Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1036/28924
Greenwich Unite demands outsourced workers at failing firm are brought back in-house
Greenwich Unite the Union
Unite the Union has blasted Greenwich council for the continuing uncertainty being suffered by over 700 staff at GSPlus/GSS - the company set up by the council to compete for contracts. The company is to wind down after devastating financial failures that left a £2 million hole in its pension funds.
A mass meeting of workers on 14 March, followed by a council lobby on 27 March, demanded that the council and GSPlus open up the books so that everybody can see how, why and who got the company into the financial mess.
The meeting also agreed unanimously to demand that the council immediately take all the workers back in-house as council employees. Workers were originally transferred to the company in 2009.
Councillors and board members also attended the meeting where the resolution was put - after councillors stated that they wished to hear the views of the workers.
Greenwich Unite branch secretary Danny Hoggan stated: "What has taken place is a travesty. The council claim that because they had to follow the law of the land and implement equal pay they were forced to set up GSPlus. Now they are saying that because they had to pay the London Living Wage, the company has gone under.
"The council prides itself on being a London Living Wage employer, yet uses this as a thin excuse to hide the shame of GSPlus failing to pay pension contributions. The council has a responsibility here. It set up GSPlus. Councillors have always been on the board. It can now sort out the mess.
"Our members have given a clear message - take the workers back in-house. The council's failure to do so means that this travesty will be followed by injustice. How dare they blame low-paid workers, how dare they blame this on the need to pay a decent wage."
In The Socialist 3 April 2019:
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