Gate Gourmet planned to sack staff by triggering strikes

The catering firm at the centre of the travel chaos at Heathrow airport considered provoking strikes last year to replace staff with cheaper labour, a leaked memo reveals.

A secret briefing presented to bosses at Gate Gourmet outlined plans to trigger a dispute.

It reads: “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 draft document, prepared last year and seen by the Daily Mirror, sets out a 15-week timetable for goading employees into striking so they could be replaced with lower-paid Eastern European labour trained in secret.

The scheme bears striking similarities to events of the last week, which saw the company summarily sack hundreds of staff who had taken unofficial action on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Gate Gourmet admitted that the plan had been floated although he insisted it was never actually implemented.

“Current management discarded the plan and its recommendations as entirely inappropriate and undesirable,” he said.

Talks between Gate Gourmet, unions and conciliation service Acas to solve the dispute are due to restart today.

 

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