LOCKED OUT Gate Gourmet workers picketed the regional Office of the TGWU in Hillingdon near Heathrow Airport yesterday.
The airline catering company, which sacked more than 700 TGWU members last August, had declared Friday 6th January to be the final deadline for signing the notorious Compromise Agreement.
One of those at the Hillingdon office yesterday was the locked-out workers’ TGWU branch secretary, Jarnail Singh, who told News Line: ‘Most people haven’t signed. This happened in 2005 and it is now 2006.’
Singh expressed anger about the sacking of a British Airways TGWU shop steward on Thursday, the second to have been sacked for taking sympathy strike action in support of the locked-out Gate Gourmet workers on 11th August.
He said: ‘The T&G will have to do something. These people were sacked for helping us. Now the T&G will have to defend their union reps.’
Locked out worker Mrs Mohinder Virk said: ‘The TGWU must call a national strike to win the reinstatement of all unfairly dismissed Gate Gourmet and British Airways workers.
‘The union belongs to us. If Gate Gourmet and British Airways get away with sacking people unfairly, there is no future.
‘The union leaders think it’s just a game, but it’s not a game. I have had a major operation and then have been sacked for no reason. My whole life and my whole family is threatened, the union has to fight for the workers.’
Jaswinder Phal said: ‘Everyone is shocked that the same thing is happening at BA that happened at Gate Gourmet. They want to cut the wages and conditions and get rid of thousands of workers and they plan to do it the same way by creating problems and then sacking people.’
Mrs Lakhvinder Saran said: ‘These British Airways workers stood up for trade union principles and the union must support them now.
‘If their sacking is allowed, then the union is finished. We ask all BA workers to come to our Conference in London on January 29th, where we will be discussing what to do.
‘We are not only standing up for our own rights, what is involved in this struggle at the Airport is the future of the whole trade union movement. We can’t let the bosses get away with carrying out a pre-planned provocation to sack workers and bring in new conditions.
‘The union must defend its members and win.’