Despite UNITE offering solutions, the company has pressed on towards dismissing Alan Jenney, the Deputy Chair of the union’s Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, and a rep in Crewe. The company is saying that Alan could be dismissed as redundant from 10th July.
Whether the original job cut was genuine or not, it is clear that the company is singling Alan out and choosing to treat him worse than hundreds of other staff affected by job losses in Fujitsu. In its attempts to prevent Alan keeping his job, the company has (amongst many other things):
- Gone straight to redundancy without any attempt at redeployment
- Broken Manchester’s Annex 1 agreement (“Managing Changing Patterns of Employment), carrying out selection without even starting consultation with UNITE
- Broken the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) by rejecting a volunteer who is willing to swap with Alan
The company’s approach reinforces the view that Alan is being victimised because of the work he does on behalf of employees across the company in his union role.
UNITE defends any member facing the loss of their job. This case is even more important because it threatens the ability of members to elect reps and have them carry out their duties. It is a threat to union organisation, as well as to Alan as an individual.
UNITE members employed by Fujitsu Services Ltd and contractually based at CRE02 have voted in a ballot for industrial action and plan to start their action on Thursday 30th June with a one-day strike and ongoing action short of strike. This will allow them to raise the profile of the campaign by uniting with public sector workers (many of whom are Fujitsu’s customers) striking on the same day.
For full details of the ballot result and notice of action, see www.ourunion.org.uk/news.
Alan’s case, along with other serious breaches of agreements, led to a collective grievance being lodged in Manchester. As a result, the company will be meeting with UNITE and ACAS today. Everyone is hoping that this meeting can resolve the issues and allow the Crewe strike to be called off, but we cannot bank on this. On Friday, UNITE members in Manchester decided that they want the union to ballot them for industrial action too, if significant progress is not rapidly made.
You will notice that the breaches of agreements include matters affecting pensions for employees whether or not they were previously in the ICL DB pension plan, and which were in last year’s national “ACAS agreement”.
Wherever you are based, the breaches of agreements and the attempt to pick off reps affect you because they threaten your union’s ability to support any member on any issue. Please do everything you can to support our colleagues in Crewe. For example, you could:
- Make sure you have responded to the “membership check” email sent out to non-Crewe members on Sunday 19th June.
- Let your reps know if the recent “one per desk” leaflet, which includes updates on pay, jobs and the Defend Alan Jenney campaign, hasn’t yet been distributed at your site.
- Donate a small part of your pay to the strike fund. Cheques payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group” can be sent to Unite the Union, MAN34. If you use online banking, you can donate to Account Number: 00980539, Sort Code: 30-91-48, but please send an email to tell your reps about your donation
- Take Thursday off and join striking Crewe members on the march and rally with public sector strikers. Assemble 11:00, Thursday 30th June, All Saints Park, Oxford Road, Manchester. March to Castlefield Arena, Manchester City Centre for rally at 12:30.
- Ask your MP why a company receiving vast amounts or public money is being allowed to behave like this.
- Help organise a UNITE meeting at your own site to raise awareness of the campaign.
Send a message of support to Alan Jenney and the Crewe members.
For more information, see the “appeal for support” leaflet which is updated from time to time on www.ourunion.org.uk. For updates on the campaign, see www.ourunion.org.uk/news. You can also follow #DefendAlanJ on Twitter (http://twitter.com/DefendAlanJ) or friend “Unite At Fujitsu” on Facebook (http://facebook.com/uniteatfujitsu)