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Gate Gourmet to make 675 jobs redundant

30 August 2005

Struggling airline caterer Gate Gourmet is to get rid of 675 jobs, in a bid to put its UK operations back in the black.

Hoping to resolve the dispute that saw 667 workers sacked after a wildcat strike on 10 August, Gate Gourmet is offering voluntary redundancy to its 1,400 employees.

The deal, negotiated last week with unions, opens the door to resolving the dispute which caused massive disruption for customer BA grounding flights.

BA, which has subsequently improved its contract with the caterer, has put pressure on Gate Gourmet to take back the sacked workers.

Gate Gourmet said: "This will allow the company to address its ongoing staffing needs in a way that is fair to all employees and stem the losses that have put the company on the brink of administration."

A spokeswoman for the Transport & General Workers Union said it recognised the competitive pressures the caterer was under and welcomed the move to make the package voluntary.

"The decision to opt for redundancy will be a personal one, but many workers have known this was likely for many months and have had time to think over their options," she said.

However, the fate of workers branded "troublemakers" by the company remains unresolved and a potential stumbling block, with talks due to continue at the end of this week.

Gate Gourmet has said it will not have the agitators back and instead will offer only redundancy, something union representatives are yet to accept.

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