AIUK Strike Action for Workers' Rights

At our October monthly meeting, members of Stratford-upon-Avon Group discussed the second day of strike action by members of Amnesty UK's London staff in protest at the lack of meaningful negotiations with senior managment over cost-cutting plans that will lead to compulory redundancies.

It was a lengthy discussion in which the trades union position, as articulated on the Unite web-site, was considered, as was a letter from Kate Allen sent to the secretaries of all local Amnesty groups. There was also a detailed contribution from one of our group members who happens also to be a member of Amnesty UK’s Board.

Following discussion, a vote was taken in which a very clear majority wished to offer support to the striking Amnesty workers in pursuing what we regard as entirely legitimate demands. We would hope that Amnesty UK’s senior management will now enter into serious negotiations with the union rather than continuing to pursue the line that it is bound by decisions taken by the ‘higher authority of the International Council Meeting.’ And in particular, we earnestly hope that compulsory redundancies will be avoided.

In response to our support, we have received the following letter from the union Unite at AIUK:

“We would like to thank the Stratford-upon-Avon Amnesty group for your support and message of solidarity. Of the many messages we have received from trade unions, individuals and activists the support of Amnesty groups is probably the most important to trade union members at Amnesty. Unfortunately, so far senior management has not entered into what the union would consider meaningful negotiations but is instead continuing to pursue the line that it is bound by decisions taken by the ‘higher authority of the International Council Meeting'. The AIUK Board will meet on 20 October to decide on the future of AIUK and the implementation of large-scale cuts and redundancies. We would really appreciate it if you could contact the Board and the director, Kate Allen, to share your concerns and ask for a suspension of the current cuts programme and the start of meaningful negotiations with the union Unite. Find  enclosed a short document which we put together in the run up to our second strike. It lays out some of our concerns. You can reach Kate Allen directly at kate.allen@amnesty.org.uk and the Board care of sct@amnesty.org.uk. Please pass on our sincere thanks for their support.”

See attached PDF for more details of Unite's position.

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Activist letter of response
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