Fujitsu faces potential strike action over pension changes

Fujitsu faces a potential strike from workers after Unite union began an industrial action ballot on jobs, pay and pensions this week.

Unite, which represents 1,500 members at Fujitsu in the UK, said proposed pension scheme change would reduce the total pay package of each employee by about 20% each.

The union has served seven days notice to the IT services company of the ballot, which will begin on Monday (12 October). The ballot result is expected to be available at the end of the month.

Some 4,000 employees in the main defined benefit pension plan are being hit by the company’s plans to close the scheme to future accrual. The company intends to force this through by dismissing employees after the end of the consultation period in October, and offering them employment on new contracts which are unchanged, except in relation to pensions.

In late August, Fujitsu announced proposals for 1,200 redundancies in the UK and has since put 6,000 people at risk of redundancy, amounting to 50% of its UK workforce.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer, said: “Unite members are asking why they should lose their jobs and tighten their belts when last year the company paid out about £150m to shareholders and around £1.6m to two directors as compensation for loss of office.

“The company imposed a pay freeze on UK staff earlier this year, just a week before it was due to take effect, withdrawing promised pay rises to employees.”

Fujitsu employs 12,500 people in the UK.

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