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Trade unionists protest against charity's redundancy plans

TRADE UNIONISTS protested outside the headquarters of a nationwide charity in Leeds today against plans for up to 170 redundancies.

StepChange Debt Charity, which advises people on how to handle their debts and manage their finances, employs 1,700 staff and advises 650,000 people a year.

Union Unite said the charity wants to make up to 170 staff redundant at a time when the ending of the government’s job retention scheme, debtor payment holidays and temporary benefit increases are expected to cause a surge in demand.

Unite regional officer Phil Boyes said: “StepChange is rushing into panicked plans for redundancies that will prove counterproductive once furlough and other pandemic support measures come to an end.

“The charity knows that it will be overwhelmed once demand picks up.”

One StepChange worker said: “Sadly, some of us may now become clients of the charity ourselves.

“It really hits home when you see StepChange adverts offering help to people facing redundancy.”

The charity was approached for comment.

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