Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GMB Not @ Work

I don't know what people are putting in the nation's water supply, but it does seem to be encouraging a lot of people to go on strike. British Gas engineers are the latest to vote in favour of strike action, following on from flight attendants and the PCSU. It's not exactly on a par with the Winter of Discontent, but Labour will know that this sort of thing is not going to help them electorally.

Watching the GMB press conference announcing industrial action, it's rather ironic that the slogan on the staging behind them reads GMB@Work.

17 comments:

The King of Wrong said...

"GMB @ The Picket Line"?

Three strikes, Gordon, time you were out!

Nigel said...

Work for British Gas they may.
Engineers they aren't.

Michael Heaver said...

I do find it amusing that there is such industrial discontent under a LABOUR government. These were largely the people who built the Labour Party in the first place...

john in cheshire said...

This form of assymetric politics will increase after the general election. The communists and socialists won't just become the opposition party, like normal people. They believe that their vision for the future is the only acceptable way to go and therefore, once the power to destroy our country from within the government is taken from them, they will revert to type and try to bring the country to its knees through the 'brothers' of their union masters. The 1970s all over again.

Sean Haffey said...

I find it truly astonishing that this hasn't led to a huge Tory lead in the polls.

Antisthenes said...

You ain't seen nothing yet, things are going to get an awful lot worse. The consequences of the economic woes of the UK are now surfacing and this is just the tip of the iceberg. If I was David Cameron I would give Bully Boy a bye on this forthcoming election. Let him take the worst of the storm then turn up just in time to save the sinking ship. The electorate will be so grateful he will be able to push through any policy he wants.

Perhaps that is Cameron's strategy a hung parliament with Gordo left in charge would suit the bill admirably.

Benny said...

I work for British Gas, not as an engineer, but the management side that I've come across is excellent and treats us all incredibly well.

Stepney said...

To firking right Nigel.

I am sick of blokes in overalls who bend a few pipes or give your washing machine a kick being referred to as Engineers in the meeja.

It takes as long to become a Chartered Engineer as it does to become a GP. The country was built on the expertise of its engineers. You may as well be calling a hospital cleaner a Pathologist.

Engineers solve problems. Fitters mend fridges.

Dale - take note.

tory boys never grow up said...

We know that you are not interested about what these industrial disputes are actually about, and are more interested in using them to prove party political points. However, given your interest in intimidation it is interesting that you fail to comment on the matter in this case - or is intimidation only something that trade unionists do?

tory boys never grow up said...

Email From Phil Bentley MD of British Gas

"The big, hairy, audacious goal I’ve thrown down in One British Gas (OBG) is to reduce our non customer facing Full Time Equivalent by 25%; whether its Marketing, finance or HR or whether its in Staines or the P&Ls, whether its British Gas Business, British Gas Services (BGS) or British Gas Retail, I’m committed to taking a one off axe to the overheads that have been build up over the years, and so I’m expecting plans to deliver this. All these functions play enormously important strategic roles, but we simply cannot afford these costs anymore and I am not prepared for them to be simply be passed to customers so that we become uncompetitive in prices. The formation of OBG gives us the one off air cover to do this this year and to take a one off restructuring charge.



I recognize that under your leadership you have transformed our Information Services (IS) capability. I also acknowledge the increased IS and technology investment we need to deliver our OBG vision. However, I would like you to consider how we would achieve this in IS, following absorption of Group and BGS. It may also be time to shift some dead wood where it makes sense.



Can IS deliver it’s share of the targets for OBG? What would we need to forgo? Is this too much to cut? I don’t know. But I do know that if anyone has an idea how to do this it’s you. Our consultants, OC&C are available if you want some heavy lifting doing. I’d certainly use them to look at org structures and where they might provide a challenge. So that’s the challenge and the reason for the meeting. I know it won’t be easy. Many thanks Phil.”


I wonder if we can expect a similarly subtle approach from Osborne in reducing the public sector deficit? Doesn't the above really just demonstrate the old adage that management get the trade unions they deserve?

alan said...

Having talked to an 'engineer' today about this, he says it is more about the requirement to sell stuff for BG than anything else - oh, apart that is from the new practice of fitting tracking systems to their vans, so that they can't knock off early, or do work 'on their own' any more - they certainly do NOT appreciate that!

pete-s said...

If the story told by the GMB is true then in this case they have my support. I belonged to a company that tried to make it's field staff sell; it was a disaster. It makes field staff VERY uncomfortable, and gung ho management who come up with these hair brained ideas put on a lot of pressure to ensure their 'BABY' succeed.

Moriarty said...

@tory boys

No point mate in posting something that long. Given your post history nobody is going to read more than three sentences.

Me said...

A year or two ago I ended up working on GMB magazine(long story...).
It was basically a Labour party pamphlet and sent free to members. You've never seen such insidious propaganda. It'd feature articles by Union bosses that were economically illiterate as well in the normal sense.
You should have seen Paul Kenny's copy when it came in - full of spelling mistakes and terrible grammar! Just confirmed my view that most socialists are totally thick and know not what they do.
Vote Tory to end union members funding the Labour party!

Unsworth said...

@ Moriarty

As many as that?

jojoko said...

A local farmer, a member of the Conservative party, today told me he believes the best thing for the country would be a LibLab coalition. He thinks that if the Conservatives are elected, the unions will make it a priority to bring the government down and in the process destroy the country. I was totally flabbergasted and told him my view is that the unions are going to kick off no matter who's in charge and better a party that will stand up to them than one that is indebted to them. Is there anyone else out there thinking like this?

Antisthenes said...

I am with jojoko on this as you can see from my earlier comment. The union commie bosses scent blood they know that the conditions for strife are all there, pay and conditions are going to deteriorate and keep deteriorating because of the economic mess. They see this is as there opportunity to restore union power to the their good all days and the countries bad old days. I say to Cameron steer well clear until the time is ripe.