Informal contacts with the company have continued throughout the dispute, but the company has not yet agreed to return to negotiations (apart from the Pensions Forum meeting tomorrow). Peter Skyte, the UNITE National Officer for the IT & Communications sector, wrote to Roger Gilbert, the Chief Executive, yesterday:
Fujitsu Services UK
12 January 2010
Fujitsu and Unite
I last wrote to you on 2 November 2009 together with Graham Steel from PCS.
I am taking the opportunity of again writing to you following recent correspondence between the company and Unite which was copied to you, in order to ensure that you are fully aware of the Unite position, and the approach we have taken with the company.
During the first strike day on 18 December, there was informal contact with some senior Fujitsu business leaders and HR people outside the Baker Street Head Office, and I took the opportunity to outline the basis of the pensions’ agreement we had reached with Steria the previous day. The Fujitsu leaders indicated they would consider this.
On return from the Xmas break, I telephoned Larry Upton on Tuesday 5 January and had some informal discussions with both him and later that day with John Lucas on broad areas where there appeared to be some possibility of progressing negotiations, including extension of employment for individuals selected for compulsory redundancy beyond 31 January and likewise for the pensions consultation
I also indicated to John Lucas that we would be releasing further media communications later in the week, including some of the data on redundancy scoring and selection, and also indicated some further possible actions of the union. John Lucas advised me that he would be meeting Philippa Holroyd on Thursday and would speak to me after this.
Although we did inform the media on Wednesday that the strike action would be continuing on the further five days we had previously notified to the company, we held back on releasing the redundancy data pending further discussions with the company. Having had no approach from Fujitsu by Friday afternoon, we then released the redundancy data. Some four hours after this, at around 8pm on Friday night we received a reply in response to the detailed case we had raised with the company at a meeting on 25 November and further in our letter to you of 7 December. We are still in the process of analysing the company’s response.
It would appear to us however that it was only the prospect of media coverage that prompted the company to eventually respond to matters we had raised nearly six weeks earlier.
We have no desire to unnecessarily prolong this dispute and believe that the differences between us on jobs, pay and pensions have narrowed and are capable of being bridged with appropriate effort from the company and the union. It does however need negotiations between the company and the union to explore further how we might resolve the outstanding issues in a way which is acceptable to our members and the company. In the absence of any indication that Fujitsu is open to this however, we will be making plans for further action inside and outside the company later this week.
We would therefore encourage you to arrange for your HR people at the highest level to meet with us with the aim of resolving this in the best interests of the company, our members and the workforce.
I look forward to hearing further from you.