Talks between UNITE and Fujitsu to try to settle the dispute started in earnest last week and are continuing up to Thursday 3rd December, with the aim of producing a written “offer” from the company for members to consider.
Some progress has been made, but it currently seems unlikely that the company offer will be good enough for your reps to recommend for acceptance. If the offer is rejected by members, reps would expect UNITE to issue a new call for industrial action, starting no later than 23rd December.
Fujitsu can well afford a fair deal on Jobs, Pay and Pensions. It is still forecasting well over £100m profits for this financial year – around £10,000 per employee.

  • Jobs: VRs and those CRs who don’t wish to remain are due to leave on 11th December. Those CRs who wish to stay will remain in employment until at least 31st January. UNITE does not yet have information from the company about how many of the ~360 CRs have opted to stay beyond 11th December. The talks have produced some progress in several areas, partly reflected in updated company “FactSheets”. Please note that UNITE is sending additional targeted information to those members who have notified us that they have been selected for Compulsory Redundancy and want to stay, selected for Compulsory Redundancy and are happy to go or have been Accepted for Voluntary Redundancy.
    As well as the company “pairing” scheme, don’t forget the UNITE one. As one member puts it:
    “I added my name to the pairing list that was set up by Unite in Fujitsu as I am currently selected for compulsory redundancy. Unlike the company’s pairing initiative, where I have had to do all the leg-work within my own network of contacts to find someone taking VR, UNITE’s has resulted in me being contacted by three members of the union who had some good matches for my skills within days of being added to the list. They seem like good prospects for me.”

  • Pay: After below-inflation pay reviews for years, the company decided to cancel the 2009 pay review (before announcing record profits). From 1st January we will all be hit with price rises as VAT goes back up from 15% to 17.5%. UNITE is pushing for more money for employees and for a fairer pay system. If the company did get away with closing the ICL DB plan, any pay rise we secured would have a significant impact on Final Pensionable Pay (and so on your pension) for those members.
  • Pensions: UNITE is defending the ICL DB pension plan and seeking improvements for people with something worse.

It is only pressure from employees that has got us this far. Everyone is hoping the company takes the opportunity to make a reasonable offer which members can accept. It is of course possible that the company could respond to the pressure by making concessions separately, to avoid the appearance of giving in to UNITE. Members are likely to be more concerned with the substance of what changes on Jobs, Pay and Pensions than with how it is presented.
For many people, the issues on Jobs, Pay & Pensions crystallised a more general feeling that “Enough Is Enough!”. Just to make us all feel better, the news is gradually trickling out that Roger Gilbert has decided not to continue with the extra “Courtley Day” holiday over Xmas. What next?
Timetable and Campaign
The expected sequence of events is:

  • Thursday 3rd December: Company firm offer.
  • Friday 4th December: UNITE Fujitsu UK Combine Committee discusses the offer and decides on recommendation. Offer emailed out to members.
  • Monday 7th to Wednesday 9th December: Members’ meetings around the country.

Members won’t be considering the offer in a vacuum, but rather in the context of the large majority for industrial action over Jobs, Pay and Pensions, the costs of taking industrial action and what might be won if action was taken.
While we hope for the best in terms of the negotiations, we also have to prepare for the worst. As well as discussing the company offer, the meetings next week should be discussing plans for action in case that is necessary.
So far, the meetings organised are:

Date

Location

Room

Time

Negotiating team member(s)

Monday 7th December

BRA01

Thames Valley Club

5:30-6:30pm

TBC

CRE02

CR0-2

12:30-13:30

Alan Jenney, Robert (Wilf) Williams

IRE11

Data Prep Office

12:00-13:00

Roger Dane

STE04

Room 108 (middle floor, above reception)

12:30-13:30 (but you are welcome any time 12:00-14:00)

TBC

WAK01

Hemsworth Room

12:00-13:00

TBC

Tuesday 8th December

BSN01

Restaurant

17:30-18:30

TBC

Manchester bargaining unit

MAN33 canteen

14:45-16:15

Ian Allinson, Pauline Bradburn, Lynne Hodge

SOL10

Training room 7 (first floor)

12:30-13:30

Alasdair Lewis

Wednesday 9th December

ThompsonReuters bargaining unit

TBC

TBC

Steve Warren

Meetings are also being organised in London and Warrington.
Please make sure you attend your local meeting. If there isn’t one listed yet, please speak to your local rep or Combine Committee member to get one arranged. If we don’t prioritise attending a meeting about our Jobs, Pay & Pensions, can we really expect the company to prioritise sorting them out?

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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 but members have voted by 92% to reject a company offer and renewed campaign plans are being made.

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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