Strike action over a pay dispute at Croydon leisure centres could be called off after the company which runs the sites mounted a legal challenge.

Unite union is planning to stage a one day walkout at the Fusion Lifestyle centres in Thornton Heath, South Norwood, Purley, New Addington and Waddon next Wednesday.

But it said Fusion Lifestyle is questioning the legality of the strike ballot.

Unite’s regional representative Onay Kasab will find out this afternoon whether the strike can go ahead.

And if not he vows the union will strike at a later date, and hopes to be able to co-ordinate industrial action with some of Fusion Lifestyle’s other premises across the capital.

Mr Kasab said: “At this moment it looks like next week is on.

“Last week we said we would call off next week but now it looks like this so called legal challenge may not be a legal challenge at all.

“Wednesday is a shot across at them and we hope they see how serious we are and they will sit down and have some serious discussion with us.

“They should deal with the issues that are making people unhappy.

“If not the plan is to look for further days of action and we will be looking at the pay rates and we will be looking to co-ordinate action across London.”

Wednesday’s action is set to include lifeguards, fitness instructors and receptionists who are upset about the situation with pay.

Mr Kasab said some people have not had a pay rise since 2007 and have been offered a 3 per cent increase, with other staff offered 2 per cent or 1 per cent.

He added: “We are saying in light of having no pay rise for seven years, 3 per cent is not enough to compensate them.

“Also the issue is it’s a multi tier workforce with people doing the same jobs but with varying pay and conditions.

“It’s divide and conquer by Fusion but what is good about this dispute is that people are willing to come together and take action together.”

A Fusion Lifestyle spokeswoman said: "Fusion Lifestyle can confirm that the planned strike action at Croydon centres will no longer be going ahead, and are pleased to be able to reassure customers that there will be no risk of disruption to services.”