Manchester Dispute & Pay Update

Our trip to parliament and the subsequent letter from MPs to David Courtley generated considerable media coverage, particularly in the trade press. You can see much of it:
– Via Google News
– Via LabourStart (newer and older articles)
David Courtley and Roger Leek replied to the MPs, declining their offer of help to resolve the dispute. You can read the letters for yourself on our external web site.
Fujitsu has declined their offer to help reach a deal, suggesting a “briefing” instead. They are also declining to involve senior management. As this notice goes out, we understand that the MPs are considering their response.
While it would seem less likely to bear fruit than the meeting the MPs suggested, Amicus continues to be willing to talk at ACAS at any time. Fujitsu, having refused talks at ACAS at various points during the dispute, as well as having rejected the ACAS suggestion of arbitration, is now insisting that ACAS is the only place to talk. Is this a coincidence when ACAS are currently unavailable?
Pay 2007 – Punctual Peanuts
All the employees who signed the petition can be proud that we’ve prevented the company dividing the workforce by delaying 2007 pay rises yet again. HR’s desperate efforts to find a reason to delay the rises tends to confirm the view that they would have used a delay to launch another “Bogus Ballot” or “Expression of Wish”. It seems likely that this was central to their union-busting plan – well done to everyone who helped knock it off the rails.
Of course the pay review on 1st April isn’t entirely good news. This is the “bog standard” pay review, so we can expect “punctual peanuts”. As elsewhere in Fujitsu, many people may get 0%, even though inflation is high (RPI was up 4.6% for the year to February). Few are likely to even get enough to keep up with inflation and avoid a pay cut in real terms. We need to keep up the pressure for fair pay.
Campaigning
Following the leafleting during our strike earlier this month, staff in Crewe held a well-attended meeting on Monday, electing two new reps and deciding to get organised.
Sarah Holden, the Amicus Senior Organiser working on Fujitsu, had a meeting with a group of staff elsewhere in the country last week, to discuss the issues they face and a potential claim for union recognition.
Amicus has now committed additional resources for a national organising campaign across Fujitsu.
Our strategy for the dispute has always relied on three elements:
1) Industrial action
2) External pressure (MPs, media, customers etc)
3) Helping staff on other Fujitsu sites get organised
That’s why we’ve always put such emphasis on members getting involved in the campaign, not just striking.
As we near the end of quarter four, Fujitsu’s most sensitive period is coming to a close. Conversely, our success in denying the company the ability to delay pay rises to step up its attack on Manchester staff takes some of the time pressure off us.
With this in mind, Amicus Reps (after discussion at the strike committee) have not asked Amicus to call the strike days originally planned, to maximise the current pressure on the company to respond positively to the intervention of MPs and come to meaningful talks.
The action short of strike has not been suspended, so this continues for the time being.
The threat to our Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) is being made very real at the moment. Amicus is assisting staff who are due to TUPE transfer out of Fujitsu, along with their jobs. As part of the process, Fujitsu gives information about Terms and Conditions to the new employer. In the case of the CSCI team, Fujitsu originally told the new employer that they were all on statutory minimum redundancy terms rather than the SEA. This is yet another example of how Fujitsu treats staff if not challenged. Amicus is working with the team to try to get this sorted out.
One Per Desk Leaflet
The latest “One Per Desk” leaflet is available on OurUnion and CafeVIK. This is important to keep everyone informed. If you can help distribute the latest in your area at Central Park, please contact your rep.
Financial Support for Strikers
The fundraising efforts of members mean that once again, Amicus will be able to provide a good level of financial support to striking members who asked for it. Reps anticipate that cheques will be available by the end of this week.
Strike Committee
We plan to hold a Strike Committee meeting to discuss the campaign:
12:15 – 1pm, Tuesday 3rd April
MAN35 G CR2

If you want to have your say in the campaign planning, please come along. As usual, the meeting is open to all members.

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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED while members consider an offer from Fujitsu.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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