‘We have to keep our rights’ say Gate Gourmet workers

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GATE Gourmet workers are opposing a ‘compromise agreement’, which the company and leaders of the Transport and General Workers’ Union are negotiating and which involves compulsory redundancies and loss of unfair dismissal rights.

On the picket line on Sunday, Parmjit Bains told News Line: ‘Yesterday one of the union officers came and said the union is negotiating “re-engagement’’.

‘He said the law can’t make them reinstate us. But we are not asking the law to reinstate us. We want the union to show its strength and win us justice, which means reinstatement on our original terms and conditions.

‘I think the union leaders are playing with our emotions,’ Parmjit continued.

‘They said that we will receive a letter and we should decide whether or not to sign.

‘They said we will be back inside by next Monday.

‘We’ll see, I don’t trust them.’

Fellow TGWU member Surinder said: ‘What the company is discussing with the union is disgusting.

‘We must all be reinstated on our old terms and conditions, with no compulsory redundancies, not re-engaged on new ones.

‘The company must not be allowed to pick and choose who it has back, based on disciplinary records and other criteria, which is what it is saying.

‘And we have to keep our rights to claim unfair dismissal.

‘We were unfairly dismissed.

‘The union should not accept any of these things.

‘It should stand up strong.

‘We know we are in the right and we are going to win.’

A meeting of Transport and General Workers Union national executive begins today.