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UN Moves to Lay Off Security Despite Libya Plan & Close Dining Room, of Labor

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 2 -- Even at the UN it's the holiday season, but that hasn't stopped officials at the world body from announcing and imposing layoffs.

  Monday morning as Inner City Press entered to cover the first day of France's Security Council presidency, click here for that, it was informed that the UN had chosen this day to send letters to Security personnel, technically hired for the Capital Master Plan renovation, that they stand to be laid off.

  The timing is more than a little strange, coming soon after the Security Council approved a plan by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send 200 security personnel to Libya, to protect the UN mission there. Inner City Press was the first to report on the approval and will have more on this.

  For now we note this: a UN Security person working in New York on a G4 visa, if they took the post to protect the UN Mission in Libya, their family would have to leave the US in thirty days. This is also the UN's hammer over whisteblowers.

  Meanwhile, inside the UN itself, for weeks those working in the Delegates' Dining Room have been asking why their place of work, run by the contractor Aramark, will close on December and not re-open. Aramark had been reducing services, cutting the hours of the staff cafeteria for example, with the UN saying nothing.

  When Inner City Press has asked about the enforced layoffs by Aramark of workers in the UN, the UN has shifted from saying it cares about the principles preached by the International Labor Organization to saying this is entirely up to the contractor -- a defense used then rejected by apparel makers like Levis, the Gap and Nikes. But not the UN.

  On November 29, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's top two spokespeople:

"Please confirm or deny that Aramark will cease mid-day service (and cut back on workers) in the Delegates Dining Room from December 20 on, and explain the UN's role in reduction of service and employment by Aramark, and when their contract with the UN will expire."

  So far no answer, including to other questions including these two, on labor relations and UMOJA/ waste at the UN:

"With the UN Staff Union election upcoming and dispute ranging from term limits to how voters are grouped and accredited, please describe the role of the UN and OHRM, including in light of a statement by ASG Pollard that 'OHRM had been in contact with Mr. Auda, Chairman of the Polling Officers, continually between 7 October when the second list of staff (as vetted by EOs was transmitted to him) and 28 October, 2013; and

"With regard to UMOJA, please respond to the (whistleblowers') critique that the project now uses 'Nova to assign expenses retroactively, for many years; it costs in fact much more than $200,000 $ only to capture the data."

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Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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