British Gas workers and Hewlett Packard staff vote to strike

British Gas workers have voted in favour of strike in a row about alleged “macho management” and bullying at the firm.

Eight in every 10 engineers voted for a strike, and 90% voted for industrial action short of a strike, the GMB union confirmed today. The ballot results were based on a turnout of 61.5% of the union’s 8,000 British Gas members.

The news comes as British Airways prepares for a second strike beginning this weekend (27 March) in a row about job cuts and pay, and Hewlett Packard’s government IT workers announced more industrial action as a pay and jobs dispute continues.

Speaking about the British Gas ballot results, Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: “GMB will meet with the national shop stewards at British Gas in the next week to determine what form the industrial action will take should British Gas not lift the conflicting demands they are placing on GMB members. “

Matthew Bateman, director of heating services at British Gas, maintains that the firm is unaware of the reason that some workers wish to strike.

He said: “We are not surprised by this ballot result, given the GMB’s recent false accusations and reckless scare-mongering. T

“The GMB has still not told us the grounds for this dispute, even though we have asked for this information several times.”

He added: “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.”

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