As bosses at private companies across the country attempt to attack pension rights, workers at the Fujitsu Services IT company are setting other groups an example by preparing to fight the cuts – and to defend their pay.
In May, Fujitsu, which has 12,500 employees in Britain, told the 4,000 members of its final salary pension scheme that it is planning to close it down. The scheme was closed to new workers in 2000.
It has also reneged on bringing in the pay increases for all workes that were due in April. This is despite making £177 million in profits last year.
The Unite union is preparing to resist these attacks.
The company is halfway through a 90-day consultation period about the closure of the pension scheme. People could be sacked from November and re-employed on new contracts.
Workers are angry as this is a profitable company using the recession to drive through cost-cutting measures.
A number of other companies, including Barclays, BP and Morrisons, have followed Fujitsu’s lead over their pension schemes, so if Fujitsu workers can win it will help protect pensions everywhere.
The union is campaigning over pay and pensions to unite the workforce. It is demanding the retention of the defined benefit pension scheme and improvements in pensions for other workers.
A consultative ballot on action is due to begin soon.
The campaign has led to a 10 percent rise in union membership over the past few weeks.
The union is also going to set up “combine” committees to bring together people from all the different sites to organise the campaign.
For more information go to » www.ourunion.org.uk