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‘Will British Gas learn from the fire and rehire dispute? That’s the million pound question’: Former British Gas engineer hopes so

Former British Gas engineer Daniel Caie of Inverness is branching out on his own following the British Gas dispute.
Former British Gas engineer Daniel Caie of Inverness is branching out on his own following the British Gas dispute.

A former British Gas engineer hopes the UK energy giants can learn from a fire and rehire dispute for the sake of the remaining workforce.

The GMB union has condemned the “mass sackings” of almost 500 engineers on Wednesday after they refused to sign new contracts.

The new terms require workers to work an extra three hours a week, and will not be paid more for working on weekends and public holidays.

It comes after months of strike action across the UK, calling for the firm to scrap the plans.

Owners Centrica have said the plans needed to take place to “ensure the survival” of the company and protect jobs.

Hopes that British Gas learns from the dispute

Inverness resident Daniel Caie who has worked for the firm for 10 years has declined to sign the new contract to instead set up his own business because he felt “bullied.”

Mr Caie said “It has sat on my mind about leaving the firm from around February to March time and I would have happily remained at British Gas if they had called off the fire and rehire plan.

“It was matter of principal as I don’t like being bullied.

Former British Gas engineer Daniel Caie.

“Will British Gas learn from the dispute, that’s the million pound question.

“I hope they learn because of the large amount of people who are disgusted and cancelled their agreements and especially for the sake of all my friends who are still there.

“It has been sad hearing horrible stories about workers experiencing mental stress.”

Fresh chapter

Looking ahead to a fresh chapter, he added: “I am happy to have left behind the toxic environment that the company has created for itself.

“I’m at the forgive and forget stage and looking forward to starting up my own business.

“I was still one of the joint youngest member of the Elgin and Inverness team which shows the wealth of experience they have let go and people in the company don’t understand that it takes years to get good as a gas engineer.

“I felt I was going to be there for years until last year’s negotiations.”

A spokesman for British Gas owners Centrica said: ‘‘We care about all of our colleagues.

“That’s why we’ve had to make changes to ensure the survival of the company – to reverse our decline and protect the future of all our employees.”

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