Japanese company Fujitsu has announced that it will lay off over a tenth of its UK workforce by eliminating 1,800 jobs across Britain.
The company has cited its “transformation programme” as the reason behind the job cuts as it tries to streamline its operations worldwide in an effort to “remain competitive in the market.” Fujitsu stressed the point that the Brexit vote was not a factor in its decision and that it would begin to let employees go starting next year.
Currently the company employees 14,000 people across Britain, where it operates IT systems for large public and private corporations. The job losses will be spread across Fujitsu's UK offices in London, Belfast, Bracknell, Crewe, Derry, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington.
A spokesperson for the company explained its motivation for cutting jobs not just in the UK but globally, saying: “It's clear that we need to reduce the cost base for our customers.” Fujitsu has already begun to consult its employees regarding the upcoming reductions to its staff though it is not yet clear which departments will be affected by these job cuts.
Ian Tonks, a national officer at Britain's largest trade union, Unite offered his opinion as to why these reductions are unwarranted, saying: “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. Fujitsu's main UK subsidiary made £85.6m profit last year and we see no reason for these job losses.”
The company has issued a statement regarding the proposed job cuts, in which it said: “Fujitsu is planning a transformation programme 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 provider better service and respond more quickly.
“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.”
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