HP to lay off 934 UK staff

The job losses, which union Unite said will produce stress in the remaining workforce, are separate from the global cull of 9,000 employees announced in June, according to HP
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

HP is to make almost a thousand UK staff redundant, according to the union Unite.

The cuts, which Unite said on Monday will affect 934 UK HP employees, were condemned by the union. HP has not disputed Unite's tally of those who may be affected, although it has explained that the cuts will take place across its various brands, rather than just at the HP Enterprise Services division that has recently seen multiple rounds of redundancies.

Unite has said the cuts are part of the 9,000 Enterprise Services redundancies announced a month ago, but HP says they are separate.

"This latest round in the continual job cuts at HP has left people angry and concerned — angry over the cuts and concerned about their future," Unite national officer Peter Skyte told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "The pressures on the remaining part of the workforce will produce stress."

Skyte said Unite was due to talk to HP next week in an ongoing series of discussions over the cuts, and it was "too early to say" whether Unite would ballot its members to strike. He added the cuts were being made in a company that is profitable.

Unite said in a statement on Monday that the off-shoring of UK jobs will not help the ailing UK economy, nor will it fuel job growth to help the country out of recession.

The loss of 934 jobs was part of a process which began in November, and had been discussed with union representatives, an HP spokesperson said. Both Unite and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have members at the company.

"HP is in consultation with the appropriate representative bodies within the UK regarding potential workforce changes that were first discussed with the HP European Works Council in November 2009 and have been part of an ongoing consultation process since then," the spokesperson said.

Addressing Skyte's accusation of the cuts leading to stress among HP's UK workforce, HP's spokesperson said the wellbeing of the workforce was "important and is why the company has worked with unions to agree terms that respect the needs of people at HP".

"The changes HP is proposing are part of the company's ongoing review of its business that will ensure HP continues to grow in a globally competitive marketplace and deliver world class products and services to its customers," the spokesperson said.

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