Gate Gourmet ‘Blacklist’

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LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers are angry that they are being told by the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) to hold on and wait for the deal signed between the union and the company to go ahead.

On the picket line at Heathrow airport yesterday, TGWU members told News Line that they didn’t believe in the deal and want to file claims for unfair dismissal at employment tribunals.

Parmjit Bains said: ‘We were told that BA would sign a new contract with Gate Gourmet today, but we don’t think it’s happened.

‘The senior shop stewards are now saying, “wait until November 1 and if there is still nothing by then, we will file the case.’’ I don’t believe them.

‘They don’t want to do anything. The company doesn’t want us back.

‘I’ve heard 100 of the people who were working at Gourmet International, which closed two weeks ago, have been given our jobs.’

She continued: ‘We have to look after our interests. We must get in our claims before it is too late.’

Fellow picket Manjeet Ranhawa said: ‘Under the deal, they say that some people are going to be offered their jobs back and some people are going to be left out.

‘It is the union’s responsibility to let people know where they stand.

‘We mustn’t miss the time for our claim for unfair dismissal. We were all unfairly dismissed and we deserve maximum compensation.’

Hermohinder Kabra told News Line: ‘Blue Arrow, the recruitment agency Gate Gourmet uses, is offering Gate Gourmet jobs at £21,000 for drivers and £18,000 for loaders. We were on £19,000 when they kicked us out.

‘When our colleagues have gone to the Job centre, they were told by Blue Arrow that they cannot be taken because they were ex-Gate Gourmet employees.

‘This shows that the blacklist is already underway,’ he charged.

‘They are offering one-year contracts with no sick pay – slave conditions.’

A Transport and General Workers spokesman told News Line yesterday: ‘We are hoping that BA will sign the new contract with Gate Gourmet this afternoon, but there may not be any news until the morning.’