Victory to Gate Gourmet locked-out workers

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TEXAS PACIFIC and its Gate Gourmet protege are not renowned for making apologies. In fact the opposite is the case. They are renowned for being no-holds-barred super-exploiters of the working class.

But apologise is what they have done to a number of the locked-out Gate Gourmet workers who are taking them to an employment tribunal.

In the letter of apology Gary Fisher, now the director of ‘human resources’ at the company, said Gate Gourmet was now willing to settle with them, and offered them double statutory pay plus their loss of wages.

The letter stated: ‘In your particular case after careful consideration, it has been decided that there were insufficient grounds for believing that you were taking part in industrial action or that you were guilty of misconduct.’

‘This will be recorded on your personnel file and we ask that you accept this letter by way of official apology on behalf of the company.’

Oh how the mighty have fallen. What has happened to bring them down much nearer to the ground?

They have been fought to a standstill by the locked out Gate Gourmet workers who refused to sign the Compromise Agreement, drawn up by that ugly alliance of the TGWU leaders and Gate Gourmet, and have been campaigning tirelessly for their dispute to be made official and for the strength of the trade union movement to be used to get their jobs back.

The company have now found out that they are facing more than 100 tribunal cases, and face charges ranging from assault, unfair dismissal, racial discrimination, false imprisonment and others, enough to bring them at the least into massive discredit all over the world and perhaps into the criminal courts, and they are now wobbling.

But they are still seeking refuge under the agreement that they signed with Brendan Gold of the TGWU, supported by Brendan Barber of the TUC.

They have apologised but they are refusing to re-employ those who they have apologised to.

The company says that they have not got enough points under the system that was agreed with the TGWU to decide who was to be made compulsorily redundant. As a company spokesman said: ‘This is a process agreed with the Transport and General Workers Union.’

They remain sacked by kind permission of their trade union. If this is not neglect of the union leaders’ duty of care to their members, then somebody tell News Line what is.

They were wrongly dismissed but they cannot get their jobs back because Woodley and Gold agreed that they deserved sacking under their points system!

The Gate Gourmet apologies have been achieved by the decisive fight of the locked-out workers, who would not give in to the rapacious Gate Gourmet company or their trade union friends.

The Compromise Agreement signed by the TGWU leaders and drawn up with the help of the TUC was directly against the interests of the workers and indirectly in the interests of the boss. It agreed that nobody would get any compensation until every worker had signed it.

It agreed that all those who signed the Compromise Agreement would give up any tribunal or other legal case against the company. It agreed that they would never seek work again with Gate Gourmet or any associated company. It agreed that up to 144 workers would be made compulsorily redundant and that there would be over 400 redundancies.

The locked-out workers have shown that Gate Gourmet can be beaten and has feet of clay. They have proved that the TGWU leaders chose to make a deal with the company at their expense when the strength of the union could have been used to defeat the company.

Now the TGWU leaders must come to their senses or resign. They must pay the locked-out workers hardship pay. They must make the dispute official and they must call a national demonstration so that millions of workers can march to defeat Gate Gourmet and all slave labour bosses. This is the only way that the TGWU leaders can fight the claim that they betrayed their members when they signed the Compromise Agreement with Gate Gourmet.