Thanks to all the members who attended the EGM on Friday afternoon, despite the short notice.
Some of the issues will be dealt with in a national notice which is expected shortly, so will not be duplicated here.
Around 330 staff in the Manchester bargaining unit were at risk of redundancy. No national figures were available at the time of the meeting, but the latest figures from the company for the Manchester bargaining unit were:
- 43 Compulsory Redundancies
- 32 Voluntary Redundancies accepted
- 12 Voluntary Redundancies rejected (of which 7 are in P&PM where there are no Compulsory Redundancies)
The Professional Communities where the CRs are proposed are:
- Service Delivery
- Software & Solution Development
- Technical Architecture & Consulting
- Business Services
- Business Consultancy
The business areas where the bulk of the Manchester people are affected are Application Services and Engineering Services.
Many individuals, including a number in attendance at the meeting, had very recently found out that they had been provisionally selected for redundancy. There were serious concerns about the timing and manner of the notification for many employees, which had caused unnecessary distress.
There was a rumour that delays in notification were a result of the “review” with UNITE. In reality, UNITE had responded to information provided within one working day, despite it being provided in piecemeal and inconsistent fashion. The review had been worthwhile, identifying, for example:
- Concerns about discrimination in Application Services
- That the company had got the wrong names or email addresses for staff in Commercial
- Missing information about redundancy terms and apparent errors in data on ethnic group for staff who transferred from FTS (formerly Fujitsu Siemens Computers)
Reps stressed that being provisionally selected was not the end of the process. Those affected would need to balance their energies appropriately between:
- Appealing against selection
- Seeking redeployment within Fujitsu
- Seeking jobs outside Fujitsu (outplacement)
- Taking part in the campaign against the compulsory redundancies
UNITE had pressed the company to set up resource centres at major sites to support people at risk. The company is now setting up “Information Centres” in Manchester, Stevenage and Bracknell, aimed at those selected for redundancy or accepted for voluntary redundancy. The Manchester one is in the MAN35 canteen. The company has arranged two competing providers of support, one using workshops, and one web-based. UNITE suggests staff try both, but you will soon have to choose. In general, we suggest the face-to-face option will be more appropriate because the provider can refer you on to other training etc. There will also be sessions with Job Centre Plus, which reps advise people attend regardless of whether you expect to claim benefits.
The company facilities are heavily biased towards outplacement, rather than redeployment, so at the Manchester Information Centre UNITE is providing additional support, focussing mainly on redeployment within Fujitsu, via our Union Learning Reps.
The company has rejected all the alternatives put forward by the Pensions Forum, merely saying it will delay closure by a year. While the delay is welcome, closure would still mean the equivalent of a pay cut of around 20%, which is unacceptable.
Industrial Action and Campaign Plans
There was a discussion on the latest developments in the campaign and a unanimous vote on how the union should respond. As this is a national dispute, not a local one, this decision is fed into the elected Combine Committee to take a national view.
The updates and response will be covered in a national newsletter shortly.
There were also discussions about the practicalities of industrial action, with members signing up for picketing and other activities during the planned strike.
Any Other Business
Members decided to remove Saj Patel as a Union Learning Rep.