A ‘damning’ report on controversial employer social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), which has contracts with councils in London and Belfast, is published today (Tuesday 3 December)by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union.

The report Greenwich Leisure Limited – a shameful enterprise catalogues an organisation, with a £300 million turnover, that relies heavily on zero hours’ contracts, refuses to recognise trade unions, and whose claim to be ‘worker-led’ is spurious as the worker representative on the board in the recent past has always been a senior manager.

The report comes as the 50 library staff in Bromley, employed by GLL, continue their strike which started on 6 June – one of the longest industrial disputes in modern times. The strike is over staffing and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries.
To highlight the report, Unite has organised a lobby tomorrow (Wednesday 4 December) at GLL’s headquarters, Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London, SE18 6SX from 12.00 until 14.00.

Unite will also be demonstrating when GLL holds a Christmas ball on Friday (6 December) at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PJ.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Today we expose the truth about GLL, not just in Bromley, but across its wider operations which employ about 14,000 people. It is a damning indictment.

“We ask a serious question of GLL’s partner organisations, including local authorities, which claim to act ethically – do they want the reputational damage of being linked with GLL?

“The GLL’s flawed business model is based on zero hours’ contracts and job cuts which seriously erodes the public services, such as leisure centres and libraries, it has pledged to maintain.

“Unite recognises we are in for the long haul with GLL whose ethos makes a mockery of the term ‘social enterprise’. The campaign will last until such time that GLL becomes an employer which recognises the true worth of its staff and negotiates with trade unions in a constructive fashion.”

Notes to editors:

Unite’s report: Greenwich Leisure Limited – a shameful enterprise can be accessed by the link below.


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.