Belfast Telegraph

Leisure staff ballot could see centres shut: union

By Staff Reporter

Staff at 12 Belfast leisure centres are to consider strike action over a 6% pay claim, with a trade union claiming the action would force the closure of the centres.

The council-owned facilities are run by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL).

Union Unite said the company has not made a counter-offer to the bid for a 6% increase, claiming the firm is cutting costs while increasing prices for users.

Unite regional officer Michael Keenan said they had no alternative but to ballot on action.

The ballot will open on Friday, July 26 for 14 days and involves staff at Ballysillan, Shankill, Whiterock, Falls, Olympia, Grove and Avoniel leisure centres, Loughside Recreation Centre, the Ozone Complex, Belvoir Activity Centre, Girdwood Community Hub and Brooke Activity Centre.

"Should the workforce vote in support of strike action, it is likely that this will result in the closure of all 12 leisure centres," Mr Keenan said.

A spokesperson for GLL said the company is seeking to meet union representatives to "understand the issues they have".

"GLL remains committed to genuine engagement on these matters in the interests of all parties, and to ensure the seamless provision of services across all of our leisure centres," the spokesperson said.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said it was "disappointed" to learn staff were considering strike action.

"Council is committed to working with GLL, its employees and their representatives to ensure the continued provision of leisure services to all our ratepayers across Belfast," the spokesperson said.

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