Strikes at Fujitsu Services have clearly worried the IT company.
It has put on hold compulsory redundancies planned to take effect last Sunday. And it has presented a proposal to the Unite union at the Acas conciliation service.
The union has asked for a number of significant changes to the deal. It was waiting to hear the company’s response as Socialist Worker went to press.
The compulsory redundancies have been put off until Friday of this week.
More than 1,450 Unite members have struck for ten days so far in their fight over job losses, pay and the closure of their final salary pension scheme.
The union’s campaign has already achieved an extra year in the pension plan and the offer of a 5 percent pay rise to members.
It has also got an extension to consultation over pensions until 5 March and saved many jobs.
The union has called off the strike set for Friday of this week to allow space for talks.
But the one set for Monday of next week is still due to go ahead.
Fujitsu staff from around the country also lobbied their MPs at parliament on Wednesday of last week.
At the lobby Margaret Way from Manchester told Socialist Worker, “I think the dispute is having an effect. There is a strong union membership in Manchester with good support for the picket lines.
“We’re in a ridiculous situation where a small number of people—less than 60—are still facing compulsory redundancies.
“The company has recently won a number of bids for new contracts so it must have work for people to do.
“We also have to keep up the pressure against the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme.
“This has a huge impact. It would mean an effective 30 percent pay cut for me. How many people would be willing to take that without a fight?”
John Ashton from Manchester said, “I will lose 20 percent of my pay with the closure of the pension scheme. We would also like a pay rise.
“There was one agreed for 2009, but that was withdrawn. The company is making millions of pounds of profits.”
Fujitsu workers are planning campaign and solidarity meetings around the country next Monday 8 February.
Trade unionists should organise collections at their workplaces and branches to support the fight.
For more information, a collection sheet, and strike pictures go to » www.ourunion.org.uk
Email messages of support to [email protected]