Pensions

Predictably, employers have not been satisfied with the first rounds of attacks on our pensions, when many companies closed “defined benefit” or “final salary” pension schemes to new entrants, reduced benefits and/or increased employee contributions.
A new round of attacks is emerging, and employers in the IT industry, with its relatively low levels of union organisation, are among those leading the pack.
AtosOrigin, Unisys, Capgemini and Siemens are amongst those who have already announced their intention to close their defined benefit schemes to existing members. Once a scheme is closed, the possibility of reopening them to new members becomes almost inconceivable.
Given the sums of money involved, it is unlikely that anything other than the threat or reality of industrial action would persuade an employer to change its mind.
UNITE members in Siemens have voted by over 80% in a consultative ballot that they are prepared to take industrial action to defend their pensions and they are now preparing a legal ballot.
The eyes of all employers in the sector will be on the outcome, so we should do everything in our power to ensure a successful outcome for our colleagues in Siemens.
Meanwhile Fujitsu is filling a vacancy on the “ICL Pension Members Committee” or IPMC for “Area 9”. This covers parts of the North West including Crewe and Warrington. Only members of the ICL Defined Benefit pension scheme are eligible to stand, and those in Area 9 should have received a notice requesting nominations on 27th September. If you’ve already put your nomination in, or are thinking of standing, please get in touch.
The TUC has made a short “Introduction to Pensions” course available online.

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'Fujitsu Whistleblower' hotline. Concerned about unethical or illegal practices? Contact the hotline on 0800 852 7479 or fujitsu.whistleblowers@unitetheunion.org. It is run by Unite the Union and your identity will be kept strictly confidential. Don't let Fujitsu silence whistleblowers.

Unite members working for Fujitsu Services Limited in the Manchester bargaining unit have taken 32 strike days over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of agreements. This follows 27 previous days of strike action.

Industrial action is currently suspended but the fight continues.

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

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