During any dispute, all sorts of rumours circulate, often calculated to undermine the campaign. This is one of the reasons why it is so important that members read union notices carefully, so that you can deal with silly rumours promptly.
Here are a few that have gone round in the last week:
- “The union has called off the strikes from Monday”
- The union hasn’t yet called any strikes after Friday 15th January, so there’s nothing to call off. If and when further strikes are called, members will be officially notified.
- “As this site is now so militant, there will be less jobs here”
- Some of the most difficult issues in the redundancy programme relate to the relocation of work from Bracknell to Swansea (the most militant PCS site) and from Crewe to Manchester. It hardly looks like strong union organisation is the biggest consideration in where to put work.
- “You only get Dispute Benefit if XXX”
- If you’re a UNITE member and have been on strike, please claim your £30 a day Dispute Benefit. The email notice on Tuesday 12th January gave details of how to claim. It’s as simple as that.
Members can also apply for Hardship Payments if they need extra financial support to be able to take part in the strike. As the money for Hardship Payments is raised by members, only those who take an active part in the campaign (picketing, attending meetings etc) can claim. Common sense will apply, so if you need help, ask for it.
- “The redundancies have already happened, the action is too late for the jobs issue”
- Many people left the company on 11th December, but people who wanted to remain in Fujitsu could choose to stay on until at least 31st January. It is the people who want to stay whose jobs we are fighting for.
- “If you’ve just been redeployed, you’re risking your job by striking as you’re on a trial period.”
- No. The trial period is one-way. It is time for you to decide whether the job is suitable for you, and protects your right to a redundancy payment if you decide it is not. You are not a new employee, you have continuity of service and are not on probation. The chances are that your job was saved partly by the UNITE campaign putting pressure on the company to handle the redundancies better. Shouldn’t you stick by the people who haven’t yet got redeployed?
- “Helpdesk staff aren’t allowed to go on strike”
- Nonsense. The company may treat helpdesk staff as second-class citizens, but they still have some human rights! You don’t have to take the answer from UNITE. The company’s own FAQ says “Who can take industrial action? Any Fujitsu UK employee; ie they may be members of Unite, or of other unions, or of none.”
Don’t forget that the UNITE Q&A on industrial action covers many other common questions.