Tuesday, 23 March 2010

And it was on the Monday Morning that the Gas Man FAILED to Call!

It never rains but it pours for Gordon. First the civil servants, then the BA staff, then the railways and now the gas men.

The British Gas dispute is over working conditions of engineers, boilers fitters and general electrical repairers. The union (GMB) also claims the company has a "bullying culture".

British Gas wants to make the engineers work longer hours. Many of the engineers apparently get away with working a four-day week, even though they are paid for a full week's work, which seems like a weird situation to me. Of course you might ask how the management (so called) allowed this situation to come about in the first place.

The GMB claim their members are subject to bullying and that engineers are pressured to sell extra services to customers whilst mending or fitting a boiler. According to the union the average amount of time an engineer is allowed to fix a boiler or other appliance had been cut by 22 per cent, in an effort to ensure workers completed more jobs in a given week. So.... they only work four days a week, but they have to do 5 days work in the four days..... Hello, is there anyone in?

Of course British Gas denies all of this. According to them they are model employers and no pressure or bullying is ever exerted on anyone at any time ever....

A whole article can be read here, and various people may analyse it the way that they will. However, I suggest that this is just the start of a lot of action over the next months and possibly years, regardless of who wins the election.

This recession was caused by greedy and incompetent people at the top. Banks and Financial organizations wanted more and more money; governments failed to regulate companies who were behaving outrageously madly. Even financial illiterates like me could see that if incomes rose at 2-4% on average and house prices rose at 10 12%, there would shortly come a time when no one could afford to buy a house except the Queen (and maybe Lard Ashcroft).

Inevitably it all crashed... just because it was bound to sometime... and one day someone started a whisper that it had started, and so people started calling in debts upon which the world depended for its very existence, and ....BANG! It was over. (Of course it started in America and spread around the world.... tra la)

Even in Britian where the Wizard of Arse had abolished Boom and Bust, the bottom fell out of the economy. (Obviously it was everyone else’s fault)

Now we have to pay. But it’s not the people who caused all this strife who are paying. Oh no. It is BA cabin staff; it’s engineers; it’s transport workers, and civil servant. It’s soldiers and pensioners, and it will be all manner of other people.

Amazingly the bonuses for the morons in the banks go on, because if they don’t get big bonuses they will throw their toys out of the pram and go somewhere else. It’s not Ministers and it’s not MPs who have just pocketed £1,000 a year increase, as pensioners are getting a decrease.

British Gas have mismanaged their way into this, and because “everyone” has to tighten their belts they are trying to force their fitters to do more for less. (Despite the fact that British Gas have been coining it in!)

So, if anyone thinks that these strikes are anything other than the beginning of unrest ...then they should probably think again. It seems like Brits have may grown a back bone.


  1. Fu#k em

    I know several Gas fitters and as they earn around £35000 a year plus and working on the side.
    Putting in central heating etc..........

    sympathy have I none..not a drop
    Luckily i am anonymous otherwise the lazy bastards wont do me boiler for cash ever again.

  2. “We know where you live Niko....

    signed The Gasmen.....

    he he he”


    It doesn't really matter Niko. British Gas wants them to do more for the same money. But it's not their recession; they didn't cause it and lord knows British Gas isn't short of a bob or two.

    The MPs who are responsible for the recession are on twice their money, and they've just had a pay rise. The bankers may be on ten or twenty times that plus massive bonuses, which they refuse to give up and Gordon refuses to make them give up.

    The gas men have my vote.

    I wouldn't let them in if I were you..... You never know what they will do with these spare bits of piping!

  3. I've always found their engineers are very good but the company itself is badly mismanaged. Despite years of promising to improve their customer service you still can't get them on the phone. It takes hours to organise an annual inspection or a repair. Since privatisation the shareholders will always come first and will demand more dividends with less overheads. It's part of Centrica and they used to have the AA and goldfish credit cards but they've got rid of the family silver and now just have the cash cow of Scottish Gas and Btritish Gas . So they will screw us into the ground to make money.

  4. Anon

    It’s strange you should post that. I’ve just been listening to a Radio 4 programme about Cadbury.

    It seems well balanced; not in the least FOR Kraft, but pointing out that Cadbury were going to close that factory in Somerset anyway....

    There was input from old employees who said that they whole thing started going downhill when they “went public” with the merger with Schweppes in 1969 (I think), and how from then on the old Quaker companies of Fry’s and Cadbury’s lost all their principles of responsibility to the customer, the employee and the area in which they had their factory. From then on it was only the shareholder who counted. Fair enough.... it’s the shareholder whose money keeps the company running, some would say.

    But this old bloke told a wee story about how fantastic the grounds of the plant used to be, with rose gardens. They used to employ a host of gardeners to keep the place nice... Nice for the employees and nice for the locals who had to look at it. Overnight all that went; the gardeners were sacked and the Cadbury Schweppes shareholders were all that mattered.

    Sometimes you just wonder what went wrong. And that was before even Mrs Thatcher and her glorification of greed and the “me me me” society.

    It all sounds just like British (or in our case Scottish) Gas it seems. (I don’t have gas, so I don’t know.)

    It all goes to make life a little more difficult and a little less pleasant.

  5. tris

    Cadbury Schweppes were taken over by Premier Foods headed by Sir Paul Judge. His stake of £90K was increased to £45million in three years. Interesting that he now runs 'Jury Team' which is trying to open up parliament to the common man.
    Gamekeeper turned poacher ?

  6. LOL Anon:

    The Jury Team... I have grave grave doubts about that organisation having watched what they did with Smeaton in Glasgow. Manipulative and grim... Poor Smeato, by anyone's standards, not the brightest button in the box was being used by an unpleasant bunch of people. And the idea that "Sir" Paul Judge wouldn't want anything back for his nickle is just laughable...

    The "ordinary" man my butt.

  7. tris
    I saw the Smeaton story on tv aswell. I was impressed when Smeato refused to get photgraphed burning a mock up of the Houses of Parliament. He went mental about it and threatened to walk out.
    Surprised that Old Holborn has signed up with them as he was always so anti establishment. Maybe Jury Team are the answer as OH usually runs a tight ship and looks into things first before committing. So I'll wait before condemning Jury Team just yet.

  8. In reality the blame about the poor customer service should be shouldered by both the employes and the mgmt. we need to highlight their ineffeciences and it should be upto them if they want to improve. since a bad managed co cannot go for long ...

  9. Yes Anon.

    it's true that both management and employees are to blame, in each person, in each case to a different proportion.

    Examples should, I think, come from the top down.