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Aall BA flights from Heathrow suspended strike

Rob W

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All British Airways flights from Heathrow have been suspended


BA flights hit as staff walk out

Food parcels handed out at Heathrow airport

Passengers at Terminal 4 receive food parcels before departure

All British Airways flights from Heathrow have been suspended after some staff walked out in support of sacked catering workers.


The sacked staff were not employed by BA, but for flight meals supply firm Gate Gourmet.


BA baggage handlers, loaders and bus drivers have walked out in sympathy with the catering workers.


Gate Gourmet sacked 800 staff in a row over plans to restructure the company, in west London, on Wednesday.


They were sacked after what employers called an unofficial strike.



BA disruption helpline

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On Wednesday, four British Airways flights from Heathrow were cancelled due to a lack of food.


BA had been providing food bags and vouchers and may compensate some customers.


The Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) said it was trying to begin talks with Gate Gourmet to resolve the issue as soon as possible.


Gate Gourmet's Andy Cook told BBC News: "We are in the situation at the moment where we need to make changes.


"We really do want to do that with the cooperation of the union and the staff but we have to manage the business otherwise it will cease to exist."


Gate Gourmet said it had told the union it was facing a financial crisis and claimed the actions of the staff had jeopardised the livelihoods of the entire 2,000-strong workforce.


But the TGWU said managers had provoked the dispute and the union was taking legal advice.


Kuldip Banger, one of the sacked members of staff said: "I can't express my feelings. I'm really hurting. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat and I don't know what to say any more."


Jim Vicars, a driver and loader, said some of his colleagues had been sacked while they were on holiday or off sick.


"That's the sort of management we are dealing with," he said.


BA flights had left the west London airport on Wednesday and Thursday with only basic supplies of water, tea and coffee.

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