Unionised workers at Fujitsu are being balloted for strike action after they were refused below inflation pay rises.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union is testing the appetite for industrial action among 750 IT support staff at the integration arm of the Japanese giant working on government contracts across the UK in HMRC, Home Office, MoD, ONS and DVLA.
The PCS claimed Fujitsu had met or exceeded performance metrics on the deals this year, but the firm was not willing to increase salaries by 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent, despite senior bosses pocketing bonuses of £14,000 or more.
The integrator has also "reneged" on an agreement struck in a previous settlement that it would implement a structured pay progression system.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary for the PCS, said: "While senior managers are pocketing bonuses in excess of what some of our members earn in a year, it's not only wrong, it's offensive for Fujitsu to claim it can't afford to increase pay.
"Just because these staff are off the government's books, ministers are ultimately responsible for what happens in their department's name and they cannot simply wash their hands of issues like low pay among their contractors," he added.
The staff work in a variety of functions including support for HMRC IT systems, which PCS warned could impact the payment of tax credits, and they also maintain systems that process driving licences.
According to the ballot, industrial action could be held in September and October, the union said.
A spokesman for Fujitsu said: "Fujitsu is aware of the ballot action by PCS. We are disappointed PCS has decided not to ask its members to vote on our pay offer, which we believe is a fair one, but has decided instead to ask them to vote on whether to take industrial action."
Fujitsu is of course committed to working with PCS to resolve these issues and to implement a pay review for members and indeed we are meeting with them and ACAS for further talks next week." ®