Major victory for London’s young people in non-payment...

Major victory for London’s young people in non-payment of ‘living wage’ scandal, says Unite

28 June 2018

Unite, the country’s largest trade union, has notched up a significant 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.

Today (Thursday 28 June), Unite announced that Tower Hamlets council had brought forward an agreement with GLL to pay those aged 18-20 the LLW from this September, with pay backdated to April this year.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We regard this as a significant victory in our campaign to achieve LLW pay justice for young people employed in London boroughs by GLL."

Onay Kasab added: “Tower Hamlets had originally agreed with GLL that workers under 21 would have to wait until April 2019 to get the LLW, despite workers aged 21 and over doing the same work and getting the LLW.

“Our campaign putting GLL and Tower Hamlets under the spotlight has led to GLL agreeing to pay for and bring forward the increase to September this year and the council paying for the increase from April. 

“Workers under 21 will now receive the LLW backdated to April 2018. The increase will be from £8.10 per hour to the LLW of £10.20 an hour – that’s an increase of 21 per cent on the hourly rate.

“This is a great win for young workers. We made the point, again and again, that the high cost of living in London impacts on workers no matter what your age. There is no young person’s discount on food and rent – and so there should be no age discrimination on wages either.

“We believe that up to 1,000 young people in London have been ‘short changed’ by GLL over the LLW – and we will not cease our fight until pay justice has been achieved for young people working for GLL in one of the world’s most expensive cities.”

Unite regional officer for young members Mercedes Sanchez said: “We now demand that those councils which have negotiated lower pay rates for young workers employed by contractors follow the fine example set by Tower Hamlets. 

“This shows that there is no obstacle, legal or otherwise, stopping councils and GLL doing the right thing. This also, once again, shows the value of union membership and organisation. Nobody else took this issue up. Unite will now press ahead with our campaign for pay justice on all contracts.”


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 the Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email: 

  • 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.