IT services giant Fujitsu escalated its dispute with Manchester staff by walking away from talks with Acas last week. It has also threatened disciplinary action against Ian Allinson, the senior Amicus Rep, as part of an effort to attack the union by reducing facility time in the middle of the dispute.
The dispute is over union recognition, redundancy, redeployment and pay. Fujitsu is a major supplier of IT services to large companies, local and central government, with over 14,000 staff in the UK, but doesn't generally recognise unions. The outcome of the dispute seems likely to be a turning point in the unionisation of the company and the wider industry.
A large meeting of Amicus members on Wednesday 13 December – before the disciplinary threat – decided to restart action short of strike and step up the campaign with a two or three-day strike which is likely to take place in the new year. Members also decided to step up efforts to use the dispute to unionise other Fujitsu sites across the UK. On the first strike day teams went out to leaflet other Fujitsu sites. Members on other sites have held members meetings, elected new Reps and identified their own issues to campaign around. Find a Fujitsu site near you at www.fujitsu.com/uk/contact/ukmap.html
Amicus is asking for messages of protest to the company HR boss, Roger Leek, Fujitsu Services, 22 Baker Street, London, W1U 3BW. Please send copies (and any messages of support) to [email protected] or Ian Allinson, Fujitsu Services, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP.
With over 300 members involved in the dispute, fundraising is increasingly important to develop the campaign and to provide hardship payments. Donations (payable to 'Manchester IT Workers Group') can be sent to John Wood, 301 Bolton Road, Bury, BL8 2NZ. Leaflets, collection sheets and updates about the dispute can be found on www.ourunion.org.uk If you want a speaker (e.g. at a union meeting), contact [email protected]