Fujitsu Manchester: Report from EGM 3rd June 2009

Thanks to all the members who attended today’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) for Fujitsu Manchester.
Members discussed reports on a range of issues.
A motion on Pay & Pensions was unanimously agreed:

We note that Fujitsu is continuing its drive to increase profits at the expense of employees. We feel strongly that the company has failed to provide any adequate explanation for the changes, and has made no serious attempt to convince employees that they are necessary. We are particularly concerned because the changes appear more like moves to permanently worsen the deal for employees, rather than temporary measures.
We believe that the company’s failure to implement our pay agreement, just weeks after it was reached in good faith, marks a new low-point for Fujitsu in honour and integrity in its dealings with employees.
We oppose the closure of the ICL Defined Benefit pension plan, which is the equivalent of a large pay cut for almost 4000 employees. We believe that the company’s attempt to force this through by proposing to dismiss and re-employ these staff on worse contracts is a disgrace. We believe that this would set a dangerous precedent for the security of pay and benefits for all Fujitsu employees.
We believe that the actions of Fujitsu’s senior management, in trying to cut the living standards of employees, are irresponsible. They risk jeopardising the company’s future by undermining staff morale and skills retention. The actions of Fujitsu and other companies pursuing a similar approach also risk turning recession into depression by reducing consumer demand and spending. This undermines the efforts of governments to spend our taxes on “fiscal stimulus”.
We resolve to:

  1. Campaign against the pay freeze and the proposed closure of the ICL DB pension plan. Different employees are affected in different ways, so we recognise the need for a united response where we support each other on these issues.
  2. Talk to our colleagues in Manchester and at other sites about the campaign, and encourage them to join the union and get involved.
  3. Take part in the activities organised as part of the campaign.

We instruct our reps and officers to:

  1. Register a “Failure To Agree” in the pay talks.
  2. Run the pay and pensions campaign using all the three forms of pressure that proved successful in our dispute in 2006-7: industrial action, organising in Manchester and at other sites, and external pressure (media, political, customers, legal etc).
  3. Coordinate our pay & pensions campaign with UNITE and PCS members across the UK, in recognition of the fact that these are national issues and a national campaign has much greater chances of success.
  4. Organise a weekend training and campaign planning event bringing together members from across the country.
  5. Organise a consultative ballot on industrial action (including strike action), so that the result is available before the end of the pensions consultation period.

A motion on Organisation was unanimously agreed:

We note that very few Fujitsu employees outside Manchester have any experience of taking part in industrial action. We resolve to help our colleagues to tackle and overcome the misconceptions and fears that could prove a barrier to a successful campaign.
We believe that members’ participation and democratic control of a campaign is vital for its successful conduct and outcome. In our dispute in 2006-7, most decisions were taken at meetings open to all members (EGMs or open “strike committee” meetings). We believe that this helped ensure the approach taken was one members understood and supported, increasing unity in action.
We recognise that in a national campaign, it is not appropriate for national decisions to be taken at a Manchester members’ meeting. We recognise the importance of maintaining unity with our colleagues outside the bargaining unit and ensuring they have their say too.
We instruct our reps to:

  1. Work with colleagues across the UK to set up an elected national “combine” structure where every member is represented.
  2. Ensure that meetings open to all Manchester members continue to be held at appropriate times during the campaign. These meetings can be one of the channels to input to and report from the combine.
  3. Encourage members at other sites to hold union meetings, elect reps and ensure they are accountable.

Members agreed the election of two new reps to join the existing team:

  • Nikki Aldridge, as a deputy Workplace Rep
  • Roberts, as both a deputy Workplace Rep and an Equality Rep

A collection for the dispute at Linamar Swansea over the victimisation of UNITE convenor Rob Williams raised £110.82.

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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 but members have voted by 92% to reject a company offer and renewed campaign plans are being made.

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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