Unions to ballot members about strike action over potential Labour redundancies

·2-min read
GMB and Unite intend to ballot members over Labour’s jobs cut plan (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA) (PA Archive)
GMB and Unite intend to ballot members over Labour’s jobs cut plan (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA) (PA Archive)

Unions are to ask members whether they would support strike action if a Labour Party reorganisation results in compulsory redundancies.

GMB and Unite said the cash-strapped party’s staff should “not be made to pay the price for this reorganisation” amid reports as many as 90 jobs could go as part of the overhaul.

Labour confirmed last month it has financial pressures, with a voluntary severance scheme (VSS) under way.

However, LabourList website said it was acknowledged in a meeting on Monday about the party’s “Organise to Win” restructure that more volunteers would need to come forward.

Union representatives fear the need to cut jobs could result in compulsory redundancies.

General secretary David Evans is said to have told the National Executive Committee (NEC) – Labour’s ruling body – at a gathering last month that “we don’t have any money”, with its bank balance suffering due to lost members and pay-outs in relation to anti-Semitism cases.

It has been reported that party finances are so depleted that reserves are down to one month’s worth of payroll.

Unite and GMB are planning to hold an indicative ballot of their members from Monday August 23 to Tuesday August 31, asking whether members would be willing to take strike action if compulsory redundancies are announced.

If the answer is yes, we will not hesitate to move to a formal strike ballot

GMB organiser Vaughan West

Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: “Labour staff have worked tirelessly for the party and should not be made to pay the price for this reorganisation.

“Unite will now carry out an indicative ballot of our members next week to see if they are willing to strike over any planned compulsory redundancies as a result of this restructure.”

Vaughan West, GMB organiser, said: “GMB will ask members if they are willing to strike over compulsory redundancies.

“If the answer is yes, we will not hesitate to move to a formal strike ballot.”

The office of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it would not be commenting.

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