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684 job losses at British Gas

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BRITISH GAS ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF OLDBURY OFFICE WITH 684 JOB LOSSES 

This announcement is further evidence of the way British Gas now sees staff as pawns to be sacrificed when it suits says GMB. 

GMB, the union for British Gas workers, has reacted angrily to the announcement this morning that British Gas intends to close its office in Oldbury putting 684 staff, most of whom are GMB members, out of a job. 

The announcement follows news on Monday (20th April 2016) that parent company Centrica will cut 3000 jobs in 2016, having cut 800 jobs in the first three months of the year. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases about Centrica).

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, said "This announcement has come completely out of the blue and is further evidence of the way British Gas now sees staff as pawns to be sacrificed when it suits. 
The Oldbury office has been performing well, the staff there have been delivering everything asked of them and more, yet all the while the company's top brass on their multi-million pound pay packages have been harbouring secret plans to shut them down. 
The news will be devastating for the workforce and the local community, coming hot on the heels of Npower's decision to also cut back its operations in Oldbury. GMB will fight British Gas to try to protect every job we can but today things look bleak for the Oldbury workers." 

End 

Contact: Brian Strutton on 07860 606137 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691 

Notes to editors 

1 GMB press release dated Monday, April 18, 2016 

3000 Job Losses At Centrica In 2016 As Part Of £750m Per Annum Cuts 

Staff are confused and disillusioned, managers don't know if they're staying or going and the only word from the top is cut, cut, cut says GMB. 

GMB, the union for energy workers, commented on the announcement today, Monday 18th April 2016, from Centrica that it would cut a total of 3000 jobs in 2016, with 800 jobs being cut in the first three months of the year. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases about Centrica). 

The job losses are part of an expected £200 million of efficiency savings in 2016 towards Centrica’s £750 million per annum cost efficiency programme. 

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, said "Centrica's main operating business, British Gas, is going through considerable management upheaval while trying to implement major cost and headcount reductions which is putting the whole business under real strain and it is creaking. 

Staff are confused and disillusioned, managers don't know if they're staying or going and the only word from the top is cut, cut, cut. Announcing even more job losses will be a bitter blow and GMB will be consulting with shop stewards and reps to discuss what steps to take." 

End 

2 GMB press release dated Tuesday, February 2, 2016 

500 Job Losses At British Gas Due To Closure Of Loft And Cavity Wall Insulation Business 

Job losses in the loft and cavity wall business are a real sickener with a further 4,000 job losses still to come in areas that have yet to be identified says GMB. 

GMB, the union for workers in the gas industry, commented on the British Gas announcement to staff on 2nd Feb that 500 workers would be losing their jobs, largely as a result of the closure of the company's loft and cavity wall insulation business. See copy of Centrica press release dated 2nd Feb 2016. 

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, said "This is an early stage of the programme of 6,000 job losses announced by parent group Centrica's CEO Ian Conn last summer. 

GMB expects a further 4,000 job losses still to come in areas that have yet to be identified. 

The closure of the loft and cavity wall business with a loss of 500 jobs is a real sickener. 

At the end of last year we went through a reorganisation which we were told was to make that business competitive and everyone thought that was behind us. But it seems while we were doing that the company was hatching secret plans to shut the whole operation down. Staff will feel gutted and we will think twice about believing anything the company says now. 

British Gas was playing a significant part in tackling cold homes and improving energy efficiency. Now the government will need to look at revising it's carbon emission targets as a result of these and other job losses in the insulation sector." 

End 

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