TWENTY SIX Gate Gourmet strikers and supporters from Düsseldorf, Germany, arrived in London yesterday to join Gate Gourmet locked-out workers from Heathrow.
They met at a picket of the Texas Pacific company, and will be joining today’s Gate Gourmet locked-out workers’ march through Hounslow.
Texas Pacific is Gate Gourmet’s US owner, with operations around the world.
After travelling by coach overnight, the Düsseldorf strikers arrived in Dover at 6am and made their way to Hackney, east London, where they enjoyed a hearty breakfast before their lunchtime picket of Texas Pacific’s central London office.
There, they were welcomed by London Heathrow Gate Gourmet locked-out workers and their supporters.
The lively picket from 12pm-2pm kept up chants of: ‘Düsseldorf-London – united for victory! Düsseldorf-London – one struggle, one fight!
‘Texas Pacific – Gangster capitalists! TPG – stop slavery! Dignity, not TPG! Gate Gourmet – down, down!’
Düsseldorf striker, John Pownall, originally from Newark, Nottinghamshire, told News Line at the picket: ‘We’re here to support the people in Heathrow.
‘This is the sixth month of our strike, which began on October seventh, 2005. We should bring these struggles together – in Britain and all units in Germany.
‘We are determined to win and we want our London comrades to win as well.’
Fellow Düsseldorf striker Rocha Gomes said: ‘I’m here to show solidarity to the workers from Heathrow. The company is taking the rise out of both London and Düsseldorf workers.
‘It’s good that we are together. It’s a good demonstration.’
Düsseldorf striker Ayse Ak said: ‘It’s good to be here and support the people from London. We both have the same employer and the same demand.
‘The London workers have been locked out and who knows what will happen to our jobs.’
Heathrow locked-out Gate Gourmet worker Movinder Virk added: ‘Today the German strikers are supporting us. We feel very good. We give our greetings to the German workers. We will win, too.
‘Tony Woodley is giving us a hard time. The union leaders are putting pressure on us to sign the Compromise Agreement, but we will not give up our rights.
‘We are very strong, and we are stronger with the German strikers.’
Parmjeet Sidhu said: ‘Today is good. We welcome the German strikers coming all this way to support us.
‘We are unhappy with the TGWU leaders because they agreed with the company to accept 140 compulsory redundancies.
‘Now we want our rights and our jobs back on the original terms and conditions.’
Mohinder Grewal told News Line: ‘We are not going to give up.
‘It’s good to meet the German strikers. It makes us stronger to be together.’
• Today’s march assembles at 1.00 pm at Sidmouth Avenue, Isleworth