Well done to everyone who took part in the strike today, including those who joined Unite on the picket line. A national strike was a huge blow in our fight for jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Well done to the non-union-members who struck too – though of course they would be better off joining.
A particular thank you to the strikers who played an active part. Many picketed, while others who for reasons of health or geography couldn’t picket had other campaign activities.
All the planned pickets went off successfully, starting in Warrington at 5:30am, where pickets turned away some deliveries. This is significant because this site is the company’s UK warehouse (threatened with outsourcing to DHL), so non-deliveries can have a real impact. A number of people who didn’t join in were impressed with the picket and said they would next time. The pickets featured in a report in the Warrington Guardian.
As well as Warrington, pickets took place in Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham/Solihull, Blackpool, Bracknell, Crewe, London, Manchester, Stevenage and Wakefield.
The London picket coincided with a senior management meeting about the job cuts (they seemed to appreciate the megaphone outside), and was joined by Unite Assistant General Secretary Tony Burke.
Workers in Blackpool staged a picket despite it being a tiny site, ably assisted by a picket dog.
Other sites staged impressive pickets too.
Reps on the redundancy consultation body (CCG) had asked the company in good time to rearrange today’s meeting (which was due to be held in Solihull) because of the strike, but the company refused. Only when it became apparent that (at most) one of the 46 reps, many of whom are not union members, intended to take part in a meeting on a strike day did the company accept that the meeting couldn’t go ahead. The company then complained about how hard it was to rearrange things at short notice! Perhaps if they listened to the reps, staff would feel less need to go on strike.
The company’s insensitivity has been a big factor in the strength of feeling behind the action. Fancy writing out to thousands of people you are threatening with redundancy and asking them to “come on this journey with us”.
The Manchester picket was hit by a blizzard, but that didn’t prevent strikers staging a pancake race and pancake tossing competition.
Continuing the theme, don’t forget that Unite has called on Fujitsu Services Limited employees in the UK to give up a number of things for Lent (until further notice):
- continuous refusal to cooperate with or participate in projects to move work offshore, including knowledge transfer
- continuous refusal to undertake time recording (e.g. SST) or forecasting (e.g. MyTime)
- continuous ban on overtime
- continuous work to rule and withdrawal of goodwill
Talk to your colleagues about taking part in this action – whether they struck or not. The more people who participate the greater the pressure on Fujitsu to resolve the dispute.
The elected Combine Committee which represents Unite members across Fujitsu in the UK is having a call tomorrow to decide what further action to ask Unite to call in pursuit of a settlement over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions.
Details of how members can claim their Dispute Benefit will be circulated in the next few days. There’s a Q&A about the dispute, an appeal for support leaflet and other key information on the national dispute page.