‘Discrimination’ of union reps sparks 11 days of strike action at Fujitsu in Manchester
- Thursday 11 January 2018
More than 250 Unite members in Manchester have voted for 11 days of strike action at IT giant Fujitsu in one of the longest running industrial disputes in the UK.
One of the features of this dispute has been a ‘victimisation culture’ of union reps, which has included the dismissal of Unite rep of 26 years standing Ian Allinson.
To highlight this culture, there will be a show of support for Ian Allison at the Fujitsu site in Manchester M40 5BP between 13.00-13:30 tomorrow (Friday 12 January).
Ian Allinson said: “On Tuesday (9 January), while I was on compassionate leave for a family funeral, Fujitsu sent me a letter telling me that I will be dismissed tomorrow (12 January) after more than 30 years’ service, including 26 as a union rep.
“Despite having an outstanding internal job application which Fujitsu has not responded to, the company is not allowing me to work my notice.”
Unite members in Manchester have voted by 54 per cent for strike action and by 71 per cent for industrial action short of a strike in the dispute that embraces victimisation of union reps, breaches of the redundancy agreement and compulsory redundancies.
A three-day strike will start at 00.01 on 24 January, ending at 23.59 on 26 January. There will be a 24 hour strike on 30 January, which will be followed by a week-long strike starting at 00.01 on 8 February, concluding at 23.59 on 14 February. This will be coupled with a work to rule from 24 January to 17 April.
Unite national officer for the IT sector Louisa Bull said: "Our members in Manchester have had more than enough and will be taking 11 days of strike action. This victimisation culture must cease immediately.
“These strikes could be averted, if senior Fujitsu bosses made a sea-change to their antediluvian attitude to modern employment relations and sat down and negotiated in a constructive fashion.
“This union has worked tirelessly to reach a reasonable and fair solution to this dispute.
“However, not only does the company not want to listen, it has backtracked on previous commitments. Its highly alarming treatment of union representatives speaks for itself.”
The strikes come after the failure of talks between Duncan Tait, Fujitsu’s head of Americas, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa and Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary at the end of last year.
Notes to editors:
Fujitsu employs nearly 8,000 people in the UK delivering IT services to government and major companies.
Petition against victimisations: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fujitsu-victimisations
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.