National Protocol in Fujitsu

Since Unite launched its national organising campaign across Fujitsu, company and union representatives have discussed facilities for organising. As a result of the discussions, Fujitsu have proposed the following national protocol:

Introduction
UNITE is committed to organising unorganised workers. The IT industry, including Fujitsu Services, is a target area for union growth.
The company acknowledges that UNITE has the right to contact its employees and seek to recruit and involve them in the union.
The union acknowledges that the company has a legitimate interest in encouraging the orderly and responsible conduct of union activity.
This agreement is intended to establish a protocol for good industrial relations in those parts of the company in the UK and the Republic of Ireland where there is not currently union recognition.
Arrangements where there is union recognition are unaffected by this agreement.
Neutrality
The company believes it is a matter of personal choice whether an employee wishes to join or get involved in a trade union. The company will ensure that, in their management capacity, managers, HR and others in responsible positions do not act to encourage or discourage union membership or involvement and that union members do not suffer any detriment as a result of their membership or legitimate activity.
The company acknowledges that all its employees have the right to be union members and to take part in legitimate union activity. For example:

  • Accredited union representatives can accompany members at formal grievance and disciplinary hearings
  • Union officers and members (in their own time) can leaflet outside Fujitsu offices
  • Employees can carry out union activity within the workplace, as long as it is in their own time and does not, other than minimally, disrupt the work of others and the efficient operation of the business. This could include distributing union materials, meeting together or talking to other employees

Company contact points
The company will provide the union with contact details for nominated individuals the union can communicate with at national and local level.
Representatives
The union will inform the company contact points of the accredited representatives, so that the company can provide them with facilities in accordance with this agreement.
Officers
The union will inform the company which officers are covering key sites. The company will consider arranging meetings between those officers and local managers to encourage good working relationships.
Recruitment and Campaigning
The union will inform the relevant company contact points in advance if there are plans for union officials or members to carry out visible/public recruitment/campaigning activities at a particular site (for example distributing a leaflet outside).
The company will consider each case and will propose to the union an appropriate location for distributing the leaflets at the site entrance which, while normally off site initially, enables the leaflets to be offered to employees in an orderly manner. The union will consider whether the specific proposals are acceptable.
The company will inform employees in a neutral way about the planned activity. The company will tell the union who they can contact and meet on arrival to make any necessary arrangements.
The company will not use the advance notice to obstruct, prevent or minimise the effectiveness of the activity.
Individual Representation
The company acknowledges that UNITE has accredited representatives at various company sites, including many where there is currently no union recognition agreement.
The company acknowledges that trained, accredited, union representatives can accompany members at individual disciplinary and grievance hearings regardless of whether the union is recognised in that part of the organisation.
Union Recognition
The Company will discuss with UNITE requests for recognition on sites not currently covered with a view to reaching some form of agreement. One option for agreement in response to such requests would be to extend the scope of the recognition agreement currently covering the Manchester Campus and associated home based workers.
Review of this protocol
This protocol will be jointly reviewed at least every three months. If the initial arrangements are working satisfactorily, further discussions will be held on extending facilities. On a site by site request, these may include the following:

  1. The provision of notice boards for union use in public areas.
  2. Reasonable paid leave for accredited UNITE reps to undertake training related to their role.
  3. Allowing UNITE full-time officials onto company premises to meet with representatives, members and potential members. The union would inform the relevant company contact points in advance before full-time officials come on the premises and would seek to minimise the disruption to normal work of such visits.
  4. Allowing meetings of members on company premises, outside the work time of the participants. The union will inform the company contact points in advance of such meetings.

The following facilities would require a formal national agreement:

  1. Allowing accredited UNITE representatives reasonable paid leave to attend official union meetings relating to Fujitsu Services.
  2. Allowing accredited UNITE representatives reasonable facilities to hold national phone conferences up to once a month.

The proposal doesn’t go as far as UNITE would have liked in giving practical assistance for members not yet covered by union recognition. UNITE has agreed to put the proposal to a vote of members, but is not making any recommendation for acceptance or rejection.
A separate email will be sent out for you to vote (unless you’re in Manchester which is not affected by this) in the next few days.
To show good-faith in the process, the company has also agreed to:
1. Allow Terry Thompson, Sarah Holden and the local Reps from Unite to meet Warrington employees during an agreed lunch-time, on company premises.
2. Following this meeting, Larry Upton, Terry Thompson and Sarah Holden will meet with the Warrington Reps to discuss further facilities. This will take place prior to Unite balloting members on the Manchester offer.

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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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