Japan’s ambassador to the UK has been asked to intervene in the current dispute involving the IT giant Fujitsu which could see 1,800 job losses.
Unite today (April 21) handed in a letter to the ambassador Mr Koji Tsuruoka at the London embassy (pictured below) criticising the ‘shameful way’ that the UK management has behaved over the proposed job losses and calling for the envoy to raise this at the ‘highest levels’ both in the UK and Japan.
Unite national officer Ian Tonks (pictured above left) hailed today’s protest.
“There was an excellent turnout — the NISC was there as were many from Unite community (pictured below) all out to support us,” he said. “We were able to speak to the head of security and he assured us that the letter would be presented to the Japanese ambassador Mr Koji Tsuruoka.”
Unite has also announced a further seven days of strike action on top of the eight days already held or to be held; bringing the total to 15.
Three 48 hour strikes will start at just past midnight on April 27, May 4 and May 11, as well as a 24-hour stoppage commencing at just past midnight on May 8.
Unite national officer Ian Tonks wrote to the ambassador that before the restructuring the company had an internal consultation body ‘Fujitsu Voice’.
Ian Tonks wrote, “To its shame the UK management made a decision to terminate the agreement before announcing the restructuring program, we from Unite can only see that this was a deliberate act to avoid the rigours agreed by both parties in the past under ‘Fujitsu Voice’.
“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and not what one would expect from a company with its origins and headquarters in Japan.”
He asked the ambassador to “consider the actions of the UK management to be outside of that we have come to expect from a Japanese company and I hope that you will raise this within the highest levels of Fujitsu both in the United Kingdom and Japan.”
The workers striking are based at Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.
The dispute centres on pay, pensions, job security and union recognition – and takes place against a background of Fujitsu’s plans to axe and offshore 1,800 jobs in the UK.
Fujitsu is highly profitable in the UK, making £85.6m profit in the last financial year. Unite argues that an ill-considered move to cut and offshore jobs jeopardises the viability of the existing business and runs contrary to its image as a ‘responsible business’.