‘THE Compromise Agreement is dead. We have seen it off’ said Nirmal Purewal TGWU shop steward and locked out Gate Gourmet worker.
‘This dispute is not finished. We are still on the hill and the union must continue to provide hardship payments.
‘The next payment is due this week. My feeling is that the company will collapse very soon.
‘I spoke to a man working in there. He said that there is no Xmas bonus. We used to get £100 each and every year.
‘Bank Holiday pay is not double time or treble time like we used to get, just normal flat rate.
‘The terms and conditions are very bad, and the work is very hard.
‘Nobody is happy in there.’
Mrs Parminder Brar added: ‘Since so few people have signed the compromise agreement the union must make the dispute official and take action to win it.
‘The compromise agreement is finished, over – no more compromise. We need our dispute payments and hardship payments on top, for those who are suffering great hardship.
‘We also need shelter for our picket, which is continuing every day.
‘We were very happy with our Xmas picket. It was very successful. And we are so grateful to all those who came to support us.’
Meanwhile, a Gate Gourmet press release revealed that by last Thursday late afternoon, with just one day left to sign the compromise agreement, under 200 locked out workers had actually signed up.
This left the union busting company in deep crisis, seeing that, at the least, it has to face over 500 tribunal cases for unfair dismissal and other claims, with the possibility that civil and even criminal actions could arise out of them.
The company had reported on Tuesday 13th December that 193 locked out workers had signed the deal. Only a few more added their signatures up to Thursday evening, so the final outcome for Friday may not be much larger, taking into account that there was a mass picket of the TGWU office on that day.
Friday’s Gate Gourmet statement said that: ‘For Gate Gourmet today marks full and final closure on the events of August 2005. We will have reached agreement with all those former staff prepared to accept a voluntary compensation payment or an offer of re-engagement.’
For the 500 plus locked out workers who would not sign the compromise agreement ‘final closure’ will have been achieved only when they get their jobs back on their original terms and conditions, with adequate compensation for the sufferings imposed on them and their families by Gate Gourmet’s lockout tactic.