Thursday, 5 November 2009

Fujitsu workers to strike

(By Richard Holway 7.00pm Thurs 5th Nov 09) Some Fujitsu personnel in the UK are to to strike for three days later this month in protest at staff cuts, pay cuts and the freezing of their final salary pension scheme. It is understood that the strike will involve only about 720 or about 5% of Fujitsu's 12,500 UK personnel.

I got called by the media for my reactions to this. (Eg see Paul Kunert's article in Microscope) Bluntly, although it is always sad to see job losses, my real criticism of Fujitsu UK is that they didn't take this cost cutting action a year back when most of their UK competitors did. That means that their competitors are now through the pain. Indeed, as you read countless times in HotViews, profits are holding up (indeed increasing) despite revenue declines. This is all due to previous cost cutting. But Fujitsu has still to go through that pain.

I've had to make cuts several times in my career. It is never easy - particularly as I've personally known the people involved. But I've learnt that 1) Delaying the inevitable always makes matters worse 2) Cutting too little just means you have to repeat the pain 3) Cutting TOO much is something I have never seen. 4) Often you need different skills coming out of recession than you needed at the start.

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