Unite, the country’s largest union, has called five more days of strike action in the long-running dispute involving the IT giant Fujitsu which could see 1,800 job losses, with many of them being outsourced overseas.
The union reiterated its call today (Friday 5 May) for the company to negotiate in a constructive fashion in the wide-ranging dispute over pay, pensions, job security and union recognition.
To ram home the message that customer service will be badly hit by Fujitsu outsourcing plans, Unite activists demonstrated outside one of the company’s biggest clients, Sainsbury’s in Oxford Street, Manchester today. A similar protest was held at Sainsbury’s headquarters in London yesterday.
Unite activists will also be protesting outside the Regional Business Technology Expo – another venue for Fujitsu’s clients - at London’s Olympia on Monday (8 May) between 09.00-14.00.
Unite also announced five days of new strike action on top of the days already held or to be held; bringing the total to 20.
There will be a 48 hour stoppage on 18 May; a 24 hour strike on 22 May; and a 48 hour stoppage on 25 May – all strikes starting at 00.01. This is in addition to the already announced 24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 on Monday (8 May) and 48 hour strike starting on 11 May.
Unite national officer Ian Tonks said: “The announcement of five days of new strikes demonstrates the determination of our members to fight for their jobs and employment conditions and our adamant opposition to ‘exporting’ skilled UK jobs abroad.
“The UK management of Fujitsu is intransigent and refuses to engage with its dedicated and hardworking employees. Our members will continue their fight – and the fact that 20 days of strike action has or will be held is a mark of their strong resolution.”
The workers striking are based at Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.
Last month Unite handed in a letter to the ambassador Mr Koji Tsuruoka in London criticising the ‘shameful way’ that the UK management has behaved over the proposed job losses and calling for the envoy to raise this at the ‘highest levels’ both in the UK and Japan.
The dispute centres on pay, pensions, job security and union recognition - and takes place against a background of Fujitsu’s plans to axe and offshore 1,800 jobs in the UK.
Fujitsu is highly profitable in the UK, making £85.6 million profit in the last financial year. Unite argues that an ill-considered move to cut and offshore jobs jeopardises the viability of the existing business and runs contrary to its image as a ‘responsible business’.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.