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Local services :: Libraries
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Unite union members working in Bromley libraries began the first of eight days of strike action on 1 April. The long-running dispute is in defence of the library service from privatisation.
The campaign has already seen off the privateers from Carillion and a proposal to replace permanent staff with volunteers. Now Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is thought to be the last realistic bidder for the contract - although the council ludicrously claims that commercial confidentiality means that they cannot disclose the remaining bidders!
GLL claims to be a 'social enterprise' yet acts like the worst of private companies, employing three-quarters of staff on zero-hour contracts and refusing to pay the London Living Wage to many of its own leisure-based staff.
Yet Lord John Bird - founder of the Big Issue - claims that GLL is the saviour of libraries! Lord Bird attended the libraries and culture march in London last November, demanding to speak at the event as a very important campaigner!
There is a lesson here - support is always welcome from whatever quarter - however, it is the trade unions that will lead the fight to save public service, not Lords!
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Article dated 5 April 2017
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
Lessons from history
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