Fujitsu staff to strike over worker's treatment

Union members at Fujitsu's Crewe office are to hold a one-day strike next Thursday, as well as a longer campaign of industrial action, in support of a member who faces redundancy
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Fujitsu is facing a strike at its Crewe office next Thursday, after Unite members voted to take industrial action over alleged unfair treatment of a union activist.

The ballot on Thursday was over the treatment of Alan Jenney, who is being made redundant without the offer of another post elsewhere in Fujitsu. Unite, the UK's largest union, noted that hundreds of other job losses at the IT services provider will be mitigated by redeployment.

In the vote, 52 percent of Unite members at Crewe were in favour of a one-day strike at the site on 30 June, while 72 percent voted to take general industrial action.

"This ballot result reflects that our members are prepared to vote 'yes' to back strike action against the company's victimisation of Unite rep and co-worker, Alan Jenney, who is being unfairly singled out," Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite's national officer for IT and communications, said in a statement on Friday.

Fujitsu's site in Crewe employs around 130 programmers, hardware support staff and helpdesk operatives. Jenney, a business improvement specialist, has worked there for 17 years.

In addition to the strike, a campaign of industrial action will begin on Thursday. This includes a work-to-rule policy, a refusal to work overtime unless paid at least 'unsocial hours policy' rates, a ban on using workers' own vehicles to travel on company business unless in receipt of an allowance, and a 'policy of non co-operation'.

This ballot result reflects that our members are prepared to vote 'yes' to back strike action against the company's victimisation of Unite rep and co-worker Alan Jenney.
– Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite

According to Unite, Fujitsu has ignored an agreement with the union to carry out certain consultation procedures. It also said Fujitsu selected Jenney for redundancy without completing an agreed procedure, which then narrowed his options for redeployment.

"Mr Jenney is at risk of being made redundant, having been placed in a selection pool of two employees," O'Gallagher told ZDNet UK on Friday. "The other employee was redeployed before any formal selection was conducted. As such, [Jenney] will be dismissed on the grounds of redundancy on 10 July."

O'Gallagher added that Jenney's offers to accept redeployment "have not been agreed by the company, and offers from other staff to leave the company on redundancy to save his job have been rejected by the company".

Fujitsu told ZDNet UK on Friday: "We are aware of the union's intention to strike following a ballot by members but we are not able to comment on any specific cases regarding an individual member of our staff."

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