Japanese technology giant Fujitsu is planning to cut up to 1,800 jobs in the UK as part of its restructuring programme.
The company, which currently employs 14,000 people in the UK and Ireland, said the transformation programme is intended at streamlining operations in order to remain competitive in the market and allow it to support customers in the era of digital transformation.
It noted that the plan, which will see the first workers leave next year, was not linked to the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
In a statement, Fujitsu said: “Fujitsu is planning a transformation program 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 provide better service and respond more quickly to customer needs.
“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.”
The job cuts will be spread across the company’s UK offices, including London, Warrington, Wakefield, Belfast, Bracknell, Crewe, Northern Ireland, and Stevenage.
UK’s largest union, Unite, has branded the company’s move as a hammer blow to the British economy.
Unite national officer for IT Ian Tonks said: “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.
“Fujtsu’s main UK subsidiary made £85.6m profit last year and we see no reason for these job losses. Unite will be doing its utmost to fight for these jobs, as well as giving our members maximum support at this very worrying time.”
The company has also given notice to scrap its UK works council, Fujitsu Voice, from January 2017. Unite is fighting the move.
The Japanese firm split off its PC business earlier this year and is currently considering various possibilities.