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Sacked Gate Gourmet workers rallying in Southall in December 2005 with the support of the local community. They are still fighting for their rights
Northern Foods has won the British Airways contract to supply meals and sandwiches for short-haul flights from Heathrow airport, replacing Gate Gourmet.

Northern, the food manufacturer, will combine with DHL, the logistics company owned by Deutsche Post, on the 10-year contract.

Three years ago BA had to cancel flights when ground staff walked out after Gate Gourmet’s sudden sacking of all its 800 workers.

At the time Gate Gourmet – which had been bought by the private equity Texas Pacific Group after the collapse of its previous owner, Swissair – was facing losses from its business with BA.

BA extended its contract to 2010 and increased its size in order to support Gate Gourmet.

But BA opened a tendering process 18 months ago and looked at a range of options for its in-flight catering, which supplies about 100,000 meals a day and is worth £150m a year to its suppliers.

Gate Gourmet has retained the long-haul portion of the contract from Heathrow, while Alpha Flight, owned by Autogrill of Italy, is keeping the business for flights from Gatwick and other UK and Irish regional airports.

•Second news story


‘BINYAM continues to suffer very badly in Guantanamo, and bringing him home should be an urgent priority.

‘But in the meantime, it becomes ever more clear that the real war crimes committed in this case were done by government officials, not Mr. Mohamed,’ his lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith told News Line yesterday.

Stafford-Smith has written to Attorney General, Lady Scotland urging her to hand detailed allegations of wrongdoing by MI5 and the CIA over the treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He says in his letter dated December 2, that ‘there must be a full investigation into the criminal offences committed against Mr Mohammed’.

He adds: ‘This investigation must be (and be manifestly seen to be) made independently of any of the political ramifications of the case.’

Stafford-Smith cites five threads of the investigation ‘involving US, Pakistani, Moroccan, Afghani and our own (UK) personnel’.

He stresses: ‘The issue here involves the international crime of torture and/or war crimes committed against Binyam Mohamed.’

He reminds the Attorney General that: ‘The British government, as well as the British Court, have concluded that Mr Mohamed has made out a prima facie case of rendition and torture that has not been rebutted by the Bush administration.’


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