Report from Fujitsu Manchester members’ meeting

Thanks to all the members who took part in today’s members’ meeting. Below are the main decisions.
Members discussed Fujitsu’s union busting and breaches of agreements covering union recognition, redundancy and redeployment, pay and benefits, pensions and out of hours working, as well as the attacks on reps in Manchester and elsewhere. Members passed the following motion:

We note that though HR offered further talks on 21st July, they refused even to confirm that they would adhere to the “status quo” (required by our Recognition Agreement) on any of the issues while negotiations continued.

We endorse the decision of our reps to register a Failure To Agree and ask UNITE to organise an industrial action ballot, in line with the decision of the members’ meeting on 24th June. We also support UNITE’s willingness to continue negotiations with the company.

The company’s stance in the pay negotiations confirms that the company failed to honour last year’s Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement and the national agreement reached through ACAS in February 2010. We are concerned that this could be preparing the ground for an attack on the FJUK Defined Contribution pension scheme.

The company is now breaking agreements in relation to redundancy and redeployment, pay, pensions, out of hours working, consultation before decisions are taken, negotiation without the company imposing outcomes first (whether for individual or collective issues), as well as victimising our reps.

We believe that the company is trying to break the union in order to impose worse terms and conditions on employees.

We resolve to campaign for a change in the company’s approach to industrial relations (including justice for Alan Jenney), including by:

  1. Campaigning for a YES+YES vote in the industrial action ballot
  2. Explaining the issues to our colleagues and encouraging them to join the union and defend their rights
  3. Participating in campaign activities to keep Fujitsu’s dishonest and dishonourable behaviour in the eyes of customers and potential customers
  4. Raising support for the campaign elsewhere in Fujitsu, in the wider trade union movement and in our communities
  5. Participating in dispute committee meetings open to all members and helping organise the campaign

Ballot papers are being posted to members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement on Friday 15th July, and everyone is encouraged to vote YES+YES and to return their ballot paper immediately.
Members agreed the following motion accepting the company’s latest pay offer:

We instruct our reps to accept the company pay offer of 11th July 2011 and sign the new agreement.

Given past and current experience, we recognise the risk that the company will not fully implement the agreement and may pay employees less than they are entitled to. We resolve to:

  1. Instruct our reps to continue with the CAC claim with the aim of securing adequate information to monitor implementation of our agreements
  2. Promptly check our pay increases (with help from UNITE) and challenge any shortfall.

We note that the Company is reneging on commitments previously given made in the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement over pensions, including their contractual status. We are concerned that this is preparing the way for a further attack on employees’ pension rights. We note that adherence to agreements is a central aim of the dispute over which we are about to be balloted for industrial action.

We note that the company has changed wording in the agreement to allow it to introduce yet more unfairness in allocation of benefits. We resolve to play an active part in UNITE’s campaign for a fair and transparent pay and benefits system in the IT Services sector.

UNITE reps have now signed the pay agreement and sent a copy to the company, so that implementation can progress.
Key messages were:

  • The deal is far better than that elsewhere in Fujitsu, with a significantly larger pot and fairer distribution.
  • The company denied UNITE the information required to jointly work on the numbers in the matrices this year, so the company filled these in alone. UNITE has mounted a legal challenge (CAC claim) to get the necessary information.
  • The numbers in the matrices are far lower than last year, undermining the company’s claims to be committed to paying for performance or equal pay.
  • It will be very important for individuals to check their pay rises this year, as it seems unlikely that the matrices are really worth 1% as the company claims.
  • We can continue to pursue the company’s decision to renege on the pensions issue through the campaign against union busting.
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Sign the petition – defend the union

Unite members working for Fujitsu Services Limited in the Manchester bargaining unit are balloting for industrial action over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of agreements. This follows 27 previous days of strike action.

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

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