Fujitsu faces five-day strike

Industrial action at Manchester's offices has escalated — will companies that use Fujitsu's services be affected?

Staff at the Manchester offices of technology giant Fujitsu will go on a five-day strike in just over two weeks' time, as the ongoing dispute between the company and trade union Amicus shows little sign of resolution.

Amicus confirmed on Friday that the strike would go ahead, from Monday, 29 January to Friday, 2 February. An earlier strike took place on 11 and 12 January, as reported last week.

Fujitsu and Amicus are in dispute over a range of issues. The union claims that workers were denied the benefits of union recognition and representation, and the right to a 90-day consultation before redundancy. They also say that redundancy payment terms were cut.

The staff in question work on a number of outsourced accounts.

Ian Allinson, senior representative for Amicus at Fujitsu, told ZDNet UK on Friday that he had recently been threatened with disciplinary action. "We clearly think that's linked to my role in the dispute," he said.

"We think one of the reasons the union was attacked in Manchester is that the company generally doesn't recognise unions. It feels like they're trying to break the union here to nip it in the bud," Allinson added.

Sources within Fujitsu, though, have claimed that Amicus has refused to negotiate over the outstanding issues.

It is understood that Fujitsu has asked staff who are not engaged in the action to avoid taking leave during that week. The company is understood to be confident that its customers won't be affected.

Companies that use the services of Fujitsu's Manchester branch include Marks & Spencer and H&M, plus various government departments including the Home Office.

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