The minutes of the first two pension forum meetings (15th May and 2nd June) have been published on the ICL Pension Members Committee (IPMC) CafeVIK community. Please take the time to read them.
If you have comments or questions for the pension consultation process, please feed them in via your IPMC rep or to us. If you have any questions about your own individual pension or about technical aspects of how the Pension Plan works then they need to be sent directly to the Company’s Pensions Department.
The more information that is coming out about company performance, the clearer it seems that senior management are simply taking advantage of the recession to increase profits at the expense of our pay and pensions. Did you know:
1. Fujitsu Services’ profits more than doubled last year to £177m (the highest ever), which equates to around £8000 per employee
2. Fujitsu Services’ revenue went up £304m
3. While senior managers complain about poor orders and backlog last year, orders actually went up £528m (24%) and backlog went up £68m
4. The company is budgeting for 2009-10 performance to be broadly similar to last year
5. According to Reuters, Fujitsu Ltd plans to spend over $3bn spare cash to pay off debts this year
6. Fujitsu’s share price rose sharply recently. According to Reuters, this was based on “solid services ops” and a higher than expected profits forecast for 2009-10
7. Fujitsu Ltd paid a dividend of 24.46 billion Yen (approximately £154m) to shareholders last year. Implementing the pay rise from 1st April would have cost the company approximately £15m.
8. The cost to Fujitsu of employees accruing benefits in the ICL DB pension plan last year was £28m – for 4000 employees. The most recent available figures show one of our directors getting a package of £2.4m.
No wonder employees feel that enough is enough. If we don’t stand up for ourselves now, what will be next?
It is particularly worrying that the company has chosen to try to force through the pension change using very aggressive tactics. They have put almost 4000 staff on “90 days” in order to dismiss the employees and re-employ them on new contracts with worse pension provision. Nothing can change until at least mid-November, so there’s still time to stop this. If we let the company get away with these tactics, will anything or anyone be safe?
Campaign Plans
UNITE is running a national campaign on pay and pensions. Your reps plan to run a “consultative ballot” of members across the UK, to gauge the level of support for industrial action over these issues. The intention is for the consultative ballot to open around late June or early July, so that the result would be available in time to influence the outcome of the pensions consultation.
If by that stage members were not satisfied with what the company offers on pay and pensions, we could then hold a legally valid industrial action ballot.
What you can do:
1. Please talk to your colleagues about pay and pensions, about other issues that concern you, and about UNITE. Large numbers of employees are already joining UNITE, and many more say they are seriously thinking about it. The company would take far more notice of the consultative ballot result if 12000 people voted than if 12 did. UNITE can only ballot members, so if colleagues want to make their feelings known to the company, the most powerful way for them to do it is to join the union and recruit their colleagues. Best of all to join before the consultative ballot takes place.
2. You should have received a personal email from Ian Allinson (late on Wednesday 3rd June) asking you to confirm or correct your membership details. Thanks to the 700+ members who have already replied. If you haven’t replied yet, please do so as soon as possible. It is essential to have correct membership information prior to holding a ballot. If you don’t reply you will cause extra work for your reps in chasing you up, or you could even allow the company to use the anti-union laws to invalidate any ballot.
3. UNITE is organising a training and “pay and pensions” campaign planning event for members over the weekend of 20-21 June, in Manchester. If you want to take part, please get in touch as soon as possible for more details. Having people involved from as many areas as possible would be a great boost for the campaign.
4. Have you had a meeting in your area to discuss what’s going on? If not, why not help your local reps and contacts (see footer) to organise one? Please get in touch if you want any help.
5. The company has indicated it expects feedback from employees at the “CEO Exchange” meetings Roger Gilbert, our new Chief Executive, is holding around the UK. Check the “CEO Exchange” dates already fixed and make sure you book up and speak up at a session near you.
6. Can you help the campaign by getting some money? UNITE “branches” hold funds which can be used to support campaigns. Members in Fujitsu are in dozens of different branches across the UK. You can check which branch you are in by going to www.unitetheunion.com and logging in to “My Unite”. Then choose “Contact Us”, “Change your details” and login to My Unite again. Select the “My Branch” tab and it should show (amongst other things) the meeting place, time and day for your UNITE branch. If you are able to go along, please get in touch so your reps can provide you with a summary of the issues, request for funds etc. Don’t be shy – this is your money, from your subs. Your branch should be there to support you when you need it.
7. Some members have already begun contacting their MPs to complain about the attacks on pay and pensions. If you do this, you could mention that Fujitsu is a major supplier to central government. You could also point out how profitable companies like Fujitsu are depressing consumer spending, so undermining the government’s efforts to lift the economy out of recession with its fiscal stimulus.

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Sign the petition – defend the union

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

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

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