‘We’ve been sold out’ – say Gate Gourmet workers

Gate Gourmet pickets on the hill at Heathrow yesterday determined to defeat mass sackings
Gate Gourmet pickets on the hill at Heathrow yesterday determined to defeat mass sackings

ANGRY Gate Gourmet workers were on the picket line yesterday after Wednesday’s sell-out deal between the Transport and General Workers’ Union leaders, TUC leaders and the company.

Odedra told News Line: ‘The union leaders have sold us.

‘The company has got everything it wanted: compulsory redundancy for those it wants to get rid of.

First the union leaders said, “one in, all in’’. Now they break us. That’s why we are angry. We feel very guilty about the BA workers suspended for coming out for us and threatened with the sack. I also feel guilty for the 144 compulsory redundancies. I might be one of them. I am very upset.’

Mr R Singh said: ‘They’ve got their list of people for compulsory redundancy. Any one of us could be on the list. It’s disgusting. The union is letting the company dictate. We need new leaders. Those who go back inside under the company’s “survival plan’’ have to do any job the company says.’

Shop steward Inder told News Line: ‘This is a compromise between the management and the union leaders, not us. Those who go back in will have to carry out the company’s survival plan which is a 200-page document we have already voted against, twice. Now it is coming in. Under it, new people start on lower grades.

‘It also means getting rid of unofficial breaks and getting rid of early traps for drivers, which is when you finish the job you can go home. Now they will ask them to service more flights until the end of the shift. It includes “flexibility’’, which means they move people from department to department or from unit to unit. Health and safety and hygiene, which is already at a low standard, would be cut further. It’s a big plan, a very big thing.

‘We are not happy with the compulsory redundancies. Some people who don’t want to go are being got rid of. That’s not right. But the whole thing could collapse because maybe not everyone will sign.’

Coming out of the meeting on Wednesday evening, Mr T Singh said: ‘I am not happy with the conditions we will be going back to, getting rid of our early traps. And they can use us anywhere they want. It will be flexibility of conditions. It will not be possible to work with food and cleaning trucks, but that is what Gate Gourmet want us to do. Gate Gourmet is not a good company to work for. In my 10 working years, it is the worst company I’ve worked for.’