Big Picket At Gate Gourmet!

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THERE was one of the biggest turnouts on the picket line at the Gate Gourmet dispute yesterday, with more than 200 locked out workers demonstrating near the factory at Heathrow.

They heard from senior shop stewards, Mr Dhillon and Mrs Atwal, that 144 of the 700-plus sacked workers would be receiving letters from the company saying they are to be made compulsorily redundant.

Workers told News Line that they did not want to be divided.

Jaswinder Kumar said: ‘We’ve been told 144 of us will be receiving a letter this Wednesday and should go to meet a union solicitor at the local office to talk about it.

‘We have to stick together. We are all in this together.’

Lakhvinder Saran said: ‘He said we have to wait until Wednesday. But if the letters don’t come by then we will put the case for unfair dismissal into the court. So we will wait.

‘He said everyone’s situation will be sorted out within two weeks.

‘But that’s the same as Tony Woodley (TGWU transport union general secretary) said two months ago.’

Hermohinder Kabra said: ‘He said 144 people are to get the letter by Wednesday. What about the others?

‘We should all be settled at the same time and we should all go in together.

‘We said: “all out, all in’’ from day one.

‘The company wants to divide us up and the union leaders are helping.’

Picket Bakar Singh said: ‘The union should not accept compulsory redundancies, not at all.

‘The company did an illegal thing, they locked us out.

‘They planned the cheapest way to sack us and then locked us out.

‘Now the union leaders are sympathising with the company. Something is cooking between them.

‘It’s two weeks since they said we would all have a letter within a week.’

Mr A Singh said: ‘I have read on the internet that the billionaire controller of Gate Gourmet has given £1 million to a university business school.

‘But he wants to turn the workers he employs into slaves.

‘I am expecting to be here on the picket line until December.’