Fujitsu union confirms strike next week
Outsourcer walkout imminent
Fujitsu workers will walk out next week in what's billed as the first ever national strike at a UK IT company, following a dispute over pensions, pay and job cuts.
Unite members voted by a three-quarters majority for a strike, and yesterday union bosses confirmed action on 12, 13 and 16 November. Fujitsu staff who are members of the Public and Commercial Services union will also walk out.
Peter Skyte, Unite's national officer for IT and communications, said: "We wrote to the Fujitsu UK chief executive on Monday following the industrial action ballot announcement with the aim of attempting to resolve the issues on jobs, pay and pensions. So far, we have yet to receive any formal response from the company.
"Our members are saying enough is enough, and employee representatives on the company's consultative forum have tendered their resignations over the way they are being treated."
The strike could make things difficult for organisations who have outsourced IT services to Fujitsu, which include government departments such as the Home Office and HMRC.
Skyte said: "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 talk to us or address the issues."
Fujitsu employs about 12,000 people in the UK at sites in Bracknell, Stevenage, Manchester, Crewe, Belfast, Staines, Basingstoke, Wakefield, Sheffield, Solihull, Slough, Lewes, Warrington, Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle and London.
The dispute covers a series of cost-cutting measures this year that have included a pay freeze, the closure of the firm's final salary pension scheme and 1,200 redundancies.
A spokesman for Fujitsu said it remains hopeful the strike might be averted by talks. ®