Unite, the country’s largest union, has notched up a further victory in its 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.

Following pressure from Unite, Waltham Forest council has agreed that staff working for GLL aged 18 to 20 will be paid the London Living Wage of £10.20 – a 25 per cent rise from the current £8.10. It is understood that there are 260 young people working for GLL at seven leisure centres in Waltham Forest who will benefit. Waltham Forest Council along with GLL has agreed that staff aged 18 to 20 will be paid the LLW of £10.20 an hour giving them an increase of £2.10 per hour. This will come into effect from October 2018.

This is the second victory achieved by Unite following the decision earlier in the summer when Tower Hamlets council brought forward an agreement with GLL to pay those aged 18-20 the LLW from this month (September), with pay backdated to April this year.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is fantastic news for young workers in Waltham Forest. Our campaign has directly led to an increase of 25 per cent on the hourly rate.

“It is abundantly clear that without the Unite campaign, no local authority was going to pay this increase. While the news is more than welcome, it is a pity that both GLL and the council failed to mention the simple fact that Unite first raised and campaigned on this issue.

“However, the struggle continues to get pay justice for young people. 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.”

Unite regional officer for young members Mercedes Sanchez said: “This is a trade union victory won through trade union campaigning – it is fitting that in the week that the TUC celebrates 150 years since its formation, that young members working with other sections of the union have won this amazing victory.

“I want to congratulate our young members committee, local government and community members and all those who have come out to support our public events in support of the campaign.”

ENDS

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 regional officer Onay Kasab on 07771818637 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065 Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • 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.