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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
The other side of Heathrow story
BA planes
Workers say they were treated unfairly
Heathrow catering firm Gate Gourmet dismissed 600 staff after unofficial strike action over restructuring plans it says are necessary to save the business.

Here, one of those dismissed tells his story.

The employee says he was sacked by Gate Gourmet in a letter delivered to his home while he was at home after twisting his back loading an aircraft.

"It's disgusting. We've all got mortgages and credit cards. It's just a shock."

Gate Gourmet will not comment on his case, but has said that all workers can appeal against their dismissal.

The employee has two children living at home and says most of his colleagues also have families.

"At the end of this month we're going to struggle with mortgage payments, credit card payments, everything.

"And we can't claim on the insurance because we've all been sacked. If we go to another employer they'll say, well, no, you've been sacked.

"It just makes life hard... it's just a shock."

Workers on holiday

The man said he had always enjoyed his job, saying it was a friendly environment, and has not decided what to do next.

"I'm 39, I could always go out and drive a lorry. I'm not sure I want to go back."

His wife told the BBC News website: "Our lives have been turned upside down and those of friends at Gate Gourmet who are on holiday abroad.

"They have to face the fact that they will not be returning to work when they get back.

"My heart goes out to the people at Rover. I felt so sorry for them and now can wish them well from the heart.

"Yesterday we put in an offer on a house and today have to notify everyone about what has happened. We are totally devastated.

"The tears have stopped and now it is the fear for the future."




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