Talks between Gate Gourmet and unions to resolve the ongoing jobs row are on hold after a deal which may help end the crisis was agreed.
The catering firm and the T&G said staff, including 670 sacked workers, would be given the chance to take voluntary redundancy.
Those who wished to leave would get compensation. The deal offers hope that some sacked staff may be reinstated.
Further discussions will take place after workers make their wishes known. The process of asking volunteers to come forward will take place over the next few days, Gate Gourmet said.
The issue of alleged militant workers returning is still to be tackled. Gate Gourmet has always said that 200 so-called “troublemakers” among the 670 sacked employees would not be allowed to return.
“It’s a step in the process. If you imagine you are trying to climb Mount Everest we have been in the foothills and we are now just about reaching base camp,” said a T&G union spokesman.