If Fujitsu thought they could sit out the dispute and it would go away, they were badly mistaken. Since the industrial action was suspended Unite members and supporters have been busy protesting and building support for the campaign. Fujitsu should stop being an irresponsible business and victimising whistleblowers.
Campaigners protested outside the Responsible Business Week Reception hosted by Business In The Community (BITC) in London on Tuesday 24th April. The reception celebrated the announcement of the Responsible Business Longlist and the Times Top 50 Employers for Women. Many attendees spoke to protestors, including one individual who had received an award and felt that award had been devalued by Fujitsu’s actions.
Fujitsu management were delighted that Fujitsu was named in the “Times Top 50 Employers for Women”. Did those who took the decision know the truth about Fujitsu? Did they know that Fujitsu reneged on its promise to share its equality impact assessments for the recent redundancies, after evidence of discrimination in previous redundancies? Did they know that Fujitsu dismissed a woman employee without even hearing her grievance about sex discrimination which she claimed was linked to her selection? Did they know that Fujitsu, which has a 17.9% gender pay gap but went to court to try to stop the union getting access to equality information about the company’s secretive pay and benefits system? Did they know that Fujitsu promised an equal pay review more than ten years ago but still haven’t done it? How do the other employers on the Times list feel about being in such company?
The day after the awards ceremony Fujitsu made a woman with an ethnic minority background and childcare responsibilities redundant, despite her request to work her notice to progress redeployment opportunities within Fujitsu.
Campaigners have been raising the profile of the dispute at events including the Workers Memorial Day rally in Manchester on Saturday 28th April and the Manchester May Day festival.
Members have discussed the dispute with several MPs including Angela Rayner (shadow minister for Education) and John McDonnell (shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer) who pledged his support for the dispute. Given that Fujitsu relies on the public sector for about half its UK business, is it really good business for senior management to behave in ways that damage the company’s reputation?