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Update: Fujitsu staff strike for five more days

Paul Kunert

Fujitsu staff will extend strike action over planned cuts to jobs and pension schemes for a further six days starting tomorrow.

At the same time, union Unite which is representing 983 disgruntled Fujitsu employees is taking their fight to the House of Commons with MP Tony Lloyd tabling an Early Day Motion in support of the workers.

Unionised staff at Fujitsu plan to down tools tomorrow and for another two days in January as well as 1, 5 and 8 February in protest at plans to cut 70 staff by month end and close the final pension salary scheme to further accrual.

Staff have already staged a walkout on six days this month, but Unite said Fujitsu had this week threatened it with an injunction trying to ban the strike after overlooking notice of the planned action sent to it on 15 January.

"Fujitsu should be focusing on serious negotiations with Unite rather than shooting itself in the foot by spending money on expensive lawyers in a fruitless and ultimately counterproductive attempt to use the law instead of the jaw," said Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications.

"We still believe that this dispute can only be resolved by Fujitsu sitting down with us to address the issues of jobs, pay and pensions," he added.

Concessions made by Fujitsu at the tail end of last year which included cutting planned redundancies from 1,200 to 876 (with 586 leaving voluntarily) and delaying changes to the pension scheme until December 2010 have clearly not worked.

In fact, the war of words between the two organisations has stepped up a gear; at the start of last week Unite claimed Fujitsu's redundancy selection process was discriminatory against women, part-time and ethnic minority workers.

In a statement, Fujitsu said it was "disappointed that the Unite trades union has decided to continue to take industrial action whilst consultation continues with the elected employee representatives on the proposed changes to the pension scheme".

"Fujitsu has taken prudent measures to ensure that service to its customers in maintained," the integrator added.

A version of this story appeared on MicroScope.co.uk


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