A copy of this newsletter is available here.
Fujitsu has singled out Alan Jenney, Deputy Chair of UNITE’s Fujitsu UK Combine Committee and a UNITE Rep in Crewe, to put him at risk of redundancy. Alan’s treatment breaks Fujitsu’s procedures and agreements, and is inconsistent with how other employees are dealt with.
If Fujitsu gets away with making Alan redundant by breaking its own agreements and treating him more harshly than other employees, it will undermine the ability of any employee representative to speak up on behalf of staff.
UNITE is mounting a vigorous campaign to defend Alan. Please take a few minutes to read this newsletter, especially the section at the end which suggests how you can show your support.
As we know, Fujitsu’s attempts to victimise reps can be successfully stopped.
Alan has worked for the company since 1993 and is currently a Business Improvement Specialist (TSM/1).
Jobs come and go frequently in Fujitsu, but this is normally managed through redeployment, without anyone being put at risk of redundancy dismissal. One current example of this has been the successful redeployment of hundreds of staff after the unexpected loss of the DWP Desktops contract.
In Alan’s case, Fujitsu wants to cut one job from Alan’s team but immediately decided to declare a redundancy situation, without any attempt at redeployment. Fujitsu has failed to respond to UNITE’s requests for an explanation, despite the fact that avoiding redundancies is the first point for redundancy consultation.
Fujitsu defined a “selection pool” of two people, the other being in the UNITE Manchester bargaining unit and so covered by the union’s “Annex 1” agreement. That agreement is crystal clear that consultation is required, and that it starts when written notification (including a specified set of information is “provided to the senior union representative for the bargaining unit (or a deputy if they are absent), and a copy sent to the Union’s registered office”. No such notification has been given; the consultation period has not yet begun.
The agreement is clear that it is a bad idea to rush into selection:
There is no point carrying out a selection unless there is something to select them for (e.g. a suitable alternative job, redundancy). Premature selection could narrow the options for redeployment. Clarity about what selection is for could influence the choice of an appropriate selection process.
In line with this, both individuals affected and UNITE expressed a preference to delay selection and focus on redeployment and avoiding any redundancy dismissal.
Fujitsu falsely and bizarrely claimed that it would be illegal to redeploy anyone without selecting them for redundancy first. As the agreement explains:
“Redeployment of an Employee (at the initiative of the Company or the individual) from a job for which there is less requirement (i.e. a job which is at risk) to a new job can take place whether or not there is a risk of Employees being dismissed as redundant.”
Instead, Fujitsu finalised the selection criteria before starting consultation (which would also have covered this point) and rushed ahead with a flawed selection process which selected Alan for redundancy.
The selection process was flawed, but that is a secondary issue. Given the total disregard for the Annex 1 agreement, it is hard to draw any conclusion other than that the company knew in advance that they were going to select the member not covered by it – Alan.
Neither member should be at risk or redundancy – Fujitsu should work to redeploy anyone in this department they believe is not required, just as they do for hundreds of others.
Alan has been rejected for one of the redeployment opportunities he applied for because of “a number of at risk positions that need to be prioritised”, clearly not including his own.
All Alan is asking for is to be dealt with fairly, in accordance with Fujitsu’s own policies and agreements, and in the same way as the many hundreds of other Fujitsu employees who are redeployed without being put at risk of redundancy.
What YOU can do now
1. If you know of any redeployment opportunities for Alan, please let him know. Jobs of interest would include TSM/1, SDM/1 or MAN/1 roles in the North West.
2. Sign the “Defend Alan Jenney” petition, encourage your colleagues to do so, and return it as soon as possible.
3. A members’ meeting at Crewe today decided unanimously to start preparations for an industrial action ballot, in case the company goes ahead with victimising Alan. Key to this is verifying the details of every member. Members in Crewe will receive an email in the near future asking them to check and confirm or correct their details – please respond to it straight away.
4. Use this email and ask your MP, family, friends and relevant organisations to protest to Duncan Tait, the Chief Executive and Ella Bennett, the HR Director. Duncan can be contacted at Fujitsu, 22 Baker Street, London, W1U 3BW. Ella can be contacted at the same postal address. Please let us know if you’ve sent something.
5. Pass this newsletter on to a few colleagues who you think might be interested.
Please keep your eyes peeled for further updates.
Defend Alan Jenney
A copy of this newsletter is available here.