Deal signals end to Gourmet dispute

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Related tags: Trade union, Strike action

The airline caterer Gate Gourmet has sent compulsory dismissal letters to 144 of the 713 employees it attempted to get rid of this summer following a...

The airline caterer Gate Gourmet has sent compulsory dismissal letters to 144 of the 713 employees it attempted to get rid of this summer following a walk-out at Heathrow Airport.

The deal, negotiated with the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G), had been pending the signing of a catering contract between Gate Gourmet and British Airways (BA), which took place on October 21.

"When Gate Gourmet and BA signed the contract, that ratified the deal between the union and Gate Gourmet," said the T&G.

Almost 400 of the workers who were sacked following an industrial dispute over supplies to BA at Heathrow in August will return to work, while 144 will be made compulsorily redundant. The remainder, who would have faced compulsory redundancy, have been offered voluntarily severance. They will be given representation and access to an appeals procedure, said the union.

"The delays in signing have caused undoubted frustration among our people," said Brendan Gold, T&G national secretary for civil aviation. "We are pleased that BA and Gate Gourmet have signed so we can now get on and implement the agreement."

Meanwhile, strike action has been called off at Grampian Country Foods after a deal over employee pensions with the T&G.

A union spokesman confirmed that the two sides now had the basis for an agreement. "It's just a case of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts," he said.

Local pay issues at the company's Scottish sites are still under discussion.