Thirty drivers at airline caterers Gate Gourmet are furious after receiving letters from the company telling them to accept pay cuts.
The Transport and General Workers Union members are among 230 workers who were moved to Gate Gourmet’s Heathrow West site from Hatton Cross in 2005, keeping their Hatton Cross terms and conditions.
The 30 drivers have been sent letters offering a lump sum in return for accepting new terms and conditions, including cuts in shift allowances of up to £14 a late shift.
Gate Gourmet has further angered the drivers by suggesting that they should accept a pay cut ‘in the interests of parity’ with the rest of the Heathrow West workers.
The drivers said if it’s a question of parity, the company should boost the pay of those paid less rather than cut the drivers’ money.
Some drivers believed the ‘offer’ was agreed with the union.
This has been denied by the TGWU.
A TGWU spokesman yesterday confirmed to News Line that the union is opposed to Gate Gourmet’s proposals.
He told News Line: ‘If this letter is intended to suggest an agreement on the offer by the union with Gate Gourmet management, then it is seriously misleading.
‘We are meeting with our members and their representatives to establish how to proceed with the company’s offer.
‘However, these workers are covered by the Hatton Cross agreement.
‘There is no reason for them to give up their rights under that agreement.’
Gate Gourmet workers who were locked out by the company at its Heathrow South site, said this time the union must defend its members at Heathrow.
Jaswinder, locked out in August 2005 and sacked, told News Line yesterday: ‘Gate Gourmet unfairly dismissed hundreds of us just to bring in their survival plan, speed everyone up and cut wages.
‘Now they are cutting the drivers’ wages.
‘The TGWU must defend their members and stop this wage cutting.
‘As well it must declare our dispute with Gate Gourmet, which is still going on, official and demand our reinstatement on the old terms and conditions.’