Business

Jobs at risk in Derry and Belfast as Fujitsu plan 1,800 redundancies

It is expected Fujitsu's operations in Derry will be among those affected by the job cuts 

THERE are fears for the future of many of the 800 jobs at Fujitsu in Northern Ireland.

The Japanese technology giant wants to cut 1,800 from its 10,000-strong workforce across the UK.

The company announced plans to restructure in a bid to "better support customers in the era of digital transformation".

The Unite union said staff at the company's has two centres in Northern Ireland - Belfast and Derry - would be affected.

It is the latest jobs blow for Fujitsu staff in the north this year.

Earlier this year, it announced plans to close its network and telecoms maintenance and repair centre in Antrim, making 40 people redundant.

Unite said the move was a "hammer blow" for workers who had "given their all" to make the UK subsidiary highly profitable.

Fujitsu said the announcement is not linked to the UK's vote to leave the EU.

It said jobs would not go until 2017 at the earliest.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "Fujitsu is planning a transformation program that will enable it to better support customers in the era of digital transformation.

"The company today advised its employee representative forum of plans to restructure the organisation in order to provide better service and respond more quickly to customer needs.

“As part of the programme, Fujitsu plans to streamline operations in order to remain competitive in the market. Proposed measures include changes which would result in a reduction of up to 1,800 jobs in the UK.

"All affected employees will be offered guidance and support and Fujitsu is establishing a consultation process with elected employee representatives.”

Unite national officer Ian Tonks said: "This is a hammer blow for these hard-working employees who have given their all to make the UK subsidiary highly profitable.

"It is not good news for the UK economy as the company says that it intends to offshore many of these jobs, with increased automation also responsible for job losses.

"Fujtsu's main UK subsidiary made £85.6 million profit last year and we see no reason for these job losses. Unite will be doing its utmost to fight for these jobs, as well as giving our members maximum support at this very worrying time."

The announcement comes as Fujitsu staff in Manchester are voting in an industrial action ballot over pay, pensions and job security.

Unite claims that the company has been cutting pay rates, despite healthy profits and is failing to tackle a significant gender pay gap.

The ballot result is expected on October 19.

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