Amnesty International staff to vote on strike action over redundancies

Written by Lauren Weymouth

Employees at Amnesty International are set to vote on whether to strike as part of a dispute over redundancies.

In June, Amnesty International announced it was planning to cut 146 positions, which would result in 93 job losses.

Since then, the number of job losses has reduces, but the charity’s management team has refused to consider using donations to keep people in work, Unite the Union said. The funds are instead being used to boost its reserves.

But Unite said it believes the proposed job cuts will “greatly reduce” the charity’s ability to deliver critical human rights work and will result in the loss of expertise.

The union will now ballot its members employed by Amnesty to decide whether industrial action needs to take place to push for action.

The ballot will open on 26 September and close on 7 November. The extended voting period is to ensure all of the 300 plus Unite members of Amnesty, including those who work abroad, can participate.

“Unite has exhausted all the available dispute resolution options open to it, including meetings at the conciliation service Acas,” Unite regional co-ordinating officer Alan Scott said.

“Unfortunately Amnesty’s management has refused to countenance reducing the amount of money being pumped into reserves in order to save jobs and therefore members felt they had no option but to ballot for industrial action.

“Amnesty’s management can still have the opportunity to prevent industrial action by tabling proposals that redundancies will be avoided by using a fraction of its reserves.”

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