Fujitsu strike to hit back-office across UK.gov

1,057 to walk out across Revenue, Defence, DVLA, ONS

Delays in the delivery of driving licences and tax returns could result from a threatened strike by 1,000 of Fujitsu's 10,000 British workers.

UK employees of the Japanese multinational will take part in the 24-hour strike starting at midnight on 19 September, after they rejected a pay offer from their Fujitsu bosses.

Daily business at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC); the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA); the Ministry of Defence; and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be affected if it goes ahead. As The Reg pointed out a couple of days ago, action like this highlights the dangers for government departments relying on single suppliers.

The 750 PCS Union members and the 307 Unite Union members who work for Fujitsu approved the strike last night, meaning a total of 1057 employees are likely to walk out.

PCS claimed in a press release that a pay rise offer of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent was "an insult to the lowest paid staff, many of whom earn just £13,500 a year".

"Our members may work for Fujitsu but they are supporting essential public services, so ministers must recognise they have a responsibility for what happens on behalf of their departments," Mark Serwotka, the Public and Commercial Services Union's general secretary, said in a press release on Thursday. "Such a pitiful pay offer to workers, who are paid less than what some senior executives pocket in bonuses alone, is an insult."

Fujitsu, the world's third-largest IT services provider, employs "more or less" 10,000 people in the UK according its press office. Staff include programmers, hardware support staff and helpdesk operatives. Fujitsu told The Reg that it could not confirm how many of its employees were in a particular pay bracket. ®

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