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HP employee strike put on hold

Negotiations between HP's IT services arm and the PCS union has led to the suspension of a scheduled two-day walkout that affects contractors at the Department for Work and Pensions

A two-day strike by HP employees, set to start on Monday, has been suspended to allow time for extra talks.

Progress has been made in talks between HP Enterprise Services and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), according to a statement by Jim Hanson, a national officer at the union, released on Friday.

"Following a meeting with HP at Acas on 25 March where significant progress was made on the issues of pay and job security, PCS has agreed to suspend the current work to rule and strike action planned for 29 and 30 March," said Hanson in the statement. "Further talks will take place at Acas on 30 March, after which the union will review action planned for 6 and 7 April."

Engineers and other IT services employees are involved in an ongoing dispute with HP Enterprise Services after the company cut thousands of jobs and introduced a pay freeze. Members of the PCS at the company have already held two strikes, and last week the union announced a walkout for Monday as well as the strike in April. 

Up to 1,000 IT services employees could take part in the industrial action, which is scheduled to take place at locations in the north of England and could affect HP contractors for the Department of Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Defence and General Motors.