Wakefield workers strike as 50 job cuts loom

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Workers staged another 24-hour walkout at Fujitsu in Wakefield today where up to 50 jobs have been put at risk.

Employees for the IT giant across Britain voted to down tools for the second time over the firm’s plans to offshore jobs to low-cost countries.

Up to 1,800 jobs are thought to be at risk nationwide.

The move comes after Fujitsu reported profits of more than £85 million in the last financial year.

At Wakefield’s Craven Street base, members of the trade union, Unite, voted to join the picket line and some protested outside this morning.

Union rep John Garvani said: “Many of the workers are resigned to what’s happening, over the years, it hasn’t mattered how well you work.

“There’s a lot despondency in general, and a lot anger towards the company.

“Because of the uncertainty some people have already left, there are floors in the building that are now half full that a few months back were full.

“The company are happy with that because they don’t have to pay any redundancy.”

It is thought around 300 employees work at the Wakefield office, many in customer support.

A spokesman for Unite said: “Wakefield is severely affected by the job cuts proposals, as it is the base for the call centres that allocate work to engineers.

“The company wants to move many of these jobs offshore to low cost locations, as well as simply cutting other jobs. Wakefield staff don’t have union recognition, so get worse treatment than staff that do, such as in Manchester.

“The company claims to be carrying out an ongoing consultation over the proposed job cuts, but representatives are not satisfied that this has been meaningful. Instead the company is rushing towards starting implementation of job cuts very quickly, which is a factor in members deciding to strike.”

Industrial action is also planned at Wakefield next Friday, March 24 and Monday, March 27.