‘Come clean’ call to council

Lewisham slammed on secret plan to extend Greenwich Leisure contract

Reading time: 3 min

The decision by Lewisham council to extend the contract of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) to run the authorities leisure services has been condemned by Unite today, August 26.

The decision to extend the GLL contract was taken at a meeting of the council that was closed to the public earlier this month.

Prior to the decision being made Unite has raised serious concerns about the long-term financial viability of GLL and its employment practices.

GLL, which is officially a social enterprise, is currently refusing to disclose its financial position to Unite or reveals how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the organisation.

But the company has told staff that its financial position has been severely hit due to the pandemic and is now in the process of making redundancies.

Unite has previously raised concerns about GLL’s reliance on employing staff on zero hours contracts and the fact the ‘social enterprise’ does not recognise unions.

“Lewisham council had the opportunity to do the right thing and it failed,” commented Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.

“Lewisham councillors stood for election two years ago on a promise to fight zero hours contracts and work with unions.  They have failed on these promises.

“Lewisham claim it did not have the time to prepare an insourced bid but it was the body with responsibility for setting the timetable for the decision.

“Lewisham has also suggested that it does not have the resources to insource its leisure services so why did it commit to being an insourcing council?

“Such a significant decision should never have been made at a closed meeting.”

Kasab concluded, “Lewisham council failed to do the right thing initially. It now needs to put this right by coming clean and calling in the decision for reconsideration.”

Unite is currently running a campaign to recruit leisure service workers to join the union. The workers are frequently low paid and on precarious contracts.


By Barckley Sumner

Related Articles