Unions call for tougher laws after BA catering strike

Unions will use the conference season to urge ministers to toughen up employment law after the BA catering dispute in which Gate Gourmet staff were allegedly sacked in a car park by a manager armed with a megaphone.

A report in today’s Times newspaper said the unions plan to use an employment rights debate on the first day of the TUC conference next month to press the government to strengthen the law and give employees more protection against summary dismissal.

Union sources said they were also examining whether current employment law properly protects staff from companies setting out deliberately to provoke strikes to break the union, and then replace staff with agency workers.

The Transport & General Workers’ Union, which represents staff at the centre of the BA catering dispute, is currently taking legal advice on whether Gate Gourmet broke the law when it sacked 670 workers last week.

The DTI is keeping a close eye on the ongoing dispute, but a spokesman said that he thought the law, which was updated last year, was adequate.

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