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  • Who is still fighting for the Gate Gourmet workers?

    by Sunny
    13th September, 2005 at 4:38 pm    

    It has been just over a month since the Gate Gourmet strike came into focus with some help from their family members at British Airways. GG has since tried to resist (but ultimately failed) coming to the negotiating table or admit they made a mistake by summarily firing most of its employees by megaphone.

    But what has happened to right this injustice? In one word - nothing.

    Union leaders from the TUC yesterday called for ‘sympathy strike’ rights so more such workers could bring some attention to their plight. This was after GG workers had a noisy demonstration to ask for solidarity by other workers and keep their situation in the limelight.

    Hardly any MPs have yet taken up their cause. Why has the Labour party not championed the rights of the sacked workers despite evidence that GG had planned to provoke workers into getting rid of them?

    Why are organisations like the Sikh Federation, which claim to champion causes for the community, not saying anything? Too busy sending out irrelevant press releases? What happened to the political muscle they keep bragging about? It’s shameful that the Asian community has not managed to organise itself better to make this issue more prominent.
    Incidentally, you can lend your support to the sacked workers here.

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    9 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      @jamesdoleman @alexmassie anyone remember this? SACKED to be replaced by Polish workers.

    1. PrettyTamil — on 13th September, 2005 at 7:13 pm  

      LONDON (Reuters) - Gate Gourmet, the troubled caterer to British Airways (BAY.L: Quote, Profile, Research), has received applications for redundancy from 700 current and former employees, union officials said on Sunday, but they stressed no final decisions had been made.

      About 300 of the applications came from staff fired last month, while a further 400 came from employees still working at Gate Gourmet, according to comments made by Tony Woodley, general secretary of the Transport & General Workers’ Union, at the Trades Union Congress conference in Brighton.

    2. PrettyTamil — on 13th September, 2005 at 7:26 pm

      The 670 workers who were fired on Aug. 10 after going on strike and Gate Gourmet’s existing 1,400 employees were “offered two weeks’ pay for every year of service”. Pathetic.

    3. Kulvinder — on 13th September, 2005 at 7:59 pm  

      Im sympathetic with the working class problems these people face but the calls for secondary strike action to be made legal again is a OTT.

    4. GKG — on 14th September, 2005 at 6:44 pm  

      You can read an interview with one of the workers involved in the dispute here:

      it is a disgrace the way they have been treated, my mum being one of them. As well as GG the union has a lot to answer for too though

    5. leon — on 14th September, 2005 at 6:47 pm  


    6. Simon Barrow — on 15th September, 2005 at 2:53 pm  

      The treatment of GG workers is indeed a scandal. I’m hoping to do an Ekklesia news piece on the current situation for the weekend - **anyone have any info about whether religious groups have been backing them?** I think I’m right in saying that the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall (opposite where I used to live) has provided a venue for union meetings. But other leads on that angle would be useful. Email on my weblog. And btw, there is a page where you can email Gate Gourmet to tell them what you think:

    7. Turbanator — on 15th September, 2005 at 5:15 pm  

      Stop White Immigrants ?

      I always support strikes. But few strikes leave me as fiercely partisan as those in which Asian ladies figure strongly. There is something incredibly moving about these demure women finally moved to defiance — think of Mrs Desai leading the 1977 Grunwick strike. Sikh/Hindu ladies in their gorgeous saris, with their triumph of human spirit over humble beginnings and cultural oppression

      Bringing in endless cheap labour from Eastern Europe would have the most disastrous effect on those nearest the bottom of the pay hierarchy, most of them immigrants from the former colonies. Whenever I trotted out my catchy slogan — Stop White Immigration Now! — I was accused of being a dirty racist, often by my friends and other people who should have known better.

      And now we’ve seen the effect of white immigration; gentle, dignified, sari-clad women chased by armed policemen across a Heathrow car park because they had the nerve to protest against the sacking of 670 of their number — many of them by megaphone, many of them on three minutes’ notice — after the emergence of a secret document which detailed a cold-blooded management plan to replace them with dirt-cheap Eastern European labour.

      Who’s the dirty racist now? Not me, for sure. But rather, those soft-hearted ninnies who, however good their intentions, think that ceaseless white immigration can continue without other people — british immigrants from our ex-colonies, people this country actually owe something to — suffering.

      The government should follow steps taken by following in the lead of countries like germanyin limiting labour migration cross the eu or even blocking till possible impacts are analysed. Not just the influx of eastern europeans, but also the assimilation of Somali’s - which is another debate to be had.

    8. Nush — on 16th September, 2005 at 1:48 am  

      Its a shame that they havent been represented by an MP, is it blind ignorance, or has no one simply contacted their local MP?

      Sometimes you have to be proactive too…

      Anyway its a big injustice they way they were treated, and I flew with BA recently during the GG strike action and BA were affected pretty badly.

      I am glad the workers took a stand and stood up for their rights shoulder to shoulder and had Heathrow and BA at its knees.

      Power to the people and it shows that when theres something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call….(more like what you gonna do), STRIKE ACTION!


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