Members of the Unite trade union working for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will be taking part in a one day strike over ‘swingeing’ cuts on Wednesday 26 October, it was announced today (Wednesday 19 October).
Unite members will be joining colleagues from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union in the 24-hour stoppage, which comes following a mismanaged restructuring exercise with the continued threat of compulsory redundancies.
Members are fearful that the cuts over the next four years will lead to less support for victims of discrimination and undermine the watchdog’s ability to effectively challenge hate crime at a time when it’s on the rise.
The 25 per cent cuts will see caseworkers and other frontline staff supporting victims of discrimination axed and the closure of the commission’s offices in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle.
Commenting Unite national officer Siobhan Endean said: “These latest cuts will cut the commission to the bone, leaving it toothless and unable to deliver its mandate to enforce the law and protect human rights.
“Our members are taking a stand to defend the vital services they deliver and the ability of the commission to challenge hate crime and discrimination. The closure of offices and cutting of case workers will restrict access to support and justice for those suffering discrimination, as well as undermining the watchdog’s ability to take forward its work programme.
“The EHRC’s chief executive needs to step back from the threat of compulsory redundancies and savage cuts which will force dedicated staff out of the organisation.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.