Hundreds of workers could be laid off by British Gas on Thursday if they refuse to take on new contracts, a 15% wage cut according to the union.
The new contracts stipulate that British gas engineers work an additional three hours a week and not give any extra money for working on unsocial hours, reports The mirror.
Union GMB said the contract changes represent a 15% wage cut in real terms – with 20,000 employees affected.
Service technicians say restructuring will result in them working harder shifts with reduced pay.
GMB said members who do not sign the new terms have been advised that they will also be excluded from a lump sum payment of £ 4,500 and other so-called “protected terms” offered by British Gas.
Up to 1,000 employees still have to sign the contracts and could lose their jobs on Thursday.
On April 1, those who do not sign up for the cuts will have their contracts terminated for payment instead of the 12-week notice period the company is required to provide.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: “Mr O’Shea – CEO of British Gas – unilaterally created a cliff on April 1st to lay off his workers and is moving the company towards it at high speed.
“If Mr. O’Shea continues this ruthless action, GMB has agreed to open an official national lockout dispute with British Gas from April 1st.
“There will also be more strikes and other appropriate measures in this deadlocked dispute.
“It’s illogical for the CEO to base the future of a profitable company on a strategic decision about mass layoffs. It will confuse everyone.
“It is therefore all the more illogical that, following recent talks at ACAS, Mr. O’Shea apologized for undermining trust by accepting shady legal advice on fire and reinstatement and promising never to go down that path again.
“There is still time to step back. Mr. O’Shea should do what is right for the company, customers and workers, and take the April 1st deadline off the table.”
Mirror Money has contacted British Gas for comment.