GATE Gourmet locked-out workers are taking their fight for reinstatement into the trade union movement and visiting Transport and General Workers Union and other union branches to gather support.
The locked-out workers are refusing to accept the Compromise Agreement signed by TGWU leaders, which accepts 150 compulsory redundancies and massive cuts in terms and conditions for those ‘re-engaged’.
Speaking on the picket line at Heathrow Airport near Terminal Four, Mrs Amarwant Kaur told News Line: ‘The union leaders have left us in the middle of the fight.
‘They said they were going to support us until we all got our jobs back but now they don’t want to know us.
‘They stopped our hardship payments on January 6th and have done everything they can to make us sign the Compromise Agreement but we won’t sign.’
Mrs Parmjit Bains said: ‘We are fighting and we need the support of other trade unionists whether in the T&G or other unions for our fight.
‘We are fighting for our rights and for our dignity and for trade union principles.
‘We want other trade unionists to hear what the company did to us and how the union leaders have taken the company’s side.
‘We need the support of the whole trade union movement, what happened to us cannot be put to one side.
‘People’s whole lives have been affected. The union leaders who have taken the company’s side must be made to resign and the union must fight for the members.’
Mrs Lakhinder Saran said: ‘We have already visited other TGWU branches and other union branches and have told them our story, they have been very shocked.
‘They have said they will support us in every way.’
are very angry that the union leaders have taken the side of the company and shocked that the union has stopped our hardship pay.
‘We are going to other union branches and we want to be invited to more.’
• Second News story
FBU DUMPS PENSIONS STRIKE BALLOT
DELEGATES at the Fire Brigades Union recall conference in Southport yesterday voted by three to two on a show of hands to go back to the membership with new government proposals for two-tier pensions – then have another recall conference.
Successful Emergency Resolution 8 from Northern Ireland Region stated: ‘That a Recall Conference will be convened to decide upon acceptance or rejection.’
It adds: ‘Conference believes that these revised proposals represent the best achievable pension arrangements for FBU members by negotiation and therefore recommends that a ballot for strike action does not take place. However, should the membership decide through the consultation process that strike action is necessary the ballotting process will proceed forthwith.’
London Region and West Midlands Region came to conference with emergency resolutions stating ‘Conference does not accept that the negotiations thus far have achieved the basis of a settlement.’
However, London and West Midlands both withdrew their motion.
FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack told reporters afterwards: ‘The government have made some movement in some of the important areas.
‘We welcome that particularly for our members who are not going to be caught up in the new retirement age. We remain concerned about proposals to raise the retirement to 60 and we remain concerned about ill-health proposals.’
Asked about how much members would lose on the ill health proposals, Wrack replied: ‘They could lose about £3,000 a year under the government’s proposals.’