BA workers coming to Gate Gourmet rally

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The campaign team for the Gate Gourmet workers anniversary rally in Southall yesterday
The campaign team for the Gate Gourmet workers anniversary rally in Southall yesterday

BRITISH Airways workers are coming to the Gate Gourmet locked-out workers first anniversary march and rally in Southall this Sunday.

Buying his ticket for the rally on Southall High Street yesterday, BA ramp worker and TGWU member, R Sahota said: ‘The union must fight for these members. It’s their responsibility.

‘What happened to them was clearly very wrong and the company will have to pay for it at the employment tribunal. The union must support these members and stop stabbing them in the back.’

Former BA worker, Salehmohamed Zulkarnath, said: ‘I used to work for BA and I know how treacherous the TGWU leaders can be. The company got rid of thousands of people in 2001, including me, and the union leaders helped them do it.

‘I think the Gate Gourmet members have been treated very unfairly. The company seems to have the union leaders in its pocket. We have to overthrow this rotten leadership.’

On the campaign team, Raj Sahdev said: ‘We want all workers and the local community to come to our rally on Sunday. It is very important to show that we have lots of support.’

Young Socialists members joined the campaign. Dinzeye Da Costa, from Peckham Young Socialists, said: ‘I want the Gate Gourmet workers to win. I know that they are in the right. They are fighting for everyone in the world.’

Earlier in the day, locked-out workers were invited by the TGWU solicitor to a meeting for an update on their employment tribunal.

Going into the regional offices in Hillingdon, Jaswinder Kumar said: ‘We are going to our employment tribunal in November and are very confident of victory.’

He added: ‘We are calling on everyone to come to our march on Sunday. Everyone knows how badly we were treated, first by the company, then by the union leaders.’

After the meeting, Mohinder Virk said: ‘The solicitor told us that he will fight our case very strongly. He said some cases would go on until 2007.’

Harbinder Singh said: ‘They said the main case will be heard in mid-November, lasting two weeks. Then there will be individual cases going on into next year.

‘The tribunal will decide if we were treated illegally and if we were unfairly dismissed.

‘I want to call on all trade union members, especially from the TGWU, to come to our anniversary march and rally on Sunday. It is everybody’s fight.’