Socialist Worker

Striking gets results at the Amnesty International HQ

by A member of one of Amnesty’s union negotiating teams
Issue No. 2339

After two magnificent one-day strikes at Amnesty’s International Secretariat in north London, workers agreed a new redundancy policy and pay deal last week.

Our campaign prevented a major cut to our redundancy terms and pay at a time when many of us are facing redundancy due to restructuring.

The Unite union had faced a prolonged assault by management on terms and conditions and on the union itself. This included a threat to tear up contracts and impose new ones.

The union’s strength was displayed time and again, from a 96.5 percent vote for industrial action in a ballot to countless mass meetings when unity always prevailed.

Strike days saw mass picketing with energetic singing, chanting and dancing on strike days.

After agreement was reached, our regional Unite official Alan Scott told us he was impressed by “the fantastic solidarity and integrity shown by the Amnesty members.”

Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey addressed one of our mass meetings and wrote to our management.

And messages of support poured in from fellow trade unionists, some of whom joined us on the picket lines.

The second of the two strikes coincided with a walkout at Amnesty’s UK offices in east London, in a separate dispute over job cuts. These are currently on hold until after Amnesty UK’s annual general meeting in April.

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Tue 5 Feb 2013, 17:08 GMT
Issue No. 2339
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