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Unite union to ballot on Fujitsu proposals

Mediation cuts compulsory redundancies to 23

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The Unite union is to ballot its members on a series of proposals from Fujitsu that are aimed at resolving the three-month dispute over jobs, pay and pensions.

The proposals were made via the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), where Fujitsu and Unite have been in talks since 1 February.

Although full details of the proposals were not revealed, Fujitsu said the number of compulsory redundancies had been reduced to 23. When ACAS talks began Fujitsu was targeting 42 compulsory redundancies by the end of February. In total, Fujitsu initially planned 834 redundancies, 586 of which were voluntary.

A company spokesperson said: "Unite will be asking its members to vote on these proposals with a recommendation that they accept them."

The outcome of the vote is expected at the end of February, when "The company will review the situation again at the end of February," a spokesman said.

According to Fujitsu, Unite has suspended all industrial action while the ballot takes place.

Over the last two months, the dispute has become increasingly bitter, with the company seeking to bring costs down to what it claimed were those of its rivals. The union, on the other hand, has said the company is highly profitable and accused it of using the recession as an excuse to drive down staff terms and conditions.

This has culminated in two series of strikes, and a high-profile lobby of parliament.

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