossible to balance the extra hours, whilst caring for his partner and home-schooling his 14-year-old while schools are closed.

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said,

“Our essential workers deserve to be treated far better than this and they should not be having to face this level of uncertainty during this incredibly difficult period.

“Centrica can more than afford to treat and pay their workers fairly and these draconian ‘fire and rehire’ tactics must stop now and be outlawed.

“I will continue to push the government on this to ensure British Gas workers get the fair deal they so richly deserve.”

The parliamentary representative recently met with local British Gas engineers, and members of the GMB union, whose members are currently striking, due to the dispute with Centrica on pay and conditions.