YESTERDAY morning Gate Gourmet strikers were dismissing and rubbishing the letters that they have been receiving from the company.
These offered them a minimum pittance of two weeks’ pay (£560) for every year of their service as compensation for being sacked.
The arrogant bosses also wrote: ‘The company reserves the absolute right to refuse your application for voluntary redundancy or an equivalent compensatory payment for dismissed employees.’
Not content with that they stated: ‘Any compensation payment that the company decides to grant will be subject to a mutually agreed and executed compromise agreement.’
The arrogant bosses may not actually give the sacked worker who is foolish enough to apply for compensation the amount that they agreed to give him or her in their notorious letter.
And they are taking this attitude with the agreement of the general secretary of the giant TGWU, and Brendan Barber the TUC general secretary, who presides over a trade union membership of over seven million.
So cosy is the ‘bandit company’ with the TUC that the letters are to be returned to ‘the TUC c/o ERS’.
The company stresses that a sacked worker who sends back a letter for compensation is bound to that decision, although GG is ‘not bound’ to ‘progress your individual application’. The sacked worker who cooperates with the company is bound like a slave, while the company is bound by nothing, while it decides which way it is going to play off worker against worker.
And all this by kind permission of the TGWU leaders and the leader of the TUC Barber!
All those who do not believe this must look at the Agreed Framework that is signed by Gate Gourmet, Gold for the TGWU and Barber for the TUC.
Gold and Barber, the TUC general secretary, have signed up to, for the whole of the trade union movement, at least 675 redundancies.
The Agreed Framework reveals that: ‘Through discussions earlier this year between Gate Gourmet and the T&G the parameters of the company survival plan to establish long term viability has been agreed in principle which involves a total workforce reduction of the order of 675 people.’
Further, both supported the GG approach that the workers should be ‘bound’ hand and foot while the bosses are free to decide ‘whether to accept all or any’ of the redundancies or applications for compensation.
As well, the ‘Agreed Framework’ states: ‘if further redundancies are considered necessary the company will use agreed objective selection criteria for a compulsory redundancy programme on the same terms as the above voluntary redundancy compensation payment.’
This is what is called, in the USA, ‘a sweetheart deal’ – the sweetheart being the boss who is getting everything that he desires.
Further, Gold and Barber signed up that: ‘Compensation payments will be subject to mutually agreed and executed compromise agreements.’
No wonder the strikers say that the Agreed Framework is a sell out, and the bosses letter is a disgrace.
The Gate Gourmet strikers are correctly demanding that the unions must call out Heathrow to win their struggle.
They should lobby the TUC Congress in Brighton on Monday 12th September, to demand that the Agreed Framework is dumped, and that Barber and Woodley are sacked, and that all of the trade unions take sympathy strike action with them, to win their vitally important struggle.