Fujitsu’s poor treatment of employees and in particular its failure to honour agreements has led to three different disputes at the same time.
Firstly there was the dispute involving UNITE members in Crewe to defend Alan Jenney against victimisation. Secondly PCS members at various sites voted for action over pay. Thirdly UNITE members in Manchester voted for action over the breakdown in industrial relations, breaches of agreements and victimisation of reps.
All three disputes are related to some extent because it seems highly unlikely any of them would have arisen had Fujitsu honoured the commitments it had previously made to its staff through their unions.
Though settlements of the disputes may be reached in different ways and at different times, both unions can see that coordinating any industrial action will maximise its impact on Fujitsu and therefore the prospects for acceptable outcomes to each of the disputes at the earliest possible stage.
As well as having some impact in its own right, the action short of strike will make it harder for Fujitsu to circumvent the effect of all the industrial action. Action short of strike has been ongoing in Crewe since the strike on 30th June. For employees in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement it begins tomorrow, (from 00:01hrs) Wednesday 14th September 2011. See the Q&A below for more details.
Employees involved in all three disputes plan to strike together on Monday 19th September 2011.
UNITE and PCS have issued a joint press release in which UNITE General Secretary Len McCluskey says:
“Unite will not accept any situation where an employer can arbitrarily break negotiated agreements. This dispute can only be resolved through negotiations and coming to an agreement with the workforce. We remain available to talk at any time and urge management to get around the table so we can have a negotiated settlement.”
It is very encouraging that we are getting backing from the top of the union.
Please do everything you can to make the action as effective as possible so that the dispute can be brought to a satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible.
UNITE has produced a new “one per desk” newsletter for distribution in Crewe and Manchester. This is important in order to get the information about the dispute out to as many employees (whether union members or not). If you can help distribute it in your area, please speak to one of your local reps.