Heathrow Gate Gourmet talks resume

Fresh talks aimed at resolving the bitter row over the sacking of hundreds of Heathrow Airport catering workers are to resume today.

Fresh talks aimed at resolving the bitter row over the sacking of hundreds of Heathrow Airport catering workers are to resume today.

Officials from the Transport and General Workers Union will meet Gate Gourmet managers in a new attempt to break the deadlock over the dismissal of 670 mainly Asian women.

The two sides held negotiations on Monday and Tuesday but they ended in acrimony with the union accusing Gate Gourmet of walking out.

The company’s chairman, David Siegel, returned to the United States yesterday, a move which had seemed to dash hopes of a resumption of talks.

But it was learned last night that another attempt will be made today to bridge the gap between the two sides.

British Airways is ready to sign a new contract with Gate Gourmet for the caterer to supply food on all its flights from Heathrow until the year 2010.

But the airline has made it clear that the deal is conditional on the industrial dispute being resolved.

Hundreds of the sacked workers have staged daily protests outside Gate Gourmet’s Heathrow offices since they were dismissed two weeks ago.

The firm claimed the workers were involved in an unofficial strike but the union maintained they had been locked out.

Gate Gourmet has so far refused to agree to the union’s demands to reinstate all the workers.

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