Public and Commercial Services Union
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IT workers in Fujitsu agree joint strike date

More than 1,000 members of PCS and Unite unions working in Fujitsu will hold a joint strike amid growing discontent with the IT giant.

The joint action will take place for 24 hours from midnight on Monday 19 September and involves PCS and Unite members based at various locations throughout the UK.

In a ballot of PCS members, working on contracts across the UK for DVLA, HM Revenue and Customs, Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Office of National Statistics, 65% voted for strike action in a dispute over a below inflation pay offer and the failure of Fujitsu to implement previous pay agreements.

Despite meeting or exceeding its performance targets on these contracts, the company is refusing to increase the pay offer. This will mean rises of between just 1.5% and 2.5%, which is an insult to the lowest paid staff, many of whom earn just £13,500 a year - less than what some senior managers receive in annual bonuses.

Unite members in Manchester voted by 85% for industrial action short of strike and 56% for strike action over a breakdown in industrial relations, breaches of agreements and victimisation of reps.

Unite says that the company is breaking agreements covering issues including union recognition, pay, benefits, pensions, redundancy and redeployment.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "Such a pitiful pay offer to workers, who are paid less than what some senior executives pocket in bonuses alone, is an insult.

"Our members may work for Fujitsu but they are supporting essential public services, so ministers must recognise they have a responsibility for what happens on behalf of their departments."

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: "Unite will not accept any situation where an employer can arbitrarily break negotiated agreements.

"This dispute can only be resolved through negotiations and coming to an agreement with the workforce. We remain available to talk at any time and urge management to get around the table so we can have a negotiated settlement."

Unite members in Crewe are also meeting today to decide whether they should also take part in the joint action.

Although the two unions' disputes are separate, they have agreed to take action together to put maximum pressure on the company to resolve the issues.

The unions are also finalising plans to work more closely together to boost union membership and organisation across Fujitsu in the UK and Ireland.

Earlier this year, PCS and Unite signed a joint national agreement to co-ordinate campaigns and industrial action where possible.

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