Socialist Worker

Fujitsu workers back action to defend jobs and union reps

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2584

Workers including rep Ian Allinson on strike in Manchester in January

Workers including rep Ian Allinson on strike in Manchester in January (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Workers at IT services firm Fujitsu have voted to strike against compulsory redundancies and the victimisation of union reps.

The Unite union carried out a consultative ballot by email over just two working days and a weekend.

It saw a clear vote for strikes on a turnout of 37.8 percent nationally and 50.4 percent in Manchester, the only site where Unite has union recognition.

This was very impressive given the limited time available.

Fujitsu is pushing through massive job cuts—and workers say it is using them as an opportunity to get rid of reps and weaken union organisation.

Last week saw protests in London and Manchester in support of workers fighting dismissal.

On an earlier protest in defence of senior rep Ian Allinson, Sarah English, a rep in Bracknell, told Socialist Worker, “Reps have been unfairly targeted in the redundancy process.

“They’re trying to put the focus on anyone who comes forward to be a rep.

“They’re also stymying our communications and doing their best to limit what the union can do.”

The workers held 15 nationwide strike days in the spring, following 12 days of local strikes in Manchester.

These were also over other issues including pay equality and pensions.

Industrial action has been suspended for months, and the move towards renewing it is welcome.

Unite must waste no time in calling an official ballot and bringing the fight back onto the picket line.

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