Our email newsletter on 22nd December included a report on the successful first strike day on 18th December, when a large number of members across the country played an active part in the campaign.
So far the company has not reopened formal talks to try to resolve the dispute, though correspondence and conversations continue.
It is worth taking stock of how far we have come since we balloted for industrial action:
- The original proposed 1200 job losses has been reduced to about 850.
- Despite all their limitations, the VR programme, pairing etc that the company agreed to run mean that there are now only about 70 people at risk of Compulsory Redundancy whose jobs need saving. This number is dropping every week. The company should adopt the measures UNITE has proposed to avoid making redundant those employees who want to stay.
- There has so far been no meaningful movement on pay, either in terms of more money for employees, or making the pay system fairer.
- The company has allowed an extra year before it proposes to close the ICL DB Pension Plan.
- The redundancy programme means that the number of active members of the pension scheme has fallen from around 4000 to around 3300, further undermining the company’s case for closure. The Pensions Forum (IPMC and UNITE) is meeting with the company on Wednesday 6th January to discuss the future of the ICL DB Pension Plan. This would be a good opportunity for the company to make new proposals.
- There has so far been no meaningful movement on improving pension provision for those with something worse than the ICL DB plan.
The progress made so far shows that it is not inevitable that the company implements its plans unchanged despite staff opposition. Everyone who signed a petition, wore a lanyard or sticker, wrote an email, struck, attended a protest or picket, or joined the union for the first time – everyone who did something played a part in getting us this far.
But the progress is not yet enough:
- We still have dozens of members facing losing their jobs, which can have a devastating impact on their lives and those of their families. The company doesn’t have to do this.
- There is still no commitment from the company to giving decent pay rises to stop the erosion of our living standards year on year, or to a fairer pay system. We’ve all just had a 2.5% increase in prices with VAT going back up to 17.5%.
- Thousands of employees face the equivalent of a 20% cut in their pay and benefits package if the company goes ahead with closing the ICL DB Pension Plan.
- Thousands more have pension provision that is inadequate to ensure a good level of financial security in retirement.
If employees stand up together for their Job, Pay and Pensions and say “Enough Is Enough!” we can change Fujitsu for the better.