Socialist Worker

On strike this Christmas

Issue No. 1981

This is a key week for the sacked Gate Gourmet workers.

Friday 16 December was declared the deadline for workers to accept the harsh conditions of the deal agreed between the catering company and the T&G union in September.

Gate Gourmet management have said that any workers who miss the deadline will not get compensation payments for compulsory redundancy.

At the start of this week only 137 out of 700 former Gate Gourmet workers had signed the forms.

Such defiance shows that there is still plenty of life in the dispute and that every trade union must get behind the sacked workers.

The sacked workers continue to picket. They are demanding that their T&G union squashes any plans to cease their hardship payments after 16 December, and instead provides new resources to boost the fightback.

The sacked workers lobbied the T&G executive last week and won a warm response from several executive members who were disturbed that they had not been provided with the full story of what was going on.

One of the sacked workers, Parmjit Bains, told Socialist Worker, “We are still strong and determined to beat Gate Gourmet.

“This week it is important for all of us to resist the pressure of the company and the union leaders to sign the ‘Compromise Agreement’.

“In Ireland over 100,000 marched for the Irish Ferries workers. They are being replaced by cheap labour, which is the same issue as ours. The TUC should organise a bigger action for us.”

Send donations payable to Gate Gourmet dispute fund club, c/o 20 Penine Way, Hayes, UB3 5LL

Huddersfield college caretakers—defiant after 50 days on strike

THE indefinite strike by 19 caretakers at Huddersfield Technical College has entered its seventh week. Morale is high, but support is needed urgently.

The strikers, who are members of the Unison union, are also supported by 15 cleaners who have refused to cross picket lines since the start of the strike.

Obviously it is hard to be on strike over Christmas. But the strikers are more determined than ever to force the college to pay them the equivalent of caretakers in schools.

A meeting was due to take place with the arbitration service, Acas, on Wednesday of this week at the request of the employers.

Unison has written to all other members of the union at the college to say that a meeting will be called in early January to discuss solidarity action if the Acas meeting does not resolve the strike.

The strikers visited Barnsley College last week and collected £113. A further £93 was collected at a trades council meeting in Huddersfield.

The strikers were prominent on the 1,000-strong protest against hospital closures in Huddersfield last Saturday and were well received at the closing rally.

The strikers face no pay on their scheduled pay date of 21 December, so collections and donations are crucial over the next week.

Donations and messages of support to Kirklees Unison, 20 Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 6QW. Telephone 01484 223 577, fax 01484 450 174

Depot workers to strike

SOME 250 GMB union members employed at the JJB Sports distribution warehouse in Wigan, were set to hold the first of six one day strikes on Thursday of this week.

The action follows a nine to one strike vote.

The workers are in a strong position. The Wigan distribution depot is the sole supplier of merchandise to all 430 JJB shops.

Workers want to roll various bonuses and one off payments into a higher basic pay rate. They are also angry at proposed new shift arrangements, which would hit workers with family commitments.

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Sat 17 Dec 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1981
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