Socialist Worker

Sacked Gate Gourmet workers: ‘put us at centre of this battle’

Issue No. 1967

Gate Gourmet workers need solidarity to continue their fight  (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Gate Gourmet workers need solidarity to continue their fight  (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary of the T&G union, was to speak at a rally in Glasgow alongside Gate Gourmet workers on Wednesday of this week to build support for the dispute.

Trade union activists are organising support groups in several London boroughs in addition to the regular support meeting initiated by the T&G.

“It’s clear that we all need to get to other union meetings and workers and explain the case face to face,” says one sacked worker. “The delegation to the Rolls Royce demonstration really lifted people.

“Winning support means we get the finance to sustain the battle. It also means we are at the centre of running the dispute.”

Another sacked worker adds, “It is really important that whenever people raise the Gate Gourmet case they praise what the BA staff did at the start of the dispute.

“It was their action, despite the anti-union laws, that gave us any hope of stopping these sackings.

“They have been under pressure since. They need to know they have support across the union movement.

“We can’t accept this nonsense that is coming from some quarters — ‘I support the Gate Gourmet workers, but not the macho baggage handlers.’

“That’s just patronising to the Gate Gourmet workers. It’s like saying they are just a weak group of mainly Asian women who deserve pity.

“The union is right to point out the blatant injustice of what has happened. But we can’t just apply pressure through the media.

“The BA action cost the company £40 million. Further action would force them to push Gate Gourmet to settle. It could even get the job taken back in-house — outsourcing is the root cause of all of this.

“There’s a lot of things we should be doing. A few of us have raised the idea of a march on Downing Street. We should have a national demonstration.

“A day of action by the T&G and other unions would let people have the chance to show their support in whatever way they can.

“New ideas are coming up from the workers. I want us to get together at a union meeting and discuss them.

“Money is really, really tight. But we are still determined. It’s just that we shouldn’t let this drift on and be faced with people being pushed to go for redundancy when they really want to stay.

“Some of us would find it very hard to find other jobs. And there is a principle at stake.

“We’ve done nothing wrong. Why should we have to take what the company is not even calling redundancy, but ‘compensation’?”

For more from the Gate Gourmet dispute go to

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Sat 10 Sep 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1967
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