‘MAKE TUC ACT TO WIN OUR STRUGGLE’ say Gate Gourmet strikers

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Gate Gourmet sacked workers on the picket line, angry at their union leaders who are cringing before the management
Gate Gourmet sacked workers on the picket line, angry at their union leaders who are cringing before the management

AN EMERGENCY resolution on the Gate Gourmet dispute is to be heard at the TUC conference in Brighton next week, TGWU full-time officer, Oliver Richardson, informed strikers at the mass picket at Heathrow Airport yesterday.

Strikers told News Line that they want a resolution calling action for their immediate reinstatement, not just complaining about the anti-union laws.

Referring to the letter offering ‘compensation’, received by each of the sacked strikers, as well as those Gate Gourmet workers scabbing or continuing to work in other sites on the airport, Richardson said: ‘Once we get the figures, of those who want to leave on Thursday, we will have a clearer picture of where we’re going.

‘The company has a list of 250 people they don’t want back.

‘We don’t know who they are.’

Richardson continued about the TUC Congress: ‘They’re having a special debate on Gate Gourmet.

‘This dispute will be at the centre of the TUC conference next week and we will get everyone to Brighton.

‘We don’t know the date yet, because it’s an emergency motion that will take up most of the day at the TUC.’

In answer to questions by strikers, Richardson responded: ‘The company will want to give redundancy money because they want you to go away.’

He further responded: ‘I’m not advising you to do anything.

‘I cannot guarantee that you will get your jobs back if you don’t apply for redundancy.’

Strikers spoke to News Line.

Mr J Singh said: ‘We do want an emergency resolution at the TUC.

‘But we want one calling action to win our jobs back now.

‘This company must be banned from the airport.

‘It planned for eight months.

‘The union leaders say our action was unofficial but the company planned the whole thing, spending millions training scab staff.

‘So our action is not unofficial, it was provoked, and the union must declare it official at once and win it.’

Fellow striker Surinder said: ‘They don’t want us to fight for our jobs. The union leaders and the company are hoping that lots of people will apply for redundancy.

‘But we are united for reinstatement.

‘Everybody should come out to support us.’

Baldev Sandhu added: ‘I think the whole airport will come out soon.’

Mrs Sidhu said: ‘We spoke to Richardson and told him we need the BA workers to come out again and he said that they are already facing the consequences of coming out before.

‘We are very thankful for the BA people coming out before.

‘They took sympathy action and now the company wants to victimise them.

‘But we need more sympathy action and then we will win.

‘That’s the only way to protect all workers on the airport from victimisation.’

Fellow striker ‘BK’ said: ‘We are very fed up with the union leaders.

‘They said before “all out, all in’’. Now with this “compensation package’’ they’re trying to divide us up.

‘We didn’t ask for money. We always asked for reinstatement.

‘All the workers on the airport, especially the BA workers, will be victimised if we don’t win.

‘We need action from our shop stewards.

‘They must speak to other shop stewards on the airport to call action to win now.’