WORKERS at IT giant Fujitsu in Basingstoke will join other employees across the country in striking today.
Employees will strike for a further four days at sites across the UK, in a long-running dispute over plans to axe one in five jobs and pension cuts.
Strikes will take place for 24-hours today, and on Monday, April 24, as well as for 48-hours from just after midnight on Thursday April 20.
The dispute centres on pay, pensions, job security and union recognition – and takes place against a background of Fujitsu’s plans to axe and offshore 1,800 jobs in the UK. Along with the firm’s offices at Jays Close, in South View, employees working in Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington will also strike.
Unite national officer Ian Tonks said the previous four days of strike action, which took place between February 27 and March 27, “generated strong support from workers determined to stand up for their jobs and livelihoods”.
He added: “The way Fujitsu is treating its workforce and keeping them in the dark over its plans for the future is beyond contempt.
“This is a workforce that has worked hard to make Fujitsu in the UK highly profitable, yet their reward is job cuts and pension reductions, while the company frustrates Unite’s attempts to minimise compulsory redundancies.
“Fujitsu needs to start seriously engaging with Unite to avoid further industrial action, which could stretch into the summer.
“It is in danger of suffering severe reputational damage and will no longer be able to masquerade as a ‘responsible business’.”
Fujitsu is highly profitable in the UK, making £85.6 million profit in the last financial year.
The Japanese firm is an information technology equipment and services company, which has its headquarters in Tokyo.
Leader of Basingstoke Labour Group, Cllr Paul Harvey called on Fujitsu to ensure the demands of workers from Basingstoke were listened to.
Cllr Harvey told The Gazette this week: “It’s really important that we see good positive employee and employer relationships and the concerns raised by employees raised here are carefully addressed and the firm proves to be listening.
“The employees clearly feel very moved by this and the company need to understand this.
“Pensions and work life balance is difficult enough at the moment as there is tremendous pressure on families concerned with the future.
“We support the employees and this issue needs to be successfully resolved.”
Fujitsu declined to comment on the strikes as it “didn’t comment on industrial action”.