THE locked out Gate Gourmet workers held their mass picket of the TGWU regional office in Hillingdon yesterday, marking the deadline for signing the notorious Compromise Agreement.
There were thirty locked out workers who kept a chant all day of: ‘Gate Gourmet Shame Shame’, ‘Compromise deal – No Way’, ‘Tony Woodley – For Sale’ and ‘We want our jobs back’, while a young drummer, Sonny, from Dhol Blasters of London kept up a drumbeat.
Parmjit Bains, told News Line: ‘I’m confident that the majority has refused to sign the Compromise Agreement which is a great victory for us.
‘I’m proud of my colleagues who are standing firm and united. In spite of all the pressure the company and the union officers have put on us we have stood firm.
‘Now the pressure is reversed, now it is on them. Now the union will have to fight for our victory.
‘We invite all our supporters to join us on our mass Christmas picket this Sunday between one and four pm. We are celebrating the end of the Compromise Agreement and our march forward to victory.’
Parminder Brar said: ‘The union leaders tried to sell us but we are not for sale. It is disgraceful what they have done to us, but we have shown that we are stronger than them.
‘Now we want everyone to join us on our big picket on Sunday.’
Mrs Balvinder Sanghra, said: ‘The union leaders have been asking us to sign away everything. They were trying to brainwash us, saying that if we don’t sign we might lose everything, but we say that if we do sign we lose everything, we would lose our principles.
‘We are the majority and we will win.’
Mrs V Patel added: ‘The union must fight for us not the bosses, it was disgusting that they signed the Compromise Agreement with the company and tried to force it on us. Under the Compromise Agreement, I was chosen for compulsory redundancy because I was sick last year.
‘I’ve got a doctor’s certificate to show that I was really sick. How can you work in a food factory when you are sick?
‘The worst thing is that the union agreed with the company that people should be selected for compulsory redundancy based on sickness. Tony Woodley should resign for what he did.’
During the mass picket of the TGWU office yesterday the locked out workers had to defend their ‘Justice for Gate Gourmet Workers’, banner after two union officers tried unsuccessfully to seize it from them and take it inside.
The locked out workers were furious that the doors of the union office were then locked on them, preventing them from using the toilets.
The workers told News Line that after their mass Christmas picket this Sunday they are continuing their daily picket at Heathrow Airport until they win their reinstatement on their original terms and conditions.