Fujitsu Services staff vote to strike over pension changes

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Fujitsu Services staff vote to strike over pension changes

Paul Kunert

Fujitsu Services employees have voted in favour of strike action over proposals to shelve the final pension salary scheme this month.

As revealed by MicroScope in May, the integrator entered into a 90-day consultation period with some 3,800 staff after informing them of plans to close the final pension salary scheme to further accruals.

Some 87% of members of the union Unite who work for Fujitsu Services have called for industrial action in protest.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications accused the firm, which achieved £200m profits in the FY to 31 March 2009 of using the recession opportunistically to squeeze staff Ts&Cs.

"Fujitsu Services is not struggling or failing. It is a highly profitable and successful company but one which is seeking to take advantage of the recession to attack jobs, pay, pension and conditions," he said.

If the firm gets the go ahead, it would dismiss staff this month and offer them employment under new contracts which remain unchanged except for the pension.

The union estimates that ending the final pension scheme would cut total benefits by 15%. Staff have also seen a pay freeze imposed throughout the company in 2009.

Strike action would be further negative publicity for the integrator which last week revealed plans to cut 1,200 UK jobs or 10% of its workforce by year-end in response to the downturn.

Skyte at Unite said: "Our members are insisting that the company should pay fairly and provide decent pensions for all its employees. Following the announcement of 1,200 redundancies, they are now calling for the issue of job cuts to be included in any ballot for formal industrial action.

"We are calling on the company to meet us to resolve these issues and avoid the risk of damaging industrial action," he added.

The consultation period is due to conclude on 25 September - though it may be extended - and a spokesman at Fujitsu Services said that until that point the would not provide comment.

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