Hundreds of IT workers in the Unite union at Fujitsu struck last Monday.
They are fighting managers’ victimisation of reps and breaches of agreements over issues such as union recognition, pay, pensions and job cuts.
Workers at sites in Manchester, Salford and Crewe struck for 24 hours.
Ian Allinson, chair of the Unite combine committee at Fujitsu and member of the Unite national executive, spoke to Socialist Worker.
“Today was a solid basis from which we can take further action,” he said.
“We had a really good mix of people out. The Crewe side was good, we got a good crowd out at Manchester, and only managers went in at Salford.”
A strike rally took place in the morning in Manchester, with speakers from the Unite, PCS and Unison unions.
Strikers brandished pork pies at the rally, symbolising what they say are the lies from management.
Ten workers picketed the Crewe site. The action there was over the victimisation of union rep Alan Jenney.
Alan was sacked and barred from working his notice period, despite working for the company for 17 years.
Unite members there have worked to rule and refused to cooperate with management since June.
The picket line was visited by a PCS union rep, who gave support from their union, and a representative from the main Manchester site.
Alan told Socialist Worker, “People are still fighting for justice in my case. But it’s not just about one victimised rep.
“This is about the breaking of agreements and the treatment of other reps too.
“This is not something that will just go away.”
PCS union members had been set to strike alongside their colleagues in Unite. But Fujitsu relented after the strike vote and doubled the amount of money on offer for pay rises.
This means the lowest paid workers will now see a wage increase of 11 percent.
Before the strike the company indicated it would only increase pay by up to 2.5 percent.
Now all those earning under 85 percent of the median salary for their grade will have their pay increased to that level.
And some workers will receive £500 compensation.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said, “This is a major deal for these private sector workers, particularly the lowest paid, who do essential work supporting our public services.
“This shows clearly what can be achieved when working people stand together, and that the private sector is far from a no-go area for unions like ours.”
The PCS victory shows that their workmates in Unite still have everything to play for.
Management are shaken—and workers have had a taste of their power.