Manchester Industrial Action Ballot: 3 days to go

NOTE: Since this notice was issued, the ballot timescale has changed
Ballot papers are being posted out to UNITE members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement on Friday 15th July Ė just three days to go. UNITE is asking all members to vote as soon as they receive their ballot paper, and to vote YES+YES.
Yesterday Fujitsu dismissed Alan Jenney, deputy chair of our Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, which coordinates UNITEís work nationally. The company breached his contract by making him redundant without letting him work his notice, which would have helped him secure redeployment. They didnít even finish hearing his appeals and grievances before dismissing him. The company refused to allow either of the volunteers who came forward to take his place. The company dismissed Alan without even having responded to all his outstanding internal job applications. Fujitsu broke both the Manchester Annex 1 agreement and the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) in dealing with this redundancy.
If Fujitsu gets away with this, do you think their union-busting will stop there?
The ballot is over much more than Alanís dismissal. It is about the breakdown in industrial relations.
Over the years members have secured a range of agreements to protect employees, and built a team of reps who work on your behalf to implement and improve them.
Our agreements cover many points including:

  • Protection in redundancy situations and redeployment
  • Rights on pay, pensions and out of hours
  • The right to consultation</ before decisions are taken
  • The right to negotiation</ without the company imposing outcomes first, whether for individual or collective issues
  • The right to have reps with adequate time to work on your behalf and who suffer no detriment for doing so

All this is under threat because Fujitsu is breaking its agreements on all these points. If we let Fujitsu establish a situation where our rights are ignored whene0ver they feel like it, we are all at risk.
In this time of economic uncertainty it would be folly to give up our hard-won rights.
UNITE has worked hard to resolve this dispute without the need for a ballot, including through negotiations facilitated by ACAS. But Fujitsu refused to stop taking the actions which break our agreements even if negotiations continue.
This dispute should be easy to resolve. Industrial relations could be improved by the company:

  1. Honouring and implementing agreements
  2. Engaging in regular dialogue at an appropriate level outside the context of disputes
  3. Consulting before making decisions that affect staff
  4. Focusing on resolving issues by agreement where possible, rather than generating unnecessary conflict which undermines the reputation and future success of the company
  5. Respecting the role of employee representatives, who sometimes have to put forward views senior management may not like, and seeking to address the substantive issues rather than attempting to victimise reps

These steps are little more than good management practice.
We have successfully defended our rights before. We need to do so again.
It is vital that you keep your UNITE membership record up to date throughout the period until the dispute is resolved. Please contact our membership secretary, Michael Thomas with any updates to your membership record.

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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK are taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included strikes and ongoing action short of strike. Further strikes have been called for 22, 25, 26 May.

This follows the recent resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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