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8/22/2005

Unions Worldwide Mobilize Support for Gate Gourmet Workers in Britain

Source: AFL-CIO

Unions in the United States and worldwide are mobilizing an e-mail campaign in support of the 800 members of Great Britain’s Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU) fired by airline caterer Gate Gourmet Aug. 10.

Last week, after a solidarity strike by British Airways baggage staff and loaders in support of the fired Gate Gourmet workers, major media focused on passengers stranded at London’s Heathrow Airport––ignoring the corporation’s efforts to replace its employees with lower-wage workers.

According to the United Kingdom’s Daily Mirror, in a secret, internal briefing, Gate Gourmet wrote: “Recruit, train and security check drivers. Announce intention to trade union, provoking unofficial industrial action from staff. Dismiss current workforce. Replace with new staff.”

The Mirror reports Gate Gourmet created a 15-week timetable to provoke workers into striking so they could be replaced with lower-paid Eastern European workers trained at secret bases. Last year, 10 Eastern European nations joined the European Union, and some Western European corporations immediately began seeking to replace their unionized workers with Eastern Europe’s lower-paid workforce.

Send a Message Demanding Gate Gourmet Reinstate its Workers
Union members and leaders can
send a messageto Gate Gourmet urging the company to reinstate the workers.

Owned by the Fort Worth-based Texas Pacific Group, Gate Gourmet also provides airline and other catering services in the United States, where many of its workers are represented by UNITE HERE.

Following the two-day solidarity strike, negotiations resumed between Gate Gourmet but and catering employees, but talks broke off Aug. 16 because Gate Gourmet wanted “to selectively re-employ those who had been sacked even though there is enough for everyone,” says TGWU General Secretary Tony Woodley.

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