Fujitsu staff slam pay offer, and schedule strike

Fujitsu staff will strike next Friday, and for five further days in the New Year, after turning down an offer on pay, pensions and redundancies.

The company last month narrowly averted a strike by agreeing to enter talks with trade union Unite. An offer was then made to staff regarding jobs and pensions, including an extension of the deadlines on talks.

But that offer was forcefully rejected, with 83 percent of unionised staff deciding it was not satisfactory and turning it down. Neither party immediately commented on what the exact offer was.

The staff will strike on 18 December at the Fujitsu headquarters in London. This will be followed by strikes in the New Year, on 7th, 8th, 11th, 14th and 15th January. The six days of strikes is twice the amount originally planned.

The workers’ complaint is around proposals for 1,000 redundancies in the UK - staff were due to have been informed today but the deadline is understood to have been "relaxed".

They are also protesting against an existing pay freeze and plans to close their final salary pension scheme from future accrual. The salary and pensions policies would reduce the pay of 4,000 staff by 20 percent on average, Unite claimed.

Derek Simpson, Unite joint general secretary, said the union recognised the move would hit Fujitsu’s private and public sector customers, adding that “the responsibility for this rests squarely with the company for failing to address the issues”.

A spokesperson at Fujitsu said the company was “disappointed” strikes were being scheduled “whilst consultation continues with the elected employee representatives on the proposed changes to the pension scheme”.

In the event of a strike, the spokesperson said, the company would “take measures" to ensure service is "maintained”.

Fujitsu’s main sites are at Bracknell, Stevenage, Manchester, Crewe, Belfast, Staines, Basingstoke, Wakefield, Sheffield, Solihull, Telford, Swansea, Slough, Lewes, Warrington, Cardiff, Londonderry, Bristol, Newcastle and London.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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