Union says cost-cutting programme could result in death of charity as campaigning organisation


Unite members at Amnesty International UK (AIUK) are today taking a second day’s strike action over a large-scale cost cutting programme, including compulsory redundancies.

The strike has been triggered by the continuing refusal by AIUK’s senior management to enter into constructive talks over plans to give more cash to Amnesty’s international headquarters.

Unite says it is this financial move – the need to save £2.5 million in order to balance next year’s budget – that will cause job losses amongst AIUK’s 204 staff.

Staff will be picketing the Amnesty office, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA between 8.00am – 6.00pm.

Unite regional officer Alan Scott said: “We call on the management to enter into meaningful talks with our members.  At this rate, Amnesty’s management is going to be responsible for the death of AIUK as a campaigning organisation.

“Staff fear that lasting damage will be caused to Amnesty’s human rights work because of senior management’s headlong rush into this huge cost-cutting exercise,  which is being implemented with the misguided blessing of AIUK’s board.

“This is being done despite the fact that there is no financial crisis – the UK section has posted two per cent year-on-year growth against the background of a global recession.

“Amnesty UK’s income has continued to grow, which is unusual in this sector especially in the midst of one of the worst recessions ever.

“The reason management wants to make a significant number of staff redundant is because it has decided to greatly increase the amount of money AIUK gives annually to the international body. Our members have no confidence in the management.”


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