The UK operations of HP and Fujitsu have both been hit by strikes today, after members of the Unite and Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) took action over pay, working conditions and pensions.
Unite announced the Fujitsu strike early yesterday, apparently after talks broke down between the parties. The PCS also announced the HP action yesterday.
Unrest has grown at HP since the firm took over EDS in the summer of 2008. Around 3,400 staff have already been shown the door in the UK, and others have been made to work under a pay freeze. The PCS said that this does not tally with the firm's profits.
"[Our members] have worked hard to help [HP] deliver fourth-quarter revenues of $30.8bn [£19bn], yet have been slapped in the face with job losses and a pay freeze for two years running," said Mark Serwotka, general secretary at the PCS.
"It is disgraceful that staff should be treated in such a way as they shoulder greater workloads to help generate good profit levels. The company needs to start valuing staff and recognising the crucial part they play in its success by giving guarantees on job security and a fair pay rise."
Alex Flynn, press officer at the PCS, confirmed that the strike had gone ahead, explaining that there were picket lines at all main HP sites in the UK. "We hope that management will react to the strength of feeling," he said.
The strikes at Fujitsu are the result of similar disagreements. Unite has long argued that redundancies, pay freezes and changes to staff benefits were unfair, and that Fujitsu is a profitable company. Seventy workers are facing redundancy on 31 January, while other cuts effectively reduce salaries by 20 per cent.
The Fujitsu strike is the first of six scheduled from today until 8 February. V3.co.uk has not been able to reach the union to confirm whether today's strike went ahead.
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