HP workers at DWP vote on strike action


HP workers at DWP vote on strike action

Rebecca Thomson

More than 1,000 Hewlett-Packard workers are voting on whether to go on strike in a dispute over job losses and pay.

Most of the staff voting work on IT contracts for the Department for Work and Pensions, where the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) says they have been "shouldering greater workloads" while facing uncertainty about their future.

Resentment has been brewing at the IT company since HP took over EDS in August 2008. The company has axed 3,400 staff and implemented a pay freeze and voluntary pay cuts. There are a further 1,000 job losses planned for the first half of next year.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said, "There has been growing anger amongst staff, who are facing yet more uncertainty about their future. Staff have been contributing significantly to HP's revenue, whilst shouldering greater workloads and helping to generate good profit levels.

"Yet their reward is more job cuts, imposed pay freezes and pleas from the company to take a voluntary pay cut. We will be urging members to deliver a strong yes vote and tell management that enough is enough."

The ballot runs until 30 November and is asking members to vote on action short of a strike and strike action, which could take the form of a series of one- or two-day strikes.

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