Unite ends quarrel with Fujitsu


Fujitsu and union Unite have reached a settlement over a dispute that led to industrial action last year.

The dispute arose out of various grievances Unite members had, including pay and pension security, leading to a strikes at Fujitsu's plants in Crewe on 30 June and in Manchester on 19 September.

The quarrel between the two escalated in the second half of last year when over 1,000 staff vowed to strike in joint action with the Public and Commercial Services union.

This is finally bringing the dispute to a conclusion, which is obviously something Fujitsu and ourselves are very happy about.

Fujitsu promises of pay rises of between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent did little to dissuade strikers. The IT vendor was breaking agreements in a number of areas, including benefits, pay, pensions and redundancy, according to Unite.

"The agreement reflects a significant improvement in relationships with the company since last year. It means better protection for pensions for Fujitsu employees across the UK and pay rises for most Manchester staff," said Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite national officer for IT and communications.

"There is a renewed commitment to work together through our agreements which can help avoid conflict in future.

"A significant number of new Unite representatives have recently been elected and the agreement should mean reps across the UK are, for the first time, allowed work time to deal with many issues affecting employees."

The companies came to an agreement on 3 October, where Unite suspended industrial action after it felt progress was being made. Members were due to strike again on 4 October.

On 17 November, another deal was reached, which continued the suspension.

"This is finally bringing the dispute to a conclusion, which is obviously something Fujitsu and ourselves are very happy about," Ian Allinson, senior Unite representative at Fujitsu Manchester, told IT Pro.

As part of the agreement, a pensions consultation body is to be established, alongside pay rises.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.