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THE Unite union celebrated victory for furloughed library and hotel workers today, describing its deals with bosses as a “national template” during the coronavirus crisis.
More than 100 workers at 12 Greenwich libraries will be furloughed on full pay during the pandemic under what the union called a model agreement with Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), which runs library service for the London borough.
The deal covers “extremely vulnerable groups,” causal workers, sickness provision, maternity leave and the carrying-over of holiday for the next two years.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: "This agreement demonstrates that, when it comes to pay and other employment conditions, what a difference it makes when the workplace has a strong union presence.
“Unfortunately, leisure workers employed by GLL in non-organised workplaces across the country have suffered cuts to wages, even where they have been furloughed.”
The union also celebrated a key victory in the hospitality sector after Marriott International agreed to furlough all 1,500 casual workers at its 60 hotels across Britain.
On April 8, Marriott Hotels sent a letter to casual staff saying that bosses were “yet to determine their position” on whether they could be furloughed and citing “significant cash-flow issues.”
Unite hospitality organiser Bryan Simpson said it was “inconceivably unfair” for Marriott to discriminate between permanent and casual staff and then to claim that it did not have the money to furlough some of its poorest and most precarious workers, particularly when 80 per cent would be covered by the taxpayer.
“Marriott may claim that they were always going to furlough their casual workers, but it was only after our members collectively demanded it that they capitulated, having made them wait a month for wages,” he added.
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