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Fujitsu UK staff to strike this month

Paul Kunert

More than 720 staff at Fujitsu Services will stage a three day walk-out later this month in protest over planned job cuts and changes to pay and pensions, the first ever national strike at a UK IT company.

This follows the results of an industrial action ballot this week in which 74% of 983 Unite members working at the integrator voted in favour of striking, with workers planning to down tools on 12, 13 and 16 November.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communication, said it had written to

Fujitsu's UK chief executive on 2 November to resolve the issues on jobs, pay and pensions, "we have yet to receive any formal response from the company."

"Our members are saying enough is enough, and employee representatives on the company's consultative forum have tendered their resignations over the way they are being treated," he said.

Fujitsu plans to axe 1,200 jobs by the end of the year, close the final pension salary scheme to further accruals and earlier this year froze employee pay rises one week before they were due to take place.

"We recognise the effect any industrial action will have on key private and public sector customers and clients of Fujitsu, but the responsibility for this rests squarely with the company for failing to talk to us or address the issue," added Skyte.

The results issued by Fujitsu last week showed declining profits and this was in part due to the delay in taking corrective action to cut costs, said Richard Holway, chairman at Tech Market Views.

"I do have sympathy with the staff," he told MicroScope, " the problem with Fujitsu is that they are probably nine to twelve months behind the curve, all the other main players went through blood letting [late last year or earlier this]."

The national strike has not been segmented by function but Holway said it was bound to have an impact on clients. "It will not become apparent immediately [but] some projects may be delayed."

A Fujitsu spokesman voiced disappointment at the decision but was unable to comment further.

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