WHILE Huddersfield Tech bosses settled down to a festive feast, a determined caretaker had his Christmas dinner in the cold.
Dave Ellis, the caretakers' Unison steward, proved the will of the workers as the strike at the college reaches its 10th week by tucking in to his turkey on the picket line.
He was joined by other strikers, friends, family and well-wishers.
A total of 19 caretakers walked out in October after Huddersfield Technical College chiefs refused them a pay rise.
A further 15 cleaners also refuse to cross the picket line and just last week a meeting between the two warring parties - overseen by conciliation organisation Acas - sparked bitter exchanges and a frosty stalemate.
To highlight the cause Mr Ellis decided he would spend his Christmas fighting rather than at home with his family.
The father-of-two said: "This college reminds me of Victorian Britain.
"The college executive, which consists of four people, took a £50,000 pay rise between them last year and we languish on a wage that barely scrapes past the legal minimum limit.
"To add insult to injury they pay some of us more than others for exactly the same work.
"This is allegedly an equal opportunities employer but the opportunities are much better at the top than at the bottom."
The caretakers decided to take strike action after months of negotiations collapsed. College officials claim the strike is making no impact on lessons.
However, Mr Ellis says jobs are being left undone and some students have claimed conditions are difficult.
He added: "We all have family responsibilities and we cannot survive on his wage. This Christmas has been a bit lean for some of the men, but we will not be starved back to work.
"The union has been very supportive and we are as determined as ever. We are starting to discuss a long strike now.
"Acas came in and did everything they could, but the management seem unwilling to do anything. They keep telling us to wait until the jobs are reclassified next year.
"But we are not willing to take that. We will not be broken and spending Christmas on the picket line is a small sacrifice to make for what we deserve."
Well-wishers are keeping the caretakers' spirits up. More than £5,000 has already been raised to help with the hardship.
"Low pay is endemic in this country. People can identify with our cause and they want to see us win," added Ellis.
After the most recent talks broke down college officials said they were disappointed but stood firm that caretakers would not get any pay increase until after jobs and roles had been reclassified in the new year.