Gate Gourmet workers demand hardship pay

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LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers said yesterday that they were very happy with their conference with the News Line on Sunday.

Mrs Rajamy Sharma told News Line on the picket line at Heathrow: ‘We had very good support and we are very happy about the speeches and pledges of support. We are confident now that we are going forward to victory.

‘What Tony Woodley (the TGWU general secretary) did to us was very wrong.

‘To start with, he said he would fight for us. But all he has done is fight against us. We want Woodley to go.’

Mrs Vijaya Patel said: ‘The conference helped us a lot. It pledged to fight for us.

‘It said: don’t put your head down, but keep fighting for your rights, and that’s what we are going to do.

‘On August 10 last year, the union called us to a meeting in the canteen at Gate Gourmet and then we were sacked.

‘Now the union leaders are saying we have to give up our jobs. I am not going to give up my job, I am going to keep fighting for my rights.’

Mrs Parmjeet Sidhu said: ‘It was a brilliant conference. We decided to fight on.

‘We are fighting Gate Gourmet, who sacked us unfairly, and we are going to the union executive meeting on Thursday morning, to ask them why the union has stopped our hardship money.

‘We want them to keep paying the hardship money and help us.

‘Tony Woodley, on the first day, spoke to everybody on the hill at Heathrow and said: “you all came out together, and you will all go back together’’. Where has the promise gone? And why did the union accept 144 compulsory redundancies?

‘This is what we want to ask the TGWU executive.’