In May Unite suspended industrial action after receiving the first part of an offer from the company, following which members held meetings round the country (slides) to discuss next steps. In parallel with this negotiations took place on the second part of the offer, which was to be an update to the existing National Protocol Agreement. This second part of the offer arrived, members held a call to discuss it (slides) and members voted on it.
Voting took place from Friday 4th to Monday 14th August. The result was a 92% vote to reject. Despite the holiday season the turnout was high enough that more than half of all members voted to reject the offer.
A lot has happened since May, including:
- Offshoring, outsourcing and automation are not going well, causing significant damage to the business e.g. field engineering outsource to CBS, lack of resource for bids and delivery because of the job cuts
- The redundancy process continues to be a shambles e.g. MIS C&DCS
- Fujitsu continues to break agreements and individual contracts in its handling of the redundancies
- The accounts for Fujitsu Services Limited (the main UK employer) have been published, showing the package of the highest paid director rising 13% to £1,635,000
- UK profits continue to rise, but on a rapidly shrinking order book. Unite’s message from the start is that when a company is trying to sell the wrong things, you can’t fix that by cutting costs to sell the wrong things more cheaply, you need to invest in updating what you sell
- Confidence in senior management and their plans is low, including amongst managers
- A number of senior managers have left
- Redundancies have dragged on longer than many expected. For example, over 200 staff remain “at risk” in Manchester alone.
- New groups of employees have been put at risk of redundancy
- There is a clear pattern of attempts to victimise a number of Unite reps, threatening our organisation as well as them individually
- The number of agency temps and contractors has risen, contrary to standard measures to avoid or reduce redundancies, and wasting money
- The “standard” pay review has taken place, aiming to spend just 1.07% in August, with many staff getting 0% and the next pay review delayed until October 2018. Unite Manchester and PCS have both reached significantly better pay agreements, showing the benefit of union recognition. In Manchester the August spend is 1.75% with everyone getting something
- Fujitsu tried (and thankfully failed) to get the reps elected to negotiate the replacement to Fujitsu Voice to agree something worse than the legal default. A key issue was the company’s desire to prevent effective communication between reps and employees. Fujitsu appears to be planning to delay establishing the replacement until near the January 2018 legal deadline
- Fujitsu didn’t negotiate in good faith between May and July, went back on what it said, and made an offer that was worse than the agreement already in place, trying to stifle communication
Your reps and officers are currently working on campaign plans following members’ overwhelming rejection of the company offer. Please feed in your ideas and suggestions.
The Manchester legal case for national pay and benefits equality information had been on hold pending members’ decision, and will now be resumed.
It remains particularly important that you notify our membership secretary promptly of any changes, for example to your home address or employer, until the dispute is resolved.