Library workers strike in Greenwich

Library workers strike in Greenwich

Close to 100 Greenwich library workers are on strike over plans to privatise the borough's library services. The library staff, all Unite union members, began five days of industrial action on Friday (27th April).

A further day of strike action is planned for 11th May.

Greenwich council wants to transfer its library services to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) and Unite has concerns that the move will lead to poorer conditions for its members.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: "We have the full support of the public on this campaign as GLL has no experience running libraries . . . During Unite’s public consultation many fears were voiced by the public and library users. Not only do many believe that services will suffer, there are also great fears that GLL will close the smaller libraries and that the mobile library service will be scrapped—a service essential to those unable to travel."

A Greenwich council spokesperson told local news outlet Mercury Today: "We do not think this will benefit anyone - not the library staff, whose positions are secure, nor the local community who may lose access to important local facilities. We would like to reassure library employees currently working within the borough that their positions are secure. GLL does not plan to close any libraries. Rather, we are committed to developing better library services and to introducing greater opportunities for staff training and development."