Fujitsu staff strike over pension plans

Unite members at Fujitsu have voted to strike over pay and pensions.

Unite members at Fujitsu have voted to strike over pay and pensions.

Staff at the computer firm have voted against a proposal to close the company's final salary pension scheme and the imposition of a pay freeze. Of Unite members at Fujitsu, 87% voted in favour of strike action and 96% in favour of industrial action short of a strike.

According to Unite, 4,000 employees are affected by the company's pension plan. If the proposal goes ahead, the company intends to dismiss employees after the end of the consultation period in September, and offer them employment on new contracts which are unchanged except in relation to pensions, Unite said.

The union estimates that the proposed pension scheme change would reduce the total pay package of each employee by at least 15%.

UK staff have been hard hit by the company's restructuring plans. In June last year Fujitsu announced jobs were at risk after Connecting for Health terminated Fujitsu's £1.1bn contract under the NHS £12.7bn National Programme for IT. Last week Fujitsu announced proposals for 1,200 redundancies in the UK, amounting to 10% of its UK workforce.

The company's plans affect staff who worked at ICL, which was acquired by Fujitsu in 1990.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications, said: "Fujitsu Services is not struggling or failing. It is a highly profitable and successful company but one which is seeking to take advantage of the recession to attack jobs, pay, pensions and conditions."

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