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Fujitsu workers demonstrate outside parliament

Unite members held a demonstration on Wednesday in front of the House of Commons in support of a motion recognising their cause
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Fujitsu staff took their grievances to parliament on Wednesday in an effort to drum up support for their battle with the company over redundancies, pay and pensions.

Members of Unite, the UK's largest union, demonstrated in Parliament Square in support of an early day motion brought by Tony Lloyd MP in the House of Commons expressing support for the Fujitsu workers.

The workers carried placards reading 'Don't delete our jobs' and 'Don't crash our pensions' during the morning demonstration, Unite said in a statement.

The demonstration was a response to Fujitsu's plan, announced in August, to make up to 10 percent of its 12,000 UK staff redundant. The layoffs will include 586 voluntary and 290 compulsory redundancies, Fujitsu has said.

Unite said it expects up to 100 of the compulsory redundancies to be announced by the end of this week.

Fujitsu also said it would close contributions to its final salary pension scheme, and has imposed a pay freeze. The pension changes could affect around 4,000 employees, whose total pay packages could be reduced by around 20 percent as a result, according to Unite.

"We're coming to Westminster to impress upon parliament that Fujitsu should not be using cuts to employees' jobs, pay and pensions in the UK as a cash cow to boost the profits of the company worldwide," Peter Skyte, Unite's national officer for the IT sector, said in a statement. "We urge Fujitsu now to work with us on settling this dispute in the interests of the company, the workforce and our members."

Unite members at Fujitsu are in the midst of a series of one-day strikes across the UK, the last of which is scheduled for 8 February.

The union originally called for strike action in November, but this was called off as a result of concessions by Fujitsu.

In December, Unite said talks with Fujitsu had not resulted in an offer that was acceptble to 83 percent of its members at the company. Of Fujitsu's 11,500 UK employees, 1,500 are members of Unite.

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