Unite members vote to strike at Fujitsu

Unite union members at Fujitsu have voted in favour of striking in protest at planned cuts to jobs, pay and pensions.

The 1,500 Unite members (out of about 12,500 UK employees of the IT services company) voted in favour of a strike by 74%, and union representatives will meet with Fujitsu managers to set a date for the strike action.

In August Fujitsu announced plans to make 1,200 redundancies and has since put 6,000 people at risk of redundancy. The company has already introduced a pay freeze.

The firm also announced plans to close its defined benefit pension scheme to future accrual, affecting up to 4,000 employees.

The union said the proposed change to the pension plan could reduce the pay package of each employee by up to 20%.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications, 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.

“Fujitsu remains a highly profitable company and our members are insisting that the company must treat them fairly and increase pay, provide decent pensions, and consult meaningfully to minimise job losses and avoid compulsory redundancy.”

A spokesman for Fujitsu said: “As the company is still in consultation regarding the pension scheme and the proposed reduction in headcount it is premature to make any comment at this stage.”

The union will now have four weeks to decide what action to take.

Representatives of British Airways’ cabin crew have today met Unite union officials to discuss the possibility of industrial action over Christmas.

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