Ballot papers will be in the post today to all Unite Members employed by Fujitsu Services Limited contractually based at CRE02.
If you have not received a voting paper by Tuesday 14th June 2011 you should contact Alan Jenney or Michael Thomas IMMEDIATELY. The full text of the notice of industrial action ballot to UNITE members is online.
|When you receive your ballot paper, please return your vote STRAIGHT AWAY. This is particularly important because of the short balloting period.||YES||X|
|UNITE is urging every member to vote YES+YES to present a strong message to the company and give us the best chance of preventing the company dismissing Alan Jenney – and defending the union organisation that defends us.||YES||X|
This is the final “ballot countdown” notice. Here are some final thoughts on the ballot and action.
Explaining the Ballot Paper
The reason why our notices talk about voting YES+YES is that the law requires the union to ask separate questions about strike action and action short of strike. The two questions are:
There’s no point taking any action at all unless we intend to win and your reps believe we need a big YES vote on both questions to have a realistic chance of success. That’s why UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES.
The ballot paper will also include the following text:
“If you take part in a strike or other industrial action, you may be in breach of your contract of employment. However, if you are dismissed for taking part in strike or other industrial action which is called officially and is otherwise lawful, the dismissal will be unfair if it takes place fewer than twelve weeks after you started taking part in the action, and depending on the circumstances may be unfair if it takes place later.”
This is standard wording which is required to be on all industrial ballot papers by law. Unions have been campaigning to get it removed (along with the rest of the anti-union laws) because it seems calculated to scare people just as their pen hovers over the voting paper. The legal immunities for lawful industrial action aren’t mentioned. Have you ever heard of any action against an official striker for breach of contract? Thought not.
To run a dispute successfully, the members have to be in charge. Regular members’ meetings are crucial to ensure that everyone understands what is going on and why, and has a say in deciding on the next steps.
Because this is a local dispute, it is possible to take many decisions directly at members’ meetings. UNITE will not call any industrial action which hasn’t been approved at a members’ meeting. The members are the union, and will remain in democratic control of the campaign at all times.
We want to achieve a successful resolution to this dispute as quickly as possible and with the minimum industrial action – ideally none at all! That’s why UNITE is organising other aspects of the campaign, to maximise the pressure on Fujitsu – this is an easy dispute to resolve if the company can be persuaded to try.
Even if and when strikes take place, it’s not always practical for everyone to picket on a strike day, and it may not always be the most effective use of time anyway. Strikers often organise a range of other activities to help the campaign, such as phoning people, letter writing, leaflet writing, leafleting other workplaces, collecting money, holding meetings, administering financial support, touring other workplaces and union branches to raise support or lobbying MPs.
There are ways for everyone to contribute to the success of the campaign.
People often have fears about a dispute damaging relationships with workmates or management. This can happen, particularly if a dispute is long and bitter. But it doesn’t have to be like that, we are looking for a rapid solution to this issue.
Things would be far worse if we allowed the company to pick off our reps so that staff were scared to speak up for their rights or to support each other.