Unite suspends Fujitsu strike action

A one-day stoppage in a long-running dispute over redundancies, pensions, pay and the closure of a Fujitsu site in Salford has been averted at the last minute, according to Unite
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Unite has called a halt to planned strikes at IT services provider Fujitsu after reaching an agreement in an industrial dispute.

Fujitsu employees in Manchester had planned to stop work on Tuesday and to demonstrate outside the Conservative Party Conference in the city, as part of a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and other issues. The strike was cancelled after the union struck an eleventh-hour deal with the company on Monday night.

"All action has been suspended, and there are no plans for any action at the moment," Ian Allinson, a senior Unite representative in Manchester, told ZDNet UK.

The one-day stoppage arose from a long-running dispute over pensions, pay, overtime arrangements and the closure of Fujitsu's Man23 site in Salford, among other issues. In addition, Unite's members were unhappy that a union representative, Alan Jenney, was made compulsorily redundant in July.

The strike was set to affect Fujitsu's Manchester premises, which house IT support workers. An earlier 24-hour walk-out in September left a datacentre in Salford "essentially unmanned", Unite said at the time.

Under the terms of the agreement, all employees on pension schemes will be set up to continue with their pension plans by 17 October. In addition, Fujitsu will honour a deal it made in February to set up a consultative body on pensions. Out-of-hours work will be reinstated, and employees from the Man23 site, which Fujitsu plans to close, will be offered redeployment.

Our members do not take strike action lightly. The agreement reached is good news for both our members and for Fujitsu.
– Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite

In addition, Fujitsu agreed to discuss Jenney's case at Acas, with both sides to liaise with the conciliation service on or before 1 November.

"Our members do not take strike action lightly," Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite national officer, said in a statement. "The agreement reached is good news for both our members and for Fujitsu. Further talks are planned with the company. We hope this will produce an improved offer, which we will put to our members."

Unite planned to reballot members at Fujitsu's Crewe site over strike action, after their Manchester colleagues decided to include Jenney's grievance in its complaints, Jenney told ZDNet UK.

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