Unite members at Fujitsu Services are gearing up for a fight over jobs, pay and pensions.
Fujitsu is a Japan-based multinational; its main UK subsidiary provides IT services to many government departments and large companies. It employs 12,000 workers at over a hundred locations across the UK.
Last year Fujitsu Services' profits doubled to £177 million — 8,000 per worker! Two directors were recently paid £1.6 million to leave. The parent company paid out dividends of 24.46 billion yen, approximately £154 million. And yet deep cuts are being made.
• The company says 6,000 workers are “at risk” of redundancy, proposing to cut up to 1,200 jobs.
• Having agreed a pay rise (at the cost of £15 million), it has instead imposed a pay freeze.
• It wants to close its final salary pension scheme, typically amounting to a pay cut of 15-30 percent for the 4,000 staff affected.
Unite members have voted by 87 percent for strike action in a UK-wide consultative ballot. (PCS members have also voted to strike.) They are preparing to hold a legal ballot and start strike action in October.
This struggle, not just in the private sector but in the un-unionised bastion of the IT industry, could not be more important. Fujitsu Services workers have a record of struggle, with Manchester staff striking for 12 days in 2006-7 to successfully defend and extend union recognition. The fight they are preparing for now demands huge solidarity.
• For more information, including how to make solidarity, see