Southall FBU Sending Delegation

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LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers have been getting tremendous support for their campaign for their march through Southall demanding the reinstatement of all the sacked workers on their existing terms and conditions.

Parmjit Bains and other locked out workers were on the local Punjab radio ‘Open Talk’ programme on Wednesday night.

She said: ‘We explained our struggle and got so much support from people who phoned in.’

At Hounslow Civic Centre yesterday many workers told the campaigners they would come on the march.

Lisa said: ‘I have been dealing with one of the locked out workers.

‘He can’t get state benefits and he is relying on a union handout. ‘If the unions stop the hardship payments on the 6th December, he will be left with nothing.’

A social worker, Chris Saxton, said: ‘I am really disappointed to hear about the awful treatment of these low paid workers by their own union.

‘This is after they have already been treated abominably by the company. I will come on the march.’

Hounslow UNISON branch chairman Richard Lugg said: ‘Our branch is appalled at the deal and we will be bringing our banner on Sunday to show our full support.’

At Southall fire station FBU acting branch secretary Jack Jackiewicz told News Line: ‘What I have heard today is typical of what privatisation is doing to our workers. Gate Gourmet in particular is repugnant.

‘I will certainly come on Sunday and publicise the struggle throughout the union.’

A team of three Gate Gourmet workers went to London Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3 yesterday.

Isi, a baggage handler, told them: ‘I’m coming on the march on Sunday, and I’ll campaign to get more people along.

‘They are using Gate Gourmet as a bargaining tool. If you step out of line you get sacked.

‘I’ve worked for BA for nine years. They are saying that Walsh won’t negotiate as long as the Gate Gourmet dispute is going on.

‘If they sack the three NSP reps we will go down the official route to strike.’

Meanwhile, Gate Gourmet UK and Ireland Managing Director Born said yesterday: ‘I am pleased we are beginning to bring real closure on this issue for many of those affected. Gate Gourmet never wanted this dispute nor the inevitable hardship for our former employees it has caused.

‘Gate Gourmet can only make the payments and, where appropriate, the offers of re-engagement for those who have signed compromise agreements. We urge ozthers to sign these agreements so we can make similar offers, resume a full service and really see genuine closure on the August 10th dispute.’