Fujitsu workers in overwhelming strike vote on pay and pensions

Members of Unite, the UK's largest union, working for Fujitsu have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action as part of a UK-wide consultative ballot against a proposal to close the company's main final salary pension scheme and the imposition of a pay freeze.

Some 87per cent of members voted in favour of strike action and 96per cent in favour of industrial action short of a strike.

Around 4000 staff in the main pension plan are being hit by the company's plans to close the scheme.

The union claimed that if the company goes ahead with its proposal it will dismiss staff after the end of the consultation period in September, and offer them employment on new contracts which are unchanged except in relation to pensions.

The union says the pension scheme changes will effectively would reduce the total pay package of each employee by at least 15 per cent.

Earlier this year the company withdrew an agreed pay offer one week before it was due to take effect and imposed a pay freeze on UK staff.

Last week Fujitsu announced proposals for 1,200 redundancies in the UK, amounting to 10per cent of its UK workforce.

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.

"Our members are insisting that the company should pay fairly and provide decent pensions for all its employees. Following the announcement of 1200 redundancies, they are now calling for the issue of job cuts to be included in any ballot for formal industrial action. We are calling on the company to meet us to resolve these issues and avoid the risk of damaging industrial action."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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