Fujitsu workers vote to strike


Thousands of workers at Fujitsu Services in the UK have voted in favour of strike action against the firm.

Members of the Unite union were balloted earlier this month to see what action to take against Fujitsu, in response to job cuts as well as pension and pay changes.

Of the union workers at Fujitsu, 74 per cent were in favour of strike action, while 92 per cent voted to take other industrial action short of a strike.

However, Unite has yet to decide what action its members should take. Spokesperson Ashraf Choudhury told IT PRO there are "no dates for strike action yet."

"Our members have voted to strike. We're going to... see if we can get somewhere without having to strike," he said. "We're still hoping the company will sit down and talk, so we don't have to take this action."

He said Unite representatives met with Fujitsu yesterday, but the results of that meeting are still unknown. If the decision to strike is made, Unite must give the firm seven days' notice before the action kicks off.

The union claims Fujitsu plans to layoff employees and re-hire them on new contracts with pension changes, cutting total packages by 20 per cent.

Peter Skyte, Unite's national officer for IT and communications, repeated his group's accusations that Fujitsu is using the recession as an excuse to make unnecessary cuts.

"Unite members are asking why they should lose their jobs and tighten their belts when last year the company paid out about 150 million to shareholders and around 1.6 million to two directors as compensation for loss of office," he said in a statement.

"Fujitsu remains a highly profitable company and our members are insisting that the company must treat them fairly and increase pay, provide decent pensions, and consult meaningfully to minimise job losses and avoid compulsory redundancy," he added.

Fujitsu Services said in a statement: "As the company is still in consultations regarding the pension scheme and the proposed reductions in headcount it is premature to make any comment at this stage."