Labour Party Accepts 81 Voluntary Redundancies In Cost Cutting Drive

Keir Starmer has been warned of strike action should further compulsory redundancies be imposed.
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Labour has accepted 81 applications for voluntary redundancy, HuffPost UK understands, after the party moved to axe staff in order to drastically cut costs.

In total, 99 staff volunteered to take a payout and leave, but some applications were rejected as their role was seen as crucial to the running of a restructured party machine.

Those accepting the offer of voluntary redundancy (VR) will receive four weeks pay for every year served.

Labour bosses are hoping to at least make at least 90 people redundant as a way to save millions of pounds.

Keir Starmer has been warned staff could take strike action if compulsory redundancies follow the voluntary process in order to make up the numbers.

Labour staff who are part of the Unite union voted 78% in favour of strike action, while 75% of GMB members said the same, if people are forcibly cut.

In an email to party staff on Friday, David Evans, Labour’s general secretary, said the cuts will lead to an overall headcount reduction of 60 — 21 of the 81 staff taking VR will be backfilled.

“This is substantial progress on meeting our financial pressures and as you know we have put in place a number of other financial controls to improve the position further,” he said.

“We will now carry out a financial review and take stock of the position. We expect that this review will be concluded next month in October.

“I am pleased to say that at this stage we see no need to consider compulsory redundancies as part of this process.

“The absolute top priority now is to ensure that we have a really successful annual conference where we cut through to the British public with our positive vision for the future.”

Vaughan West, GMB’s regional organiser, said: “It remains disappointing that hard-working Labour Party staff members were placed in this situation — but we are relieved that we have received assurances that compulsory redundancies will now not need to be considered.

“We will continue to support our members through the leaving process and those that remain will continue to be supported as the party seeks to move to a new structure over the coming months.”

Some party employees who accepted voluntary redundancy had been told their current role would not exist in the new party structure.

Staff were told in July that the financial situation was so bad the party had only one month’s worth of payroll in reserve.

The Labour Party has been approached for comment.