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Amnesty International workers start strike

LONDON — Amnesty International workers in London walked off the job Tuesday for the second strike in as many months in an embarrassing setback for an organization that campaigns for the rights of workers and is considered one of the world’s preeminent human rights advocates.

The walkouts are a public airing of staff complaints that have been building for years, with tensions rising dramatically in recent weeks as Amnesty’s international operations prepare to reorganize.

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The changes include transferring some of its 500 jobs from a centralized London base to 10 regional hubs around the world, part of an effort to be closer to the hot spots where human rights violations occur. The organization says that it is not really sure how many jobs will go, and that uncertainty has caused frustration and anger among its employees.

Amnesty’s British workers, meanwhile, reject the notion of handing over more money to international operations — as their jobs might be at risk.

The group’s current crisis is raising questions about its ability to remain a leading human rights advocate in a world no longer defined by Cold War-era divisions.

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