Don’t forget that further strikes have been called for:
* Thursday 7th January
* Friday 8th January
* Monday 11th January
* Thursday 14th January
* Friday 15th January
Don’t forget that the “action short of strike” continues until further notice:
- Ban on overtime (paid or unpaid) unless paid at least Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates.
- Ban on standby unless paid at least Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates.
- Work to rule and contract, (for example ban on work phone calls outside contracted hours unless paid on standby, ensure backup before and after applying patches, test and document thoroughly, be diligent about Performance Plus and Personal Development Plan activities and what is written in objectives, carefully read all Company notices and Health & Safety information, read all the information from the Pensions and Redundancy consultation web sites, take regular backups of PC, comply with the “tidy desk” policy).
- Ban on using own vehicle to travel on company business unless in receipt of an allowance.
- Policy of non co-operation
The UNITE Q&A on industrial action has further information about the action short of strike, including details of the UHP and model letters you can use.
Plans for 7, 8 and 11 January
The strike on 18th December concentrated on launching our industrial action and using the “Scrooge” protest at LON22 to put our campaign in the media spotlight.
The next three days of strikes will focus on:
* Highlighting discrimination in redundancy selection
* Highlighting Fujitsu’s unfair pay system
* Local activities including raising support and funds for our dispute
* Local members’ meetings around the country to discuss how the campaign is going and next steps
UNITE has obtained data for the redundancy selection process in Application Services (AS) across the UK, and has carried out statistical analysis on the data to determine whether higher rates of selection for Compulsory Redundancy (CR) amongst women, ethnic minorities and part-time workers were statistically significant. UNITE provided report part 1 to the company during the negotiations on 25th November, report part 2 to the company by email on 7th December, and report part 3 to the company by email on 31st December. UNITE invited the company to provide corrections, additions or explanations, along with proposals on how to rectify the situation. These had not been received by the deadline specified, and have still not been received now.
The analysis concluded:
The first UNITE report on discrimination in selection for Compulsory Redundancy showed that the proportions of people selected who were female, Indian, or part-time was higher than would have been expected, and that the difference was statistically significant.
The “part 2” report examined the scoring by gender, concluding that “There have been extreme gender differences in scoring for Compulsory Redundancy in Application Services, which strongly suggests that the process has not been fair and that the company has failed to prevent discrimination in the selection process”. In particular, the probability of an unbiased random selection awarding so few “4” (high) scores to females for criterion 2 (Critical Skills) was 0.00000002% (about 1 in 40,000,000). This is several times less likely than getting six numbers on the UK Lotto on the first attempt.
This “part 3” report examined scoring comparing part-time and full-time workers and on ethnicity. There have been extreme differences in scoring for Compulsory Redundancy in Application Services based on both part-time status and on ethnicity. The results confirm the conclusion of the “part 2” report that the process has not been fair and that the company has failed to prevent discrimination in the selection process.
The company has refused to provide equivalent data for the other five redundancy pools, or for other types of potential discrimination for which it holds data (e.g. disability), creating the impression that Fujitsu knows it has something to hide.
UNITE has repeatedly stressed to the company the dangers of forcing the union to put the problems into the public domain in order to get them resolved. If our senior management are serious about wanting to win future bids, they need to take immediate action to resolve the discrimination issues in particular, and the dispute in general. Employees shouldn’t need to go to court, to customers or to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in order to be treated fairly.
Discrimination isn’t important only if you happen to be in one of the directly affected groups. It is a symptom of an unfair process, and when employers treat employees unfairly we all lose out.
One of the “red-lines” for the dispute agreed by members was “A fairer pay system”. Fujitsu’s pay system is a disgrace. The pay and benefit scales are secret and change without explanation. It took UNITE years of campaigning and legal action to get to the position where now union members get an annual report including many of the scales. But the whole system is still secretive and confused, rather than open and transparent. People get significantly different pay and benefits for no legitimate reason. The evidence that UNITE has found of discrimination in redundancy selection strengthens our argument that we need a fairer pay system. Here are some of the practical ideas that UNITE put forward during negotiations:
The company can’t hide behind the recession as an excuse for failing to make these changes towards a fairer pay system – many of the ideas that would cost nothing were not included in the company offer.
Local Activities and Meetings
Where will you be picketing? How about taking part in a delegation visiting other local workplaces and union branches to raise support? Please speak to your local reps in good time to get local activities organised.
Over the next three strike days UNITE intends to organise local members’ meetings at as many locations as practical, to discuss how the dispute is going and what the next steps should be. Make sure you come along and have your say. Following all the members’ meetings, your elected Combine Committee will decide what further action to ask UNITE to call if this is necessary.
(The original email included a motion for discussion at the members’ meetings)
Whatever you’re involved in, don’t forget to make sure you sign one of the strike activity registers (see Q&A) so that your involvement is recorded. This is particularly important if you might want to claim Hardship Payments.
Now that people are returning from annual leave, members and reps are busy making plans for the next few days of strikes.
(The original email included initial plans for action)
Please keep an eye out for union notices with more details and of further activities to take place during the strike.
Public Meeting in Chesterfield
The local UNITE branch covering members in Steria and CSC staff at the Royal Mail centre in Chesterfield have called a Public Meeting on one of our strike days:
The Fight To Defend Pensions in the IT Sector
5pm, Monday 11th January
Brampton Manor Club, Old Road, Chesterfield, S40 3QR
o Bill Eyre – Unite Workplace Rep at Steria
o James Eaden – President, Chesterfield Trades Union Council
o Colin Walker – Chair of Reps, Unite in CSC
o Ian Allinson – Unite Executive Council and Fujitsu Senior Rep
The branch would welcome members from Fujitsu attending to join in the discussion about how we defend our pensions. At Steria, where members have recently accepted a deal to close their final salary scheme but with a replacement Defined Contribution scheme which targets the same level of benefits – far better than Fujitsu is currently offering. At CSC, members are still campaigning against the closure of their Defined Benefit scheme.
Members are encouraged to attend if you can. If you want to go along and would like to share a car to get there, please get in touch as soon as possible.