THE MAJORITY ARE STANDING FIRM – say locked-out Gate Gourmet workers

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Gate Gourmet locked-out workers on the picket line yesterday
Gate Gourmet locked-out workers on the picket line yesterday

LOCKED-OUT Gate Gourmet workers are on the picket line today, determined to win victory this year.

The airline catering company at Heathrow sacked over 700 Transport and General Workers’ Union members on August 10 last year.

Locked out worker Parmjit Bains told News Line yesterday: ‘We are confident of victory this year.

‘The company tried to divide us. It wanted to bring in cheap labour.

‘Now it is inviting people for interviews, but it will not give them their jobs back. They just want people to come in so that they can get information out of them.

‘Those who have signed the “Compromise Agreement’’ have cut their own hands off.

‘But the majority have not signed. We are standing firm and won’t sign.

‘The union leaders are still trying to help the company.

‘They have given the company permission to extend the deadline for signing the “Compromise Agreement’’ yet again.

‘It is the third time they have extended it.

‘The union leaders are helping the company, not fighting for us. Nobody can trust them in the future.’

Parmjit added: ‘We are holding our conference on January 29, to take our fight forward.

‘We are fighting for our rights and we call on all locked out Gate Gourmet workers who haven’t signed the “Compromise Agreement’’ to come along, as well as all other trade unionists.

‘We especially want other airport workers to come.’

Lakhvinder Saran said: ‘We are confident of winning this year.

‘We are strong and we know we are right.

‘We want reinstatement, not “re-engagement’’. We want our jobs back on our old terms and conditions and that is what we are going to achieve.

‘We did nothing wrong. The company has admitted it pre-planned what it did.

‘It sacked over 700 people because it wanted to bring in cheap labour.

‘They don’t want to pay holiday or sick pay and they want people to work like slaves.

‘To begin with the union leaders said they would fight for us.

‘Then they sold us out by signing the “Compromise’’ deal. But we are not for sale.

‘We are calling on all trade unionists to come to our conference and help us fight for victory.’