TWO Gate Gourmet locked-out workers went to the TGWU London South East and East Anglia Regional Office in north London yesterday, to ask for their hardship payments.
The union members, who have been locked out since August 10 last year, have not received any hardship payment from the union since January 6th.
Sukhwinder Mundy and Surinder Dhariwal met the union’s finance officer, Harry Timpson, and handed him a letter accompanied by an appeal signed by 20 fellow locked-out workers for their hardship payments.
They asked Timpson for payments, but he said that he had been instructed that the hardship payments were only to be made to those of the locked-out workers who had signed the Compromise Agreement and not to those who refused to sign.
Asked whose decision this was, Timpson said: ‘Tony Woodley’s.’
Timpson, in a signed letter given to the women, made it clear that they were being punished for refusing to sign the Compromise Agreement by the withholding of hardship payments.
It states: ‘I informed you that as you were taking your case through an industrial tribunal, that no payments after the 6th January would be forthcoming in your case.’
After the meeting, Sukhwinder told News Line: ‘We need our hardship payments. We’ve had nothing since January 6th.
‘We are also worried about our bills and mortgages.
‘The reason they have stopped paying us is to punish us for not signing the Compromise Agreement. But we are not accepting. We know it is our right.
‘I have been a fully paid-up member of the union for 22 years.
‘Before that, when I was a hospital worker, I was a member of the GMB for 16 years.
‘I have been a trade unionist all my working life and have never had any trouble until now.’
Surinder said: ‘We came all this way for our hardship payment cheque and have been told we won’t get it.
‘The union has made payments to people who have signed the Compromise Agreement, but not us.
‘When we asked Mr Timpson whose decision it was to stop our payments, he said it was Tony Woodley’s.
‘Tony Woodley has written to supporters of ours in other TGWU branches, saying the hardship payment has not been stopped, but today we have been told that it has and that it was Tony Woodley’s decision to stop it.’
Surinder added: ‘We appeal to all trade unionists to support us and join our march through Hounslow this Saturday.’