Cornered!

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Gate Gourmet locked-out workers yesterday angrily confronting their TGWU convenor Dhillon, outside the Hillingdon TGWU office demanding that their dispute must be made official and that they must also receive dispute pay
Gate Gourmet locked-out workers yesterday angrily confronting their TGWU convenor Dhillon, outside the Hillingdon TGWU office demanding that their dispute must be made official and that they must also receive dispute pay

GATE Gourmet locked-out workers cornered their TGWU ex-convenor Dhillon when he came out of the TGWU Regional Office in Hillingdon yesterday midday, where they held their weekly picket.

Rajany Sharma told News Line: ‘We asked him why he was telling us and everyone else to sign the Compromise Agreement when he didn’t sign it himself.

‘He had no answer. He was making up stories. He said he was very sorry for us and that what was done to us was wrong, but it’s all just crocodile tears.’

Parminder Brar said: ‘We asked him why the hardship pay has stopped and again he had no answer.’

Kulwinder Grewal said: ‘We are very dissatisfied with what we heard, he said if we give him names he will organise our hardship payments but we don’t believe it.

‘We asked him if he is employed by the union but he said he is not.’

Parmjeet Sidhu said: ‘This T&G leadership is rubbish. I’ve watched them for a year and they’ve done nothing good for us. They delivered for the company not their members.

‘We are carrying on our fight for our rights and we hope to win. We are holding our anniversary rally in Southall on the 20th of August and we want everyone to come.

‘We want to show the company we are right. I was on early shift on the 10th of August last year. The manager told me to go upstairs to a meeting in the canteen and then I was sacked.’

The powerful struggle of the locked-out workers is driving Gate Gourmet back.

The Heathrow Airport newspaper Skyport revealed yesterday that Gate Gourmet has offered an apology, and loss of earnings to a number of locked-out workers, and that they had been cleared of misconduct, but that they would not be offered their jobs back.

Gate Gourmet Director of Human Resources Gary Fisher wrote to some of the workers and said that their appeal against dismissal had been accepted and that the company was willing to settle.

The letter says: ‘In your particular case, after careful consideration, it has been decided that there were insufficient grounds for believing that you were taking part in industrial action or that you were guilty of misconduct.

Company officials have said that under the points system agreed with the TGWU leaders for deciding who was to be made redundant they were not eligible to return to work.

By the end of March 409 workers had signed the compromise agreement.

There are over 100 tribunal cases pending later in the year.

The claimants are pursuing claims of unfair dismissal, race discrimination, breach of contract and a claim for a protective award.