Call for a public boycott of London leisure centres as Bromley library workers dispute escalates
- Wednesday 26 June 2019
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has called for a London-wide boycott by the public of leisure centres run by social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).
Unite said the boycott call of GLL’s money-spinning leisure centres across the capital would support the 50 Bromley library staff who have been on strike since 6 June over pay and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries.
The boycott will be launched on Friday (28 June) when Unite members will stage protests at three GLL venues in Woolwich. GLL has contracts with 16 London boroughs to run leisure centres and/or libraries.
The union is aiming its boycott campaign at potential new members that the GLL sales force wants to sign up for gym membership and fitness classes, as well as one-off users. It is not aimed at those with pre-paid membership plans.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The call for the London-wide boycott of GLL leisure centres is aimed at putting pressure where it hurts – in the company’s coffers – to achieve a resolution of the Bromley library dispute.
“We argue that every penny that goes to GLL, generated by its money-spinning activities at its leisure centres, helps it to win further library contracts which then results in a serious erosion of library services for both users and staff.
“Our Bromley library members have been on continuous strike since 6 June and have received fantastic support from the public who are refusing to enter the libraries in a great show of support.”
The Bromley dispute relates to GLL bosses not filling vacant posts; asking staff to be managers without paying the proper rate for the job; and failing to pay wages owed.
Unite is seeking a six per cent increase in basic pay from April 2019 for its hundreds of members working for GLL in more than 140 leisure centres and libraries in 16 London boroughs, as well as in Belfast.
The London boroughs with GLL contracts are: Barnet, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Lambeth, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.
Notes to editors:
Diary of upcoming protest events organised by Unite
Friday 28 June
10.00 – Headquarters building. Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich SE18 6SX
11.00 – Waterfront leisure centre, Woolwich High Street, London SE18 6DL
12.00 – Woolwich library, Calderwood Street, London SE18 6QZ
Friday 5 July
Demonstration at 10.00 - Charlton Lido, Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road, SE18 4LX. The lido is a GLL showpiece venue.
Last year, Unite staged a campaign to make GLL pay the London Living Wage (LLW) to those aged 18-to-20 on a number of its contracts in the capital.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.