Gate Gourmet locked-out workers are aiming for a New Year victory!


‘OUR fight is continuing and so is our picket,’ locked out Gate Gourmet worker Parmjit Bains told News Line yesterday.

‘We have rejected the Compromise Agreement and have had a victory because only 200 out of 760 locked out workers have signed it.

‘Everybody knows it was a rotten deal, with nothing for us and everything for the company.

‘The union leaders who helped draw it up and called on us to sign it should resign.

‘The company is now writing letters to people inviting them to come to interviews for re-engagement. Why do they need to interview them? They are old workers not new.

‘Afterwards management will just say that they have failed the interview.

‘They don’t want the old workers back. I think that they are just trying to get information from people so that they can work out their defence for the Industrial Tribunals.

‘They don’t want the old workers back because they say we are troublemakers.

‘It’s not true. All we want is our jobs back. Our position is that we want reinstatement on our original terms and conditions, plus payment of the money we have lost since we were illegally sacked.

‘We are holding mass pickets on the last Sunday of every month and we invite supporters and other workers from the airport and all over the country to join us.

‘If the company is successful in what it has done to us then every company will do the same to workers.

‘The Woodley leadership of the TGWU has taken the side of the bosses and must be removed. We elected them for us, not for the company.’

Fellow locked out worker Parminder said: ‘We are fighting until we win our jobs back on our original terms and conditions with backdated pay after being locked out last August 10.

‘The union leaders have tried to divide us up and are still saying to people don’t listen to anyone, wait for a letter from the company.

‘Some people who haven’t signed the Compromise Agreement have got letters inviting them to a hearing with the company in the middle of January.

‘They are still calling on people to sign the Compromise Agreement. They keep extending the deadline for signing it. It is a sign of their desperation that they have extended it over and over again.’

Lakhvinder said: ‘The union officers are still putting pressure on people to sign the Compromise Agreement.

‘In the New Year we will be holding a big conference for all trade unionists, and we will make our TGWU leaders make our dispute official, pay official dispute pay and at the least call a massive national demonstration to support our demand for reinstatement on our old terms and conditions.’

• Second news story


Greek newspaper Proto Thema has published what it insists is the name of a British MI6 spy chief who was involved in the abduction and mistreatment of 28 Pakistani migrants.

The paper said the man named is a diplomat who was the Athens MI6 chief.

Proto Thema also named fifteen Greek agents who it alleges were involved in the operation, which is said to have taken place after the July 7th bombings in London.

It claimed the raid on the Pakistanis was a co-ordinated operation involving Greek and British intelligence services.

All 28 detainees said they had hoods placed over their heads and some were held incommunicado for seven days.

One detainee alleged that he had a gun placed in his mouth; one said he was beaten; and another claimed he saw a third detainee being beaten up.

The Blair government has described allegations of ill-treatment of migrants following the London bombings as ‘utter nonsense’ and ‘farfetched’.

Greek public order minister George Voulgarakis has complained the revelations have obliged him to recall two intelligence agents from operations in Kosovo.

And Greek intelligence agency EYP has condemned the paper for what it called ‘illegally endangering the safety of its agents in the field’.

The British Foreign Office has said it does not confirm or deny the Greek newspaper’s story.

Amesty International’s Greek office has issued a protest over what it said was an attempted cover-up.

• US ambassador to the UK, Robert Tuttle, has retracted his categorical denial of US torture flights to Syria.

In a radio interview he merely said he did ‘not think there is any evidence that renditions have been carried out’ in Syria.

Tuttle had previously been contradicted by the Pentagon after he denied the US had used white phosphorus as a weapon in Iraq.