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Members of the Unite union at Fujitsu are on strike today (28 February) in a protest over threats to their jobs. They are also calling for better pay and pensions.
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In October last year, Japanese IT firm Fujitsu, which has 10,000 staff in the UK, announced plans to cut its UK workforce by about 1,800. The move is expected to include some offshoring. Workers in Belfast, Bracknell, Crewe, Londonderry/Derry, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington will be affected.
IT staff at Fujitsu work on large IT services contracts for organisations including government departments.
The company said the cuts were part of a transformation to enable it to better support customers in the era of digital transformation. “As part of the programme, Fujitsu plans to streamline operations to remain competitive in the market,” it said last year.
Unite said Fujitsu had also terminated its UK works council, known as Fujitsu Voice, thereby reducing workers’ redundancy and consultation rights.
The strikers will include Fujitsu worker Ian Allinson, who is a candidate in the upcoming election for the Unite leadership and challenger to current Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who is standing for re-election. Voting takes place between 27 March and 19 April. Gerard Coyne, currently Unite regional secretary for the West Midlands, is also a candidate.
Unite is the UK’s biggest trade union with 1.3 million members.
Manchester-based Allinson said: “Ordinary workers are facing intense pressure on jobs, pay and conditions, with the government mounting a sustained onslaught on public services and workers’ rights.”