Fujitsu Redundancy Update

The company issued paperwork on Friday to try to start the “90 day” redundancy consultation period. In their haste to start the clock ticking, this was botched, with conflicting numbers of employees and jobs at risk, forcing the company to reissue key documents.
The company provided information showing that it is still profitable, albeit at a lower rate than they hoped.
The latest information from the company suggests the overall numbers are as follows (the original email also included names of the employee reps):


Pool

Current Number of Employees

Number Proposed to be Dismissed as Redundant

%

1 Engineering

1707

400

23%

2 Application Services

1513

220

15%

3 Government

560

95

17%

4 Private Sector

486

110

23%

5 Central Functions

526

119

23%

6 Core

1283

256

20%

TOTAL

6075

1200

20%


Thanks to everyone who stood for election. Without individuals prepared to stand up for themselves and their colleagues, employees can have no chance of influencing the company’s actions.


The more detailed breakdown of jobs at risk is:
Pool 1 (Engineering)


Selection Area

Numbers of current employees

Numbers proposed to be dismissed as redundant

%

Management – Leadership team, their direct reports and all other managers/supervisors, Team Managers across Engineering Services

ES: 137

NI: 1

MODOPs: 13

 

Total: 151

ES: 14

 

MODOPs: 4

 

Total: 18

12%

Deskside Services( including campus) all Engineers and Team Leaders

ES: 765

ES: 136

18%

Mobile Engineering – all Mobile/Field Engineers,  Team Leaders, Mobile Eng, HES and Project Services

ES: 325

MODOPs: 313

NI: 25

Total: 663

ES: 153

MODOPs: 67

NI: 2

Total: 222

33%

Support Services includes all First level, Second Level, Third Level, Field Resource Controllers and Tracking roles

ES: 97

MODOPS: 31

 

Total: 128

ES: 20                   

MODOPs: 4

 

Total: 24

19%

TOTAL

1707

400

23%


Pool 2 (Application Services)


Selection Area

Numbers of current employees

Numbers proposed to be dismissed as redundant

%

Management & Business Support

Business Development

112

 

15

20

 

2

18%

 

13%

Business Applications (Northern Ireland)

Business Applications (GB)

121

 

227

8

 

21

6%

 

9%

Applications Business Solutions (GB) & Software as a Service

Application Outsourcing (GB)

448

 

504

83

 

77

19%

 

15%

Application Business Solutions & Application Outsourcing (Northern Ireland)

86

9

10%

TOTAL

1513

220

15%


Pool 3 (Government & Defence)


Selection Area

Numbers of current employees

Numbers proposed to be dismissed as redundant

%

Bid & Proposal management

25

3

12%

Sales Govt

9

2

22%

SDC Germany

45

5

11%

SDC Cyprus

16

2

13%

SCO

4

1

25%

DII Take-on Service

15

5

33%

Internal Support Team

6

1

17%

Quality

2

0

0%

Management

52

20

38%

Administration

5

1

20%

Business Support

45

10

22%

Service Delivery Management

41

7

17%

Technical Services Management

29

4

14%

Developers

14

2

14%

Customer Solution Architects

19

2

11%

Technical Support Specialists

233

30

13%

Total

560

95

17%


Pool 4 (Private Sector)


Selection Area

Numbers of current employees

Numbers proposed to be dismissed as redundant

%

Business Consulting

40

24

60%

Administration

30

6

20%

Account Management

53

10

19%

Service Delivery Management

199

33

17%

Service Delivery

66

10

15%

Sales & Sales Support

74

26

35%

Software &  Solution Development

24

1

4%

 Total

486

110

23%


Pool 5 (Central Functions)


Selection Area

Numbers of current employees

Numbers proposed to be dismissed as redundant

%

Business Assurance

28

4

14%

Commercial

98

10

10%

Finance – CFS

56

36

64%

Finance – Other

213

29

14%

HR People Development

35

14

40%

HR Lean and Best Practice

33

10

30%

HR – Occupational Health & Safety

4

2

50%

HR – Resource Management and Recruitment

60

14

23%

Total

527

119

23%


Note: These figures are taken from the company presentation at the forum meeting, and do not exactly match other figures given by the company.
Pool 6 (Core)


Selection Area

Numbers of current employees

Numbers proposed to be dismissed as redundant

%

P&PM

962

64

7%

Core Shared Service

42

18

43%

Business Consultants

67

18

27%

Systems Ops

104

101

97%

Service Desks

10

5

50%

Datacentres

36

20

56%

Lutterworth warehouse closure

22

19

86%

Logistics

40

11

28%

TOTAL

1283

256

20%


Voluntary Redundancy
Since the company announced the redundancies, many employees have been asking about Voluntary Redundancy (VR), an obvious way of mitigating the consequences (softening the blow) of any job losses.
Along with a mass of information dumped on newly elected redundancy forum reps on Friday, the company included a couple of slides about a proposed Voluntary Redundancy (VR) programme. Though the company made clear it was proposing a single VR programme for all 6000 staff at risk, the company offered no facilities for reps to discuss the proposal between the six forums. Unsurprisingly, the responses from the forums varied. For example, some forums simply responded positively to the company proposal, while the Engineering forum responded:

  • The company is supposed to be consulting about avoiding the redundancies
  • Reps hadn’t seen the detailed reasons for the proposals, so couldn’t possibly agree at this stage that any redundancies were justified
  • Reps were annoyed that a lot of information, including the VR programme, had been given to them at such a late stage
  • The company could make redundancy payment estimates available and invite enquiries about VR, but no commitment should be made to any job losses at this stage
  • Any VR programme should be open to all employees, not just the 6000 at risk
  • Reps were not ready to respond on the detail of the proposal, criteria etc
  • Reps wanted to talk to the other five forums about the proposal

As what had happened at the six forums became clearer, UNITE wrote to the company as follows:

From: Allinson Ian
Sent: 12 September 2009 14:20
To: Upton Larry
Cc: Thompson Terry
Subject: UNITE: Redundancy consultation and VR
Larry,
The company made proposals for a VR programme to the six redundancy forums on Friday. The information about the proposal was provided during the course of the meeting, not in advance for UNITE or the other reps to consider.
The company proposed to run a single programme, not six different ones and to initiate the process on Monday (the following working day).
Putting this to six separate meetings, without any opportunity for reps to give it the serious consideration it deserved, to seek views from the employees we represent, or to discuss a response between the six groups, made it almost inevitable that the company would get a variety of responses. The company cannot genuinely “seek agreement” with six different forums through such a process. If the company merely pointed to the variety of responses and then did what it pleased, this would indicate that the “consultation” process was a sham. We sincerely hope that the company doesn’t go down this path.
We expressed to you prior to the start of consultation that we were keen that estimates of redundancy payments be made available as quickly as possible. These are vital whether the company proposes voluntary or compulsory redundancies, so that employees are properly informed about the possible outcomes of the process. We believe this should be available to all employees, whether at risk or not and have no problem with the company making this available on Monday as planned. This does not imply an acceptance that redundancies are justified or agreement to the specific VR proposal.
The company VR proposal conflicts directly with section 6.1.2 iv of our Annex 1 agreement. If redundancies do go ahead, the provisions of Annex 1 would be much more effective at reducing compulsory redundancies than the company proposal, and we will undoubtedly want to discuss this with our colleagues on all six forums.
We will make a more detailed response to the information provided on Friday in due course.
I would be grateful if you could pass this on to the management team dealing with the redundancy programme.
Many thanks
Ian Allinson
UNITE senior rep, Fujitsu Manchester

Despite this, the company went ahead with its announcement of the VR programme on Monday, just one working day after making its proposal. The company has made a system for providing redundancy payment estimates available via the Online Appraisal system under HR Performance+ Online.
UNITE recommends:

  • Whether or not you are at risk, you access the company system and save a copy of your quote in a safe place, as it is evidence of what the HR database says are your redundancy terms.
  • Focus on checking the statement of which redundancy terms you are on. This is shown as “Severance Scheme” under the “Contractual Details” heading on the left hand side. In particular, it is worth checking whether you should be on the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) terms based on the company statement in section 9 of the UKCF minutes from 5th December 2007.
  • If you believe the company has you recorded on the wrong terms, seek advice from your UNITE rep without delay.
  • You compare the company figure with that provided by the UNITE Redundancy Calculator. Please note that there will be a difference in the results for most people, as the UNITE calculator uses the current £350 cap on weekly earnings for statutory redundancy payments, whereas it appears the company one uses the £380 figure that will apply from 1 October.

The company’s actions raise some important issues:

  • Is it really consulting on avoiding the redundancies, as the law requires, given the VR announcement?
  • Is it really consulting “with a view to reaching agreement” with each of the six forums when it goes ahead without even waiting for a response from all of them?
  • The company has declared that it will use the same criteria for VR as for Compulsory Redundancy (CR), without consulting employees about this.
  • How can a VR programme help employees, if the company only accepts the volunteers it would have selected for CR anyway? This is “mitigating the consequences” for managers who would have to make selections, not for the employees at risk.

While many employees will be keen to explore VR, we shouldn’t forget that redundancy doesn’t just affect those who leave. If the company proposal goes ahead, the vast majority of those at risk will be those left struggling with too much work, more pressure and more stress. Reps need to consider the interests of all those they represent.
Forum Operation
It is important that employees and their reps on the six forums learn the lessons from Friday. It is dangerous for reps to react to proposals without giving them proper consideration and where appropriate actively seeking views from the employees they represent. As the process moves on, if the company gets away with “divide and conquer” and employees don’t establish a clear and united voice, we will all be the worse for it. UNITE and PCS are working hard to provide the coordination and support necessary to help reps in the forums function effectively, alongside the campaign that will undoubtedly be essential.
UNITE and PCS have offered to provide free training to all the employee reps on the six forums, regardless of whether they are currently union members, as the unions believe this is in the interests of the workforce. This is something UNITE did for the reps involved in the NHS forum in the recent past. The vast majority of the redundancy forum reps have already said they would like to take up this offer, but the company has yet to give the go-ahead, despite having been aware of the issue for over a fortnight.
If the company insists on the ridiculous approach of making identical proposals to six forums, this will inevitably slow down the consultation process as reps on the six forums should confer before responding. The company may need to extend consultation beyond the minimum 90 days if it continues to delay progress in this way.
There are wide differences in how reps on the six forums conducted themselves on Friday. If you are at risk, please encourage your reps to learn from the best, whichever forum you are in. Examples of what some forums (not all) did include:

  • Some took “breakout” sessions for employee reps to discuss issues before responding to the company.
  • Some collectively asked for training.
  • Some asked that all six forums should meet in the same location at the same time, so that reps could meet and talk to each other.
  • Some elected a chair of employee reps, to coordinate their activities.
  • Some arranged for reps-only meetings before the next meeting with the company.
  • Some suggested that a subgroup from each forum should meet together, to discuss issues which cut across the six areas.
  • Some asked for company laptops for reps without access to standard Fujitsu IT facilities and other facilities they would need to communicate with their constituents.
  • Some asked the company what aspects of the programme had been approved by Japan, and what funding had been approved.
  • Some asked how many employees not at risk were in the same Professional Community roles as anyone at risk.
  • Some asked about numbers of agency staff and contractors.
  • Some asked the company to write to reps’ managers to explain the time they needed to carry out their role properly.
  • Some asked why the company said it needed compulsory redundancy selection criteria before it could consider applications for VR.
  • Some asked about whether people who were on notice of retirement were in scope to be selected.
  • Some asked to have all documentation electronically in advance of meetings.
  • Some asked for details of the reps on the other forums.
  • Some are agreeing communications to send out to their constituents.
  • Some asked for a longer consultation period.
  • Some forums asked for the company for information about financial forecasts, bids and future plans.
  • Some forums asked for information about vacancies.
  • Some forums asked for information about overtime. As well as paid overtime, many staff work many hours for free.
  • Some forums requested that leavers due to natural attrition be deducted from the proposed redundancy headcount.
  • Some forums requested that meetings did not clash with Pension Forum meetings (as some individuals are involved in both).
  • Some forums are setting up a Sharepoint CafeVIK Collaboration Site to exchange ideas and post information.

It’s worth noting that some of the reps, understandably keen to communicate with constituents, are circulating information which isn’t accurate, sometimes due to misunderstandings, and sometimes due to being misled by the company representatives.

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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 while members consider an offer from Fujitsu.

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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