Guide to Action Short of Strike

The full details of the action short of strike are posted with the notices of action on www.ourunion.org.uk/news. In summary, the action is:

  1. Ban on Overtime (paid or unpaid) unless paid at Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates
  2. Work to Rule and to Contract
  3. Ban on using own vehicle to travel on company business unless in receipt of an allowance
  4. Policy of non cooperation

Members voted by very large majorities (71% in Crewe, 85.6% in Manchester) for the action short of strike, and everyone shares the responsibility to make it as effective as possible. Action short of strike is more complicated than strike action, so we all need to think about how we make it as effective as possible.
The goal behind all the action short of strike is to maximise the impact on the company while minimising the impact on members. The more effective it is, the sooner we will achieve a successful resolution to the dispute.
The “Ban on using own vehicle to travel on company business unless in receipt of an allowance” is fairly straight forward. Unless you have a company car or an allowance in lieu of a company car, refuse to use your own vehicles for business trips. Needing to use public transport or requiring a hire car are both likely to cause the company additional inconvenience by delaying travel arrangements.
Work to Rule and to Contract” and “Policy of non cooperation” are about reducing productivity as far as possible while still actually doing your job. Use your imagination, but examples might include:

  • Not taking work phone calls outside contracted hours unless paid on standby
  • Is there anything unproductive in your objectives that you could be getting on with?
  • Have you updated your Personal Development Plan, CV and Skills Database entry recently?
  • Take all the time you need to read company announcements and any associated information on CafeVIK
  • Show the minimum possible flexibility – stop doing all the extras you normally do but which are so rarely appreciated
  • Have you remembered to back up your PC regularly? Tidied your desk?
  • Have you got any IT problems which you’ve not taken the time to report and resolve?
  • Have you got any expenses you haven’t got round to submitting?

If you are worrying that all this is likely to have an impact on the project or contract you are working on – that’s the whole point. We don’t want to have to do this, so why not alert your manager to the risk being imposed on projects or SLAs by the company’s failure to resolve the dispute and encourage them to raise it with senior management? By doing so you are being a responsible employee and making sure that risks are identified and can be managed.
The form of action which has probably caused most confusion is “Ban on Overtime (paid or unpaid) unless paid at Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates”. Here are a few scenarios:

  • You normally work more than your contracted hours and don’t get paid.

    Write to your manager saying you won’t be working extra hours unless paid at UHP rates.

  • You normally get paid less than Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates when you work more than your contracted hours.

    Write to your manager saying you won’t be working extra hours unless paid at UHP rates.

  • You are on a standby rota and when called out you normally either don’t get paid any extra or you get paid less than UHP rates.

    Write to your manager saying that you won’t work if called out unless the extra hours are paid at UHP rates.

Some members have been under the misapprehension that the ban doesn’t apply to them if they have signed up to terms and conditions that pay less than UHP rates. A major reason for going through the whole ballot process is to give employees (members or not) in scope of the action legal immunity for taking the industrial action called.
The action short of strike gives opportunities for employees to actually increase their earnings, and also to make the company appreciate all the extra you normally put in over and above the minimum for your job.
UNITE’s Q&A on industrial action answers many other questions about the industrial action. It also includes links to model letters produced for the last dispute which you can adapt and send to your manager for the overtime restrictions.
Please talk to your colleagues and make the action effective. Remember that non-members can join in the action too, if they are employees of Fujitsu Services Limited contractually based at CRE02 or in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement.

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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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