Bosses keeping Gourmet locked-out workers waiting

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Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers at Heathrow yesterday were demanding union leaders fight for every job
Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers at Heathrow yesterday were demanding union leaders fight for every job

‘IF I’m told I’m to be made compulsorily redundant I will not accept. I’m fighting for reinstatement and will not give up my claim for unfair dismissal.

‘My friends feel the same,’ continued locked-out Gate Gourmet worker, Jaswinder Phal, speaking to News Line on the picket line at Heathrow Airport yesterday.

He added: ‘We’ve heard that those inside are being ordered to work anywhere, and everywhere, and that they must be flexible.

‘They are not being kept on one job. They have to do whatever the management says they must do. It’s not right.’

He added: ‘We haven’t received our pay for the two weeks before we were locked out.

‘When we first came out, Tony Woodley (TGWU General Secretary) said that this was all going to be sorted out in one or two weeks.

‘But it’s now more than eight weeks. All we’ve had is four hundred pounds hardship pay from the union and some of us haven’t even had that.

‘Last Wednesday, the union leaders said that everything is going to be settled straightaway, but we still haven’t heard anything.’

Fellow picket Gian Brar said: ‘We want our jobs. All of us, including the 144 people they say they are going to make compulsorily redundant, want their jobs back.

‘We won’t accept compulsory redundancy.’

Parmjit Bains said: ‘People need their jobs back. My friend went to a disciplinary hearing and they told her that people won’t be getting letters this week informing them whether they are to be sacked or not.

‘We’ll be getting them next week. Why are they taking so long over this? They seem to want to keep us on edge over whether we will get our jobs back or be sacked.

‘We are all united in fighting for all our jobs back and no compulsory redundancies.’

Manjeet Ranhawa said: ‘No one is going to accept compulsory redundancy. No one knows who is on the list. Everyone is waiting to receive the letter.’

She added: ‘What has happened at Xavier Gourmet is unacceptable and wrong. They locked out 200 people without warning. They should all join the union now and make the union fight for them.’

TGWU shop steward Gurdip Heer said: ‘The workers at Xavier Gourmet were only being paid £4.80 per hour.

‘We went down there yesterday and saw some of them. We told them to come up and see us here on the hill. We support them fully.’