Leaders at the Transport and General Workers Union have urged British Airways and Gate Gourmet to sign their new contract and end the mounting concern and frustration being felt by the catering firm’s workforce.
The new contract is important as it will ratify the union’s deal with the airline caterer and so bring to an end the bitter dispute at Heathrow.
“Our members have acted in good faith by supporting the agreement negotiated between the T&G and Gate Gourmet,” said Brendan Gold, T&G national secretary for civil aviation.
“Now it seems the process of British Airways and the caterer signing their new contract is being delayed or drawn out for some reason.
“That is creating a mounting degree of frustration among our people. It is time for those delays to stop and for the contract to be signed,” Gold said.
It is understood that BA is reluctant to put pen to paper unless clear dates for the return of food to short haul flights and other operational issues are resolved.
The union concluded a deal with Gate Gourmet, which was supported by the workforce, at the end of September. It provides for most union members who were sacked in August to return to work or take voluntary redundancy.
The remainder, who would have faced compulsory redundancy under the company’s plans before the dispute, will now have representation and access to an appeals procedure following a fair process.
British Airways had made it consistently clear that a new catering contract was available and agreed in principle and could be activated once the labour issues with the T&G had been resolved.
“The labour issues have been resolved. There should be no reason for the companies to delay any longer,” said Gold.