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Restoring our voice

Fujitsu workers fight gagging of reps
Shaun Noble, Thursday, October 5th, 2017

IT giant Fujitsu may face more industrial action as members of Unite prepare to hold a ballot for further industrial action in their long-running dispute.


Unite members in Fujitsu overwhelmingly rejected the company’s proposals by 92 per cent. Unite says that members saw the proposals as an attack on union organisation, restricting reps’ ability to communicate with staff.


The union has also launched an online petition opposing what it calls the victimisation of Unite reps.


Unite regional officer Louisa Bull said, “Having announced 1,800 UK job cuts last year, Fujitsu terminated the UK information and consultation forum Fujitsu Voice, leaving most of their workforce without a collective voice and collective representation at such a crucial time in their working lives.


“Unite members across Fujitsu had been taking industrial action to restore their voice, to protect jobs and extend their collective bargaining agreements across the UK.


“In an attempt to settle the dispute action was suspended and an offer put to the members. Unfortunately, the company offer proposed to worsen existing rights for reps and members.


“Industrial relations at Fujitsu are poor and the management’s attitude is dismissive. As a consequence, we are preparing for a fresh industrial action ballot.”


The workers affected are based at sites including Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Derry, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.


Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke has written to Tatsuya Tanaka, president of Fujitsu Limited, seeking his intervention on this matter.


Earlier this year, Unite handed  in a letter to the Japanese ambassador Mr Koji Tsuruoka in London 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.


The dispute centres on job security, union recognition and collective bargaining, the victimisation of reps, pay and pensions – and takes place against a background of Fujitsu’s plans to axe 1,800 jobs in the UK through offshoring and automation.


Fujitsu is highly profitable in the UK and one director saw their pay package rise 13 per cent to £1,635,000 last year.


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