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Gas engineers in northern England to ballot for strike action over working conditions

ALMOST 1,000 gas engineers in northern England have voted to ballot on strike action over excessive working hours, safety and an alleged culture of workplace bullying.

Members of general union GMB working at Northern Gas Networks (NGN) voted 99.5 per cent for action in a turnout of 97 per cent.

NGN is responsible for repairs and maintenance of domestic and business gas supply networks across the region.

GMB organiser Andrew Aldwinkle said: “These workers put their lives on the line daily to protect the public and keep the heating on — but they are consistently overtired and undermined.

“We are convinced the public would be appalled by how these front-line workers are treated.

“This huge mandate for industrial action shows just how strongly our members feel about NGN’s attitude.

“It’s time that this multimillion company did the responsible thing and paid these workers properly for a decent working week and improve their conditions.”

NGN chief operating officer John Richardson said: “NGN has been proactively discussing ways of working with the GMB Union and our operational colleagues, to ensure that the tiredness levels of gas engineers are effectively managed and addressed.

“The safety of our colleagues and members of the public is our priority, and conversations are ongoing.”

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