Today was the 12th strike day for Unite members at Fujitsu Manchester in their long-running dispute over pay, pensions and job security.
Last week members had endured snow, wet and wind on the picket line, but took advantage of opportunities to dry out. One supporter described the strikers as showing “icy determination”.
While some members picketed, others spent time on the phone to members around the country. Some were confirming membership information in preparation for a potential national industrial action ballot over issues including the 1800 Agenda 2020 job cuts and the need to extend union recognition to cover more staff outside Manchester. Others were encouraging members to register a formal request for union recognition. This is part of Unite’s “Don’t be Fujitsu Voiceless” campaign in response to the company’s termination of the UK works council, Fujitsu Voice. Voice was terminated on Saturday, stripping UK employees of important rights just when they need them most.
Today members also took the campaign over to Chesterfield, visiting the Post Office, which is a major Fujitsu customer, and getting good local support.
The last three days of strikes have been vital to keep pressure up on the company ahead of Thursday’s negotiations with the company, facilitated by ACAS. Members decided to suspend the strike action planned for Thursday because the talks are taking place.
The strike planned for Friday 20th January is still scheduled to go ahead, but everyone hopes Unite will be able to suspend this if the talks are fruitful, so watch this space!
Details of how to support the strikers are here.