Five more demonstrations – including one at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace – are planned this month by Bromley library workers who are entering the third month of strike action against their employer, social enterprise leisure services’ giant Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, represents the 50 Bromley library staff who have been on strike continuously since 6 June over staffing and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries.
The demonstrations, outlined below, are all at GLL-run sites, except the one at SportsAid.
14 August – 10.00 to 12.00 – Crystal Palace sports centre, Ledrington Road, SE19 2BB
19 August – 12.00 to 14.00 – SportsAid, 21 Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 3HF
21 August – 10.00 to 11.00 – Islington tennis club, Market Road, N7 9PC, which will be followed by a protest at Sobell leisure centre, Hornsey Road, Islington N7 7NY between 14.00 -15.00
27 August – 10.00 to 12.00 – Sutcliffe Park, Kidbrooke Park Road, Eltham SE9 5LW.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The determination and fortitude of our members to defend the library service in Bromley should be applauded by everyone.
“They have been steadfast since starting indefinite strike action on 6 June. “This is one of the longest running periods of continuous strike action of recent times – and we are now entering the tenth week.
“That is 10 weeks of strike action against an employer which claims to be ‘worker-led’.
“Members of the public are now refusing to use Bromley libraries in acts of solidarity with the strikers.
“We have had a constructive meeting with GLL to discuss our main priority – staffing.
“During the consultation before the contract was handed to GLL, Bromley’s Tory councillors were quoted that there would be no loss of professional staff.
“We are now awaiting staffing proposals from GLL which we expect to reflect this commitment.
“Our campaign will continue to highlight to the public, including GLL’s partners, exactly why we are on strike.
“That is why our protests will include a demonstration outside the offices of SportsAid, whose patron is the Duchess of Cambridge.”
Unite has also called for a boycott of GLL’s leisure centres across the capital. GLL has contracts with 16 London boroughs to run leisure centres and/or libraries.
Unite are 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 are: Barnet, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Lambeth, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth. (Source: Unite press release)
Further reading: LAMBETHWATCH: LIBRARY STAFF STRIKE OVER GREENWICH LEISURE TREATMENT (and they’re NOT in Lambeth) July 2nd 2019