Union calls for fresh wave of strikes action against UK Fujitsu cuts

Brings total action days to 20

Unite has called for a fresh wave of strikes in its long-running dispute against 1,800 job cuts at IT giant Fujitsu.

Industrial action was called off earlier this year while a resolution was sought under the supervision of arbitration service Acas. However those discussions fell through.

The latest five days of strike action brings the total to 20. Under the plans there will be a 48 hour stoppage on 18 May; a 24 hour strike on 22 May; and a 48 hour stoppage on 25 May. Fujitsu has a total of 300 unionised workers based at its Manchester office.

Unite has pointed out that the UK unit made £86.5m in profits in 2015/16, making the current cuts unnecessary. But Fujitsu's UK and Ireland chair Michael Keegan told The Register in November the cuts are necessary boost to margins which are “significantly below market expectation".

He said: “Our president has said our return on sales should be 10 per cent. So if you look at our UK revenue of £1.7bn – you can do the maths.”

The business is also “re-employing” 1,200 people in digital, Internet of Things, and security roles - as it seeks to reinvent itself as a "digital" operation.

Unite activists demonstrated outside one of the company’s biggest clients, Sainsbury’s, in Oxford Street, Manchester today. A similar protest was held at Sainsbury’s headquarters in London yesterday, with another planned at London’s Olympia on Monday 8 May.

Ian Tonks said the action demonstrates members' anger at jobs going abroad.

He said: “The UK management of Fujitsu is intransigent and refuses to engage with its dedicated and hard-working employees. Our members will continue their fight – and the fact that 20 days of strike action has or will be held is a mark of their strong resolution.”

The workers striking are based at Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.

Fujitsu declined to comment. ®


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