DELIGHTED! – with caravan say locked-out Gate Gourmet workers

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LOCKED-out Gate Gourmet workers are delighted at last to have a shelter for their picketing.

The TGWU ceased sending a tent as shelter for the picket in November and since then the locked-out workers have been picketing in all weathers in the open air.

Raksha told News Line yesterday: ‘We are very grateful to a kind supporter who has donated us a caravan.

‘We need shelter, especially now it’s winter. We are keeping up our picket every day and we call on our supporters to join us on our mass picket this Sunday morning between 11am and 1pm.’

Raksha continued: ‘The company picked me for compulsory redundancy with the backing of the union leaders.

‘They said they would support us and that we would all go back into our jobs together, the union leaders then signed the Compromise Agreement which agreed to 144 compulsory redundancies and changes in working conditions.

‘I was one of the 144, I need my job and I want the union to fight for me. We are holding our conference on Sunday the 29th of January where we will be discussing what to do.’

Kuldeep Hothi, said: ‘I am one of the seven, first the company sent me a letter saying I was one of the 144. But since I had no sickness record and had received no warnings I had more than 35 points in what they called “objective criteria” for compulsory redundancies, these included sickness, warnings, skill levels and length of service, I got top points for all.

‘But they said I was one of seven people who they couldn’t trust and so I was given compulsory redundancy. I’m just an ordinary union member, not a leader, I don’t know why I’ve been singled out but I think it’s disgraceful that the union has agreed to any compulsory redundancies.’

She concluded: ‘We want lots of people to come to our conference on the 29th, the union must fight for our rights.’