Unite 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 June 6 over pay and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries.
The boycott will be launched on Friday (June 28) 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.
“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,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.
“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,” he added.
“Our Bromley library members have been on continuous strike since June 6 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 include Barnet, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Lambeth, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.