A large group of striking Amicus union members from Fujitsu came to the lunchtime rally in Manchester.
It marked the third day of a five-day strike in their dispute over union recognition, the breaking of agreed company procedures, and the implementation of their 2005 pay deal. The five-day strike follows a one-day strike last November and a two-day strike on 11 and 12 January this year.
Sulayman Munir, chair of Amicus reps at Fujitsu Manchester, told the lunchtime rally, “Just like our colleagues in the NHS and civil service, we’re having to fight for everything – for pay, for conditions, and against redundancies.”
Many rank and file members are involved in raising support and collecting donations for the strike.
One of the strikers, Rama Nallamilli, told Socialist Worker, “A lot of us have been travelling around the country to gather support for our campaign.
“I went to Manchester university to speak to a student union meeting about our dispute. We got a great response and some of the students have since turned up to show their support for our strike.”
Activists have been building their campaign throughout the strike. On Tuesday alone they picketed the Manchester site at Central Park, leafleted Fujitsu sites in Newport, Warrington, Bracknell, Slough and Crewe, toured workplaces in Chesterfield, Sheffield and South Wales and held a strike committee meeting.
Jackie Cook told Socialist Worker, “I’ve worked at Fujitsu for eight years. I only joined the union last year, but now I’m going out leafleting other Fujitsu sites.
“The NHS workers have been to our picket line and we have been to theirs and to the PCS’s. It does spur you on to see others fighting too.”
As part of its campaign, the union branch is targeting some of Fujitsu’s customers and contacting local MPs. People are still joining the union and getting involved in the campaign several months into the dispute.
The branch held a union meeting on Friday of last week at which members authorised reps to call up to six days of strike action in a month and agreed to step up the campaign.
Send messages of support for the Fujitsu Manchester strikers to email@example.com and donations made out to “Manchester IT Workers Group” to John Wood, 301 Bolton Road, Bury BL8 2NZ.