LOCKED-OUT Gate Gourmet workers are calling on the whole trade union movement to support their conference in London on January 29th.
On the picket line in pouring rain yesterday with no shelter, the TGWU members were nevertheless in good spirits, receiving hoots of support from passing cars, lorries and buses.
Sukhdev said: ‘What has happened to us could happen to anyone, it must be stopped.
‘We are holding a conference where people can come to help us and support us.
‘We are struggling on Hardship Pay from the union with no Job Seekers Allowance.
‘When I applied to the Job Centre they wouldn’t give us money because we are suspended. But we are not suspended, the company sacked us and wrote that we had no right to appeal, then the company and the union leaders agreed that we should be made compulsorily redundant.
‘We are not going to let them get away with it.’
Surinder Dhariwal said: ‘We are strong and fighting and determined to win. We are not just fighting for ourselves but for the future.
‘The company planned what it did, it sacked us because it wanted to bring in cheap labour and now the union leaders are helping the company when they should be fighting for us.’
Lakhvinder Saran said: ‘We are angry and disappointed with the company and the union.
‘The company is writing to people inviting them in for interview. Why do people need another interview when they have already worked for the company for years.
‘It’s a trick, they are trying to confuse people and get information out of them about what they are planning for the future. We are picketing here to fight for our rights and for our jobs.
‘We want reinstatement, not re-engagement, we want our old terms and conditions. We are also fighting for trade union principles, the union must fight for the workers not the company.
‘We are paying them it’s not the company paying them.
‘That’s why we are holding our conference and we are calling on all trade unionists to come to our conference to hear about our struggle and fight for our victory.’