Union protests outside agencies as Goodlord dispute escalates

18 February 2021 | Renting

Union protests outside agencies as Goodlord dispute escalates

The industrial dispute involving Goodlord has escalated with protests outside agency offices using the lettings platform, and the creation of a critical Twitter account called – perhaps inevitably – Badlord. 

Last week Goodlord told the industry press that it was “disheartened” that a group of employees within its tenant referencing team had decided to strike on certain days this month.

The Unite union, representing some 20 employees at the firm, says the company has a ‘fire and rehire’ policy within its London operation, seeking to re-employ staff on cheaper contracts at drastically reduced salary levels – from £24,000 to £18,000.

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Goodlord has not denied the accuracy of the pay figures, although the firm says the proposed industrial action – scheduled for next week – involves fewer than the 20 staff claimed by Unite.

Now the Badlord Twitter stream’s profile says it aims to “expose bad employment practices and unethical ‘fire and rehire’ ploys of loyal and hardworking employees’.

One ironic Badlord tweet says: “Our mission is to ensure agencies and landlords are protected from taking bets on risky tenants who, for example, don’t pay their rent because their employer slashed their income by 30 per cent during a global pandemic. Just hypothetically-speaking.“

Another tweet from Badlord says: “We are an equal opportunity employer: we’ll hire anyone, even someone we have just fired.”

A video posted on the Twitter feed shows a protest outside the office of south west London agency Featherstone Leigh, which is a customer of Goodlord.

Last week Goodlord said: “In 2020 we took steps to transition a large part of our referencing team from temporary to permanent contracts. After many weeks of dialogue, we’re disheartened that a small number of these colleagues remain dissatisfied with the terms of their new permanent contracts offered.

“We’re committed to continuing our ongoing dialogue and hope to swiftly reach a conclusion that suits all parties. In the meantime, we’ve taken all necessary measures to ensure our services continue as normal.”

You can see the Badlord Twitter feed here

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.