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Amnesty International workers to stage London walkout

Thursday, November 15, 2012
6:04 PM

Workers at human rights organisation Amnesty International are to go on strike from its London offices in a row over job losses.

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Unite said hundreds of its members will walk out next Tuesday in separate disputes over issues including jobs and spending cuts.

Regional officer Alan Scott said: “Uniquely, these two separate disputes within the Amnesty family have converged and are linked by poor management decisions.

“Our highly dedicated members at both the AIUK and the International Secretariat are very reluctantly taking industrial action again.

“They want their respective managements to engage in a constructive dialogue to chart a fair and equitable way forward.”

An Amnesty spokesman said: “At Amnesty UK industrial action has followed our embarking on a cost-savings programme to enable it to make a larger financial contribution to the global Amnesty movement, funding our Moving Closer to the Ground project.

“The union’s ballot was over redundancies and not renegotiating this financial contribution.

“At the International Secretariat, the strike follows a dispute about essential changes in working practices. The reorganisation of the International Secretariat will see staff transfer from a centralised London base of more than 500 people to 10 regional hubs around the world, located closer to where human rights violations occur.

“Decisions over Moving Closer to the Ground have been taken, democratically, by our highest decision-making body, the International Council Meeting.

“These decisions include the speed at which financial contributions by national sections around the world, including Amnesty UK, should increase.

“We cannot change the decisions taken by our democratic structures and neither would we want to. While understanding the strength of feeling of staff, we are already seeing Amnesty International having significant impact in India, Brazil and elsewhere. We want to see this impact growing, while maintaining an effective and influential campaigning presence here in the UK.”

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