MAGHERAFELT Sinn Féin Councillor Peter Bateson has called on the private operators of Greenvale Leisure Centre, Pulse Fitness to ‘do the right thing’ and allow trade union representatives to engage with the leisure centre’s workforce and offer trade union membership.
His call comes after last week’s meeting of Magherafelt District Council where Sinn Féin passed a motion calling on Pulse to recognise trade unions and to allow their staff the right to join trade unions.
Councillor Bateson criticised the unionist parties and the SDLP for refusing to support the Sinn Féin motion which he described as “offering protections for workers who are providing key services on behalf of the ratepayers in our district.”
The elected representative said: “Sinn Féin makes no apology for seeking the protection of workers’ rights including the right to join a trade union. As the provision of leisure services is one of the key functions of council, I would contend that council has a duty to ensure that those significant numbers of workers who are carrying out those roles ultimately on behalf of our council are offered the same protections as other workers.
“As for Pulse’s ‘criticism’ as to why my motion to council singularly mentioned NIPSA having access to engage with leisure centre workers, this was because NIPSA are to my knowledge the only trade union seeking to engage with this set of workers at this time.
“I find it somewhat illogical that Pulse should suggest that my motion should have widened the list of possible trade unions, who might be seeking the right to organise workers at the leisure centre, when they in turn would most probably receive from Pulse a similar refusal as given to NIPSA.”