Union elevates Fujitsu job cutting protest to Japanese embassy

Ambassador, with these 1,800 layoffs, Fuji really is spoiling us

Unite the Union wants Japan's ambassador to the UK to intervene in the long-running dispute with Fujitsu over the company's proposals to axe almost two thousand employees locally.

The brothers at the union will tomorrow deliver a letter to Mr Koji Tsuruoka at the London-based embassy. The letter will criticise the "shameful way" the Japanese corporation has behaved in preparing staff for the job chute.

In it, Ian Tonks, national officer for IT at Unite, will urge the ambassador to "consider the actions of the UK management to be outside of that we have come to expect from a Japanese company and ... that you will raise this within the highest levels of Fujitsu both in the UK and Japan."

Fujitsu confirmed in mid-October that it intended to chop 1,800 heads from the British division, with the redundancies staggered throughout the rest of this year and into next.

Then, days later, it confirmed the closure of Fujitsu Voice, a UK employee consultation committee that would have represented staff. Instead, a European-wide body was set up as 3,300 employees across Europe are at risk of losing their livelihoods. More offshoring will be sought by the firm.

This closure was a "deliberate act to avoid the rigours agreed by both parties in the past," the letter from Tonks will state, "such behaviour is totally unacceptable."

Unite has so far staged eight days of strike action to protest the redundancies with seven more planned, including 48-hour walkouts on 27 April and 4 and 11 May, plus a 24-hour stoppage from midnight on 8 May.

Conciliation service ACAS chaired meetings between Fujitsu top brass and the senior folk at Unite, but was unable to help them reach a solution. ®

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