IT jobs

Unions will work together to fight HP job cuts

Karl Flinders

Union Unite said up to 1,600 UK jobs are at risk following HP’s announcement of an 8% reduction in its global workforce.

Up to 27,000 jobs are at risk as part of a plan to achieve annual savings of between $3bn and $3.5bn by the end of fiscal year 2014.

“This latest news from HP gives the clearest sign that workers need to be organised in trade unions to resist such attacks on jobs and conditions," said Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) officer Peter Olech.

“We are prepared to send an unequivocal message to HP that job cuts and compulsory redundancies will be resisted with every tool at our disposal, including industrial action if necessary,” he added.

Unite, which is to hold urgent talks with HP, said 8% of UK staff could lose their jobs as part of the supplier's global cost-cutting.

Kevin O’Gallagher, national officer for IT and communications at Unite, said it was a devastating blow to the technology industry in the UK. 

“[This is] a sector we need to develop to create future jobs and growth,” he said.

Unite will join forces with the PCS to protect jobs. 

“We will be working with the PCS union to use every means possible to protect these vital and high-skilled jobs. We hope to arrange meetings with the senior management, both in the UK and with the global business leaders, as soon as possible to set out our alternatives,” said O'Gallagher.

The union accused HP of showing little regard for its staff. “HP is still a highly profitable company which is, we believe, simply aiming to cut costs to increase both its market share and profits,” he said.

Unite has about 4,500 members working for HP, including computer programmers, desktop support, software engineers and software architects. HP has UK offices in Bracknell, Berkshire, Bristol, Derby, Dublin, London, Manchester and Sheffield. There are also HP staff at customer sites, including major government departments.


Image: Thinkstock


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