11 Days Remaining

Saturday 14th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

HUNDREDS of workers at hi-tech transnational Fujitsu in Manchester staged an 11th day of strike action yesterday in their struggle over pay, pensions and job security.

The 300 staff have repeatedly walked out since November after the company announced it would start laying workers off from February 16, with minimal redundancy payments, as it shifts jobs overseas.

Union Unite is also seeking to extend its recognition beyond the firm’s Manchester site as works council Fujitsu Voice is being abolished today.

Workers are also walking out on Monday and Friday next week but Unite has suspended a strike planned for Thursday as a “gesture of goodwill” for crunch talks at conciliation service Acas.

The firm wants to shed 1,800 employees in London, Manchester, Solihull, Wakefield, Stevenage, Warrington, Bracknell and Crewe, as well as two sites in Northern Ireland — despite its UK operations making £85.6 million profit last year.

Unite also says the company has been cutting pay rates for years, despite its healthy profits, and refuses to tackle a 16 per cent gender pay gap.

Pickets were in action from 7am to 10am at Fujitsu’s site at Central Park, Manchester.

Strikers also leafleted the BBC in Media City, Salford, on Thursday as the corporation is a potential Fujitsu customer.

Unite regional officer Sharon Hutchinson said: “The strike action continues to have a significant impact on service delivery for customers and project timescales, which should give the management added impetus to seek a fair settlement.”