HP job cuts dangerous, warns UK union

Summary:The UK Public and Commercial Services Union this week said the jobs of former civil servants employed by EDS could be axed,following the takeover of the company by HP.

The UK Public and Commercial Services Union this week said the jobs of former civil servants employed by EDS could be axed, following the takeover of the company by HP.

EDS has major contracts with Whitehall departments including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Ministry of Defence. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said it believed that more than 3,000 jobs in government IT could go. HP has indicated that nearly 25,000 jobs will be cut globally.

PCS national officer Jim Hanson said: "Not only are we concerned about our members' job security, but also the threat to the security of government data which would result if staff are cut further."

The union has expressed concern about a lack of information from the new owners and said it will "vigorously oppose" any moves to impose compulsory redundancies.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, added: "One of the dangers of privatisation is that government contracts can be bought and sold without any say from MPs. HP are getting massive DWP and defence contracts without having to go through a tendering process."

"It's not just former civil servants' jobs that are at risk, but the delivery of public services that rely on IT services provided by the former EDS," said Serwotka.

With regard to possible job losses, a spokesperson for the DWP said: "It's a commercial transaction and we do not wish to comment in this."

The spokesperson added: "The department does not expect the acquisition of EDS by HP to affect the delivery of existing contractual obligations, and will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Topics: Government, EU, Government : AU, Hewlett-Packard, IT Employment

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