TORONTO, July 12, 2017 /CNW/ - GoodLife Fitness, Canada's largest fitness chain, has shocked gym members, employees and the community with an abrupt decision to axe their JUMP child minding service. Concerned parents have started an online petition urging GoodLife to reconsider their decision.
Nearly 1,000 employees are employed in the JUMP program at 175 GoodLife clubs across Canada.
"JUMP staff provide a vital service to thousands of parents who aspire to be healthy role models for their children," says Lindsay LeDrew. "GoodLife claims to 'Inspire Kids to Get Active,' but this decision runs counter to that brand promise. Our neighbourhood is full of young families, so the program has always been busy. This will be a significant loss for our community."
At the midtown Toronto club, several long-standing group fitness instructors have had to relinquish their classes because they have no other childcare alternatives.
GoodLife President & Chief Operation Officer Jane Riddell wrote that "since this child minding service, which is not within GoodLife's core business, has had limited demand, the decision had been made to discontinue the service."
Although Riddell later said that she was only referring to three clubs in Ontario, parents and staff are worried about the future of the JUMP program with GoodLife's assertion that it is outside of their core business and their recent layoffs of other job classifications.
"We would like to see GoodLife keep all the JUMP programs open," says Adrie Naylor, union representative with Workers United Canada, which represents 650 personal trainers at GoodLife clubs in Toronto, Ajax and Peterborough. "JUMP staff support GoodLife members and employees with young children who rely on this service in order to stay physically active and perform their jobs."
"We don't have family in the country, so this service has been a life-saver for us," says Lillia Jouanne. "If you have ever stayed home all day with toddlers or babies you would know that parents who use this service are doing something healthy for themselves and, by extension, for their families."
SOURCE Workers United Canada Council
For further information: Ryan Hayes, Workers United Canada, 416-997-3385 or [email protected]