Fujitsu, a Japanese multinational Information Technology (IT) company, on Tuesday announced it was planning to lay off 1,800 people in Britain as part of its restructuring programme. The company aims to streamline its operations making it more competitive in the global IT market.
The job cut is expected to impact about 13 percent of the company's workforce in the UK and Ireland, where Fujitsu is the biggest Japanese employer with 14,000 workers, AFP reported. However, the company insisted that the move had no link to Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
According to the company, the restructuring could mean the firm can "provide better service and respond more quickly to customer needs." The programme would allow the Tokyo-based company to support customers in the "era of digital transformation," the agency added.
"As part of the programme, Fujitsu plans to streamline operations in order to remain competitive in market. Proposed measures include changes, which would result in a reduction of up to 1,800 jobs in the UK," a company spokesperson told the agency. The job losses will not come into effect until next year and the exact details of the layoffs would be provided in 2017.
Following the announcement of the news, Britain's biggest trade union Unite said the news was a "hammer blow" for workers who have given "their all" to make Fujitsu's UK subsidiary profitable. "Fujitsu's main UK subsidiary made $104 million 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," Ian Tonks, the trade union's IT officer was quoted as saying by AFP.
The job losses would be spread across Fujitsu's offices in the UK, which includes Belfast, Bracknell, Manchester, Londonderry, Crewe, Wakefield and Warrington.
According to media reports, Fujitsu was said to be considering merging its failing personal computer division with China's Lenovo (world's biggest personal computer maker). Japanese personal computer makers have been reducing their business sizes as increasing number of consumers are moving away from PCs to mobile devices.