Thanks to everyone who turned out today for the show of support as Ian Allinson (the chair of Unite, Fujitsu UK) was dismissed under the pretext of redundancy. Current and former colleagues were joined by strikers from Mears/Manchester Working and First Bus, the Hazards campaign, Manchester TUC, UNISON, PCS and more. Given that the event was organised at less than 48 hours’ notice the turnout was encouraging for the ongoing campaign.
Fujitsu Unite rep Kevin Davies, Billy Sinclair from Mears and Hilda Palmer from Hazards paid tribute to Ian’s contribution to the trade union movement in Fujitsu and beyond.
Ian then addressed the gathering, reminding people that he was one of six members fighting to stay in Fujitsu, and the fourth of these to be dismissed. The majority of the six are ethnic minority, the majority are disabled, and two are union reps. Fujitsu had dismissed the first two despite there being jobs available in their department which other members had turned down. One of these, Saj Patel, was dismissed before the company investigated her grievance (in breach of agreements) – she had complained of sexual harassment and claimed this was linked to her selection for redundancy. The third member was told on Thursday 28th December that he was being dismissed on Sunday 31st December. Ian had found out that he was being dismissed on Tuesday while on compassionate leave for a family funeral.
Ian argued that the attack on the union – victimising reps and breaking agreements – isn’t an accident. It is intended to make it easier for Fujitsu to push through job cuts and other detrimental changes in future, and to make it harder for staff to get their share of any of the settlement of the NHS contract dispute, which is expected in the next three months and could be hundreds of millions of pounds.
There’s a video of the rally here:
As part of the campaign against compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps, and breaches of agreements, Fujitsu Manchester strikes have already been called for:
- Wed 24 – Fri 26 Jan 2018
- Tue 30 Jan 2018
- Thu 8 Feb – Wed 14 Feb 2018
Whether or not the campaign is successful in winning his own reinstatement, Ian argued that it is vital that Fujitsu learns that victimising reps is an experience it never wanted to repeat. Ian ended his speech warning that Fujitsu should “expect the unexpected”.
Ian and other Fujitsu workers will be attending the fundraising gig for the Mears strikers on Sunday.
For details of how to support the Unite @ Fujitsu campaign, including an updated appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to the strike fund, see our dispute page.