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Gate Gourmet staff face possible job cuts

01 June 2005

Employees at struggling airline caterer Gate Gourmet will vote today on whether to take deep cuts in wages and lose benefits to keep their jobs.

Gate Gourmet bosses have warned unions and employees that refusing cuts could set the stage for bankruptcy.

The company is currently pursuing a rescue plan with creditors since missing debt payments in December and the end of a three-month freeze on a bankruptcy filing on 11 April.

In-flight catering has faced turbulent times since 11 September, with research from the University of Surrey finding caterers have fared worse than carriers.

Gate Gourmet, which has 22,000 employees in the US and Europe, has further challenges to face as it is also a creditor of United Airlines, which is itself in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

A spokesman for American union Unite Here said of the Gate Gourmet situation: "A bankruptcy for the caterer would cause tragic conditions for the air travel industry, to spread from the bankrupt airline all the way to its supplier."

Unite Here and the UK's Transport & General Workers Union will announce the results of the employee ballot tomorrow in a joint statement.

Airline caterer Gate Gourmet hopes for rescue deal as bankruptcy looms >>

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