July 28, 2011

Manchester: Notice of ballot

UNITE
NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF FORTHCOMING INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOT

The Union intends to conduct a ballot for industrial action of the members who are employed by Fujitsu Services Limited and are in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement.

Voting papers will be sent out on Thursday 4th August 2011. If you have not received a voting paper by Tuesday 9th August 2011 you should contact Michael Thomas (Michael.thomas@uk.fujitsu.com) IMMEDIATELY.

The names of the members to be balloted are available from Michael Thomas or Jay Lieberman. 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 Michael Thomas or Jay Lieberman so that we can check whether your colleague should be sent a voting paper.

The notice sent to Fujitsu is here

Posted by IA at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2011

More Support for Rep Alan Jenney

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Support from Manchester Trades Council

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

July 15, 2011

Manchester Ballot stopped

Ballot papers have today been posted out to members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement by Electoral Reform Services Limited.

However, there has been an administrative problem outside our control and your reps have decided that the best course of action is to stop the ballot and restart it after correcting the problem.

Any votes cast with the ballot papers sent out today will NOT be counted. Please destroy these ballot papers.

Please look out for notices explaining arrangements for a fresh ballot.

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

July 14, 2011

More Support For Rep Alan Jenney

Colleagues at Belfast

A meeting at Manchester's Mechanics Institute

Colleagues from Manchester...

...with Alan

Supporters at the Mechanics Institute meeting

 
Posted by IMH at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2011

More Support For Rep Alan Jenney

More photos in support of Unite Rep Alan Jenney:




Bob Anderson HOM99

CRE02 Unite Rep Stephen Ryan

Unite Workplace Reps and members at HP Derby are shocked at the way Fujitsu management have treated Alan Jenny. A photograph showing members support for the campaign to reinstate Alan.

Photos from a group demonstrating support on the national public sector strike on 30th June (Manchester demo)...

 

Posted by IMH at 08:19 PM | Comments (0)

Report from Fujitsu Manchester members' meeting

Thanks to all the members who took part in today’s members’ meeting. Below are the main decisions.

Members discussed Fujitsu’s union busting and breaches of agreements covering union recognition, redundancy and redeployment, pay and benefits, pensions and out of hours working, as well as the attacks on reps in Manchester and elsewhere. Members passed the following motion:

We note that though HR offered further talks on 21st July, they refused even to confirm that they would adhere to the “status quo” (required by our Recognition Agreement) on any of the issues while negotiations continued.

We endorse the decision of our reps to register a Failure To Agree and ask UNITE to organise an industrial action ballot, in line with the decision of the members’ meeting on 24th June. We also support UNITE’s willingness to continue negotiations with the company.

The company’s stance in the pay negotiations confirms that the company failed to honour last year’s Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement and the national agreement reached through ACAS in February 2010. We are concerned that this could be preparing the ground for an attack on the FJUK Defined Contribution pension scheme.

The company is now breaking agreements in relation to redundancy and redeployment, pay, pensions, out of hours working, consultation before decisions are taken, negotiation without the company imposing outcomes first (whether for individual or collective issues), as well as victimising our reps.

We believe that the company is trying to break the union in order to impose worse terms and conditions on employees.

We resolve to campaign for a change in the company’s approach to industrial relations (including justice for Alan Jenney), including by:
  1. Campaigning for a YES+YES vote in the industrial action ballot
  2. Explaining the issues to our colleagues and encouraging them to join the union and defend their rights
  3. Participating in campaign activities to keep Fujitsu’s dishonest and dishonourable behaviour in the eyes of customers and potential customers
  4. Raising support for the campaign elsewhere in Fujitsu, in the wider trade union movement and in our communities
  5. Participating in dispute committee meetings open to all members and helping organise the campaign

Ballot papers are being posted to members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement on Friday 15th July, and everyone is encouraged to vote YES+YES and to return their ballot paper immediately.

Members agreed the following motion accepting the company’s latest pay offer:

We instruct our reps to accept the company pay offer of 11th July 2011 and sign the new agreement.

Given past and current experience, we recognise the risk that the company will not fully implement the agreement and may pay employees less than they are entitled to. We resolve to:

  1. Instruct our reps to continue with the CAC claim with the aim of securing adequate information to monitor implementation of our agreements
  2. Promptly check our pay increases (with help from UNITE) and challenge any shortfall.
We note that the Company is reneging on commitments previously given made in the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement over pensions, including their contractual status. We are concerned that this is preparing the way for a further attack on employees’ pension rights. We note that adherence to agreements is a central aim of the dispute over which we are about to be balloted for industrial action.

We note that the company has changed wording in the agreement to allow it to introduce yet more unfairness in allocation of benefits. We resolve to play an active part in UNITE’s campaign for a fair and transparent pay and benefits system in the IT Services sector.

UNITE reps have now signed the pay agreement and sent a copy to the company, so that implementation can progress.

Key messages were:

  • The deal is far better than that elsewhere in Fujitsu, with a significantly larger pot and fairer distribution.
  • The company denied UNITE the information required to jointly work on the numbers in the matrices this year, so the company filled these in alone. UNITE has mounted a legal challenge (CAC claim) to get the necessary information.
  • The numbers in the matrices are far lower than last year, undermining the company’s claims to be committed to paying for performance or equal pay.
  • It will be very important for individuals to check their pay rises this year, as it seems unlikely that the matrices are really worth 1% as the company claims.
  • We can continue to pursue the company’s decision to renege on the pensions issue through the campaign against union busting.
Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2011

Manchester Industrial Action Ballot: 3 days to go

NOTE: Since this notice was issued, the ballot timescale has changed

Ballot papers are being posted out to UNITE members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement on Friday 15th July – just three days to go. UNITE is asking all members to vote as soon as they receive their ballot paper, and to vote YES+YES.

Yesterday Fujitsu dismissed Alan Jenney, deputy chair of our Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, which coordinates UNITE’s work nationally. The company breached his contract by making him redundant without letting him work his notice, which would have helped him secure redeployment. They didn’t even finish hearing his appeals and grievances before dismissing him. The company refused to allow either of the volunteers who came forward to take his place. The company dismissed Alan without even having responded to all his outstanding internal job applications. Fujitsu broke both the Manchester Annex 1 agreement and the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) in dealing with this redundancy.

If Fujitsu gets away with this, do you think their union-busting will stop there?

The ballot is over much more than Alan’s dismissal. It is about the breakdown in industrial relations.

Over the years members have secured a range of agreements to protect employees, and built a team of reps who work on your behalf to implement and improve them.

Our agreements cover many points including:

  • Protection in redundancy situations and redeployment
  • Rights on pay, pensions and out of hours
  • The right to consultation
  • The right to negotiation
  • The right to have reps with adequate time to work on your behalf and who suffer no detriment for doing so

All this is under threat because Fujitsu is breaking its agreements on all these points. If we let Fujitsu establish a situation where our rights are ignored whene0ver they feel like it, we are all at risk.

In this time of economic uncertainty it would be folly to give up our hard-won rights.

UNITE has worked hard to resolve this dispute without the need for a ballot, including through negotiations facilitated by ACAS. But Fujitsu refused to stop taking the actions which break our agreements even if negotiations continue.

This dispute should be easy to resolve. Industrial relations could be improved by the company:

  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

These steps are little more than good management practice.

We have successfully defended our rights before. We need to do so again.

It is vital that you keep your UNITE membership record up to date throughout the period until the dispute is resolved. Please contact our membership secretary, Michael Thomas with any updates to your membership record.

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

Alan Jenney Dispute Update

Yesterday Fujitsu dismissed Alan Jenney, deputy chair of our Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, which coordinates UNITE’s work nationally. The company breached his contract by making him redundant without letting him work his notice, which would have helped him secure redeployment. They didn’t even finish hearing his appeals and grievances before dismissing him. The company refused to allow either of the volunteers who came forward to take his place. The company dismissed Alan without even having responded to all his outstanding internal job applications. Fujitsu broke both the Manchester Annex 1 agreement and the Security of Employment Agreement (SEA) in dealing with this redundancy.

If Fujitsu gets away with this, do you think their union-busting will stop there? Is Fujitsu trying to break the union because it plans to treat staff fairly?

Members at Fujitsu Crewe continue to take industrial action short of strike. Ballot papers are being sent to members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement on Friday (over a much wider set of issues, but including Alan’s victimisation).

Thanks to everyone who has already sent in “Defend Alan Jenney” photos – you can see the first batches here and here. Please and send a photo of yourself or a group with the “Defend Alan Jenney” poster to support@ourunion.org.uk.

The support for the campaign has been magnificent. One of our most recent donations was £120 collected at a meeting of PCS reps in Fujitsu. You can help by using the “appeal for support” leaflet and collection sheet with your friends, family etc. These are updated periodically and available from www.ourunion.org.uk.

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

July 11, 2011

Fujitsu Manchester Newsletter

The latest Manchester "One Per Desk" newsletter is available here.

Posted by IA at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

More Support For Rep Alan Jenney

More images in support of Rep Alan Jenney:

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Colleagues from BSN01

Unite Rep Isabel Hay from WAR08

Posted by IMH at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

Manchester: Update on Pay & Benefits

Thanks to everyone who sent in comments on the Fujitsu’s initial pay offer for the Manchester bargaining unit. These helped your negotiating team to prioritise changes to seek in the “stage 3” negotiations, which were facilitated by ACAS.

UNITE has published the improved offer we have received from the company today. To understand what has changed, we have also produced documents showing the changes from the current agreement and changes from the initial offer. UNITE’s pay claim is here. Once again, UNITE would welcome your views and comments on the offer.

There will be a meeting for all UNITE members in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement:

1:30-3:30pm, Wednesday 13th July, MAN35 canteen

At this members’ meeting there will be a discussion and a vote to decide whether the UNITE should accept or reject the offer. If you aren’t yet a UNITE member, please consider joining (www.ourunion.org.uk/join.htm). The meeting will also discuss the serious breakdown in industrial relations which has led to UNITE giving notice to Fujitsu of an industrial action ballot. Our latest “One Per Desk” newsletter explains some of the background to this.

Main improvements since the initial offer:

  1. Re-introducing the “matrices” to guarantee an element related to performance and position in the pay band.
  2. Minimum wage increased from £12,000 to £13,500 and review level from £14,000 to £14,500.

  3. Improvements to Appendix 4 which is now closer to what would be required for UNITE to monitor the implementation of the agreement

  4. Appraisals and PACs to be based only on the individual’s own performance (banning quotas or “forced ranking”)

  5. Restoring some sections the company previously proposed to remove from the agreement, such as dealing with outstanding company car anomalies from 2005 and protecting service desk staff with consolidated disturbance allowances.

Other observations about the offer:

  1. The budget available for the August pay review is 2.5%, compared to 2% outside the bargaining unit, but the RPI cost of living rose 5.2% in the year to May. Promotions for people in the bargaining unit continue to be funded in addition to the pay pot, as will increases to bring people up to their lower comparator and the cash floor on the cost of living rise (see below).

  2. It includes a “cost of living” element of 1% or £225 (whichever is greater), whereas many of those without union recognition will get no pay increase at all. Despite our poll of employees in the bargaining unit showing 91% wanted a bigger cost of living element than this, the company have not increased this since stage 2.
  3. “Appendix 4”, sets out timescales and information to be provided for future negotiations. Though better than in the last offer, this is still inadequate. UNITE is relying on a legal claim to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to ensure information is disclosed to allow monitoring of the agreement and more constructive negotiations in future. This means that if the offer is accepted it will be important for all employees to check their rises carefully. Last year hundreds of Manchester staff were underpaid and the few who raised this through UNITE received full back pay.
  4. The reintroduction of the matrices is welcome, but the numbers in them look very odd indeed. In previous years these were jointly worked out by UNITE and the company, but this year the company didn’t provide the information required for UNITE to carry out meaningful cost modelling (hence the CAC claim mentioned above). Consequently the numbers were put into the matrix by the company alone. The offer says that the company will spend 1% on the matrices (as in 2010), but it is hard to see how this could be true given that they have reduced the figures so dramatically. Service desk staff on D1-D4 scales would get nothing at all from the matrix for an “A” PAC.
  5. While the matrix figures in the company offer don’t seem to deliver genuinely performance related pay, the element at “management discretion” remains at 0.5% - double that last year.
  6. It does not include any increase to the Service Desk “D1-D4” pay scales, which have only increased by 3.6% in the last ten years. An increase to the scales could be made in Manchester at little or no additional cost. The company says the increase is unaffordable because it wants to apply any increase nationally. This indicates that Service Desk staff in sites without union recognition must be being paid significantly less.
  7. The current agreement says “The terms of the Company’s Defined Contribution pension schemes are a contractual entitlement for those existing and new employees who are members of such schemes. Wording based on the contractual variation letter used for former members of the ICL DB Pension Plan will be incorporated into this agreement”. UNITE provided draft wording to implement this to the company on 5th April, but after a number of delays the company has removed this from its offers. This is a serious breach of our existing agreements. The lack of any credible explanation creates the impression that the company is preparing the ground for a further attack on employees’ pensions.
  8. Last year the company committed to incorporate into the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement relevant points arising from the national ACAS agreement of 26th February 2010. UNITE provided draft wording to implement this to the company on 5th April, but the company has continually delayed implementation. Now the offer removes this completely.
  9. Employees will have access to median salaries for roles they are applying for, as well as their own role.
  10. It includes a commitment to review contractual hours anomalies – people in areas where 37 hours is the norm whose contracts are for more. This is not tightly worded, but does say there is an expectation their hours will be reduced to 37 without loss of pay.
  11. The offer removes the commitment to give people who change roles benefits at least in line with the company’s own guidelines. Though the stage 3 wording is slightly better than at stage 2, this still allows the company to create yet more anomalies.
  12. It includes a review with individuals who are “acting up” in higher roles, to determine whether a “responsibility allowance” should be paid.
  13. While it doesn’t yet cover temporary and agency workers, the company is offering a joint review before the new legislation comes into force on 1st October 2011.
  14. Fujitsu had not kept UNITE informed about the impact on pay and benefits of the introduction of the Apprentice scheme, so this was only identified as an issue very recently. The offer would mean their 2011 pay reviews would be managed centrally by the company, but UNITE has informed the company that it intends to look at pay and benefits of the Apprentices more closely after that point.
  15. Everyone (including the group of people who were moved from TSM to SIM roles) will be reviewed against the comparators for their current role unless they quickly provide written evidence of an agreement to the contrary.
  16. The company would not include wording to make clear that objectives, targets etc should be set so that they can be achieved and exceeded without working additional hours.
  17. The offer ends the consolidation of disturbance allowances into basic pay in future. This would mean staff moving to Manchester would be hit by the recent change in company policy to phase out disturbance allowances.

We will update you again following the members’ meeting.

UNITE Manchester pay & benefits team:
Ian Allinson
Pauline Bradburn
Phil Tepper
Terry Thompson


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

July 08, 2011

Notice of industrial action ballot (Fujitsu Manchester)

UNITE has issued notice to Fujitsu of an industrial action ballot of members employed by Fujitsu Services Limited in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement.

The notice sent to the company is here.

The notice to members reads:

UNITE
NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF FORTHCOMING INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOT

The Union intends to conduct a ballot for industrial action of the members who are employed by Fujitsu Services Limited and are in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement.

Voting papers will be sent out on Friday 15th July 2011. If you have not received a voting paper by Thursday 21st July 2011 you should contact unitetheunion@uk.fujitsu.com or Michael Thomas (Michael.thomas@uk.fujitsu.com) IMMEDIATELY.

The names of the members to be balloted are available at from 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 Michael Thomas so that we can check whether your colleague should be sent a voting paper.

Posted by IA at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2011

Photos in support of victimised Rep Alan Jenney...more to come

This is the first batch of some of the photos in support of UNITE Rep Alan Jenney from Crewe. For details of our campaign to support him see here.

Photos from Manchester's rally today...

Earlier photos:
photo from STE04

Phil Tepper Unite Rep MAN34

John Connor, based at HOM99. A former colleague of Alan's from the Crewe based IMS team

  
Posted by IMH at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2011

Defend Alan Jenney

The company currently intends to dismiss Alan as redundant at the end of this week. The company has not responded positively to Alan’s request for confirmation that they will deal with his appeals and grievances before deciding to dismiss him.

Alan has had no response at all to his request that if Fujitsu does decide to dismiss him, he is allowed to work his notice (rather than breaching his contract and giving Pay In Lieu Of Notice or PILON). Working his notice would give him more time to secure redeployment - a measure taken in a number of other redundancy situations, including Project Cherry, with some success.

As part of his appeals, Alan has raised the issue of whether he is a victim of age discrimination, as well as discrimination as a result of his trade union activities. The individual who had volunteered for redundancy to take Alan’s place is considerably older than Alan. The company’s refusal to allow the swap fits a perceived pattern where some older employees are moved into unsuitable jobs and encouraged to quit, whereas younger employees like Alan seem to get made redundant. Sometimes both groups feel they are losing out, albeit in different ways.

How You Can Help

Let’s all do everything we can to put pressure on the company and make sure this isn’t Alan’s last week in Fujitsu.

Please print off a “Defend Alan Jenney” poster and get someone to take a photo of you (or a group) with it and send it to support@ourunion.org.uk along with a short note saying who you are and where the photo was taken. We aim to post a collection of these mini-protests on www.ourunion.org.uk/news. Who else can you get to do this?

There are already organised events at several sites on Thursday 7th July:

  • 12:30pm rally and photo outside MAN34 (Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP)
  • 12:30 members’ meeting and photo, Churchill conference room, BSN01, Basingstoke.
  • 12:30 members’ meeting and photo, Room 106, STE04, Stevenage
  • 12:30pm rally and photo outside IRE02 (Fujitsu, 110/112 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NU)

Please come along if you can. Look out for updates about activities at other sites.

Find A Volunteer

The Company has still not taken any steps to find a volunteer for redundancy, to prevent Alan’s compulsory redundancy.

Alan has produced the following appeal which he is asking people to circulate:

I am currently at risk of redundancy and my last working day is currently Friday, 8th July. One option available, described in the Security of Employment Agreement is for a “pairing” or “bumping” – where I can take the role of someone who would volunteer to take redundancy in my place. For this to happen, the volunteer would need to approach Unite putting their name forward.

Most recently I have been managing major incidents escalated to corporate alert level within Fujitsu. My earlier career has been as a professional engineer experienced in the design, development, building and integration of systems over a wide range of platforms. I make use of this technical background and my interpersonal skills to work with the people involved when supporting existing services, to get a complete analysis of complex systems and determine the root cause of problems. I am interested in roles that could lead to Service Delivery Management, which I have been researching, at the TSM/1 and MAN/1 or similar level and have been studying ITIL V3. As I live in Crewe, the job would need to be able to be based in the North-West or nearby regions.


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

Company Rejects Olive Branch

Despite the limited progress made at the talks with ACAS last week, UNITE offered the company yet another opportunity to resolve the Manchester grievance over the breakdown in industrial relations.

UNITE offered to hold off initiating the industrial action ballot that members had voted for if the company would merely confirm it would continue negotiations without imposing outcomes before they concluded – as required by the agreed grievance procedure.

The company did not take up the olive branch offered. UNITE has therefore registered a formal Failure To Agree and is preparing an industrial action ballot for Manchester members. The correspondence between Terry Thompson (UNITE Regional Officer) and David Stevens (HR) is below:

Failure To Agree

David,

We are very disappointed that the company has chosen not to accept the olive branch offered by UNITE, leaving us no alternative but to register a Failure To Agree in the grievance over the breakdown in industrial relations and move to an industrial action ballot in Manchester.

Members cannot be expected to believe the company is negotiating in good faith when it plans to press ahead with detrimental changes while negotiations are ongoing. Though your response focuses on Alan Jenney’s case, we note that the company was unwilling to confirm it will maintain the status quo on any of the issues in our grievance.

In such turbulent economic times, this refusal to follow agreements threatens every employee’s position. Job security is threatened by the refusal to comply with Annex 1, which has been so successful since its introduction. Terms and Conditions are threatened by the refusal to consult, hear grievances or follow the appropriate agreed procedures before implementing decisions. The support members expect from their union is threatened by the pattern of victimisation of reps in Manchester and elsewhere.

Your suggestion that there was a “joint view that the agreements in Manchester need reviewing in order to ensure that they are both workable and effective” is incorrect. The company hadn’t even told us it wanted changes to the Recognition Agreement or associated Annexes, and still hasn’t told us what you want to change or why. UNITE believes, as set out in the motion (below) from the members’ meeting, that the problems lie with the company’s failure to abide by the agreements, not in the jointly agreed and signed agreements themselves.

If the Company wishes to discuss changes to their agreements, it should raise those issues with us and discuss them, not simply break those agreements. A situation where the company seeks changes while flouting the existing agreements can only create the impression that it wants to make the agreements match its behaviour. Why would members believe the company would be any more likely to adhere to new agreements as old? Such behaviour is no basis for building trust and good industrial relations.

At a time when Fujitsu faces significant challenges in the marketplace, we are perplexed at the determination of the company’s HR department to undermine the hard work of our members, thousands of other employees, and business management. Forcing employees into conflict can only threaten service delivery and Fujitsu’s reputation. This is easily avoidable if the company will just stick to its agreements.

UNITE will continue to ensure employees’ best interests are served by following the mandate from members previously notified to you, and this letter ends the formal procedure for this particular grievance, so that members can take such action as they deem necessary to achieve a resolution. However, UNITE remains ready and willing to meet the company to try to find a mutually acceptable resolution as quickly as possible.

Regards Terry

From: Stevens David ( HR )
Sent: 04 July 2011 11:01
To: Thompson, Terry
Cc: O'Gallagher, Kevin; Allinson Ian; Holroyd Philippa; Fowler Jason
Subject: RE: ACAS talks on Breakdown of Industrial Relations

Hi Terry

Thank you for your email following the meeting on Tuesday.

I am also pleased that we were able to make progress on some of the issues and come to an joint view that the agreements in Manchester need reviewing in order to ensure that they are both workable and effective. I do need to clarify your perception that the Company wasn’t willing to take up any of UNITE’s suggestions; in reality there were a number of areas that the Company said were worthy of further thought – this included the business escalation route that you had explained.

The Company thought that the conciliation provided by Brian was very effective in ensuring good understanding and helping us to progress, as such we are extremely keen to hold further discussions with ACAS present. The date of 21st July was proposed because it was the first date that could easily be made by everyone, both from ACAS and the Company – whilst I recognise that this is some time away, I feel that we need to come to an agreement that works for everyone over the long-term and that continuity in the meetings is an important part in helping us achieve this. To demonstrate the Company’s commitment to resolving the shared challenges that we have in our relationship we would be prepared to offer a provisional third meeting to further work towards a shared goal; Please let me know if you would like me to schedule this meeting.

Much of the conversation on the day was around UNITE’s claim that the Company is disregarding the agreements under the Manchester Recognition Agreement and the fact that these need to be bought back on track. We do not believe that the situation of Alan Jenney should be tackled through this forum given that this is outside of the recognition agreement and is also subject to a number of formal processes that are being heard in line with Company policy. UNITE has representation at all these meetings. The Company agrees that it would be more conducive to good industrial relations for UNITE to work collaboratively with the Company to discuss the issues rather than organising ballots and undertaking campaign activities, and I would ask that the work with Company Representatives involved in the formal processes detailed above continues. As Alan is outside of the recognition area, and not covered by the recognition area, the status quo principle will not be applied.

I note from your email and the motion from members that the option of balloting members in Manchester is being considered. I would reiterate my view that this would not be conducive to building the trust and confidence that Kevin suggested we needed in our relationship. I would urge UNITE to think carefully about this, taking into account the Company’s commitment to work towards an amicable resolution on the relationship issues and the scheduling of future meetings to do this.

Regards

David
David Stevens
Human Resources

From: Thompson, Terry
Sent: 30 June 2011 09:32
To: Stevens David ( HR )
Cc: O'Gallagher, Kevin; Allinson Ian
Subject: ACAS talks on Breakdown of Industrial Relations

Hi David
It was good that we were able to make a little progress in a few areas in our meeting with ACAS on Tuesday, but very sad that the company wasn't willing to take up any of our proposals which would have allowed UNITE to suspend the industrial action in Crewe before it started.

The company proposed, through ACAS, that we meet again on 21st July to continue discussions, this being the first date on which both the company and ACAS said they were both available. We would be keen to continue the discussion in order to establish a basis for more constructive industrial relations. However, the timescale presents a serious problem because the company currently proposes to dismiss Alan Jenney on 10th July, which would make Friday 8th July his last working day.

The UNITE negotiating team are working under a mandate from Manchester members set out in the attached motion which was agreed at the members' meeting last Friday. We would prefer to be working with you to resolve the issues rather than organising a ballot in Manchester and more campaign activities, but you will appreciate the time pressures we are under.

We have another proposal to create a further opportunity for the issues to be resolved through negotiation. If the company can confirm in writing by noon on Monday 4th July that it will respect the "status quo" principle (as required by our Recognition Agreement) in relation to the issues in our grievance (including not issuing notice of dismissal to Alan Jenney) while talks continue, this would avoid forcing us to register a Failure To Agree and initiate the industrial action ballot Manchester members voted for.

Whether the company takes up this offer or decides to force us to register a Failure To Agree and move to a ballot, UNITE remains ready and willing to negotiate on or before 21st July.

Issues are best resolved through dialogue not conflict, and we hope you will take the opportunity we are offering.

Regards Terry

Motion from Manchester Members' Meeting 24th June 2011

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.


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

July 04, 2011

Crewe: Support for the campaign

As reported in the national newsletter, members in Belfast protested outside IRE02. Photos are available at: ourunion.org.uk/news.

Alan Jenney met with Edward Timpson, Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich, on Friday 24th June to discuss his case. Edward immediately wrote to the company supporting Unite’s suggestions that could lead to a simple resolution to the dispute. He has written for a second time to the company, having heard about the company not taking up the offer that would have stopped the need for strike action.

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Crewe: Lunchtime Members’ Meeting report

On Friday, 1st July, members who were balloted held a meeting at lunchtime to review the campaign so far and to hear about:

  • The limited progress in the ACAS talks in Manchester;
  • Alan’s individual consultation, redeployment opportunities being withdrawn or applications rejected;
  • All the support that has been shown and to look at the next steps in the dispute.

The following motion was passed unanimously.

“We note that the activities undertaken by members so far along with the strike action and picket have been effective at drawing attention to our campaign to protect union reps and organisation in Fujitsu, ‘Defend Alan Jenney’.

“We resolve that the campaign activities and industrial action short of strike should continue and that in the event of members in Manchester or elsewhere balloting for strike action on issues that include the dispute in Crewe, reps in Crewe should ask Unite to call further strike days and that these be coordinated with any action proposed elsewhere.”

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Crewe: Strike Action and Picket

Thursday’s strike was a terrific success with many Crewe members joined outside the building by supporters from elsewhere, plus both our Unite Regional Officer and the National Officer for the IT and Comms Sector, Kevin O’Gallagher. Some members from Crewe joined members from Manchester to march in protest alongside public sector workers – some of whom are our customers - in Manchester City Centre, where many leaflets about the case were distributed. The Crewe office was very quiet indeed, possibly many people chose to stay away rather than cross a picket line, but also many members were on strike. This highlights the depth of feeling amongst members at Crewe. Donations were received from workers who were not balloted and support the campaign. Photographs and media coverage are posted at ourunion.org.uk/news.

Action short of strike continues, members agreed that this would be:

  • 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 websites, 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.
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July 03, 2011

Photos from Belfast Defend Alan Jenney protest

On Thursday, when UNITE members at Fujitsu Crewe were striking to defend Alan Jenney and their union organisation, a group of members at IRE02 in Belfast staged a solidarity protest.

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July 01, 2011

Defend Alan Jenney – Update

On Tuesday UNITE met with the company and ACAS to discuss the breakdown in industrial relations, including the company’s plan to dismiss UNITE rep Alan Jenney. The union offered to suspend the industrial action which was due to start in Crewe if the company would either remove the threat to Alan’s job, or even just follow the agreed Annex 1 redundancy and redeployment process.

While the company has at last acknowledged that their handling of Alan’s case broke Annex 1, the company argues that this is a technicality and makes no difference. On the contrary, as UNITE has pointed out from the start, the failure has meant:

  • The measures in section 6.1.1 to avoid redundancy were never taken or discussed
  • The steps in section 6.1.2 to seek volunteers for redundancy were never taken
  • The company decided selection criteria (which Alan believes were unfair) without consultation

In short, the company has focussed on steps to dismiss Alan and is failing to take the standard steps to avoid the dismissal, which could happen at the end of next week.

As a result of the company’s refusal of UNITE’s olive branch, industrial action started in Crewe yesterday with a one-day strike and ongoing action short of strike.

Well done to everyone who took part in yesterday’s strike and protests. There are a few photos on our web site. A PCS member kindly brought boxes of cakes to the picket line at CRE02. After protesting in Crewe, members raised the profile of the campaign by distributing thousands of leaflets on the public sector march in Manchester. One of our Crewe reps addressed the crowd at the start of the march and got a warm reception.

Congratulations to members in Belfast who held a protest outside IRE02 in support of Crewe. Photos from this will be posted on OurUnion soon.

The fact that members in Crewe were prepared to take industrial action in support of Alan has been vital to raising the profile of the campaign. The media coverage this has generated is an important part of the pressure on the company. Here are a few examples:

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)

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What Next?

The company proposes to make Alan redundant on Sunday 10th July, so his last working day would be Friday 8th July.

If possible we want to resolve the issue before Alan is dismissed, rather than having to campaign for his reinstatement and take his case to the courts (which do not have the power to ensure reinstatement).

Members in Manchester had decided to ask UNITE to ballot them for industrial action if there wasn’t rapid progress in the talks at ACAS. This wasn’t only about Alan’s case, but about a wider breakdown in industrial relations which threatens us all. Little progress was made on Tuesday, and Alan is still facing impending dismissal.

In a last attempt to avoid having to initiate an industrial action ballot in Manchester too, UNITE has written to the company as follows:

It was good that we were able to make a little progress in a few areas in our meeting with ACAS on Tuesday, but very sad that the company wasn't willing to take up any of our proposals which would have allowed UNITE to suspend the industrial action in Crewe before it started.

The company proposed, through ACAS, that we meet again on 21st July to continue discussions, this being the first date on which both the company and ACAS said they were both available. We would be keen to continue the discussion in order to establish a basis for more constructive industrial relations. However, the timescale presents a serious problem because the company currently proposes to dismiss Alan Jenney on 10th July, which would make Friday 8th July his last working day.

The UNITE negotiating team are working under a mandate from Manchester members set out in the attached motion which was agreed at the members' meeting last Friday. We would prefer to be working with you to resolve the issues rather than organising a ballot in Manchester and more campaign activities, but you will appreciate the time pressures we are under.

We have another proposal to create a further opportunity for the issues to be resolved through negotiation. If the company can confirm in writing by noon on Monday 4th July that it will respect the "status quo" principle (as required by our Recognition Agreement) in relation to the issues in our grievance (including not issuing notice of dismissal to Alan Jenney) while talks continue, this would avoid forcing us to register a Failure To Agree and initiate the industrial action ballot Manchester members voted for.

Whether the company takes up this offer or decides to force us to register a Failure To Agree and move to a ballot, UNITE remains ready and willing to negotiate on or before 21st July.

Issues are best resolved through dialogue not conflict, and we hope you will take the opportunity we are offering.

Regards

Terry Thompson

UNITE Regional Officer

UNITE will update members whether we get a positive response from company by Monday (4th July) or if the union is forced to register a Failure To Agree and ballot Manchester members.

UNITE is urging members and supporters everywhere to urgently take a simple step to show your support for Alan and opposition to his dismissal.

Please make a sign saying “Defend Alan Jenney” and send a photo of you or your group holding it to support@ourunion.org.uk, along with a short note we can use as a caption explaining where it’s from (e.g. UNITE members at Splot branch). A collection of these photos can then be published on our web site to show the breadth of support. If possible, please try to avoid sending very large files.

UNITE is also asking members everywhere to hold members’ meetings or protests at lunchtime on Thursday 7th – the day before what could be Alan’s last working day. Members meetings can discuss what’s going on in Fujitsu and what we can do about it. Meetings or protests are also a great opportunity for a group photo (see above). Please speak to you local reps about getting a meeting organised where you are. Please send details of the times and venue for your meeting to unitetheunion so that invitations can be sent out to all the members in your area.

Until the dispute is resolved, it is vital that all members keep their UNITE membership records fully up to date. If you change address or other contact details, change contractual base location, know you will be leaving the company (including retirement, TUPE etc), or expect to be off work for an extended period of time please promptly inform the union by contacting our membership secretary Michael Thomas

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