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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Gate Gourmet workers in TUC demo
Gate Gourmet workers protest at the TUC Congress in Brighton
Gate Gourmet sacked 670 catering workers at Heathrow
Hundreds of sacked Gate Gourmet workers have stepped up their efforts to win back their jobs with a noisy protest at the TUC Congress in Brighton.

The workers, whose dismissal last month led to unofficial action and hundreds of flight cancellations at Heathrow, lobbied delegates as they arrived.

Tony Woodley, head of the Transport and General Workers' Union which represents many staff, said the fight went on.

The Congress is expected to pledge support to the workers after a debate.

The sacked workers held up banners and chanted: "We want our jobs back," as trade union delegates arrived for their annual congress in the Sussex seaside town.

Step down into the shoes of normal people and see what it is like
Gate Gourmet worker Kam Olakh

Mr Woodley met the protesters and told them: "Five weeks ago you were unfairly sacked by a ruthless union-busting employer, but I can assure you that the battle goes on."

General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Billy Hayes also pledged his support, along with other union leaders.

Chief negotiator for the TUC Brendan Gold said the turnout for the protest showed the "determined nature" of the workers and that "the solidarity still exists".

It emerged last night that around 300 of the sacked 670 workers and 400 of those still employed by the firm have applied for redundancy.

But talks between the firm and the TGWU are expected to be held later this week.

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