On Friday, Fujitsu declared it was putting 672 staff at risk of redundancy. The company has put all staff who were spending more than 50% of their time on NHS work “at risk”.
Staff briefings have been taking place at a number of locations across the UK today.
The locations most affected are:
There are also smaller numbers at various other locations, including 14 in the Manchester Bargaining Unit. They will benefit from our Manchester “Annex 1” agreement on redeployment and redundancy. Employees right across the UK will benefit from our defence of the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) last year, and our success in getting the company to commit to applying it elsewhere, which is recorded (under AOB) in the December 2007 UKCF minutes.
The company has set up a redundancy consultation group consisting of eight people. UNITE Manchester is represented on this by Ian Allinson, with Phil Tepper acting as his deputy.
UNITE is campaigning to protect the jobs on two fronts:
- Putting pressure on the government to end the current uncertainty and ensure that whatever supplier or suppliers take over the NHS work take on the Fujitsu staff under a TUPE transfer
- Making sure Fujitsu redeploys staff wherever possible, rather than making them redundant
Reps are confident that the numbers at risk can be brought down significantly, but avoiding all the redundancies could be difficult.
UNITE has already begun briefing MPs, has issued press releases and has asked the company to give employees the day off to lobby parliament to try to bring the uncertainty about future suppliers to an end.
The UNITE online Fujitsu “Redundancy Calculator” has recently been updated to help employees work out what they would get if they were made redundant.
If redundancies can’t be prevented altogether, UNITE will of course be pushing for the company to accept volunteers (and not just from the NHS contract) rather than forcing people out of their jobs.