HP staff, who already face significant voluntary pay cuts as part of the firm's cost-cutting plan, face further involuntarily cuts to many more of their benefits.
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Union Unite has just negotiated union recognition for some engineers working at an HP customer and Peter Skyte, National Officer at Unite, said HP employees who are not protected "face exposure to a hurricane of cuts in pay and conditions from an ever-more rapacious company".
Unions and the HP EDS European Works Council (EWC) have advised staff to say no to voluntary pay cuts, but workers will have no say on other cuts being made to their benefits.
According to the EWC, HP also plans:
- a new lower pension plan for new employees
- reduced severance packages
- reduced coverage of first month of sickness from 100% to 75%
- a reduction of holidays from 25 to 23 days
- a cut in healthcare benefits
- a freeze on salaries in 2009 where possible
The HP EDS European Works Council (EWC) said these cuts represent indirect pay cuts.
"The current business situation does not justify the measures that management is taking and which impact mainly the mainstream employees," it said.
The EWC said employees throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, are discovering new cuts to their social benefits everyday.
Computer Weekly put all of this to HP. It said in a statement: " We regularly review our businesses and markets to ensure they continue to offer the best possible value to our customers and to ensure that they are aligned to our growth plans and company objectives.
"If we decide to make any changes or adjustments to our businesses following this regular review cycle we will always consult with our employees and their representatives before talking to any external parties."
Computer Weekly has received emails from angry staff about the way in which HP is cutting costs.