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back to article Fujitsu workers picket London HQ

Disgruntled Fujitsu Services' employees protested at the firm's London headquarters today to mark the start of strike action by Unite union members - many of whom are disgusted at the management's stance on pay, pension and jobs. The walkout signals the beginning of what could be a series of stoppages stretching into the New …

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Oh dear, how sad, never mind

Are these the Fujitsu Services employees who've been beavering away on the ID card and the National Identity Register? Can't say I'm overly sympathetic. Bastards.

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Anonymous Coward

It'll be RBS next

RBS staff look likely to be balloted for industrial action in the new year because the new management stopped the final salary scheme as soon as they'd got Fred out the door...

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Anonymous Coward

aha

last week, the CEO held an open voice conference, which anyone could join, anonymously or not, and was pretty much violently raped over the pay rise and bonus issue, refusing to answer point blank questions about his own bonus or pay rise, which to me says he's getting a massive one.

I wonder how many jobs his bonus could have saved out of the 1200 redundancies? not many but better than nothing!

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Boffin

bonus increase productivity?

Think a sec, Fujitsu ... how big is it? What is this guyz salary, let alone bonus? who are they firing, top brass or lower/lowest techies, I think the latter. Guess you could save 200 with this butthead's bonus alone ... if save is a year's pay!

It should be simple, if a company needs to lay off more than 1% of staff, the board members + top management and any management staff in the line of command of staff made redundant should not be allowed bonuses, logical, right?

I worked for said company (Fujitsu Services), disgusted how management treated you, how your work was made overly frustrating - needed a week and a Request Form to get a new pen. Request forms need to get signed by at least three people, your boss, your boss' boss and some bloke in Singapour or god knows where ... anyway, you usually get what you need a week late when something breaks and you have no spare. I had a guy in my team wait three days without the possibility to work because he needed a headset and was a new call-center hire (all spare headsets were broken). Luckily somebody was off the remainder of the "week" so we had a spare ... I thus ordered 5 headsets, got two ... 5 being considered too many - we had a helpdesk team of say 100+, so 4 spares is no luxury....

Out of my team of 4, one quit with notice, one without (just left for another country), a third guy got a burnout and I was supposed to do the work of all 4 plus train the new-comer to replace the bloke who quit with notice all at the same time ... early morning/late night was my life then... I got no thank you, no nothing so I resigned ... the fruit of all your efforts always go to the investors.

Last time I work for a listed company!

Oh, and since, I have discouraged every company I have worked for/contracted for to stay clear from that monster ...

PS: BTW, don't blame the lower techies, they are just trying to do their job (work around management)

PPS: I dunno why I ticked annonymous, because with the story above I am sure they will figure out who I am ...

PPPS: Fujitsu suckz big time

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Silver badge

Scrooge outfit?

You sure?

If I were him I'd keep well away from Stockwell tube station!

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9years

and hes on £18k .. well more fool him for staying there at that rate... or is it that he couldn't get a better paid job elsewhere with his skills.

I am all for employee rights, but people have to look out for their personal situation at some point.

I had a job 9 or 10 years ago working for a law firm in the city, the pay was low entry level IT (17 k i think) and i was not happy with the time frame and reliability of career progression. Given that it was a city law firm i decided not to take them on, doubt i could have anyway, so i got some experience then left and trained more. I have never looked back.

People (usually in unions) forget that they have personal choice in life and can take another job if they have something to offer. If they dont, well why should your existing company pay you more then?

Go on, flame me for not standing up for workers rights etc etc well life is tough get over it.

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Anonymous Coward

Completely

Agreed

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Silver badge
FAIL

If you use Fujitsu services ...

maybe you can call them our for every minor glitch, etc. so that Fujitsu will realise treating employees right is important to the company and it's customers.

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FAIL

FFS...

Don't bloody do that, it's poor fuckers like me that have to deal with your pissant complaints.

Fujitsu services outsource a *lot* of their service to third party providers who have to actually do the work, nothing pleases us more than having to deal with some moron who complains that his printer squeaks once every 793rd page when there's an x in the month or his PC is emitting harmful gamma rays and is probing his thoughts.

If you really want to upset Fujitsu, cancel your fkin contract and tell them it's because of the way they treat their staff.

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Stop

FJ Suck !

FJ have never cared about their staff, only how much profit they can send back to Japan.

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Grenade

Such a shame

If they don't like their jobs anymore, then move, go and get another job. Too bloody lazy to look I bet. What the hell is a work station assessor anyway? A technician? or a health and safety type who looks at chairs and lighting? Be thankful you have a job.

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Same old story ....

If you think you're underpaid, then it should be easy to get a job elsewhere shouldn't it ? Move along, nothing to see here .....

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Flame

@Whatithink

It's all Fujitsu staff covering everything across M&S, RBS, MOD Post Office, Birdseye, Courts, PSNI, education authoritys, Whitbread and dozens of other contracts.

Any potential ID card scheme work is actually a very small part of the Fujitsu workload.

Folks in my office have exceeded all targets, got all sorts of internal company awards yet only received 2 pay rises in 11 years which where NOT below the already massaged inflation rate.

Last year the pay rises where cancelled an hour before the figures where due t be handed out because we where told "the company couldnt afford it", within 2 weeks they announced record profits and sent over £200 Million profits to Japan.

The staff would have been happy to stick with Fujitsu through tough years IF they had treated us decently during the fruitful years. However instead they want to screw us every year.

This year they predict a profit of only £110M, but have neglected to mention the £400M settlement from HM Government for work carried out on the NHS system.

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Anonymous Coward

time to get real!

Reality hurts, the government are not spending and most of FJ's UK revenue comes from gvt. They also need to win some more big contracts.

Fujitsu (previously ICL) have been one of the softest companue in the market and eventually they had to do this, every other company in the market has done it and done it deeper. Most jobs will go voluntary.

Less than 10% of the workforce are involved in this strike which to most of us is a completely outdated concept from the public sector and damaging for the company as a whole. Get real, it's called a recession. Next year the civil service really start to get the chop.

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Anonymous Coward

a wee bit of hard truth you can hold and point where you like

It's quite pathetic to see in this day and age that some people still believe they have some divine right to a job.

"Dear Union Members and other work shy monkeys,

If you don't like your job then apply for a new one. This is capitalism and it's what puts food and water on your dinner table.

If you don't like it then leave. If you deserve a better salary then you will be justly rewarded. Else, then please be aware that I prefer my big macs without the gherkin.

Regards,

Someone living in the real world"

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Bronze badge

(Hand on forehead slap) When will people learn?

If you want a pay rise, change jobs. I learned this from my first job, and it's held since.

Instead, you piss off your current employer by NOT working, and actively berating them at their doorstep.

And you think this will somehow get you and your mates more money.

Your (former) employer will eventually get the message when they find the only employees left are chimps that wear cloths and smoke cigars. One of two things happen, they either eventually go under, or, they actually fork out some more money.

Either way, you shouldn't care because you've moved on anyway.

It's really not worth the stress otherwise.

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GRRRR

People that think they have an automatic entitlement to more money and a job for life make me want to go grrrrrrrrrrr. There's nothing fairer than a free market. If you think your worth it, get another job and move on.

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@John T above...

Absolutely!

Just wait for the flood from two recently merged banks as the totally demoralised IT departments jump from the sinking ship...

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WTF?

Homer Simpson could run a better Union

"great deal of support from the company's 11,000 workers in the UK" ????

Hmm.... And how can Peter Skyte make that claim, given he doesn't work for Fujitsu?

Utter fantasy from a militant union with national aspirations, in my opinion.

Excluding union members, the majority of people I have talked to with in Fujitsu have expressed no support for this strike, or the union, on a ratio of 9 to 2.

And as for lobbying on this picket for the 1200 redundancies to be cancelled...

Well weird, given I'd heard the redundancy program reached a conclusion about 8 days ago, with a reduced figure being made redundant... 2/3rds of them being voluntary - the ones I saw seemingly quite happy to retire a little earlier that expected.

Now that is not to belittle the awful terrible impact to the 300 or so compulsories.... and I am more mindful than ever how very lucky I am to have a job and they have my deepest sympathy.

But seriously, Unite needs to vet their lobbying literature far more in-depth before "hitting the send button" and get proper facts out.

Unite even criticise Fujitsu for paying off $3b debt. Erm...so would I if I owed $9.14b total !!

And Fujitsu Unite Union members really do need to re-consider approaching their customers for support. Do they really think in this economic environment that customers could care anything about Fujitsu Staff woes. Just look at Thresher and the terrible problems they have suffered! Get real.

Talk about "cutting your nose to spite your face"

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Anonymous Coward

as an employee for the past 4 or 5 years...

...of one of said third parties to Fujitsu... If the proper Fujitsu employee's would actually do the fucking job properly in the first place instead of fucking it up, requiring revists, and then requiring said 3rd party to go in and sort your fucking mess out, then maybe you would be worth your pay. But no, instead you do a piss poor job, and then you think the world owes you something. Maybe you should leave FJ and get a job in government. That seems to be a good cowboy outfit to work for if reward for failure is your kind of thing.

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Flame

Pointing out the obvious

To those who say "change jobs" (and at least had to guts not to post AC):

Whilst it may in essence be good advice, it's not always practical advice. If you're saddled with a mortgage, have children of school age, have a partner that works, etc. upping sticks to another job isn't so straightforward. (And judging from the personalities of some of the commentards, you're going to be single and carefree for the rest of your days)

At least some people are trying to get a etter deal, rather than lying down and taking it (so to speak).

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Go

Who's paying the piper?

Fujitsu are expecting to post solid profits this year yet many of their poorest paid staff qualify for tax credits. Which means that the UK tax payer is subsidising the Fujitsu wage bill.

If Unite are successful in wringing a concession or two out of Fujitsu, which is quite unlikely, will those staff who chose not to take part in the industrial action decline the additional pay/ benefits?

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Equally....

Equally, would Unite recompense those not in Unite; should further job losses occur, as a consequence of their action?

Probably not.

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Anonymous Coward

Scrooge is on a pittance?

Actually, by Fujitsu standards, Scrooge is doing quite well. He also has the option of seeking other roles within Fujitsu if really he wants to, increase his skill set and then look outside for a better paid job.

When I was at Fujitsu, I was under the impression that what he was doing was something of a non-job. He worked in Foots Cray as a Product Support Engineer (a 2nd line role) on the Telewest contract in Foots Cray until 2006 and would have been getting similar money and a monthly bonus on top of that.

I was on the Telewest contract during 2006 and for the first liners on that contract, life was much less rosy. Fujitsu operated an apartheid system between temps employed through Adecco and those employed directly by Fujitsu, many on rolling 6 month Fixed Term Contracts.

The temps were paid £6.50 per hour, got only the statutory minimum holiday (20 days including bank holidays) and no paid sick leave.They were subject to a harsher disciplinary regime than Fujitsu employees, could be sacked either by Fujitsu or Adecco with no notice, but if they wanted to leave, had to give Adecco two weeks notice. You had the hassle of doing a weekly timesheet. Just to remind you that you were second class, you would every now and again find your pass was stopped for no reason. Of course when you arrived late at your desk as a result, it still went against your record. Then you would find your logins were not working either so you couldn't work. And if you wanted to move on, you were not allowed to apply for internal vacancies within Fujitsu. You didn't get any annual bonus. If you got an interview with another employer, you would have to book a holiday, which you couldn't do at short notice, so in practice you had to throw a sickie and lose a whole days pay. If you were lucky, and you didn't put a foot wrong, you might eventually be taken on permanently.

For the people employed directly, the pay was just as crap, around £14K. But at least they got 33 days holiday, got paid sick leave, a small annual bonus, were able to apply for internal vacancies and generally made to feel part of the company.

Regardless of the kind of contract, you did the same job, got the same breaks, had the same targets etc. You were expected to be logged on by the start of your shift (and not one second over) and ready to take calls - you had to start the PC and load all the applications in your own free time, which could take over 5 minutes. If you got a call at the end of your shift, you had to deal with it, however long it took. You were not paid unless it went over 15 minutes beyond the end of your shift. Although Fujitsu knew the exact time when you logged out, they wouldn't pay any you extra money unless you claimed for it at the time and got it noted by the Duty Manager on that day's tick sheet. Now was there was any extra pay for bank holidays, apart from Christmas Day which was double time. You were subjected to frequent call monitoring where Scrooge and his colleagues would listen in on your calls. A call would be picked supposedly at random, you would be graded and given feedback and the results go on your personnel file. In practice they used to listen in until a difficult sounding call came in and mark you on that so that you would get a lower grade.

This sort of thing is probably happening to first liners on other Fujitsu sites around the country. Many of them don't have the option of finding another job - there are simply too few or they can't move. These are the people who have my sympathy.

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Megaphone

Scrooge Mk2

Here here! The above mirrors what I saw whilst working at Fushitsu, although they were on £6 / hour and didn't get extra money at Christmas.

In my 2+ years there, I've never seen so many retarded managers and "project" people. From sending SMS alerts to your customers VIPs whilst training people on using the sms system ("Oh but I thought as it was a test and I wrote TEST it wouldn't go to them!") to asking staff that had left the company to come in as a "one-off" as no-one else was capable of fixing a particular issue, to completely mis-selling contracts, it was a rollercoaster

I did what most people suggested and left for more money.

Now its been outsourced to Poland - I hear that went down well

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Anonymous Coward

I think you're missing the point

Hi!

I'm sorry but I think the article and the subsequent comments are to a certain extent missing the point...

I was part of that protest and I’m a systems architect working for Fujitsu Services.

The national strike (first one ever in the IT sector) and protest outside Baker Street were concerning jobs, pay and pensions. Taking each point in turn.

Jobs – Fujitsu Services is making something like 10% of the workforce redundant. I’m really not convinced we need to get rid of that many (I struggle now to get hold of some of the resources being made redundant for customer facing / funded work.) But ignoring that, the selection process stinks from what I’ve seen first hand and is reportedly heavily biased against women, disabled and part time workers. I have reason to believe that if the company allowed comparably skilled volunteers from all 11500 employees to go in place of those people being made compulsorily redundant then there would be no requirement for any compulsory redundancies and the problem is resolved.

Pay – The points raised above are to an extent valid; if the pay stinks get another job and that is an option for me at least. On the other hand I’ve invested 22 years of my working life building up this company and resent being forced out by management carpet baggers making a short term quick buck before clearing off to screw up another company before the mess they leave behind becomes apparent. As an architect I rely upon the engineers to actually do their stuff, usually at stupid times of day and night to ensure continuity of service and good engineers should be treasured, not made redundant or given bobbins pay rises. A bad engineer (or fed up one) can louse up my work / customer service just as easily as me dropping a clanger. I am well aware that I am being paid below the market rate for my job, but that’s compensated for by the fact I’ve got a decent pension. Oh….

Pensions – The proposed pension changes are effectively a 27% pay cut for me. (For most people in the defined benefit scheme it’s at least 20%) Whilst under the present legislative / tax framework I recognise the writing is on the wall for final salary schemes I would expect some compensation for that loss. Steria have managed to come up with an agreed solution to this issue, why couldn’t Fujitsu Services do likewise? (We’ve had a number of people working on the Pensions Consultative Forum with the company to discuss this proposal. They produced a number of detailed counter proposals to broadly achieve the companies stated objectives. Before the first proposed strike date the company rejected those proposals without even reading them. The threat of a strike convinced the company to at least read the things and continue the discussions.)

Overall Fujitsu Services is a very profitable company – last year we made something like £200 million profit. This year the prediction, even with the redundancies and the recession is £100 million. That’s something like ten grand per employee with the defined benefit scheme still being paid for and we’ll have paid loads of people to leave…. We’ve had plenty of zero or below inflation pay rises when we weren’t making as large a profit, so it really is time for some jam today rather than milking the Fujitsu Services / ICL cash cow until it drops dead (taking my pension earned so far with it.) I really don’t see this as being an example of union militancy (Peter Skyte has bent over backwards trying to dissuade us from taking this action), but an expression from an awful lot of people within the company of “Enough is enough”

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Grenade

FYI

They said Thatcherism was dead,

If a company can post record profits then can at least pay a cost of living pay rise to those who generated those profits. It's allegedly a low rate of inflation (though my household bills don't say that) at least match that faked rate.

Fujitsu say they are cash strapped (only £110M profit this year) but have not mentioned the payment from HMG for the NHS project as it's a one off payment (reckoned to be £400M)

Don't take the piss out of the staff if you want them to be content.

Regarding the redundancys:

The company refused to consider any other options and initially where even refusing to consider transfers to other roles, absences/sabbaticals (paid or reduce pay) like the Honda (& BA) offered.

Any sort of discussion only took place when the original strike was due.

Why not leave:

For those saying you can leave you are probably the 2nd rate web monkeys who have to switch jobs as you don't have enough Star Wars toys in your work area and have to leave when people find out you cant really do your job anyway.

Yeah I can and probably will leave Fujitsu, bit I like to show commitment to the projects I'm involved in. However for some people they either DON'T have readily transferable skills (VME experts anybody ?) or skills that everybody & their dog have.

When you have a mortgage, car payments, kids and bills it's not always easy to change jobs and people should not be ridiculed for seeking decent treatment and a bit of security, so grow up and put that saucer of milk down.

Pensions:

For some people the pension scheme was the last remaining reason to stay at Fujitsu.

Time Wasters & Poor service:

I'm all for the yearly appraisals and the like where the manager to tell a staff member they are lazy, shiftless or just plain crap. I don't like having to carry the lazy bastards either, it makes my job harder and they are usually paid more than me.

We all know that theres people in every company who take 10 minute work breaks from their coffee drinking and the problem of inept managers, sadly very few of the redundancys involve these people (as is usually the case).

Some of us put shit loads of extra hours in each week to give the best service we can (I'm going to lose 38 hours flexi-time on the 1st Jan cos I haven't had time to take as I'm only allowed to take 7.25 hours per month)

But I am doing my best for Fujitsu and the customers despite standing with a placard on Friday morning.

I want Fujitsu to succeed but they can't if they continue to take the piss out of their employees

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