Unite warned of possible strike action hitting services run for Bromley council by two contractors today (Thursday 22 February), after library staff and care workers overwhelmingly backed action in two separate strike ballots.
100 per cent of library staff working for Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) across the London borough’s 14 libraries backed strike action on a turnout of 87 per cent in a dispute over staffing, pay and time off for union duties.
Meanwhile, care workers working for Certitude Support at the Astley day centre backed action by 70 per cent in a dispute over pay, health and safety and union recognition.
“What we are seeing in Bromley is outsourcing chaos,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab. “There have been continual problems since Bromley’s libraries were privatised and Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) took over from the council.
“Staffing is a major problem with workers being shipped in from neighbouring boroughs owing to staff shortages, while senior posts remain unfilled because current staff will not apply as it would mean transferring to poorer GLL contracts,” he added.
“Meanwhile bosses at Certitude are continuing to bury their heads in the sand by refusing to discuss pay and maintenance issues with serious health and safety implications. These include a roof that constantly leaks and a lack of ramps from fire exits in a centre for disabled people.
“The last thing our members want to do is take strike action, but that is what they will be forced to do, unless bosses get around the negotiating table and address their concerns.”