Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is to ballot its members employed by Amnesty International for industrial action in a dispute over redundancies.

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

Management refusal

The number of job losses has subsequently been reduced; however Amnesty’s management has refused to consider using donations it has received to keep people in work. The funds are instead being used to boost its reserves.

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

Industrial action

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

“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.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: [email protected]

  1. Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.