Consultative Ballot Result & What Next

The consultative ballot of UNITE members employed by Fujitsu Services in the UK closed yesterday. Overall the result was:
87% in favour of strike action
96% in favour of industrial action short of strike

Our strategy is to campaign on pay and pensions together so that we unite the workforce against these company attacks. The vote for strike among ICL DB Pension Plan members was 88%, compared to 86% among members not in that pension plan.
It is also encouraging that the result is consistent across every region:


% support for strike action

London, South & East


Manchester bargaining unit




Northern Ireland






Thames Valley and South-West




Yorkshire and North-East


This figures explode the myths of “militant Manchester” or a north-south divide. Employees across the company are saying “Enough Is Enough”.
Thanks to everyone who voted. There are some useful lessons from the consultative ballot, which members should take on board for any statutory ballot:

  1. Most of those who voted did so early in the ballot. Several members who didn’t vote straight away mislaid their ballot papers.
  2. It is vital that those members keep the union’s records of their home address etc up to date. If your circumstances change, please email our membership secretary.
  3. Four ballot papers could not be counted, as members had obliterated the serial number. Serial numbers are an anti-fraud device, preventing simple copying of ballot papers and increasing the chances that a forged ballot paper would have an invalid serial number. In this ballot, there was actually one example of a duplicated ballot paper, which was detected and not counted. No record is kept of which individual has which paper, so the ballot is still completely secret.
  4. One person had put a cross through the word “YES” rather than in either the box next to “YES” or the box next to “NO”. As it wasn’t clear whether the voter was marking their choice or crossing out the option they didn’t want, this paper could not be counted.
  5. Several members didn’t manage to vote because they didn’t complain about a missing ballot paper until too late for a replacement to be provided.

Meanwhile the PCS union has also been conducting a consultative ballot of its members in Fujitsu. Though the PCS ballot has now closed, they won’t be ready to release the detailed results until next week, but they have stated that “Members have voted overwhelmingly both in support of our campaign and in support of taking industrial action in pursuance of our objectives”.
The Company’s redundancy announcement obviously requires a shift in the campaign.
Your elected UNITE Combine Committee has been discussing this and also talking to our colleagues in PCS. The key decisions are as follows:

  1. The company has not justified job losses – we oppose them. A key campaign focus must be opposition to compulsory redundancies.
  2. Rather than running two parallel campaigns which could undercut each other, we will add “Jobs” as a third strand to our “Pay and Pensions” campaign. All three issues are about the company seeking to increase its profits at our expense.
  3. UNITE and PCS reps are now asking their unions to move quickly to a statutory industrial action ballot over “Jobs, Pay and Pensions”.
  4. Your UNITE reps (and particularly your Combine Committee members) want your views on what forms of industrial action UNITE should call if the statutory ballot approves action and it proves necessary to call it. Please do not send your view on this matter by email – this is something to discuss in UNITE meetings, or if that isn’t possible for you, then face-to-face or over the phone.

The following local UNITE meetings are already planned:

  • Tuesday 1st September, 13:00-14:00, STE04 Room 108
  • Wednesday 2nd September, 12:30-13:30, CRE02 room CRE 0-2
  • Friday 4th September, 12:30-13:30, WAK01 Parkhill Room
  • Wednesday 9th September, 13:00-15:00, MAN35 Canteen (Manchester bargaining unit Extraordinary General Meeting)
Posted in news
'Fujitsu Whistleblower' hotline. Concerned about unethical or illegal practices? Contact the hotline on 0800 852 7479 or 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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