Day: January 7, 2021

British Gas staff start five-day strike over pay and conditions

British Gas engineers will launch a five-day strike from Thursday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Thousands of staff could walk out in response to an attempt by the firm to push through pay cuts by threatening to fire workers, union GMB has said.

It accused Centrica, which owns British Gas, of provoking the strike, which it said would cause “massive disruption”.

Centrica said it would prioritise vulnerable households and emergencies during the walkout.

In a statement, GMB national secretary Justin Bowden said the actions of British Gas had “tarnished” its reputation.

“The use of fire and rehire threats has been condemned across the political spectrum and caused huge anger among this dedicated workforce,” he said.

He also suggested that the strike would cause “massive disruption to customers in the depths of winter”.

A Centrica spokeswoman said: “We’ve done everything we can with the GMB to avoid industrial action.

Read More

Remembering the murder of WSJ reporter Danny Pearl

Farah Stockman of The New York Times writes about the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl, which occurred 19 years ago.

Stockman writes, “But I can’t forget. Daniel Pearl and I were both trying to interview the same reclusive spiritual leader in Pakistan when he was kidnapped and killed. ‘Don’t worry,’ a spokesman for the spiritual leader assured me. ‘If anyone gets an interview, it will be you.’ But Mr. Pearl, a more seasoned journalist who served as The Journal’s South Asia bureau chief at the time, found someone who promised to arrange the coveted interview. He jumped into a taxi and disappeared.

“Weeks later, Mr. Pearl’s beheading shocked the world. That was the moment I realized that this thing we do called journalism contained dangers I hadn’t contemplated before. It was a fitting lesson for the era of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which opened the country’s

Read More

What positives can we take from 2020’s lockdowns and use in 2021?

2020 was the year which highlighted several out of date systems that without the immediate need, may have been swept under the rug for another decade at least.

As Britain enters into yet another lockdown what positives can we takeaway from 2020 that can still be applied this year and for the foreseeable future?

We’ve found that ‘giving back’ is essential and should not be a one-time thing

All those acts of kindness, going the extra mile. Perhaps we can’t keep them up during 2021 to the exact same extent, however, with the news of another lockdown we need to ensure that all members of our society are looked after, cared for and still heard.

Many of our SME business owners and readers have charitable donations built into their strategy on a yearly basis, however with lockdown restrictions in place 2020 flagged how focusing in on our need to really

Read More