Strikes next week and potential offer

At present, the strikes on Monday, Thursday and Friday are still going ahead. Details of pickets and customer protests are being added to the dispute web page: https://ouruniontest.wordpress.com/fujitsu-national-dispute/

Fujitsu senior management are holding a meeting at 5pm today to approve an offer. If the offer arrives as promised, the intention would be to suspend all industrial action pending members voting on the offer. If this happens, reps will do their best to notify members over the weekend. Please check the dispute web page before striking or coming to work on Monday, and if the strikes have to go ahead, make them the biggest yet.

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Strikes on Thursday & Friday SUSPENDED

Unite held talks with Fujitsu yesterday, after which the company expected to send an offer today, which the parties worked together on this morning. Unfortunately Fujitsu has now informed reps that though the offer is still coming, it has been delayed by an internal approval process.

As a gesture of goodwill the Combine Committee decided to suspend the strikes called for Thursday 18th and Friday 19th May, to allow the company time to provide the offer as promised. All other action currently remains as previous called – including the strikes on Monday 22nd, Thursday 25th & Friday 26th May, next week. 

If the offer arrives as expected, Unite hopes to be able to suspend all further action pending members voting on it.

As always, updates will be posted on https://ouruniontest.wordpress.com/fujitsu-national-dispute/ so you can check there for details even if you don’t have access to work email etc.

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Ask parliamentary candidates how their policies would help Fujitsu workers

As well as the ongoing strikes and protests to try to secure a successful resolution to the dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions, members have been contacting politicians asking for their help and support.

The General Election coming on 8th June is a great opportunity to ask all the candidates (you can find many of the candidates via https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/) how their policies would help Fujitsu workers, all of which can increase pressure for a good outcome to our dispute. Unite has prepared the following model letter you can send to candidates in your constituency:

I’m writing to you and all the other candidates to ask your views on some key issues affecting me and a number of other constituents. Responses will be collated and made public.

Fujitsu is a major IT supplier to government and the private sector in the UK. Its last accounts reported £85.6m profits here, but an effective tax rate of 0%. Fujitsu is currently cutting 1800 UK jobs through a combination of moving them offshore, automation and outsourcing. For more information on the background see https://ouruniontest.wordpress.com/fujitsu-national-dispute/.

My questions:

  1. How would you stop employers, and in particular government suppliers, offshoring jobs to low wage countries?
  2. How would you ensure workers benefit from automation rather than being made redundant to boost profits?
  3. How would you protect workers facing outsourcing or TUPE transfers?
  4. How would you ensure workers are properly consulted about company restructuring or job cuts?
  5. How would you ensure workers who want union recognition and collective bargaining can get it?
  6. How would you ensure all workers are decently paid?
  7. How would you ensure workers and their representatives have access to information they need to prove and stop any discrimination?
  8. How would you improve protection of workers’ pensions?
  9. Do you have any other plans to improve workers’ rights or our share of UK wealth?
  10. How will you support Fujitsu workers’ fight for justice?

Thank you

Please send the responses you receive to unitetheunion@uk.fujitsu.com so that reps can collate and publish them.

And of course, make sure your own voice is heard in the election:

  1. Register to vote gov.uk/register-to-vote (you need your National Insurance number, which is on your pay slip, available via Your HR)
  2. If you aren’t sure you’ll get time to vote on 8 June, apply for a postal vote (by 5pm 18th May in NI, 5pm 23rd May in GB) gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-a-postal-vote
  3. Write to the candidates in your constituency asking their views (see below)
  4. Remember to vote on 8 June
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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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Sign the petition – defend the union

Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK are fighting over job security, for union recognition, against victimisation of reps, and over pay and pensions. Members nationally took industrial from 28 February including 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike, after 12 days of local strikes in Manchester.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED but members have voted by 92% to reject a company offer.

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

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