‘WE WON’T SIGN AWAY OUR RIGHTS’ says Gate Gourmet shop steward

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LOCKED out Gate Gourmet workers received a report back yesterday morning on the picket line at Heathrow Airport from their shop stewards, of a meeting they had attended at the TUC the day before.

Senior steward Mr Dhillon said: ‘Twenty-one shop stewards were there and on Friday the meeting is reconvening. Nothing was agreed yesterday.’

They heard that TGWU General Secretary Tony Woodley and members of the National Executive Committee will be attending the picket this morning at 11.00am.

They heard that they are to receive forms from the company which are ‘fraught with legal pitfalls’.

They heard: ‘When you get the form, you will need to see a solicitor – either the union’s solicitor or your own solicitor.’

Senior steward Mr S Sandhu told News Line: ‘The “compromise agreement’’ on the Gate Gourmet website has not been agreed by the membership and as far as I am concerned not by the union either.

‘We have already made clear we do not accept their proposed criteria for compulsory redundancies. We don’t accept compulsory redundancies at all.

‘The company may be saying everyone must sign an agreement, but we are not going to sign any agreement that takes away our rights.

‘The work practice changes they want to bring in will only be implemented if the majority says so in a ballot.

‘Terms and conditions must remain the same.

‘Once we believe we have reached something, there will be a mass meeting.

‘We don’t accept “re-engagement’’ on new terms and conditions. Our position is reinstatement for everybody and it’s not negotiable.’

Shop steward Inder told News Line: ‘If one person does not sign the form, the whole agreement will collapse. Union and company solicitors are sitting down and drafting it today or tomorrow.’

Picket Gary told News Line: ‘We are standing firm. Nothing has changed since we started – everyone back on their original terms and conditions.

‘Our shop stewards know this and we are going to make it clear to Tony Woodley when he comes down here that this is the situation.’

Picket Gurel added: ‘We want all our shop stewards at the meeting on Friday, not just a few.’