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Peeved Fujitsu workers down tools - again

January strikes begin as relations with bosses remain icy

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Fujitsu Services' workers kicked off a further series of walkouts at the company today, following a clash with management over a pay freeze and redundancies in the UK last November.

As we reported last month, hundreds of Fujitsu staff took part in a one day strike on 18 December, after bosses at the firm failed to reach an agreement with Unite union members over pay, conditions, pensions and plans to lay off around 1,000 employees.

At the time, Unite confirmed that further strike action would take place on 7, 8, 11, 14 and 15 January, if Fujitsu management continued to ignore concerns expressed by its unhappy workers.

In early December, Unite union members at the firm, which employs around 11,500 people in the UK, voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, and warned that stoppages would take place throughout January too.

“Whilst we remain ready and willing to talk at any time, Fujitsu remains a highly profitable company but has to date shown little willingness to seriously address the underlying issues of jobs, pay and pensions," said Unite IT and communications national officer, Peter Skyte, in a statement yesterday.

"Other IT companies are dealing with similar issues in a much more constructive way and the approach taken by Fujitsu to date treats its highly skilled workforce as a disposable commodity rather than its most important asset.”

Of course, with so many workers across the nation taking the day off due to the bad weather conditions, the impact - at least of today's walkout - might not be as strongly felt as Unite, or indeed its members, might have hoped for.

"Fujitsu is disappointed that the Unite trades union has decided to continue to take industrial action whilst consultation continues with the elected employee representatives on the proposed changes to the pension scheme," a company spokesman told The Register.

"Fujitsu has taken prudent measures to ensure that service to its customers is maintained." ®

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