About 300 workers at IT giant Fujitsu in Manchester will strike for 72 hours, starting tomorrow (Saturday 10 December), in the long-running dispute over pay, pensions and job security.
The strike, which starts at 00.01 tomorrow, follows no progress at talks today (Friday 9 December) between the management and Unite, the country’s largest union, under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas.
Unite members are also refusing to cooperate with projects to move work offshore, including knowledge transfer – this ban started on Monday (5 December).
The strikes are accompanied by a continuous work to rule, withdrawal of goodwill and ban on overtime which has been in place since 31 October. The workers have already taken six days of strike action.
Unite regional officer Sharon Hutchinson said: “We had talks under the umbrella of Acas today, but, unfortunately, we were not able to reach an agreement with the management over the issues that really concern our members – pay, pensions and job security.
“Our members, who have shown excellent solidarity, will be striking for 72 hours from midnight tonight and if the management shows no sign of movement, more strikes will be on the cards.
“The Manchester action is happening against the background that Fujitsu is currently planning to cut 1,800 UK jobs - over 18 per cent of its UK workforce.
“This is despite the fact that the multinational’s operations in the UK are highly profitable - its main UK subsidiary made £85.6m profit last year. The management, therefore, has plenty of leeway to address the legitimate concerns of our members.”
The union said that the company had recently written to more than 2,500 UK staff telling them that their jobs are at risk.
The strike also 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.
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.