Bromley library workers are being balloted for strike action in the first stage of the campaign to give a big pay boost to workers employed by social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

The 45 library staff, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, who are employed by GLL, will be balloted from 7 May as part of the pay campaign and also on issues specifically relating to the running of Bromley’s 14 libraries. The ballot closes on 22 May.

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 Bromley dispute also 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 regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The Bromley ballot is the first stage in our campaign to get pay justice across the GLL contracts in 16 London boroughs and in Belfast.

“There are issues that are specific to the Bromley contract. GLL claims to be a social enterprise, but we think that is a rather elastic description for an organisation that fails to pay its staff a decent wage and insists on a contract clause which permits a five per cent pay cut.

“GLL promised the Tory-controlled Bromley council that it would implement library service cuts of over 25 per cent if it were awarded the contract to run this much-loved public service.

“GLL’s stewardship of the libraries has been lamentable in the extreme and has led to this strike ballot.

“Generally, profitable Greenwich Leisure Limited has a poor reputation as an employer and is always looking to maximise profits at the expense of the dedicated workforce which ensures the smooth running of leisure centres and libraries across the UK on a daily basis.”

Unite has said its campaign will be the first time that there has been a coordinated pay campaign at GLL, bringing together all the London contracts and Belfast.


Notes to editors:

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.

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: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.