Fujitsu workers plan strike extension after union rep sacking

Fujitsu workers who are members of Unite union have announced plans to extend strike activity to Manchester over the sacking of union activist Alan Jenney.

The move could further impact a number of Fujitsu’s contracts, including with the Home Office, HM Revenue & Customs, Marks & Spencer and the Post Office.

The Unite union claims that Fujitsu has “singled out” Jenney, who worked at the company’s Crewe office, and made him redundant, whereas it has helped to redeploy other staff where possible.

It also said that Fujitsu had breached company processes and agreements in the way it had dealt with Jenney’s situation.

Jenney had worked as an IT professional for Fujitsu for 17 years.

Last month, the employees at Fujistu’s Crewe office carried out a one-day strike, began to work to rule and instituted a policy of non-cooperation from 30 June. The employees are continuing to work to rule.

Union members now plan to ballot 800 members at Fujitsu’s Manchester office, to extend the industrial action in support of Jenney.

The ballot closes on 5 August. If the members vote for strike action, it will take place by 19 August.

“We are behind Alan Jenney 100 per cent and this dispute will spread throughout Fujitsu’s UK operations until justice is done and Alan is reinstated,” said Kevin O’Gallagher, Unite’s national officer for IT and communications.

Unite is meeting with Fujitsu management on 21 July with ACAS to try to get Jenney reinstated.

It is also taking out an interim relief claim at an employment tribunal, which, if successful, would mean that Fujitsu would be forced to re-employ Jenney until a full hearing is held.

In addition, the union said it may spread the industrial action to other Fujitsu’s sites, in Bracknell, Basingstoke, London and the South East.

A spokesperson for Fujitsu said that there had not been reports of the industrial action taken so far having had any effect on contracts, and added: "Fujitsu is aware of the intended ballot by Unite but we are unable to comment on any individual case.”

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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