50 staff members at Fuji Xerox offices around the country are taking strike action today after an ongoing dispute over pay.
The staff, who also took strike action yesterday, are part of the E tū Union and chose to increase strike action in the wake of stalled negotiations around a 2% payrise offer.
Fuji Xerox has admitted outright that its financial troubles have had a significant impact on its workforce, with more than $370 million worth of losses written off in the last two years.
E tū industry coordinator Joe Gallagher says Fuji Xerox refuses to backdate the 2% payrise offer to the expiry of their collective agreement, which occurred in August 2018.
“The company has confirmed its parsimonious offer to our members in its own statement,” says Gallagher. “It has also confirmed it won’t backdate any offer which would mean a year with no pay rise at all, which is unacceptable.”
Fuji Xerox general manager of human resources and legal, Danielle Everett, claims that the 2% payrise would be effective from July 1, 2019.
“Our latest offer is an increase in base salary by 2% effective 1 July 2019, and we have also confirmed that performance bonuses for our customer service engineers and technical specialists will be increased by up to 60%, which will be received if the engineers meet their performance targets,” says Everett.
“This represents an approximate 3.1% increase to overall salary, not taking the superannuation impact benefit into consideration.”
The E tū Union says its members also want skills recognition in line with recent assessments, but Fuji Xerox is also holding back.
Everett says that despite Fuji Xerox’s financial troubles, it is doing everything it can to recognise the value of its people.
Union members make up approximately one third of Fuji Xerox’s New Zealand engineering workforce, however Everett claims that a ‘large enough proportion of engineering staff’ aren’t involved in the strike action.
“We remain hopeful that the union representing our engineers will understand this and return to the table to continue talks in an open, constructive and good faith manner,” says Everett.
The E tū Union also refutes Fuji Xerox’s claims in respect to ‘any pass-on to non-union members of any final pay deal negotiated by its members’.
“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,” says Gallagher.
“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.”
However Fuji Xerox says it doesn’t clearly understand the “union’s current negotiation position in regards to all claims that were made, and is awaiting a full and formal response following substantial correspondence sent to them in December 2018 regarding the matter”.
Fuji Xerox is also unable to agree to the union’s claim of no pass on – an important principle of Fuji Xerox NZ’s is that everyone is treated as one team, regardless of whether they are union members or not.