Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1058/29646
Bromley libraries strikers proved right - private company admits job cuts!
Bromley library workers protesting outside GLL tennis centre in Islington, supported by the NSSN and members of the Socialist Party, 21st August 2019, photo Isai Priya
Socialist Party reporters
Unite union members employed by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) in Bromley, south London, have been on indefinite strike since 6 June, in defence of the library service.
Tory-run Bromley council handed the service over to GLL as part of its plans to become an "enabling authority" where, rather than provide services, the council privatises everything and simply manages the contracts.
Unite ran a campaign opposing the transfer and predicted that it would lead to job cuts. GLL and Bromley denied the union claims and, as recently as a month ago, threatened to sue Unite regional officer and Socialist Party member Onay Kasab for libel and defamation unless the claims were withdrawn.
Unite refused - and has been proved right. GLL is now proposing to cut 30 library staff. Yet library workers are on strike precisely because the service is at breaking point due to unfilled vacancies!
This cut will mean library closures. GLL has once again been exposed. Despite its mission statements claiming to be a "worker-led social enterprise", in truth it is no better than any profit-chasing private company. This was proved during negotiations on 19 September when the company admitted it had "bid cheap" in order to win contracts and then make savings by cutting staff.
This is a campaign that the strikers and the union are determined to win, as shown by the strikers who remain resolute after being on strike for so long. There now is a tremendous responsibility on the trade union movement to back this dispute to a victory - it is currently the longest-running all-out indefinite strike in the country and can serve as a tremendous example of how to fight cuts.
The campaign, as well as defending jobs, is calling for the service to be in-sourced with immediate effect.
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In The Socialist 2 October 2019:
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