Strike action to go ahead across leisure trusts after talks fail

A strike across Sandwell Leisure trust will go ahead after last ditch talks broke down.

Haden Hill Leisure Centre will be one of seven leisure centres affected by the strike action
Haden Hill Leisure Centre will be one of seven leisure centres affected by the strike action

Eleventh hour negotiations between Sandwell Leisure Trust and GMB failed to produce a resolution and left members with no choice but to strike on Tuesday, May 10.

More than 84 percent of eligible GMB members voted in favour of industrial action across seven sites.

GMB Union said that bosses at the leisure centre had refused to discuss a pay claim put forward by GMB, Unison and Unite members at the end of 2021.

Darren James, GMB Branch Secretary, said: "It's extremely disappointing that the chair and management team at Sandwell Leisure Trust have failed to offer a resolution to this dispute.

"At every opportunity GMB and other unions have offered a solution to this dispute, but the employer has not responded positively and our members are left with no choice but to take action tomorrow.

"Taking industrial action is never done lightly and GMB members would rather be at work helping the residents of Sandwell lead healthy lives - but they have been pushed into a corner by their employer."

The strike action will be taking place at seven leisure centres operated by Sandwell Leisure Trust between 6am and 10am and 1pm and 3pm.

It will take place at Haden Hill Leisure Centre, Langley Swimming Centre, Portway Lifestyle Centre, Smethwick Swimming Centre, Tipton sports academy, Tipton Leisure Centre and Wednesbury Leisure centre.

A spokesman for Sandwell Leisure Trust said: "SLT has been consulting with all Trade Unions throughout and has met with them, as requested. to discuss and receive their representations that will be considered at the next Board meeting later this month.

"SLT is committed to working collaboratively and has asked if all Trade Unions would suspend their industrial action in order to allow the Trust Board to consider these representations at the earliest opportunity."

Sandwell Council has been contacted for a statement.

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