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Gate Gourmet locked-out workers on the picket line at Heathrow yesterday – other pickets were out campaining at local workplaces for their conference
GATE Gourmet workers held a successful campaign yesterday for the News Line/Gate Gourmet-Locked-Out Workers Conference on the 29th January.

They visited Greenford Council depot and bus depot in the morning, Greenford Postal Sorting Office at lunchtime and the Ealing Hospital in the afternoon.

Mr S Singh, a TGWU bus worker from Slough bought his ticket for the conference and said: ‘Whether I’m working or not I will be coming to the conference. Our conditions and pay on the buses are terrible, something should be done. If they can sack 760 workers at Gate Gourmet on only £6.20 an hour then no-one is safe, anyone could be sacked.’

Lakhinder Saran, a locked-out Gate Gourmet worker said: ‘We had a great response from the Greenford Bus Garage, a lot of bus workers said they would come to the conference and we hope they will.’

Mahinder Virk another locked-out Gate Gourmet worker, said: ‘Everyone should come to the 29th January conference and support us.’

At Ealing Hospital Marie Odje, a student nurse from south London signed up for the conference and said: ‘I’m totally opposed to the privatisation of the NHS, we should all go on strike to drive the private companies out of the hospitals.’

Also at Ealing Hospital, Nirpal Bilku, a friend of Gate Gourmet workers told News Line: ‘It was very unfair what happened to the Gate Gourmet workers, you can’t just sack people over a megaphone and chuck them out of the factory. The locked-out Gate Gourmet workers should get their rights, they should pursue their employment tribunal cases and beat the Gate Gourmet company. They should get their jobs back as well.’

Mr S Singh, a member of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) at Southall Post Office, said: ‘I support the conference because no-one should face injustice and be sacked for no reason. I will definitely come to the conference and bring my friends.’

Meanwhile, on the picket line, locked out worker Mrs Vijaya Patel said: ‘We want public sector workers to come to our conference.

‘NHS workers are fighting privatisation and should join us.

‘The working class is facing attacks on jobs and services.

‘We are all struggling, we’ve got nothing.’

Satpal added: ‘It’s very hard standing in the cold on the picket line.

‘We are very angry with the union leaders.

‘They signed the deal accepting compulsory redundancies without our agreement, now they want to dump us.

‘They are giving us no news, no information.

‘They are only trying to help themselves and the bosses, not us.

‘It is us who are fighting for principles and we won’t back down.’

Devinder said: ‘The company chose us for compulsory redundancy and the union leaders agreed to it but we won’t accept it.

‘We are fighting for reinstatement and we call on all workers to come to our conference and fight for us as well.’


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