GENEVA — UN staff in Geneva have overwhelmingly voted to strike on Friday over “unfair” pay cuts, in a move sure to disrupt a wide range of activities at the world body’s European headquarters.
Staff unions said a full 1,040 staff members, or 89.4 per cent of those who cast a ballot Thursday, voted in favour of the full-day strike.
“The results, which are overwhelmingly positive, show the extent to which UN staff have lost trust in the way in which their conditions of service, whether in Geneva or in the deep field, have been set by their employer,” Ian Richards, who heads the UN staff unions association in Geneva said.
It is unclear how many of the around 9,500 UN staff members in Geneva would participate in Friday’s work stoppage, but the impact on UN operations was expected to be broad.
The Human Rights Council, which is in the midst of its main annual session, will close for the day, delaying an already jam-packed programme, spokesman Rolando Gomez said.
Last month, UN Geneva staff staged a two-hour work stoppage after they received their first pay slips showing a 3.5-per cent salary cut, with the knowledge the cut will swell to five percent by June.
That brief strike managed to disrupt high level meetings at the rights council and the Conference on Disarmament, impacting the UN Secretary-General and a number of government ministers. — AFP