Spread Cheese against Scabs - Picket line account from German Gate Gourmet strike, 2005

Submitted by Steven. on November 10, 2006

First person account of a picket line in November 2005 after 43 days of strike against catering firm Gate Gourmet in Germany.

18th of November. The strike at Gate Gourmet against the deterioration of the working conditions and the lowering of the wages is on for 43 days now. The company uses scabs from other Gate Gourmet locations and temp agencies.

When today around noon a Gate Gourmet truck with meals for an aeroplane tried to leave the company grounds it was blocked by about 70 strikers and some supporters.

The truck-driver, a scab from a different Gate Gourmet location, ruthlessly continued driving forward, but the strikers held out in front of the truck pressing against it. Security guards from the firm Chevalier tried to pull people away and started hitting them but they could not break the blockade. Instead the truck-front got damaged and apples, icecream and curd cheese were thrown from behind.

When finally the truck front window was smeared with spread cheese (fat content 40 per cent) the driver could not see anything anymore and gave up. Cheers from the crowd followed, and the embellished truck was driven back onto the company ground. When the police came and asked the strikers to finally let the truck drive through, it was nevertheless blocked again. There were some scuffles, minutes passed, but in the end when the police threatened to make arrests the truck could get through.

The whole thing lasted more than an hour and no trucks could leave or enter the Gate Gourmet premises.

Some workers from LSG, the biggest catering-firm for airlines world-wide, were passing by in their trucks, driving very slowly and showing their solidarity by honking. Other LSG-workers had come by earlier in the week to show their support. They understand that the cheap labor at Gate Gourmet also puts their (still better) working conditions and jobs in danger.

Summary of a report written by Wildcat Köln, German version here

From prol-position news #4, 12/2005