Forensics hired to fight ‘improper’ claims at Gate Gourmet

Gate Gourmet, the airline catering business at the heart of the row that
grounded over 700 BA flights last week, is launching an investigation and hiring
a firm of undisclosed forensic accountants to fight off allegations that it was
involved in ‘improper corporate activities’ affecting the airline’s account.

The US catering company, which supplies BA with about 80,000 meals a day,
refused to name the firm it was hiring, but said it was bringing in a team of
forensic accountants to examine the allegations brought against it by the
Transport & General Workers Union general secretary, Tony Woodley, at a 1pm
meeting yesterday.

In a statement, Gate Gourmet said that Woodley had ‘threatened’ to disclose
to BA allegations of ‘improper corporate activities’ by the catering company
unless it ‘immediately’ re-hired all of the employees who where dismissed for
going on strike illegally. Some 670 employees are affected.

The statement added that David Siegel, chairman of Gate Gourmet, had
immediately called a senior BA executive to inform him of the situation.

Siegel said: ‘We don’t believe that there has been any wrongdoing, but we
intend to make certain that this is the case.

‘Gate Gourmet states that it is in the process of hiring a team of forensic
accountants to investigate their allegations.

‘The company remains concerned about protecting the welfare and future of the
dedicated Gate Gourmet work force of 1,400 who continue to serve the travelling
public at Heathrow.’

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