Come to our conference on January 29TH

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Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers on the picket line at the Beacon roundabout near the factory yesterday midday
Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers on the picket line at the Beacon roundabout near the factory yesterday midday

THERE was a determined picket of locked out Gate Gourmet workers on the Beacon Hill near Heathrow Airport yesterday.

It is now nearly five months since the August 10th lock-out by the Gate Gourmet bosses.

760 TGWU members were thrown out of the factory.

However, after pledging that every worker would be returned to their jobs before any changes could take place in working conditions, union leader Tony Woodley signed a Compromise Agreement selling out the rights of the workforce.

Over 500 workers have refused to sign the notorious Compromise Agreement despite the most acute financial hardship.

They say that only slaves would sign such an agreement.

Mrs Jasbir Dosanjh told News Line: ‘We are still here in the same situation and in the same fight.

‘We never see any union officer here any more. They are only interested in trying to help the company.

‘It is our trade union and it must fight for us.

‘We are not just standing up for our own rights. We are fighting for everybody’s trade union rights.

‘I hope that my union will start fighting for us soon.’

Sukhvinder said: ‘The union leaders are giving support to the company, not to us.

‘They must fight for our jobs back and for all of the money that we have lost.

‘It must also continue paying our Hardship Payments until we win this battle.’

Mrs Surinder Dhariwal added: ‘Our conference on the 29th January in London is very important not just for us but for the whole of the trade union movement.

‘What is involved here is whether companies can sack workers for no reason just to cut costs and bring in new conditions.

‘Also whether trade unions are going to fight for their members or help the bosses.

‘So we are calling on all trade unionists to come to our conference and to fight along with us.’

Palmjit Baines said: ‘We want to talk with the airport authorities to ask them to let us keep a caravan here. It is winter. Today we are in the rain. Soon we will be in the snow.

‘A kind supporter has donated a caravan and we need to use it.

‘The airport authority gave us permission to stand on the hill and we want to ask them to let us have the caravan here.

‘We are here until we win, and we need shelter.’