Locked-out workers demand action as French unions strike against BA

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GATE GOURMET workers were yesterday calling for action to win their jobs back while, at the same time, BA was opening up a second front in France transferring work to the contractor Globeground.

The locked out Gate Gourmet workers were very concerned about their colleagues at British Airways who took sympathy action to support them on August 10-11 when they were locked out.

Bhamra one of the locked out workers told News Line, ‘On Friday British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh said on TV that he would not tolerate any more strikes such as happened in the summer.’

Bhamra continued: ‘If they sack the BA shop stewards, whose members came out to support us, the low paid workers at BA will not tolerate it.’

Fellow picket Johil said: ‘The deal with Gate Gourmet is dead. It was a very bad deal. We want a national demonstration to show the world that we are still fighting, and we want to invite all other workers to join us.

‘We want the union to take action to win this dispute, and win reinstatement for us all. This will be a victory for the whole working class.’

Meanwhile, French ground staff trade union Syndicat d’Accueil du Transport Aérien (SATA) – part of the giant CGT – announced it will stop work this Wednesday (9th November) in protest at the transfer of British Airways work along with its workers to Globeground.

SATA members will mount a protest in front of the BA counters at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Terminal 2B.

In a brief statement yesterday the Transport and General Workers Union offered its solidarity to the French ground staff. Brendan Gold, T&G national secretary for civil air transport, said BA should have learnt the lessons of the summer about contracting key support services.

The French union said yesterday ‘Globeground staff are treated like under-employees of the airline industry. They have no travel allowances, no staff travel concessions, no salary increases and yet Globeground management says they are prepared to maintain BA employees’ salaries. Who do they think they are fooling?’

‘We all want quality jobs! We all want to remain or be integrated into airlines or Airports Handlers! We don’t want to be another Gate Gourmet!

‘We know that the European Commission wishes to open the airports to even more handling agents.

‘The message is clear: our future is being turned into a massive airline industry sale!

‘We do not want the airline industry to become a large dustbin!

‘You don’t bargain safety, the lives of employees cannot depend on the laws of the market.

‘It’s time to unite and assert our rights, our claims to keep or obtain decent working conditions and remuneration.

‘All out on the 9th!’