Members of union Unite at Fujitsu will go back to the ballot box after a proposal from the company to resolve a long-running dispute has been rejected.
Almost all (92%) of members that voted rejected an offer from Fujitsu, with members claiming the offer was an “attack on union organisation” by worsening the rights for members and their representatives, said Unite.
In October 2016, the Japanese IT supplier announced it would cut around 1,800 jobs in the UK as it restructures its business, with the automation and offshoring of roles planned. At the time, Fujitsu said this was part of a transformation plan to enable it to “better support customers in the era of digital transformation”.
During these uncertain times, workers did not believe they were being listened to, and so saw the ballot as an opportunity for them to be heard.
Unite regional officer Louisa Bull said Fujitsu also terminated the UK information and consultation forum Fujitsu Voice. She said this left most of their workforce without a collective voice and collective representation.
“Unite members across Fujitsu had been taking industrial action to restore their voice, to protect jobs and extend their collective bargaining agreements across the UK,” she said.
“In an attempt to settle the dispute, action was suspended and an offer put to the members. Unfortunately, the company offer proposed to worsen existing rights for reps and members.”
The workers affected are based at sites including Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Derry, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington. The union has launched an online petition opposing what it calls the victimisation of Unite reps.