The two-day strike at IT giant Fujitsu in Manchester, which started earlier today (Monday 7 November), has been strongly supported by about 300 workers in the continuing dispute over pay, pensions and job security.
To drive home their concerns, the strikers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, are leafleting existing and prospective customers in Salford’s ‘media city’, including ITV and BBC.
The 48-hour stoppage started at 00:01 today and follows on from a 24-hour strike last Tuesday (1 November) – and the union warned that further strikes were on the cards, unless management agreed to constructive talks.
Today’s strike highlights the 16 per cent gender pay gap that Unite has identified from limited data provided by Fujitsu, which means that women staff are paid an estimated £5,500-a-year less than their male counterparts. There is also a retrospective cut in pensions of up to 15 per cent for many staff who are over 60.
Unite’s dossier on pay inequality in Fujitsu can be accessed via
The strike tomorrow (Tuesday 8 November) will focus on job security. Fujitsu is planning to cut 1,800 UK jobs - over 18 per cent of its UK workforce. The strikes have been accompanied by a continuous work to rule, withdrawal of goodwill and ban on overtime which started on Monday 31 October.
Unite regional officer Sharon Hutchinson said: “Today’s strike has been strongly supported by our members and the message is getting out that our members won’t be steamrollered into submission by the management.
“Fujitsu is a highly profitable and successful company – its main UK subsidiary made £85.6m profit last year and continues to be highly profitable.
“So there is plenty of scope for the company to be positive in meeting our legitimate concerns on pay, pensions and job security.
“If the company continues its hard line, our members will continue to take industrial action in the run-up to Christmas that will severely impact on its customers, including those at Salford’s ‘media city’.”
The company’s major sites include Belfast, Bracknell, Crewe, Londonderry/Derry, London, Manchester, Solihull, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.
Notes to editors:
Fujitsu employs about 10,000 people in the UK delivering IT services to government and major companies.
When Fujitsu implemented the statutory national ‘living wage’, it cut the performance bonuses of staff employed through Fujitsu Services (Engineering Services) Limited, such that their take home pay dropped, a practice that was described as ‘immoral’ by Nick Boles, the then minister responsible for overseeing the national ‘living wage’.
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
Pictures of strike day activities will be available from Facebook (www.facebook.com/UniteAtFujitsu) and Twitter (@UniteFujitsu)
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.