Fujitsu Services' staff are picketing at the company's London headquarters today, in protest against pension cuts and compulsory redundancies set for the New Year. Earlier this week, Unite union members at the firm voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, after many Fujitsu workers expressed disgust at the services …
This indicates the problem with companies being almost completely driven by shareholder value. What is happening here is that the constant attempts of pushing up return to investors, even during austere times can only be achieved by aggressively cutting costs, and, well, people in developed countries are always seen as a high cost.
I'm not any type of Marxist leftie, but the current monoculture of maximizing profits is what is at the heart of the entire financial crisis. When will people realize that it is just not possible to increase ROI year-on-year forever.
Maybe some of us techies should set up a mutual organization to offer IT outsourcing. Only problem is, where can we get the start-up capital?
Culture of exploitation
I don't remember Unite taking any interest when Fujitsu closed Foots Cray last summer.
Also bear in mind that some of those striking today will be the same type of people as those who used to take great pleasure in treating the first liners like dirt while I was working there.
Having said that, most of the workforce are right to feel aggrieved. Fujitsu's culture is to pay their staff as little as they can get away with, not the fair rate for the job and they can be very creative in finding ways to do this.
A common trick I came across was for Fujitsu to 'second' instead of promote first line staff to a supervisory role so they could continue paying them the same pittance that they were getting as a first liner. They even did this to a temp, who had been working for almost two years - he wasn't even offered a permanent position.
To put what he/she says into some kind of perspective, I was paid £7.00 per hour as a temp (i.e, no sick pay etc.) doing first line support whereas my predecessors working for the FSA were being paid over £20K before they were outsourced. And there are other Fujitsu sites that pay their staff even less!
Are you serious?
Of course a company will pay you as little as they can get away with. Just like you will only work for as much as you think you are worth. That is capitalism my friend and is in fact the definition of the market rate. A 'fair rate' is something which only exists in communism. If you are worth more you will be elsewhere getting paid it!
Is there anything the companies can do to stop this?
It's totally unfair that a company can be held to ransom by it's employees like this. The only thing it does is increase costs to the consumer who have to fork out even more for the end product due to the eventual increased staffing costs...BA are in this situation at the moment and it doesn't take an internet genius to find that they are one of the most expensive airlines to fly with...why is that? because they are paying their staff well above the going rate for the rest of the industry...They NEED to cut staff costs but the unions wont let them so not only are the staff probalby going to bankrupt the company due to the HUGE compo claims made by stranded passengers but they really don't give two shits about doing it. Why should a company keep people with that attitude in employment?
Yeah, good luck with that in this economy
Fujitsu may be acting poorly, but the folks who are up in arms about how poorly they are treated may be in for a rude awakening when they hit the job market.
these workers should be happy to have a god dammed job instead of throwing their toys out the pram because of some pay freezes and cuts.
seriously thought hey should start with the bloated teams on the defence projects - over paid under skilled idiots the lot of them.
And by the same token, perhaps any employer harbouring that attitude should consider themselves happy to still be in business.
One doesn't need to be a rabid socialist to see this, it's simple economic sense. Taking employees for granted makes about as much sense as taking customers for granted: though sadly, more than enough companies still seem to believe that the way to profitability is instead by playing stock market roulette.
In my experience, most companies that start turning on their own staff to try to stem the bleeding are at death's door anyway. But maybe we're all better off without them.
Minority voted to strike
Staff at Fujitsu are shooting themselves in the foot. Despite news reports indicating a lot of staff support the strike only about 10% of all staff voted to strike. Most realise that a recession is the worst time to hurt the company with a strike. Especially the large number of staff who have joined the ocmpan yin the last 5 years. They understand the IT job market. They have noticed how the jobs are now advertised at lower rates than 2 years ago.
Pay, conditions and the culture in the company is significantly worse than it was a few years ago but if the recenssion means there is no work for the staff to do they can't realy expect the company to keep them sitting around doing nothing until the recession is over.
It would be much more usful to campaign for training to ensure staff are the best qualified in the world to help Fujitsu win bids. (Staff skills being something that customers care about when awarding a project whilst they care nothing for the pay/pensions of the staff.)
When times are better will be the time to campaign for better conditions.
I am old enough to remember the late 70's and the way that union power was abused. And here I see some parallels with those bad days.
A couple of days ago a big union got their strike plans busted by the High Court, and yet there was a lot of publicity going on in the media that neither the union members NOR a big-shot union rep felt the strike call was reasonable. Taking 12 days out over Xmas and wrecking hundreds of thousands of people's travel plans isn't a good way to get popular support for a cause. But that's what the union tried to do.
From what I can see the union barons are trying to do the exact same thing to Fujitsu. I'll put a fiver on the number of jobs that are saved or enhanced as being a big fat zero. In fact it'll work the other way, where the result of the union action will be detrimental to a greater number of people.
Though I never support the little guy losing their job (etc), no-one has a right to a job these days, and companies cannot afford to keep non-achievers. Unions would be far better accepting reality and using their power to negotiate the best deal they can for the affected workers, not demonstrate their King Canute credentials.
Paris because the subject of being screwed is being discussed.
"A couple of days ago a big union got their strike plans busted by the High Court"
Same union. Unite.
I think they're getting a taste for blood. Will we see any more "Industrial Action" (my favourite oxymoron) initiated by them?
How dare these people stand up for themselves?
Fujitsu are on line to make solid profits this year, yet many of their staff will be qualifying for tax credits. The UK tax payer is effectively subsidising Fujitsu.
If the strikers do win any concessions from Fujitsu, I hope that those who chose not to take action politely decline any improvement in their pay and conditions.