Unite reps including Sharon Hutchinson our full time officer, met with the company and ACAS on 9th December. The company sent a higher level of management (Tim Cowell, Head of Agenda 2020 and Sarah Wadsworth, Head of HR UK&I, both direct reports of Lucy Dimes, Fujitsu UK&I CEO) than we have previously engaged with. Reps had prepared a draft offer to resolve the dispute which we shared with the company. The company made no offer on the day, but Sarah Wadsworth has since written to Unite setting out the company’s current position.
In summary, there is small movement on pay, but nothing material on the other issues yet, though there are several points on which the company intends to respond. On pay, the company offered to fund the November 2016 Living Wage outside the pay budget, which represents a very small increase (<0.1%). The company also showed more flexibility on how the pot should be distributed. The response on other points was generally very negative. Describing the cut in pension benefits as ‘unfortunate’ is bound to irritate those affected.
The big picture is that members’ action has brought the company from a position of not negotiating, to sending a senior team to negotiate, and beginning to move on their positions. This is an important development that we need to build on to secure a resolution acceptable to members. That means both keeping up the pressure in terms of campaigning, action short of strike, and further strike dates; therefore industrial action continues.
Thank you to all our supporters who have helped us so far and enabled us get the company to start moving on its position.
Members meeting – Wednesday 11th January, 2pm
It is also prudent to have a members meeting to discuss progress and future action. One is being planned for Wednesday 11th January 2017, 2pm, MAN35 canteen. An invite has been sent out to members