Further action called at Fujitsu

As Fujitsu Services Limited employees in the UK prepare for strikes on Thursday, Friday & Monday, Unite has issued the notice to call further strike days up to 26 May. The full list of strike days as part of the campaign over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions is here, along with other information.

Further talks with the company are scheduled for 16 May and it is hoped that action could be suspended if real progress is made this time.

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Fujitsu strike goes up a gear

It’s been a busy time for Fujitsu workers, fighting against 1800 UK job cuts, for union recognition, and over pay and pensions.

On Thursday 20th, we took our message to the IndustriALL Global Union conference, which agreed support.

On Friday 21st, strikers and supporters took a letter to the Japanese ambassador in London and leafleted at the embassy.

Protesters with flags outside Japanese embassyOn Monday 24th, strikers from London, Manchester, Bracknell and Stevenage converged to leaflet the launch of Business In the Community’s “Responsible Business Week” in London, supported by local Unite Community activists. Frances O’Grady, the head of the TUC, stopped to get her photo taken with a few of us.

Frances O'Grady with protesters and Unite Community Camden bannerSeveral attendees were very interested in the gap between Fujitsu’s words and deeds. Fujitsu’s UK & Ireland head, Lucy Dimes, stopped to take a leaflet, but didn’t look as happy as Frances O’Grady.

Talks with the company took place on Tuesday, but while these were more positive, the company has still made no offer to resolve the dispute, and they continue to make staff redundant.

On Wednesday Manchester members met to decide their pay claim for 2017 and their response to an ultimatum from Fujitsu. Last year Unite had analysed Fujitsu pay and benefits information and shown the company has a major problem with inequality. Instead of agreeing to work with Unite to investigate and resolve the issues, Fujitsu launched a cover-up. It refused to give information to the Fujitsu Voice works council, which it then abolished, or to Unite. The union recently included UK-wide equality information in a request for information for collective bargaining under rights arising from union recognition in Manchester. Fujitsu responded by threatening to delay pay talks unless Unite dropped the request. Members voted not to give in to such behaviour and Unite is now pursuing legal action to force disclosure.

During the strike on Thursday we staged a social media protest, timed to coincide with the launch of the Times Top 50 employers for gender equality.

Tell Fujitsu Responsible Business needs deeds not wordsBetter weather cheered the pickets, with some rivalry developing on picket line catering around the country.

Basingstoke pickets enjoying cream tea

Friday’s strike coincided with International Workers’ Memorial Day, ane members took part in events, leafleting attendees to build support for the campaign.

Unite Fujitsu strikers amongst the crowdOver the May Day weekend members have been distributing the Appeal For Support leaflet while joining in festivities, including having Unite@Fujitsu speakers at the Manchester and Leeds events on Saturday.

This week we’re striking Thursday and Friday. Other activities will include:

  • A Skype call for members on Tuesday lunchtime
  • Pickets on Thursday & Friday
  • A meeting of the Unite Fujitsu UK Combine Committee in London on Thursday afternoon
  • A two-day course for members to learn how to accompany someone at a redundancy 1-1, appeal or grievance on Thursday & Friday in Salford
  • Writing to MPs and candidates
  • Protests at Sainsbury’s stores on Thursday and Friday (Sainsbury’s owns HRG/Argos, a Fujitsu customer). We are asking supporters to organise protests too (Facebook event).

Details of strike days and activities, leaflets etc are always updated on the dispute page: https://ouruniontest.wordpress.com/fujitsu-national-dispute/

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Media coverage of Fujitsu strikes

Fujitsu must be feeling the pressure this week as the escalation of action produced a flurry of media coverage, which included BBC, The Register, The Business Desk, This Is Money, Local Berkshire, Crewe & Nantwich Guardian, and many more:

i

ITV.com

Lancashire Evening Post

Metro (Scotland)

Newsletter (Belfast)

Oldham Evening Chronicle

Shropshire Star

The Herald (Scotland)

The National (Scotland)

The Scotsman

The Sentinel (Stoke)

Western Daily Press

Belfast Telegraph

Blackpool Gazette

Computer Weekly

Daily Record (Scotland)

Express and Star (Wolverhampton)

Isn’t it time Fujitsu’s senior management stopped trashing their own business, listened to the workforce and settled the dispute?

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More strikes called after failure of talks

Pickets at Fujitsu Manchester

Talks with Fujitsu produced no offer and no proposals from the company, which did not accept proposals put forward by Unite to settle the dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions.

Unite has notified the company of further strike dates in pursuit of a settlement acceptable to members.

The strikes called are now:

  • Thursday 13th April
  • Thursday 20th – Friday 21st April
  • Monday 24th April
  • Thursday 27th – Friday 28th April
  • Thursday 4th – Friday 5th May
  • Monday 8th May
  • Thursday 11th – Friday 12th May

The continuous action is also ongoing until further notice:

  • Refusal to cooperate with or participate in projects to move work offshore, including knowledge transfer
  • Refusal to undertake time recording (e.g. SST) or forecasting (e.g. MyTime)
  • Work to rule and withdrawal of goodwill
  • Ban on overtime

For further information, including details of pickets and how supporters can donate money are here.

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Fujitsu action escalates as staff back Unite candidates in election

Action plans – further strike days

The industrial action is already biting, having a real impact on the company in a number of areas. Tomorrow some of our reps and Unite National Officer are meeting the company to see if the company is willing to make an offer to resolve the dispute which could then be put to members. We are campaigning:

  • To save jobs, avoid Compulsory Redundancies and improve redundancy pay
  • For all employees to have the right to union recognition, especially now our Voice has been removed
  • For compensation for employees whose pensions were retrospectively slashed; to tackle pay inequality; and for Fujitsu to become an accredited Living Wage employer

Given that the company has only allowed 90 minutes for tomorrow’s meeting, it seems unlikely that an offer will be forthcoming on the day, but hopefully some progress can be made.

Thanks to all the members who fed in their thoughts on future action to keep the pressure up. Key considerations were:

  • Fujitsu has started making members redundant, and more job losses are planned over the coming weeks, so we need to win quickly if we are to benefit as many members as possible, rather than allowing the dispute to drag on
  • We are now over 4 weeks into the 12 week period of maximum protection for members taking industrial action
  • We have to give the company at least two weeks’ notice of industrial action. Action can be suspended at short notice, but cannot be called at short notice.

Following consultation with members your elected Combine Committee asked Unite to call further industrial action, which has now been notified to the company as follows:

  • Thursday 13th April
  • Thursday 20th April
  • Friday 21st April
  • Monday 24th April

The continuous action is also ongoing until further notice:

  • Refusal to cooperate with or participate in projects to move work offshore, including knowledge transfer
  • Refusal to undertake time recording (e.g. SST) or forecasting (e.g. MyTime)
  • Work to rule and withdrawal of goodwill
  • Ban on overtime

Details of how to claim your dispute benefit were sent out again on Tuesday.

Union members elected to negotiate Fujitsu Voice replacement

Fujitsu terminated Fujitsu Voice and the associated redundancy agreement in January, stripping staff of vital rights before the redundancies took effect. Staff recently elected reps to a Special Negotiating Body (SNB) which will negotiate a replacement.

The results of the election reinforce the widespread support amongst staff – whether union members or not, for Fujitsu Voice and the role that union members played in making it as effective as possible. Staff elected union members to nine out of the ten seats and former Fujitsu Voice reps to seven out of the ten seats.

It remains to be seen whether the company will enter these negotiations in good faith to produce a good quality agreement or stick as closely as they can to the bare legal minimum.

There is no guarantee that the new body will cover vital issues such as redundancy, pay and benefits. The only way staff can be sure of having a real say on these issues is to win union recognition. As well as being part of our current industrial action, any employee (member or non-member) can register their support for union recognition and collective bargaining via www.ourunion.org.uk/voiceless. If enough employees do this in a particular part of the company, they can win union recognition. Wouldn’t it be better if everyone had the rights that Manchester staff have already won?

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Fujitsu Fightback is growing in strength

Pickets at Fujitsu Manchester

Today saw the second day of national strike action by Fujitsu staff in a dispute over 1800 proposed job cuts, union recognition, pay and pensions.

Fujitsu was already stretched due to many staff in Northern Ireland taking St Patrick’s Day off. Support for the action was strong across the country. Not only was this the last working day before Fujitsu plans to start dismissing staff as redundant, but Fujitsu has continued notifying more and more staff that they are at risk, including people who believed they were previously safe. Workers were also angry at the company’s response to union attempts to avoid compulsory redundancies – instead of helping, the company says it is “investigating” what the union has done! New members continue to join the union.

Read more ›

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National Unite @ Fujitsu leaflet

In advance of Friday’s strike over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions this “one per desk” leaflet is being distributed at Fujitsu sites around the country.

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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED while members consider an offer from Fujitsu.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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