UNITE is pursuing a three-pronged strategy to apply pressure to Fujitsu over pay and pensions:
1) Industrial action
2) External pressure (MPs, customers, media etc)
3) Organising (the company knowing that treating employees unfairly is leading to the growth of union organisation)
How hard these prongs have to be pushed depends on the response from the company.
The consultative ballot is the main activity at the moment in relation to the “industrial action” prong, but work is under-way on the other areas too. Here is a list of actions your reps would like every member to take. If you can’t do them all, please at least do one or two.
Raising Support and Funds
There are vast numbers of trade unionists in UNITE and beyond who would be prepared to support our campaign morally, practically and financially. But this won’t happen unless you and other members ask for that support. UNITE has many structures, but these bodies won’t act unless someone actually proposes it.
Every member of UNITE is allocated to a “branch” which should have regular meetings in your area. Members in Fujitsu are in dozens of different branches across the UK. Your reps would like you to go along to your branch meeting and ask for its support.
You can check which branch you are in by going to http://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 take along our appeal for support leaflet which helps explain the issues and our campaign. As a member of the branch, you are entitled to propose a motion and get it voted on. You might like to propose something like this:
This branch opposes the attempt by many employers to take advantage of the recession to hold down pay and cut pension provision. This branch supports the campaign by UNITE members in Fujitsu over pay and pensions.
We resolve to:
a) Send a message of support to support at the ourunion.org.uk mailbox or UNITE, Fujitsu Services, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP
b) Send a donation (payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group”, to John Wood, 301 Bolton Road, Bury, BL8 2NZ) in support of the campaign
Don’t be shy – this is your money, from your subs. Your branch should be there to support you when you need it.
Talk to Colleagues
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.
There’s lots of evidence that non-members are more likely to join when a colleague speaks to them about the union than through any other route. You may not feel your are the world’s greatest expert on UNITE or on the fine details of pay and pensions, but you know why you are a member. The chances are that the people you work with would join for similar reasons. Just look at how powerful some of the comments from new joiners are.
Distribute Leaflets and Lanyards
Has the joint UNITE/PCS national leaflet about our pay and pensions campaign gone out where you work yet? If not, can you help? Please drop a note to your reps who can advise on how to go about it.
At many sites, lots of staff (members or not) are wearing their passes on the red “UNITE for Fair Pay” lanyards. This is a great way to increase the visibility of the campaign, as well as undercutting the myth that it’s only about pensions. UNITE is campaigning on pay and pensions – this is how we can achieve a wide enough unity of the workforce to win. If you want some lanyards to dish out, please contact one of your local reps or contacts (see footer).
Express your sense of betrayal by sending back a recognition award or certificate. UNITE is organising to hand a bundle back in to the Fujitsu headquarters, along with a copy of our petition against the pay freeze. Please send yours to “UNITE the Union, MAN34” (internal mail) or “UNITE the Union, Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP” (external mail). Please attach a note indicating your length of service. Please don’t send in certificate frames, heavy or bulky items.
This should help us get publicity for our campaign.
Some members have already begun contacting their MPs to complain about the attacks on pay and pensions.
If you’ve already written to your MP, please send a copy of all the correspondence to your reps via political at the ourunion.org.uk mailbox to that they can track which MPs have been contacted and how they are responding. Your reps can use this to build up the campaign, as well as helping put together some example letters to help give other members inspiration.
Four national unions and many other organisations are backing a demonstration called by UCU at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Sunday 27th September around the theme of the “right to work” and the impact of the recession on working people.
The demonstration will come during a crucial period for our pay and pensions campaign and your elected Combine Committee has decided that we should have an identifiable Fujitsu delegation on it, highlighting our pay and pensions campaign. If you are interested in taking part, please let your reps know as soon as possible so that the necessary arrangements can be made.