Ex-Military Used Against Gate Gourmet Workers

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Gate Gourmet sacked workers  attending yesterday’s Tribunal hearing
Gate Gourmet sacked workers attending yesterday’s Tribunal hearing

YESTERDAY was the second day of the Employment tribunal for Gate Gourmet sacked workers where they are bringing their claim for unfair dismissal.

Kay Collins, Human Resources Manager, gave evidence concerning the employment of casual labour on the day that 800 Gate Gourmet workers were sacked.

She confirmed that about 130 workers were recruited from Bluebird employment agency and were brought to Gate Gourmet West plant to work on that day.

She agreed that they had been specially bussed in from a meeting point and that they had been interviewed for their jobs off site as the knowledge of bringing in the casual labour could upset the existing staff.

She also stated that the union, the TGWU, were unhappy about the recruitment of casual labour at a time when management were planning 675 redundancies.

Next to appear before the Tribunal was Mr O’Flynn, General Manager of ISS securities.

It was pointed out that in the specification for ISS securities, they deployed staff to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Flynn agreed under questioning that the company was mainly based on ex-military personnel and they were used by Gate Gourmet in ‘Operation Saffron’ as part of a contingency plan by Gate Gourmet who expected there would be opposition by existing staff to the introduction of casual labour on August 10.

Iss Securities were used to remove staff from the canteen and also to help police in the car park on the afternoon of August 10.

Chris Snow, General Manager of Gate Gourmet West plant was next to be questioned.

He admitted that he was the manager given the job of announcing to the Gate Gourmet staff sitting in the canteen, that either they return to their jobs or they would be dismissed.

He also stated that he was the person who made the same announcement in the car park during the afternoon.

Under questioning, he agreed that although the workers wished to consult with their union representatives, he did announce that they were dismissed.

The case continues today.