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Talks with TGWU and Gate Gourmet to resume later today

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Transport and General Worker's Union and Gate Gourmet, the company that laid off 500 workers after workers staged unofficial strike action, will attend further talks held at a conciliation service by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) on Saturday.

The director of Gate Gourmet, Richard Wells, denied that he was being "heavy-handed" over the dismissals. He insisted that the people affected were spoken to, and given written warnings before they were sacked.

As a result of British Airways (BA) staff at Heathrow joining Gate Gourmet's staff in the strike action, BA are running 50% of their short-haul flights, and 40% of their long haul flights today from 0600 BST/UTC+1. They are expecting to add more flights to the schedule as the day progresses, so passengers are advised to check the British Airways website.

Analysts said that the disruption may lose BA next to £40m because of the refunds that the company are paying out, loss of flight revenue, and the costs of accommodating passengers in nearby hotels.

Only passengers with confirmed reservations have been allowed to board flights at Heathrow. Barriers have been placed around Terminal 4 to stop people without reservations from joining flights. There are limited catering services on-board the flights.

British Airways advises passengers to telephone +44 (0)800 727 800 or check their website before travelling to the airport. They also said that they would refund customers that had to stay in a hotel on Friday night up to £100.

It is noted by passengers, though, that the advice line can be engaged for long periods, so users of the telephone line need to be patient.

Qantas, Finnair, GB Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, and British Mediterranean are also affected, as they were serviced by BA's ground staff. Their telephone numbers are listed below.

Advice Line Numbers

  • Qantas: +44 (0)870 000 0123
  • Sri Lankan Airlines: +44 (0)208 538 2000
  • Finnair: +44 (0)8705 997711
  • GB Airways: +44 (0)870 850 9850
  • British Mediterranean Airlines: +44 (0)870 850 9850

Sources