Hardware and IT services supplier Fujitsu is the subject of discrimination allegations amid industrial action by its UK employees.
The workers’ union Unite claims that it has found “major discrepancies” in redundancy selection at the company, with female, part-time and ethnic minority employees being disproportionately targeted.
Figures published by the union suggest that 6.7% of female employees were chosen for compulsory redundancy, compared to 3.7% of male workers, while 10.4% of Indian employees face dismissal in contrast to 3.9% of staff members from all other ethnic groups.
“We are disturbed to find that a disproportionate number of women, part-time and ethnic minority workers appear to have been selected for redundancy at Fujitsu, but have had no meaningful response from the company to our queries on this,” said Unite National Officer Peter Skyte.
While not directly refuting the statistics produced by Unite, Fujitsu has been quick to reject the allegations. “As an equal opportunities employer Fujitsu consulted on the proposed selection criteria with elected employee representatives and with representatives of its recognised trade unions (including Unite) throughout the collective redundancy programme and is confident that no discrimination resulted,” the company responded in a statement.
Staff at Fujitsu’s UK operations today carried out their fourth day of a planned six days of strike action in response to 1,000 proposed redundancies, an ongoing pay freeze and plans to close the company’s final salary pension scheme to future accrual.
Fujitsu is not the only IT services firm to suffer the threat of industrial action from employees, with Hewlett-Packard last month narrowly avoiding strikes by about 1,000 of its UK-based workers.