‘We have great plans for New Year’ say locked-out Gate Gourmet workers


‘OUR union leaders are telling everybody our dispute is finished but it is not finished,’ locked out Gate Gourmet worker Parmjit Bains told News Line yesterday.

Speaking on the picket line at Heathrow Airport she said: ‘We are not accepting what the company or the union leaders have done to us, we are picketing until we win.

‘When we went to the TGWU regional office in Hillingdon last Friday, union officers tried to snatch our banner but they failed.

‘Then they locked us out and said we can’t use the toilets. We were standing outside in the cold, they did the same to us as Gate Gourmet has done – locked us out.

‘But the union is the workers, it is our union not the leaders’. We are calling on the whole T&G to fight for us.

‘In the New Year we have more plans for how we are going to fight for our victory, no one should doubt it, we are going to win.’

Fellow picket Sukhwinder told News Line: ‘I’m one of the more than 144 they wanted to make compulsorily redundant, I’ve worked at Gate Gourmet for five years with no problems, whenever they asked me to do overtime I cooperated, how come they now say I can’t work there.

‘I was inside the canteen on the 10th of August very worried and fearful about what was happening. I need my job, my husband has had a stroke and my son is not well.

‘I am the only wage earner I am very happy to do my work and run my house but now I am overdrawn.

‘I am angry with Gate Gourmet but I am also angry with the union who said at the start that they would fight for all of us and not let the company pick and choose.

‘Then they agreed with the company. The Labour Government is doing nothing for us.’

Jasbir Gupta said: ‘We have sent Christmas cards to lots of people thanking them for supporting us and asking for their support in the New Year.

‘I sent one to Tony Blair as well, I wrote “You celebrate your nice Christmas we are still on the picket line”.’

Urmla added: ‘We have to come here on the picket line every day to show we are standing up for rights.

‘The union leaders want to stop our hardship money but we can’t let them. They want to be friends with Gate Gourmet, always taking the company’s side, we want justice, we are going to our tribunal and we want full compensation and reinstatement on our old terms and conditions.

‘We have been treated very badly by the company and the union.’

Sandesh added: ‘We are very angry at what the company and the union have done but we are strong and we are going to win.’