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Union says Fujitsu redundancies targeted women and non-white employees

Rebecca Thomson

The Unite union has questioned whether Fujitsu has disproportionately targeted women, part-time workers and non-white employees in its redundancies .

Workers at the IT services company are striking over redundancy plans and pay freezes. The union says it has identified "major discrepancies" in the scoring and selection for the proposed cuts.

Unite says it has data for one part of Fujitsu that reveals that women, part-time workers and non-white employees were disproportionately scored lower than their male, full-time and white colleagues across the four selection criteria used to select people for compulsory redundancy.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications, said, "This strengthens our case for a fairer, open and more transparent pay system, which we also suspect may be masking potential discrimination."

Today workers are on day four of a six-day strike over proposals for 1,000 redundancies in the UK, a pay freeze imposed last year, and plans by the company to close the main final salary pension scheme to future accrual.

Fujitsu said it originally planned to make 1,200 people redundant, but a spokesman said so far just 876 jobs have gone, of which 586 were voluntary redundancies.

The company said in a statement, "We are very disappointed that Unite has made these allegations. As an equal opportunities employer Fujitsu consulted on the proposed selection criteria with elected employee representatives and with representatives of its recognised trade unions (including Unite) throughout the collective redundancy programme and is confident that no discrimination resulted. We are aware of the points raised by Unite and have responded detailing our reasons as to why we are confident our selection process was fair and was not discriminatory."


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