Park workers striking across Merton and Sutton

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Industrial action over pay set to disrupt annual cricket tournament this week, along with the plans of many local people

GMB, the union for public services, is warning of huge disruption to the parks within the London Boroughs of Merton and Sutton as their members take strike action today and tomorrow [Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 May]. Parks workers outsourced to Idverde are taking two days’ strike action after unanimously rejecting the 2.5 per cent offer the company made them. The union members carry out a number of roles connected to the maintenance of parks, including landscaping, litter picking and opening and locking the parks. 

This action will therefore mean that parks risk not being opened up at all and is set to disrupt the running of the International Masoor Cricket Tournament, due to begin today in Merton [1].  Alex Etches, GMB Organiser said: 

“Anyone who has enjoyed meeting their friends in a London park on a summer’s day undoubtedly know the value they bring to the lives of ordinary Londoners. 

“Merton and Sutton’s parks are the jewels in the boroughs’ crowns, but the workers who maintain and keep them are being paid well below the market rate for the jobs they do. 

“The workers that keep these parks for the residents should be able to live in dignity as a result of the great value they add to life in the city. 

“The local councils and company must step up and reward these workers fairly for the work they do, and local people will expect nothing less.” 


Media enquiries: Alex Etches on 07581 021 081 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors:

[1]  The International Masoor Cricket Tournament is an annual tournament which has taken place each year in the parks of Merton since 2009.  It is hosted and connected to the Baitul Mosque in Morden.  The 2019 tournament had 314 players and previous tournaments have hosted over 20 teams from around the world.  None of the cricket pitches will be set up for the opening of the tournament, which normally lasts around 5 days.