While secret meetings were held at the West Lancashire Derby Street Towers and a virtual link that had leisure services on its agenda, news broke that Serco was sacking leisure workers in Birmingham.
The attack on leisure workers comes with the 2022 Commonwealth Games looming. Serco, the troubled outsourcing giant at the heart of the NHS Track and Trace scandal, is attempting to slash nearly a hundred jobs from its Birmingham Community Leisure service despite having collected nearly £4m from Birmingham Council over the Coronavirus crisis.
The firm wants to axe 96 full-time-equivalent staff, meaning hundreds of part-time workers could face the sack, despite Serco claiming 80% of its staff’s salary as furlough money from the Government.
The sackings were announced on Friday 2nd October, but many workers affected still haven’t received written confirmation. Leisure services in the second city are creaking just when they should be gearing up for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Gill Ogilvie, GMB Union Senior Organiser said “Serco are attacking working families in the middle of the second wave of Coronavirus with the Commonwealth Games coming up and with Christmas right around the corner.
“You could not pick a worse time to cut your own workforce. They’re desperately trying to rush through these sackings before the end of the month, all the while hoovering up our tax money.
“Why are we paying millions to a private company who kick working families to the curb just before Christmas? Why not run our leisure services with good council jobs?”
Funny they should ask that as trade union members of the Labour WLBC were discussing Serco West Lancashire and its leisure centre opening hours and activity here.