The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is concerned that eight staff at the Equality and Human Rights Commission were dismissed by email while taking industrial action around a restructure. Following campaigning by recognised unions in the EHRC, these staff were reinstated but are still prevented from attending work and are still facing redundancy at the end of their notice period. This action has been taken despite the existence of over 30 vacancies at the EHRC, and despite the EHRC having access to the wider Civil Service Vacancy Scheme.
The STUC is particularly concerned that four of the eight dismissed staff were elected branch officials, and fear that this action represents an attack on trade union rights to organise and support our members. Workers rights are human rights and it is shocking and disappointing to see the EHRC acting in this way.
The Public and Commercial Services Union has now requested that the STUC cut ties with the EHRC while this dispute remains unresolved.
STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“This request, while absolutely justifiable, is unusual and represents the seriousness of the situation. It is in solidarity and respect for the PCS and their members that we will now move to stop all existing and future work with the EHRC.
“The EHRC has an important role to play in Scottish society and should be an organisation that stands up for workers and defends their rights. Trade Unions have worked with the EHRC in the past and it is with deep regret that we have taken the decision to cut ties.
“We call on the EHRC to work with the PCS to resolve this dispute and to reinstate the eight workers sacked by email.”
For further information contact
Helen Martin, STUC: 07583 030 741 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy Dunn, PCS: 07707311589 email@example.com