The campaign to make London’s largest social enterprise leisure services’ provider Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) pay the London Living Wage (LLW) to those aged 18-to-20 is being taken to Waltham Forest. 

Unite, the country’s largest union, is organising a protest when Waltham Forest council’s cabinet meets at the town hall, Forest Road,E17 4JF on Thursday 13 September, starting at 13.00.

GLL run seven leisure centres for Waltham Forest which is a LLW employer. However, GLL and the council have agreed that instead of the LLW -  currently £10.20 an hour -  young people under 21 will only receive £8.10 an hour.

It is understood that there are 260 young people working for GLL in Waltham Forest who could be affected.

Unite is taking its campaign to north east London, after notching up a victory earlier in the summer when Tower Hamlets council brought forward an agreement with GLL to pay those aged 18-20 the LLW from next month (September), with pay backdated to April this year.

GLL runs nine council contracts in London, but there is a dispute between Unite and the company as to the payment of the LLW to those aged 18-20 at some individual authorities. 

Local councils are meant to insist that organisations with outsourcing contracts, such as GLL, should pay the voluntary LLW.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “There can be no more excuses. If it’s good enough for young workers in Tower Hamlets, it’s good enough for workers in Waltham Forest. 

“This should never have been allowed to happen – elected councillors  need to keep a far closer check on the terms of contracts which are being awarded in their name. 

“But now is the time to put this right – and that’s why we will be protesting when Waltham Forest council’s cabinet meets on 13 September.”

Unite regional officer for young members Mercedes Sanchez said: “Young workers deserve pay justice. Unite will continue to fight those employers who seek to deny fair pay for young workers.

“We cannot allow a situation to continue where local authorities discriminate against young workers in this way.”


Notes to editors:

GLL has contracts to run services, such as libraries and swimming pools, with nine London boroughs which have the LLW accreditation, awarded by the London Living Wage Foundation.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email:

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey