Gate Gourmet workers support PCS strikers

Locked-out Gate Gourmet worker HARBINDER SINGH addressing the conference from the platform
Locked-out Gate Gourmet worker HARBINDER SINGH addressing the conference from the platform

‘OUR conference will show the whole trade union movement that what the TGWU leadership has done to us is wrong,’ locked out Gate Gourmet workers Parmjit Bains told News Line yesterday.

‘It will also show that the TGWU leadership is wrong to say the Gate Gourmet dispute is over.

‘The leadership of our union, which signed the “Compromise Agreement’’ for compulsory redundancies for some and re-engagement on slave conditions for others, must be defeated.

‘This leadership have now threatened not to represent us at our employment tribunals and have said that we will get no more hardship payments.

‘But we are fighting on. We are the majority and we are know that we have the mass of the membership behind us.

‘My request to all union members is to come to our conference on Sunday (see advert) and help us defeat Gate Gourmet and the betrayal by our union leaders.’

A team of Gate Gourmet locked out workers visited the PCS civil servants’ strikers’ picket line at Hayes Jobcentre yesterday morning.

PCS striker Steve Mann said: ‘We are fighting for jobs and services and support the Gate Gourmet workers.

‘They are attacking us to cut costs, just like as happened to you.

‘The public sector is under threat.’

PCS rep. Ferozer Huda said: ‘The government is trying to cut costs.

‘They are planning to close call centres and relocate them out of the country.

‘They are targeting people for redundancy based on sickness levels.

‘The stress levels are so high it’s no surprise there are high sickness levels.’

PCS health and safety officer Jaswinder Sanga said: ‘They are trying to cut 15,000 staff in London by 2008 and nationally 100,000.

‘But it’s not just the jobs we’re defending, it’s the service as well.

‘They are trying to eliminate the face-to-face service.

‘They want people to help themselves rather than come to a government department for help.’

Hayes and Harlington Labour MP John McDonnell visited the picket line.

He said: ‘We raised in parliament yesterday in solidarity with the DWP workers the issues of low pay, job cuts and now the threat of privatisation, and made it clear to the government that this fight will go on until we eradicate low pay in the civil service and halt Brown’s job cuts plan.

‘These workers are fighting the same fight as Gate Gourmet workers, which is for their jobs, basic pay and decent working conditions.’

‘I will now be campaigning to secure these victimised workers their rights.’

Locked out Gate Gourmet worker Lakhinder Saran said: ‘We want the whole country to know what has happened to us, what the company did and what the union is doing, cutting our hardship fund.

‘We’ve been told by the TGWU office that there will be no more hardship fund from January 6th.’

She added: ‘The PCS strikers were so glad to see us.

‘They have supported us before and will support us at our conference.

‘John McDonnell said he would help, will try to come to the conference, and that he wants to have a meeting with us.’