UNITE has updated the Q&A on industrial action and published it online. Please take the time to have a read, as it will not only answer many of your questions and concerns, but also help you answer queries from your colleagues.
The company has issued its own Q&A to people managers. There are a few errors in it, which UNITE has drawn to the attention of the company. Nonetheless, some of the answers from the company will help clarify the situation for staff, such as:
- Is this national or just limited to Manchester?
- All Fujitsu employees in the UK are covered by this strike notice and could participate if they choose.
- Who can take industrial action?
- Any Fujitsu UK employee; ie they may be members of Unite, or of other unions, or of none.
- How will we know if employees are taking strike or other action?
- We can ask them in advance, though they do not have to tell us. If you are aware that an employee is absent on strike days, and you have no evidence to the contrary, eg continuing sickness absence, pre-approved annual leave or training, you should assume they are taking strike action.
- How do we deal with employees who don’t want to support the strike action but are worried about crossing a picket line?
- Initially try to encourage them to come in; reassure them that pickets are not allowed to intimidate people and local management and security will police this. If this is not possible see if they can work from home or, possibly another location that may not have a significant picket.
- Can an employee refuse to cross a picket line?
- We cannot force employees to cross a picket line but should take the action described above.
- Does the company keep any records of who has taken strike action and is this used as a “black marker” against them in the future?
- While we clearly know who has taken strike action for pay deduction purposes, no other record is kept and employees should not be subject to any detriment in the future as a result of their action.
- Can we ask other employees to do the work of those on strike?
- We can ask them but not force them to do it if they are uncomfortable about doing so.