Socialist Worker

Fujitsu strikers to hit Scrooge bosses with six days of national action

by Ian Allinson, chair, Unite Fujitsu UK combine committee
Issue No. 2182

Workers at the IT services giant Fujitsu are set to take part in six days of nationwide strikes to defend jobs and pension provision.

The strikes are also against a pay freeze was imposed by the company in March, despite record profits.

This will be the first ever national strike in the rapidly-unionising IT industry.

The action by around 1,600 Unite union members is to begin on Friday of this week, with a “Scrooge” protest planned at noon outside the company’s Baker Street HQ in London.

We then intend to leaflet outside some of Fujitsu’s customers on Oxford Street.

Further strikes are planned for 7, 8, 11, 14 and 15 January.

Action had originally been called in November.

Unite suspended these when the company agreed to relax deadlines for job losses and the end of pension consultation, and agreed to talks at national level for the first time.

During the talks, the company did agree to some measures to reduce compulsory redundancies, but the offer made at the end included little of substance on jobs, pay or pensions.

Members rejected the company’s offer by 83 percent – an even larger majority than originally voted for strike action.

Meanwhile, PCS union members in Fujitsu are voting on a different offer from the company. PCS reps have recommended rejection of the offer.

If the PCS is to take action too, the anti-union laws mean it must start by Wednesday 23 December.

Many staff who chose not to stay on were made redundant on Friday of last week, and the company still plans to dismiss the rest of those it has selected on 31 January.

Fujitsu proposes to close its final salary pension scheme.

The company has agreed to delay closure until March 2010, but has not moved on future provision.

Unite estimates that the closure would be equivalent to a pay cut of around 20 percent.

Like many workers in the public and private sector we are facing major attacks in the midst of an economic crisis.

Fujitsu is taking advantage of the recession to try to push through cuts in jobs, pay and benefits.

But the firm expects profits of over £100 million in the UK this year.

There are Unite members at around 100 Fujitsu sites around the UK, and we plan picket lines at many on Friday, as well as sending people to the protest in London.

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Article information

Tue 15 Dec 2009, 17:35 GMT
Issue No. 2182
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