June 30, 2011

Fujitsu Crewe strike photos

Thanks to everyone who supported today's strike action as part of the campaign to defend UNITE rep Alan Jenney from being singled out for an unfair and unjustified redundancy.



Marching with thousands of public sector workers:

Posted by IA at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2011

Fujitsu Crewe to Strike on Thursday

Talks at ACAS on Tuesday did not resolve the dispute, so the action is going ahead tomorrow.

An "appeal for support" leaflet and collection sheet can be downloaded here.

Posted by IA at 07:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2011

Fair and Transparent Pay and Benefits

Fujitsu’s survey of employees backs up UNITE’s decision to make fair and transparent pay and benefits our main campaign in the IT Services industry. Only 9% of people believe that the better their performance, the better their pay will be. It would have been interesting if the company had also asked whether people thought the better the company’s performance, the better their pay would be.

Fujitsu (predictably) refused to provide information in response to UNITE’s questions about the pay system, which were also sent to other major IT Services companies. What have they got to hide?

UNITE will soon launch the next step in the campaign, which will be a survey of employees designed to gather the sort of information which Fujitsu is declining to provide. It will be very important for members to encourage colleagues to complete this – we will need a good response to make the results statistically valid.

For more information about the campaign, see:


We can report another small step forwards from the company, building on the access to your own median through Self Service. If you contact HR Direct with a request for the median salary for a role that is currently being advertised on the internal opportunities site, and provide the RAR number and confirmation you are interested in applying for the role, HR Direct will release the median salary to you,.

Why not cut the cloak and dagger nonsense and publish the lot? Could it be embarrassment at the fat-cat salaries being received by some, while most of us are continually told to tighten our belts?

We previously welcomed the inclusion in the company standard pay guidelines of a gradual move towards “external” pay comparators, rather than just using the median salaries of Fujitsu’s own staff (which tend to fluctuate and are not linked to market rates). Sadly, the company didn’t actually implement this – no externally-based comparators have been provided to pay planning managers and the company has not answered any of UNITE’s questions about how they propose to generate them.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Crewe: Questions and Answers on Striking and Picketing, etc.

A copy of the Questions and Answers is available as a document at:
http://www.ourunion.org.uk/news/archives/QAonindustrialaction (CRE 2011).doc

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Crewe Strike and Members’ Meeting

Unfortunately today’s ACAS-facilitated meeting between Unite representatives and Fujitsu management did not result in a change to the company’s plan to dismiss Alan, so the CRE02 industrial action announced from 30th June - the first strike day in the dispute – is still going ahead. UNITE is continuing communication with the company so please keep an eye out for any further updates.

On Thursday 30th June we need as many people as possible to show their opposition to victimisation. Please:

  • Join the pickets on each of the entrances to CRE02 from 7:30am
  • Raise support for our campaign by marching with and leafleting public sector workers. Assemble 11:00, All Saints Park, Oxford Road, Manchester. March to Castlefield Arena, Manchester City Centre for rally at 12:30.

Reps are busy collating messages of support and we hope to have a display on the picket line.

Please do your best to attend the lunchtime members’ meeting on Friday, where members will review discussions with the company, the action and campaign activities so far and decide on the next steps.
Location – CR 0-2, CRE02
Date – Friday, 1st July 2011
Time – 12.30pm – 1.30pm, prompt start

  • Apologies
  • Review of discussions with the company
  • Review of Thursday’s strike, picketing, the action short of strike, and campaign activities
  • Next steps in Crewe and elsewhere
  • AOB

For suggestions on further items for discussion or motions to be added, please advise Alan Jenney by 11am, Thursday, 30th June 2011.

CR 0-2 is the largest conference room on the ground floor at CRE02, behind reception.

Please encourage all members you know to attend the members’ meeting. Though other members are welcome to attend, only Unite members contractually based at CRE02 can vote on motions about the industrial action.

Please make arrangements with your manager in advance for cover whilst you attend the meeting if this is necessary.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Defend Alan Jenney and Union Organisation in Fujitsu

Despite UNITE offering solutions, the company has pressed on towards dismissing Alan Jenney, the Deputy Chair of the union’s Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, and a rep in Crewe. The company is saying that Alan could be dismissed as redundant from 10th July.

Whether the original job cut was genuine or not, it is clear that the company is singling Alan out and choosing to treat him worse than hundreds of other staff affected by job losses in Fujitsu. In its attempts to prevent Alan keeping his job, the company has (amongst many other things):

  • Gone straight to redundancy without any attempt at redeployment
  • Broken Manchester’s Annex 1 agreement (“Managing Changing Patterns of Employment), carrying out selection without even starting consultation with UNITE
  • Broken the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) by rejecting a volunteer who is willing to swap with Alan

The company’s approach reinforces the view that Alan is being victimised because of the work he does on behalf of employees across the company in his union role.

UNITE defends any member facing the loss of their job. This case is even more important because it threatens the ability of members to elect reps and have them carry out their duties. It is a threat to union organisation, as well as to Alan as an individual.

UNITE members employed by Fujitsu Services Ltd and contractually based at CRE02 have voted in a ballot for industrial action and plan to start their action on Thursday 30th June with a one-day strike and ongoing action short of strike. This will allow them to raise the profile of the campaign by uniting with public sector workers (many of whom are Fujitsu’s customers) striking on the same day.

For full details of the ballot result and notice of action, see www.ourunion.org.uk/news.

Alan’s case, along with other serious breaches of agreements, led to a collective grievance being lodged in Manchester. As a result, the company will be meeting with UNITE and ACAS today. Everyone is hoping that this meeting can resolve the issues and allow the Crewe strike to be called off, but we cannot bank on this. On Friday, UNITE members in Manchester decided that they want the union to ballot them for industrial action too, if significant progress is not rapidly made.

You will notice that the breaches of agreements include matters affecting pensions for employees whether or not they were previously in the ICL DB pension plan, and which were in last year’s national “ACAS agreement”.

Wherever you are based, the breaches of agreements and the attempt to pick off reps affect you because they threaten your union’s ability to support any member on any issue. Please do everything you can to support our colleagues in Crewe. For example, you could:

  1. Make sure you have responded to the “membership check” email sent out to non-Crewe members on Sunday 19th June.
  2. Let your reps know if the recent “one per desk” leaflet, which includes updates on pay, jobs and the Defend Alan Jenney campaign, hasn’t yet been distributed at your site.
  3. Send a message of support to Alan Jenney and the Crewe members.
  4. Donate a small part of your pay to the strike fund. Cheques payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group” can be sent to Unite the Union, MAN34. If you use online banking, you can donate to Account Number: 00980539, Sort Code: 30-91-48, but please send an email to tell your reps about your donation
  5. Take Thursday off and join striking Crewe members on the march and rally with public sector strikers. Assemble 11:00, Thursday 30th June, All Saints Park, Oxford Road, Manchester. March to Castlefield Arena, Manchester City Centre for rally at 12:30.
  6. Ask your MP why a company receiving vast amounts or public money is being allowed to behave like this.
  7. Help organise a UNITE meeting at your own site to raise awareness of the campaign.

For more information, see the “appeal for support” leaflet which is updated from time to time on www.ourunion.org.uk. For updates on the campaign, see www.ourunion.org.uk/news. You can also follow #DefendAlanJ on Twitter (http://twitter.com/DefendAlanJ) or friend “Unite At Fujitsu” on Facebook (http://facebook.com/uniteatfujitsu)

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2011

Crewe leaflet - Defend Alan Jenney

The latest "one per desk" newsletter being distributed at Fujitsu Crewe is here.

Posted by IA at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2011

National Fujitsu Leaflet

Please see here for a copy of the latest national "one per desk" newsletter being distributed across Fujitsu.

It covers pay, jobs, and the Defend Alan Jenney campaign.

Posted by IA at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2011

Report from Manchester Members’ Meeting

Pay background

There is downward pressure on pay and benefits in the IT Services industry, reflected in years of below-inflation pay reviews and cuts in other terms and conditions. We need to strengthen union organisation across the industry to avoid a “race to the bottom” and counter this effectively. Our declining individual bargaining power needs to be replaced with greater collective bargaining power.

UNITE’s “fair and transparent pay and benefits” campaign, which covers several of the major IT Services companies, is key to this strategy. Employees will soon be asked to help the campaign, including by completing a survey.

For more information see www.unitetheunion.org/itcharter

If this campaign is successful, it can not only improve the way pay and benefits are dealt with in our industry, but also build organisation which can influence other issues too.

Manchester Pay 2011

The company has delayed and obstructed negotiations. As usual, they want employees to worry about a delay in the pay review enough that they accept a worse deal than is necessary.

UNITE has submitted a legal claim to the CAC over the company’s refusal to provide adequate data for constructive negotiations, but we are still awaiting a hearing.

The company has used its failure to implement a number of elements of last year’s pay agreement to try to delay the talks this year. For example, the elements on pensions and future pay negotiations should already have been incorporated.

Details of the company offer were circulated on Wednesday. It is significantly better than what the company is doing for people outside the bargaining unit, but has problems, such as:

  • Breaking previous agreements
  • For the first time, the company is seeking to remove a number of positive elements from the existing agreement, including points on pensions which are very important.
  • No increase to D1-D4 pay scales
  • A smaller proportion of the pot going on Cost Of Living than last year, despite high inflation
  • A shift away from the “matrix” to “managers’ discretion”
  • The company wants to be able to introduce new anomalies in allocation of benefits such as company cars and bonuses
  • The proposed “Appendix 4” would mean UNITE being unable to monitor whether the company had actually spent what they say they will

After a discussion, members voted to reject the company offer. This has been communicated to Fujitsu and negotiations will resume at stage 3 on Wednesday.

Members were urged to respond to the notice sent out on Wednesday to say what our negotiating team should prioritise for improvement in the company offer.

Defend Alan Jenney

Members discussed an update on the case of Alan Jenney, UNITE rep and Deputy Chair of our Fujitsu UK Combine Committee. The company is singling him out for unfair and unnecessary redundancy. The company has so far declined the various simple solutions offered by UNITE over recent months which would avoid the redundancy, reinforcing the belief that the company is deliberately victimising Alan because of the union role he performs on behalf of employees.

Members in Crewe have voted for industrial action, which will start with a strike on Thursday 30th June.

For more information, see the appeal for support at www.ourunion.org.uk.

Breakdown in Industrial Relations

There was an excellent discussion about the situation that led to the collective grievance being lodged and how members should respond.

Everyone felt frustrated that the company seemed unwilling to respond to employees’ concerns other than through campaigns and disputes, creating unnecessary confrontation, which we remain keen to avoid if possible. Though there are a number of important issues, it is the impending dismissal of Alan Jenney that currently creates the greatest urgency.

The increased number, scale and pace of attacks on terms and conditions makes it critical that staff get involved – leaving things to your reps will not work. Members took away copies of the latest “one per desk” leaflet to distribute across the site. A number commented on the need to encourage others to join the union, to talk to colleagues about the issues, and for more members to attend meetings as reading email notices is not enough to understand the issues we face.

Members agreed the following motion:

We note with concern the breakdown in industrial relations. We believe that the key changes required from the company to establish a healthy working relationship are:

  1. Honouring and implementing agreements
  2. Engaging in regular dialogue at an appropriate level outside the context of disputes
  3. Consulting before making decisions that affect staff
  4. Focusing on resolving issues by agreement where possible, rather than generating unnecessary conflict which undermines the reputation and future success of the company
  5. Respecting the role of employee representatives, who sometimes have to put forward views senior management may not like, and seeking to address the substantive issues rather than attempting to victimise reps

We believe that these changes, which are no more than “good practice”, are at least as important at times when the company faces challenges as at any other time. A style of management which makes employees feel disconnected from their employer can only harm the future prospects for a company which has been built through our hard work and commitment.

We welcome the company’s agreement to meet with UNITE and ACAS on Tuesday 28th June 2011, and hope that this meeting can result in a rapid improvement in industrial relations.

However, we are concerned that the company has not confirmed that it is respecting the “status quo” pending resolution of our collective grievance, and in particular appears to be moving towards the dismissal of UNITE rep Alan Jenney, despite UNITE having put forward viable alternatives.

If Tuesday’s meeting does not result in a positive outcome (including for Alan’s case), we call on UNITE to ballot us quickly for industrial action over the breakdown in industrial relations and in defence of our agreements.

We resolve to support the campaign of UNITE members in Crewe in defence of Alan Jenney and union organisation. We congratulate them on their vote for industrial action and resolve to support them, including by:

  1. Explaining the issues to colleagues
  2. Encouraging staff outside Crewe to book 30th June as annual leave to join striking Crewe members at the march and rally in Manchester.
  3. Helping to publicise and raise money for the campaign.
  4. Donating pay to the strike fund for days when Crewe members are on strike and we are not.
  5. Wearing campaign stickers.
  6. Encouraging colleagues to join the union and get involved.

If you have not already done so, please respond to the “membership check” email sent out on Sunday 19th June, to ensure any industrial action ballot can be conducted properly.

UNITE will provide an update to members following Tuesday’s meeting with the company and ACAS.

A collection at the meeting raised £120 for the CRE02 strikers. Please consider donating part of your pay to their strike fund. Cheques payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group” can be sent to Unite the Union, MAN34. If you use online banking, you can donate to Account Number: 00980539, Sort Code: 30-91-48, but please tell us about your donation

Please let your reps know if you are planning to attend the Manchester march and rally with our striking Crewe members on Thursday, so that we can organise to meet up. The details are:

Assemble 11:00, Thursday 30th June, All Saints Park, Oxford Road, Manchester

March to Castlefield Arena, Manchester City Centre for rally at 12:30

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June 23, 2011

Crewe : Notice of Industrial Action at Fujitsu Crewe

While the ballot was going on, UNITE continued its efforts to resolve the dispute without the need for industrial action. The company was informed of the intention to ballot and the timescale for the ballot on Thursday 2nd June. UNITE wrote to the company on 16th June saying that the union would delay issuing the notice of industrial action when the ballot result was announced on 23rd June if it was agreed to remove the threat of redundancy from Alan Jenney.

The company has not taken up UNITE’s offer and therefore UNITE has issued the official notice of action published here published and on Unite the Union CaféVIK community.

The law requires that seven days’ notice be given to the company. No action can be taken during this time.

The official request for action is below. It is also posted here and on the Unite the Union CaféVIK community.

Mr K. O’Gallagher
National Officer
Unite the Union

Dear Colleague



We refer to your faxed request received today.

Following their vote for industrial action, our 64 Unite the Union members, who are employed by the company at the above site defined as those whose ‘contractual base location’ site code is CRE02 as per the attached breakdown, are hereby called upon to take industrial action.

The action will be continuous, commencing on Thursday 30th June 2011 and will consist of the following:

  • Ban on overtime (paid or unpaid) unless paid at least Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates.
  • Work to rule and contract, (for example ban on work phone calls outside contracted hours unless paid on standby, ensure backup before and after applying patches, test and document thoroughly, be diligent about Performance Plus and Personal Development Plan activities and what is written in objectives, carefully read all Company notices and Health & Safety information, read all the information from the Pensions and Redundancy consultation web sites, take regular backups of PC, comply with the “tidy desk” policy).
  • Ban on using own vehicle to travel on company business unless in receipt of an allowance.
  • Policy of non co-operation

In addition our members concerned will take discontinuous strike action consisting of a one day stoppage on Thursday 30th June 2011.

Please find attached a copy of the notice we have faxed to the employers.

Yours fraternally,


UNITE continues its efforts to resolve this dispute. On Tuesday 28th June there will be a meeting between Kevin O’Gallagher (UNITE National Officer), Terry Thompson (UNITE Regional Officer) and Manchester Reps to discuss the breakdown of industrial relations. ACAS will be assisting with the discussions. Though this is a Manchester meeting, the fact that the company breached the Annex 1 Manchester agreement in dealing with Alan’s redundancy means his case will be discussed.

UNITE members in Manchester are also meeting tomorrow to discuss a number of pressing matters, including what they will do if the negotiations are not successful.

Posted by at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)

Crewe : Result of Industrial Action Ballot at Fujitsu Crewe

Unite has declared the result of the ballot on industrial action at Crewe. Voting closed at noon today, 23rd June. The official notice of the result is posted here
and on the Unite the Union CaféVIK community.

Unite members based at Crewe were balloted and have voted for strike action and for industrial action short of strike. A summary of the result is as follows:

Question: Are you prepared to take part in strike action?

Number of votes cast 46
Spoiled voting papers 0

Number voting YES 24 (52%)
Number voting NO 22 (48%)

Question: Are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike?

Number of votes cast 46
Spoiled voting papers 0

Number voting YES 33 (71%)
Number voting NO 13 (29%)

Thank you to all members who returned their ballot papers.

Posted by at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2011

Manchester: Defend Alan Jenney

The ballot of UNITE members at Fujitsu Crewe for industrial action over the company singling out UNITE rep Alan Jenney for an unfair and unnecessary redundancy closes on Thursday. Alan is also Deputy Chair of our national Fujitsu Combine Committee, so this is definitely not just a local issue.

The result of the Crewe ballot will be out in time for the Manchester members’ meeting.

If the vote is for action and the company doesn’t come to its senses, Crewe members may strike on 30th June, alongside many of our public sector customers.

For updates on the campaign to defend Alan and union organisation in Fujitsu, see www.ourunion.org.uk/news or follow the campaign on Twitter (#DefendAlanJ or http://twitter.com/DefendAlanJ).

How you can help:

  • There are lots of ideas in the appeal for support leaflet at www.ourunion.org.uk
  • Book Thursday 30th June off work so you can join in the activities
  • Join the protest on 30th June, 11am at All Saints Park on Oxford Road, Manchester, march to Castlefield Arena for 12:30pm
  • Donate your day’s wages to the strike fund. Cheques payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group” can be sent to John Wood, 301 Bolton Road, BURY, BL8 2NZ. If you use online banking, you can donate to Account Number: 00980539, Sort Code: 30-91-48, but please send an email to tell us about your donation, via support@ourunion.org.uk.
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Manchester: Pay 2011

Stage 2 pay negotiations continue this afternoon, and if the company sticks to the most recently agreed timetable, there will be a new pay offer tomorrow (Tuesday) for members to vote on at the members’ meeting on Friday.

So far, while progress is being made in some areas, it is not generally encouraging. The company has been consistently failing to honour its commitments, such as:

  • Incorporating points from last year’s ACAS agreement and pension change into the agreement
  • Providing information to allow both parties to model the costs and benefits of proposals
  • Sticking to agreed timescales

It is also proving difficult to persuade the company to:

  • offer a cost-of-living increase in line with employees’ preferences
  • increase the £12,000 minimum rate of pay, despite high inflation which the IFS confirmed is hitting the lowest paid hardest
  • increase the helpdesk pay scales, which have only increased 3.6% in 10 years, while the cost of living has increased by more than 30% and the National Minimum Wage has increased by 45%
  • offer fair and objective process with clear criteria for people to appeal if they believe they have been doing work which matches a better role code than their current one
  • ensure individuals get paid or given time off in lieu for additional hours unless this right has clearly been “bought out” with some other aspect of pay and benefits
  • remove the cap on POV mileage rates so that people without benefit cars or allowances get paid the full cost of their travel on company business, just as those in more senior roles do

It is hoped that further progress will be made in today’s negotiations.

If members aren’t satisfied with the offer the company makes tomorrow, it will be important for your negotiating team to have a strong mandate for stage 3 negotiations, so a large attendance at Friday's members' meeting is vital.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Manchester Members’ Meeting on Friday

There will be a very important meeting for all UNITE members in the Manchester bargaining unit:

2-3:30pm, Friday 24th June
MAN35 canteen

The meeting will vote on whether to accept a company pay offer, discuss the breakdown in industrial relations, and vote on whether to progress to an industrial action ballot if the issues are not resolved.

Members are entitled to attend the meeting in work time. If your manager might need to arrange cover for while you attend, it is important that you ask them now to confirm your release. If you have any difficulty securing release, please contact your rep immediately. If you leave this until the last minute, reps may not be able to resolve this for you.

This is a crucial meeting that will take important decisions and it is vital that we get a good attendance. Please do your utmost to attend and encourage your colleagues to come too.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Manchester: Breakdown in Industrial Relations

A series of serious breaches of the Manchester agreements and attacks on individual reps leave us in a very serious situation.

Kevin O’Gallagher, UNITE’s National Officer for IT & Communications, lodged the following collective grievance on behalf of the Manchester bargaining unit:

9th June 2011 To: Ella Bennett (HR Director) CC: Ellie Sims, David Stevens, Terry Thompson, Ian Allinson

Breakdown in Industrial Relations

The UNITE Fujitsu Manchester workplace reps have asked me to write to you to place a serious breakdown in industrial relations into our formal procedure for resolving collective issues as set out in section 10 of the Recognition Agreement.
Given that many of the points we wish to discuss relate to breaches of our agreements, we believe it would be appropriate for this to be dealt with immediately at stage 3 of the procedure. This would also have the advantage of allowing both parties to benefit from the expert assistance of ACAS in a conciliation role.

The company appears to be attempting to rapidly worsen the treatment of employees in a wide variety of ways. In doing so, it has ceased any genuine attempt at constructive engagement with UNITE. Instead the company is breaking agreements, attacking our representatives and turning every issue into a confrontation. We do not believe this form of outdated 1980s industrial relations is in the best interests of the company or its employees.

By way of examples:
1. The company showed no interest in correcting the under-payment of employees under the 2010 Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement until employees lodged Employment Tribunal claims.
2. The company plans to scrap the Majority Club and the pre-retirement wind-down, yet has not consulted UNITE about this at all.
3. The company refused to adhere to the status quo in respect of the grievance over Out Of Hours payments for the WINTEL support team, whose payments were cut without consultation.
4. Though the company worked to redeploy staff off DWP, with considerable success, it refused to follow the Annex 1 process and tried to conceal what was going on from UNITE.
5. The company has not even bothered to inform UNITE that it has decided to break the commitment to set up a consultation body for the FJUK pension plan. This commitment was included in the ACAS agreement with UNITE of February 2010, was discussed during pension consultation, and was included in correspondence which the company confirmed ICL DB members could rely on in deciding whether to accept the contractual variation.
6. The company put two individuals at risk of redundancy, in order to cut one job. One of the individuals at risk was in the Manchester bargaining unit, yet the company refused to follow the Annex 1 agreement. Having failed to follow the agreed process, the company then singled out Alan Jenney, deputy chair of the UNITE Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, for redundancy, without making any genuine effort at redeployment.
7. The company has persistently delayed finalising updates to the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement, even where these were agreed last year. Failure to stick to agreed timescales or provide information has again this year forced UNITE to use external legal routes to try to ensure employees get a good pay deal on time.
8. The company is denying assignments to UNITE rep and Combine Committee member Jay Lieberman. Assignments are made available to others but not Jay, in breach of the Recognition Agreement. The company fails to implement reasonable adjustments for his disability, even when recommended by Occupational Health. Managers have failed to put his name forward for assignments he has expressed interest in. Unspecified feedback is used to justify denying Jay work. He is threatened with bogus Capability procedures in an attempt to pressure him into accepting a financial package to leave the company.
9. The company has failed to progress the negotiations on facility time for UNITE representatives, which were set up as a result of UNITE’s collective grievance raised on 2nd July 2010. Instead of resolving the issue collectively, the company keeps trying, in breach of the agreed procedures, to apply individual pressure to our Senior Rep, Ian Allinson, to reduce the time he spends working on behalf of employees.

Overall, it appears that the company is trying to prevent employees having a say about changes that affect them. In particular, there appears to be a systematic attempt to prevent UNITE representatives carrying out their functions properly.

We do not expect the process of this collective grievance to resolve all the examples raised above, or the many others we could have listed. We are looking for a renewed commitment from the company to constructive industrial relations, with any issue resolved promptly through agreed procedures. We believe it is this approach, combined with adherence to agreements and near-perfect execution, which can build trust between the company and its employees.

In line with section 10.5 of our agreement, please contact me to discuss who has decision-making power over this issue in order to determine who is the appropriate manager to hear this grievance, so that it has the best possible chance of being resolved quickly.

In the meantime, may I remind you that under section 10.1 of our agreement, the company must refrain from taking any other action in relation to the contested issues. In particular, the company should immediately cease activities such as:
• worsening the terms, conditions or working practices of employees without consultation
• failing to engage with UNITE in a timely manner to resolve issues raised by the company or employees
• failing to implement commitments made
• implementing detrimental changes against the expressed wishes of employees without exhausting the agreed grievance procedures, in violation of that status quo principle
• taking away employees’ jobs while denying them the protection assistance of the agreed Annex 1 procedures
• depriving UNITE representatives of assignments
• proposing to dismiss UNITE representatives as redundant without making genuine efforts at redeployment
• threatening UNITE representatives with unjustified Conduct or Capability action
• giving reps additional duties, cutting their union time, or organising individual meetings with them to discuss doing so – as already required under the outstanding grievance of 2nd July 2010.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kevin O’Gallagher
UNITE National Officer
IT & Communications Sector

The company has agreed to stage 3 talks with ACAS on Tuesday 28th June. The big question is what members want to do if agreement isn’t reached and the procedure is exhausted.

If you haven’t already done so, please respond to the membership check email sent on Sunday 19th June.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2011

Fujitsu Crewe Picket Practice

Thanks to all the members who took part in Thursday's "picket practice" protest at Fujitsu Crewe, demanding the company treat UNITE rep Alan Jenney fairly and stop singling him out for an unfair and unnecessary redundancy.


Posted by IA at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2011

Crewe: Industrial Action Ballot – have you returned your vote?

If you have not received your ballot paper by today, please contact Alan Jenney or Michael Thomas IMMEDIATELY so that a replacement can be provided.

In line with the decision of the last CRE02 members’ meeting, UNITE is asking all members to vote YES+YES as soon they receive their voting papers. A big YES+YES vote with the maximum possible turnout gives us the best chance of a quick and successful resolution to the dispute.

[in the original email notice, members were asked to confirm they had returned their votes]

It is essential to protect you and your union that you inform UNITE promptly if your circumstances change (e.g. base location, home address or other contact details). Please update UNITE via our membership secretary Michael Thomas.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Crewe: Events

Do not forget that there is a Lunchtime Members’ Meeting TODAY (Tuesday) at 12.30pm in CR0-2, where members will hear reports on and discuss the campaign so far, prepare for picket practice on Thursday, and take decisions about next steps. [a motion was included in the original email notice]

Members in Crewe may remember the picketing that was carried out during the national dispute of Jobs, Pay and Pensions. Whilst the weather conditions were not ideal (-15°C was recorded one snowy morning), there was a spirited nature to the singing, dancing and placard waving with excellent catering and snowman construction.

In case the company does not back down, picket practice has been arranged for Thursday from 12 noon outside CRE02, on the pavement opposite the front of the building. A good turnout is essential as we hope for media coverage.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2011

Crewe: Lunchtime Picket Practice on Thursday

We want to build the pressure on Fujitsu to resolve the dispute as soon as possible, ideally before any industrial action is required.

To show our seriousness and determination to strike if necessary, we will be holding a good-humoured “picket practice” protest outside CRE02 on Thursday.
This will also be an opportunity to get further media coverage for our campaign, increasing the pressure on Fujitsu, so it is important that we have the best turnout possible.

“Picket Practice” lunchtime rally

Thursday, 16th June at noon
pavement opposite the front of the CRE02 building

Come and join the gathering and flag-waving for half-an-hour – we might be a bit rusty doing picketing, so here’s a chance to get our message across to the company.

Further planning for this will take place in the members’ meeting on Tuesday.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Crewe: Lunchtime Members’ Meeting on Tuesday

Your reps are calling a Lunchtime CRE02 Members’ Meeting:

Tuesday, 14th June
12.30pm – 1.30pm, prompt start
Conference room CR 0-2, CRE02 (behind reception)

Please encourage all members you know to attend. Please make arrangements with your manager in advance for cover whilst you attend the meeting if this is necessary.

The meeting will discuss the latest developments in the campaign to defend Alan Jenney and our union organisation, and take decisions on future plans.

The company originally said that Alan’s 90 days started on 29th March. However, in a recent letter to Alan the company has referred to 9th July as the end of consultation, an extension which helps efforts to prevent his dismissal.

However, the company is continuing to deal with Alan’s case in a way which is time-consuming and confrontational, rather than putting time and energy into securing redeployment. The company is well aware that another employee has volunteered to swap with Alan, volunteering for redundancy. Alan is covered by the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) which clearly says “If the efficiency of the unit or the Department is not impaired by the departure of the volunteer, then he/she will be included in any list of redundant personnel”. It is crystal clear that the other employee could be released, so the company can resolve the dispute easily, simply by sticking to the SEA.

The main purpose of the meeting is to decide on next phase of the campaign. We will also discuss the site-wide e-mail from the company about the issue.


  • Defend Alan Jenney
    • Campaign report
    • News about the petition
    • Ballot
    • Preparations for Picket Practice
    • External Leverage
  • AOB

For suggestions on further urgent items for discussion or motions to be added, please advise Alan Jenney or any of the other reps by 11am, Monday, 13th June 2011.

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June 09, 2011

Crewe: VOTE! Industrial Action Ballot opens – voting starts TODAY

Ballot papers will be in the post today to all Unite Members employed by Fujitsu Services Limited contractually based at CRE02.

If you have not received a voting paper by Tuesday 14th June 2011 you should contact Alan Jenney or Michael Thomas IMMEDIATELY. The full text of the notice of industrial action ballot to UNITE members is online.

When you receive your ballot paper, please return your vote STRAIGHT AWAY. This is particularly important because of the short balloting period. YESX
UNITE is urging every member to vote YES+YES to present a strong message to the company and give us the best chance of preventing the company dismissing Alan Jenney - and defending the union organisation that defends us.YESX

This is the final “ballot countdown” notice. Here are some final thoughts on the ballot and action.

Explaining the Ballot Paper

The reason why our notices talk about voting YES+YES is that the law requires the union to ask separate questions about strike action and action short of strike. The two questions are:

Are you prepared to take part in strike action?
  • Are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of strike?
  • There’s no point taking any action at all unless we intend to win and your reps believe we need a big YES vote on both questions to have a realistic chance of success. That’s why UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES.

    The ballot paper will also include the following text:

    “If you take part in a strike or other industrial action, you may be in breach of your contract of employment. However, if you are dismissed for taking part in strike or other industrial action which is called officially and is otherwise lawful, the dismissal will be unfair if it takes place fewer than twelve weeks after you started taking part in the action, and depending on the circumstances may be unfair if it takes place later.”

    This is standard wording which is required to be on all industrial ballot papers by law. Unions have been campaigning to get it removed (along with the rest of the anti-union laws) because it seems calculated to scare people just as their pen hovers over the voting paper. The legal immunities for lawful industrial action aren’t mentioned. Have you ever heard of any action against an official striker for breach of contract? Thought not.


    To run a dispute successfully, the members have to be in charge. Regular members’ meetings are crucial to ensure that everyone understands what is going on and why, and has a say in deciding on the next steps.

    Because this is a local dispute, it is possible to take many decisions directly at members’ meetings. UNITE will not call any industrial action which hasn’t been approved at a members’ meeting. The members are the union, and will remain in democratic control of the campaign at all times.

    Other activities

    We want to achieve a successful resolution to this dispute as quickly as possible and with the minimum industrial action – ideally none at all! That’s why UNITE is organising other aspects of the campaign, to maximise the pressure on Fujitsu – this is an easy dispute to resolve if the company can be persuaded to try.

    Even if and when strikes take place, it’s not always practical for everyone to picket on a strike day, and it may not always be the most effective use of time anyway. Strikers often organise a range of other activities to help the campaign, such as phoning people, letter writing, leaflet writing, leafleting other workplaces, collecting money, holding meetings, administering financial support, touring other workplaces and union branches to raise support or lobbying MPs.

    There are ways for everyone to contribute to the success of the campaign.


    People often have fears about a dispute damaging relationships with workmates or management. This can happen, particularly if a dispute is long and bitter. But it doesn’t have to be like that, we are looking for a rapid solution to this issue.

    Things would be far worse if we allowed the company to pick off our reps so that staff were scared to speak up for their rights or to support each other.

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    June 06, 2011

    Crewe : DEFEND ALAN JENNEY petition sent to Duncan Tait

    Many thanks to all who collected signatures around Fujitsu and beyond and to all of you who signed the petition in support of the campaign. There are hundreds of signatories. This shows the strength of feeling for defending workplace representation.

    The completed petition has been posted to the CEO of Fujitsu UK and Ireland, Duncan Tait.

    A copy of the petition will also be presented at Alan’s individual redundancy consultation meeting, also on 9th June.

    Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Crewe : Countdown to Industrial Action Ballot – 3 days to go

    Your UNITE reps and officers have been working hard to resolve the situation around Alan Jenney’s potential redundancy. Alan’s treatment is inconsistent with the redeployment support offered to hundreds of employees without the need to start a redundancy process. Jobs come and go like this in Fujitsu all the time, yet the company decided it immediately needed to initiate a redundancy situation to cut just one job in Alan’s team.

    It has been highlighted to the company on several occasions that they are failing to honour agreements such as Manchester’s Annex 1 Agreement and their own best practices and processes on redundancy.

    There are very simple ways to resolve this dispute. UNITE reps and officers have given the company many opportunities to respond positively, through informal and formal channels, but Fujitsu has so far chosen not to resolve the situation.

    The company even tried to stop the collection of signatures for the petition at CRE02, including issuing a notice sent to all CRE02 residents referring to “harassment from Unite”. It was explained to the company’s representative that, through the agreed National Protocol, UNITE had informed the company in advance that flyers would be distributed and signatures collected at various locations around the country. Members continued to collect signatures that morning and lunchtime. It is possible that during the dispute we could see more misleading company communications, as we did during the national dispute over the winter of 2009/2010. If in doubt, ask one of your reps.

    Industrial action is the last resort but unfortunately, time is running out for Alan. In order to go through the legal process to hold a ballot and (if necessary) issue the notice of action before Alan could be dismissed, members in Crewe recently agreed unanimously at a members’ meeting to ask Unite to begin the ballot process.

    The ballot papers are due to be sent on 9th June to Unite members contractually based at CRE02. Keep your eyes out for notices in the next few days with further information about the timing, the ballot questions and Unite’s recommendations.

    Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

    June 02, 2011

    Fujitsu Crewe - Notice of Industrial Action Ballot

    In line with the decision taken unanimously by members at their meeting last Thursday, UNITE has now issued the formal notice to Fujitsu for the industrial action ballot.

    The official notice of ballot to members is below. The notice sent to the employer is here.

    It was agreed at the members’ meeting that it was important to achieve the highest possible turnout in the ballot and a big YES+YES vote in order to have the best possible chance of preventing the company dismissing Alan Jenney and undermining our union organisation.

    UNITE continues to do its utmost to resolve the issue before any industrial action is needed.

    Please keep your eyes open for union notices in the coming days which will explain more about the campaign.

    It is vital that you keep your UNITE membership record up to date throughout the period of the ballot and any subsequent industrial action. Please contact our membership secretary, Michael Thomas with any updates to your membership record.


    The Union intends to conduct a ballot for industrial action of the members who are employed by Fujitsu Services Limited at the Crewe site defined as those whose ‘contractual base location’ site code is CRE02.

    Voting papers will be sent out on Thursday 9th June 2011. If you have not received a voting paper by Tuesday 14th June 2011 you should contact Alan Jenney or Michael Thomas IMMEDIATELY.

    The names of the members to be balloted are available at from Alan Jenney or Michael Thomas. If you are entitled to vote in the ballot please check that you are on the list and that your address is accurately recorded.

    If you know anyone who is away from work at the moment but who should be included in the ballot, please give his/her name to Alan Jenney or Michael Thomas so that we can check whether your colleague should be sent a voting paper.

    Posted by IA at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

    June 01, 2011

    CREWE Members’ Meeting Thursday 26th May 2011 Defend Alan Jenney

    Your reps have called a lunchtime meeting to discuss the ongoing situation regarding Alan Jenney.

    The company have not yet changed their position and therefore we need to explore the next phases of the campaign to put pressure on the company to halt the redundancy.


    • Defend Alan Jenney – motion to ballot on industrial action; campaigning.
    • Unite Fair and Transparent Pay in IT Services campaign – update.
    • Election of Reps – please contact your reps if you wish to stand.
    • AOB

    For suggestions on further items for discussion or motions to be added, please advise us or any of the reps by 11am, Wednesday, 25th May 2011.

    Location – CR 0-1, CRE02
    Date – Thursday, 26th May, 2011
    Time – 12.30pm – 1.30pm, prompt start

    CR 0-1 is the conference room on the ground floor at CRE02, behind reception. Extra chairs will be provided.

    Please encourage all members you know to attend. This is a members’ meeting.

    Please make arrangements with your manager in advance for cover whilst you attend the meeting if this is necessary.

    Defend Alan Jenney

    The company’s treatment of Alan continues in breach of Fujitsu’s processes and agreements with the Union, and is inconsistent with how other employees are dealt with. The company is seeking dismissal through redundancy, exploiting a reorganisation in the team Alan is a part of. This victimisation threatens the ability of any rep to deal with any issue on behalf of any employee.

    As we know, Fujitsu’s attempts to victimise reps can be successfully stopped.
    We need your help to persuade the company to stop this unnecessary redundancy and focus on redeployment. Come to the meeting to find out about the next steps.

    The motion will be published in advance of the meeting.

    Pay Fairness and Transparency

    Reps attended the IT Services Combine on Friday, an update will be given.
    The campaign aims to deliver a fair and transparent pay and benefits for employees across the IT industry. The belief is that the pay and benefits systems are secretive, unfair and may be discriminatory. Unite will be gathering information and evidence using a survey of staff.

    If you would like to see your employer implement the Unite IT Charter, please visit the website.

    Unite Representatives around CRE02

    There are five accredited reps at CRE02.

    In addition, there are all sorts of activities that you can be involved in: Health and Safety (heating, spills, icy roads or security), the Environment (recycling, transport), Equality, Learning (for example, see a recent learning newsletter from the Manchester Learning Reps).

    If you would like to be involved as a contact in one of these areas, contact one of the CRE02 reps. Elections are taking place at the members’ meeting.

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