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Fujitsu Services workers start five day strike

ACAS talks fail, central government ponders
Fri Jan 26 2007, 18:17
WORKERS AT Fujitsu Services' Manchester base are planning a strike for five days next week following the company's outright refusal to talk with the union over a redundancy dispute.

The strike is planned from the 29th January and will go on until the 2nd February - though the union has been taking active action since the 22nd December and is still attempting to chat to the firm.

Amicus, the union in question, stopped its strike action in December 2006 to make way for talks with the Fujitsu management as well as the Arbitration Concilation and Advisory Service (ACAS) to try and settle the redundancy dispute.

Fujitsu Services employs over 12,000 people in the UK, the union said. It is a major supplier of outsourced IT services, particularly to UK Central Government. Amicus did not specify which government services Fujitsu Services, er, services. But the lights are still on, so far, in Harrow.

Amicus members are rather miffed about Fujitsu's alleged worsening pay and worker conditions, including among other things, the firm imposing two different pay deals on its workforce in Manchester and delaying pay rises, as well as offering no increase whatsoever for the lower paid jobs - despite a tidy profit margin for Fujitsu between 2005-2006.

Supposedly, Fujitsu has rejected any proposals from both Amicus and ACAS and has chosen to walk away from the prospect of further talks. General secretary of Amicus, Graham Goddard, said in a press release that he and his fellow union goons are "dismayed and saddened that management have refused to hold meaningful talks to settle the dispute. We hope the five-day strike will send a message to Fujitsu that they need to return to negotiations to bring the dispute to an end."

Earlier this month, Amicus members held a successful strike for two days, including a rally of members and the scattering of leaflets over Fujitsu and other customer sites across Blighty. Which firms are covered by Fujitsu is unclear at press time. µ


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