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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 March 2017

EHRC workers walk out

Sacked EHRC worker Finola Kelly, photo PCS

Sacked EHRC worker Finola Kelly, photo PCS   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, North West Socialist Party organiser

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) workers took another day of strike action on 1 March after the disgraceful sacking of ten of their colleagues by email last month. The PCS and Unite unions are now demanding the reinstatement of these workers.

EHRC has told the sacked workers that they cannot work the six months' redundancy notice period, despite being paid for it. This means that they do not have access to the internal civil service recruitment process in order to look for new jobs. Management had made an offer that they could work but would not have access to the email, team meetings or the buildings - in effect meaning that they could not proceed with applying for work.

PCS and Unite have one day of strike action each month until May planned. However, members hope that they do not have to take it and that their demands will be met. They have shown already that action gets results.

The original plans were for over 30 people to be made redundant, but successful strikes have whittled that down to the ten that have now been sacked. But, as one person on the picket line in Manchester said: "That's it for the time being, in a few months they will probably come back for more."

Full support should be given to PCS and Unite in their fight for reinstatement for the ten sacked workers and to defend the future of the EHRC.

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