Fujitsu staff set for pensions strike action

Fujitsu faces possible strike action over a pensions dispute, if a ballot of 2,000 members of trade union Unite votes in favour of the move.

According to the union, some 4,000 employees in the main defined benefit pension plan are being hit by the company's plans to close the scheme to future accrual.

If the proposal goes ahead, the company intends to switch employees from a final salary scheme to a money purchase pension scheme.

But the union estimates that the proposed pension scheme change would reduce the total pay package of each employee by at least 15 per cent.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications, said, "Fujitsu Services is a highly profitable and successful company which is seeking to take advantage of the recession to attack pay, pensions and conditions."

Fujitsu Services increased gross margins to 19.9 per cent and made a pre-tax profit of £199.2 million last year, and paid out two directors £1.59 million in compensation for loss of office, in its recent 2008-2009 results.

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Skyte noted: “The company is indicating a willingness to constructively consider alternative pension options identified by representatives. We are insisting that the company should increase pay and provide decent pensions for all its employees.

“Our position is to protect the defined benefit pension scheme. Any changes which reduce financial risk to the company at the expense of members should be compensated for accordingly.”

A spokesperson for Fujitsu said the company did not want to comment, as the pension scheme switch-over is in "consultation stage" and no decisions have been made at this stage.