Workers at Fujitsu will strike for three days next week, in an unprecendented nation-wide step in the UK IT sector.
The strike, centring around jobs, pay and pensions, will take place on 12, 13 and 16 November. It follows three quarters of unionised staff – members of the Unite and PCS trade unions – at the firm voting for such action.
Workers are angry at the company’s plans to close its defined benefit pension plan to future accruals. Such a move would affect 4,000 UK employees, Unite said, and effectively reduce their pay package by an average of 20 percent.
“The company intends to force this through by dismissing employees after the end of the consultation period in November, and offering them employment on new contracts which are unchanged except in relation to pensions,” the union said in a statement.
Fujitsu announced 1,200 redundancies in August, and also has an ongoing pay freeze. But Unite said that in total 6,000 staff – nearly half of Fujitsu’s UK workforce – were “at risk” of losing their jobs as the consultation progresses and decisions are taken.
Fujitsu’s main sites are at Bracknell, Stevenage, Manchester, Crewe, Belfast, Staines, Basingstoke, Wakefield, Sheffield, Solihull, Slough, Lewes, Warrington, Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle and London.
A spokesperson at Fujitsu said the company was “disappointed” at the news, “because the consultation is still taking place”.
But Peter Skyte, national officer at Unite, said the trade union had written to Fujitsu on Monday, following the worker vote, in an attempt to resolve the issues. He added that “so far, we have yet to receive any formal response from the company”.
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