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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Leading charity will strike for half of December following collapse of pay offer


Union accuses charity of "rank hypocrisy"

Hundreds of Oxfam UK staff, including those based in Scotland, will strike during December.

TFN announced last month members of Unite had been balloted on industrial action and could see a strike for the first time in the charity’s 81-year history.

Now staff will strike for 17 days in December the union has announced.

Unite says the action follows the ballot in which 83% voted in favour of strike action after rejecting a pay offer of £1,750 or 6% with a one-off payment of £1,000 for the lowest earners.

There was an 82% turnout.

The strike will start with action on 8 and 9 December and continue on consecutive days from 14 December, not including Christmas Day, until 31 December.

Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, said: “Oxfam wants to end poverty and says it is on the side of unions. 

“Yet its own workers report having to use food banks, it refuses to engage with the only union representing its workforce and it is considering using unpaid labour to break a strike.

“This is rank hypocrisy from an organisation that should know better.

“Oxfam is an extremely wealthy organisation and can afford to put forward an acceptable offer without impacting its charity work in the slightest. 

“Its workers have their union’s total and unflinching support as they strike to make sure that happens.”

A survey of about 150 Oxfam workers carried out by Unite found that 8% had used food banks in the past year and more than one-third had had to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families.

More than one-fifth had not been able to pay rent in the past year.

An Oxfam GB spokesperson said: “We are obviously disappointed that Unite members have voted to strike.  

“We are acutely aware of the pressures colleagues face as a result of the rising cost of living and we have done what we can to address this.

“We chose to bring forward paying the latest real living wage increases, and prioritised lower-paid colleagues in this year’s award.”



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