Half of Amnesty International's UK staff take strike action

By Annette Rawstrone, Third Sector Online, 13 September 2012

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

Approximately 100 staff went on strike over the human rights organisation's cost-cutting programme

About half of Amnesty International UK’s 200-strong workforce took part in strike action yesterday, the human rights organisation has confirmed.

Staff took action to protest against what they call an "an ill-conceived cost-cutting programme", which members of the union Unite argue will hinder Amnesty's work and lead to redundancies.

Unite initially said that about 40 of the organisation’s 200 workers were expected walk out, but a spokesman for AIUK said that approximately 100 staff went on strike.

AIUK’s cost savings are being made so that it can contribute more money to its international headquarters over the next 10 years with a view to expanding the organisation globally.

Unite said its members did not object to the increased contributions, but they were unhappy that this would result in redundancies in a branch that it said had posted 2 per cent year-on-year financial growth and despite a pay freeze.

It is not clear how many jobs will be lost, but the union expects the number to be "significant". A spokesman for AIUK said: "We have been and will continue to work to keep redundancies to a minimum."

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