Deal agreed in Gate Gourmet dispute

A deal has been reached by catering firm Gate Gourmet and the Transport and General Workers Union to bring an end to the long-running dispute at Heathrow Airport.

The row began in August when nearly 700 catering staff, mainly Asian women, were sacked by the US-owned firm in a row over the restructuring of the company.

The dispute left British Airways flights without catering, because Gate Gourmet is the sole catering supplier for the airline’s Heathrow flights.

However, the situation worsened when a large number of British Airways staff walked out on a wildcat strike, resulting in the cancellation of all BA flights from Heathrow and leaving 100,000 passengers stranded.

The deal agreed by the TGWU and Gate Gourmet will result in around 144 workers being made compulsorily redundant, while hundreds of others will take voluntary redundancy.

Gate Gourmet had earlier offered to pay redundancy packages to staff, including those that had been sacked. However, the dispute had continued, largely due to the catering firm’s refusal to reinstate around 200 workers that they had branded ‘troublemakers’.

Eric Born, Managing Director of Gate Gourmet UK & Ireland, said he was pleased that a resolution had been reached.

Earlier this week, at the Labour party conference in Brighton, TGWU General Secretary Tony Woodley called for new legislation to allow workers to take supportive industrial action in disputes similar to that at Gate Gourmet.


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