Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has urged Arm Holdings, one of Cambridge’s leading IT companies, to engage in talks over claims of excessive working hours and non-payment of overtime.

The call came after Unite activists on Monday (11 February) demonstrated outside Arm, which designs computer processors that power 90 per cent of all mobile devices, over the treatment of workers, following 180 people being made redundant recently without consultation.
Unite currently has a small number of members amongst Arm’s 2,000-strong Cambridge workforce. The union is angry that SoftBank, which acquired the company in 2016, is refusing to listen to its workers amid allegations of excessive working hours and, in certain cases, the non-payment of overtime.

Unite regional officer Matt Whaley said: “We are calling for a new era of employment relations at Arm Holdings, following the recent redundancies which saw 180 people lose their jobs without consultation in the run-up to Christmas. No one should be forced out the door after a tap on the shoulder.

“Our members have noticed a more hardline approach by management since the recent acquisition of the company by SoftBank. Monday’s demonstration by Unite was a shot across the bows in our on-going campaign for constructive talks with the management.”
Unite is highlighting the anti-union stance that some major IT employers have adopted and said that IBM was an example of an IT employer that fell well short in terms of union engagement.

Unite national officer for the IT sector Louisa Bull said: “As has been shown by the events at Arm Holdings and at IBM over a number of years, IT companies, despite their purported laid-back image with a young workforce in T-shirts and trainers, are not very sympathetic to trade unions.

“Our challenge, as a union, is to demonstrate to managements and their non-unionised staff that unions are central to good and progressive employment relations - and that IT companies should be working with us and not against us in 2019.” 

Arm employs 2,000 people in Cambridge, which is the central hub of its UK operations, and a further 6,000 people globally.


Notes to editors:

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

Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.