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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Sacked airport staff win damages
Four shop stewards intend to begin a hunger strike on Thursday
Four shop stewards intend to begin a hunger strike on Thursday
Twenty two security staff sacked from Belfast International Airport more than three years ago have been awarded almost 600,000 in compensation.

An industrial tribunal found the staff had been unfairly dismissed after they went on strike in a row over pay with their employer ICTS.

The tribunal also ruled four shop stewards had been unlawfully discriminated against.

Steward Gordon McNeill said it was a "victory for all trade unions".

"Our case sets two important legal precedents which strengthen the hand of all trade unionists," he said.

"The tribunal decisions in our case now establish that shop stewards can legally resume suspended strikes with no legal requirement to give any notice to employers and that any shop steward who is victimised or sacked can claim political discrimination, rather than just unfair dismissal."

Mr McNeill said he and three other stewards - Madan Gupta, Chris Bowyer and Malcolm Spencer - now intend to begin a hunger strike on Thursday because they claim the Transport and General Workers' Union did not back their case.

Hunger strike

"Unfortunately our trade union, for whatever reason, did not take the decision to take the matter on and move it forward," he said.

"This is one of the reasons why we are engaging in a hunger strike at Transport House in London.

"We have had a battle for five years, we need answers to questions from out union as to why we were told effectively this case could not be run.

"We have had to fund this (case) ourselves privately it has cost over 200,000.

"We will stay on hunger strike until the union leadership meet our demands for a full inquiry and until they agree to meet the legal bill and other costs we have incurred."

Airport strikes resume
14 May 02 |  Northern Ireland

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