Fuji Xerox Strike
New Zealand Union Calls for Fuji Xerox Strike
Union members at Fuji Xerox voted to strike on February 25th and 26th over pay issues and union discrimination. E tu, a New Zealand union representing engineering, printing and manufacturing professionals, cites the company’s ongoing failure to address their complaints since August of last year.
“Our members are very angry,” a union rep stated. “First, the company actually lifted wages to stop people being poached by its competitors. But while one group of union members got the increase, another group in Auckland got nothing. To add fuel to the fire, while the union negotiated the pay rise, non-union members also received it.” Fuji Xerox’s offer of a 2% raise was the final straw for the union as it excluded backpay for the time since their collective agreement expired in July of 2018.
Echoes From Accounting Scandal
Tensions have been especially high as the company has been struggling to recover from the major accounting scandal. The fallout of that scandal included the resignation of top executives, increased oversight from Fujifilm, the loss of important government contracts as well as layoffs. “This is a multi-national company that has been mismanaged over the past few years and there have been job losses affecting our members,” said a union rep. “Those who remain are working harder, smarter and longer and they want fair recompense.”
Fuji Xerox reps are “disappointed about the union’s decision to go on strike in the middle of collective agreement negotiations,” according to the New Zealand Herald. “In the wider context of the company’s financial situation where a number of our workforce have had to be made redundant and more than $370 million of losses written off over the last two years, we are doing everything we reasonably can to recognize the value of our people here.”
Strike Stretches Into Second Day
As for the union’s complaint at passing pay increases negotiated by the union on to non-union members, Fuji Xerox stated that it “treated all workers as one team, regardless of whether they were union members or not.” The union responded with a second strike the next day. “The company is under the impression it can do as it pleases but it clearly doesn’t know the law on the matter. It doesn’t have carte blanche to just pass on to non-union workers what our members win for themselves. We’re deeply concerned with the company’s lack of understanding around the laws related to no pass-on. We need Fuji Xerox to acknowledge that they have to commit to a process for negotiating with non-union members.”
According to a Fuji Xerox rep, the union members only make a third of the engineering workforce so the strike would not immediately impact customers. Any effects of the two-day strike have not yet been released.