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Unhappy Fujitsu staff vote for pre-Xmas strike

More walkouts planned in New Year, too

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Fujitsu Services staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, with 1,500 UK workers set to down tools on Friday, 18 December.

Unite, Blighty's largest union, said that further action was planned for the New Year with two-day walkouts expected on 7-8 and 14-15 January. It added that there would also be a 24-hour strike on 11 January.

Workers at the IT company called on strike action after many complained about Fujitsu Service's decision to shutter contributions to its final salary pension scheme.

Many others have expressed disgust at Fujitsu's proposed pay freeze and plans to lay off 1,200 staff at the firm.

Unite said it would protest outside Fujitsu's Baker Street, London headquarters on Friday to mark the start of strike action by the company's disgruntled workers.

In November Fujitsu Services staff dropped their threat of a three-day strike after bosses agreed to extend talks on pension cuts and delay compulsory redundancies.

The accord meant no workers would be forced out of the firm until 31 January.

However, last Friday Unite confirmed that 83 per cent of Unite members at Fujitsu disagreed with the outcome of those talks.

Unite general secretary Derek Simpson claimed the strike would hit Fujitsu Services customers, such as the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

"Whilst we remain ready and willing to talk at any time, this further rejection of the company's position leaves no doubt - our members are saying enough is enough," said Simpson.

"We recognise the effect any industrial action will have on key private and public sector customers and clients of Fujitsu, but the responsibility for this rests squarely with the company for failing to address the issues."

Unite did not confirm how many of Fujitsu Services' 11,500 UK-based staff would take part in the action. The union has 1,632 members at the firm.

"Fujitsu is disappointed that the Unite trades [sic] union has decided to announce industrial action whilst consultation continues with the elected employee representatives on the proposed changes to the pension scheme," a Fujitsu Services spokesman said in a statement.

"If the industrial action goes ahead Fujitsu will take measures to ensure that service to its customers is maintained." ®

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