BA's caterer gets closer to a deal

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The Independent Online

The High Court ruling came after the company said it reached a tentative settlement with the Transport & General Workers Union, whereby all staff, including the 670, mainly Asian women, who were dismissed three weeks ago, will be asked if they will take voluntary redundancy or if they want to return to work.

The injunction prohibited unlawful behaviour on the picket line outside the company's factory at Heathrow but Mr Justice Fulford refused to ban a mass protest nearby. A number of workers sacked by Gate Gourmet who were accused of troublemaking and intimidating staff, had their names removed from the injunction.

Brendan Gold, the union's chief negotiator, said: "We have always said our people are decent, hard-working individuals, not militant troublemakers. The dispute ... will be resolved by negotiation, not litigation."

Gate Gourmet claims it is on the verge of bankruptcy, with its annual losses running at £25m.

An inquiry was also under way after an undercover reporter secured a job at the factory without having his background checked. He revealed details of unhygienic conditions in the factory, which produces 80,000 meals for BA daily.