Redundancy Update

The company’s mis-handling of the redundancy situation continues. Over the last few days, hundreds of staff have been told they have been provisionally selected for redundancy. Such news would be a nasty shock in any circumstances, but doing it “the Fujitsu way” is often making things worse. Examples include:

  • Many people being told at the end of the week (even Friday afternoon), against all good practice.
  • Staff told to expect notification to arrive by a certain time, breathing a sigh of relief when that time passed, then being told they have been selected.
  • Staff being told by email or by post, rather than in person.
  • Staff being told over the phone whilst driving.
  • Using a courier firm to deliver redundancy notices in Engineering Services. The company proposes to cut a number of jobs and move the work to the same courier firm. In at least one case the engineer turned up at the courier depot as part of their job and was handed the letter by the courier company, whose staff made public that it must be the redundancy letter.
  • Staff having to pay to collect their letter as Fujitsu used insufficient postage.
  • Letters to people selected for Compulsory Redundancy being sent with a covering email which refers to Voluntary Redundancy.
  • Some people receiving several redundancy letters for different people in one envelope (and others presumably not being notified).

If you’ve been affected by these or other issues and would be willing to provide a quote for use in campaign materials (with or without being named), please get in touch.
UNITE is pleased to report that the overall number of redundancies has already been reduced from 1200 to under 1000. Fujitsu says that around 60% of these are volunteers, but that would still mean around 400 Compulsory Redundancies. This number could easily be reduced much further by simple measures such as extending the timescale, widening the VR programme, improving the redundancy package and providing proper support for retraining and redeployment.
As well as insensitive communication, there are other serious concerns about the latest developments in the redundancy programme.
The company had told UNITE that the letters would include details of the Information Centres and support available to employees facing redundancy. This was completely missing. UNITE provides some of this information for members in section 4 of this newsletter.
The company “Fact Sheet” on selection and appeals said that “once the scoring exercise has been completed by the scoring managers, those individuals who have been provisionally selected for redundancy will be sent a letter enclosing their scores and asked to attend a meeting to discuss their provisional selection. The purpose of sending a letter in advance of the meeting is to give employees time to prepare for the meeting”. In fact, the letters only included the “headline” scores in each of the four categories, and the score sheet itself was not enclosed. This makes it impossible for an employee to prepare meaningfully for the meeting. It is unreasonable to expect employees to attend a meeting at which they are presented with information about their selection and to respond effectively on the spot, all within 45 minutes. Wherever possible, UNITE recommends that members get the information, ask some questions, make clear that they are unhappy and stop the 1-1 meeting and ask for it to be reconvened. Please refer to section 4 below.
UNITE had asked the company to carry out “Equality Proofing” on its selection process. To date the company has provided no evidence of this taking place.
UNITE has evidence that in Application Services you were significantly more likely to be selected for Compulsory Redundancy if you were:

  • Female, or
  • Older, or
  • Indian or “Other Ethnic Group”, or
  • Worked part time

UNITE raised concerns about discrimination in Application Services on grounds of gender, part-time working, disability and trade union activity before notifications went out. The company says it has reviewed the decisions, but has so far provided no evidence to counter the impression of discrimination.
The individuals told they have been selected for redundancy are going through a real mix of shock, anger and depression. If you haven’t been selected, it can be hard to know what to say. Please talk to your colleagues and don’t let them feel isolated. Redundancies aren’t about the people that were picked. They are about the greed of senior managers who want to increase profits at the expense of ruining the lives of some and adding to the stress and workload of those left behind. We have to support each other to get through this.

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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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