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HP workers set dates for strikes

Unite union members working as mobile engineers at HP CDS will hold a one-day strike on Monday, 7 December, in a dispute over job transfers, pay and pensions.The union said on Thursday that the engineers will introduce an overtime ban and work to rule from 4 January.
Written by Karen Friar, Contributor on

Unite union members working as mobile engineers at HP CDS will hold a one-day strike on Monday, 7 December, in a dispute over job transfers, pay and pensions.

The union said on Thursday that the engineers will introduce an overtime ban and work to rule from 4 January. In addition, it plans to escalate strike action if necessary, with two-day stoppages starting 11 January and 1 February and a five-day strike beginning on 22 February.

The dispute centres on HP's transfer of the engineers to a new division.

"These members are angry... over a business transfer on 1 November to another HP company (HP CDS). Unite believes HP is taking advantage of weaknesses in current employment legislation to remove pay and pension benefits, including a performance bonus scheme worth up to £2000 and the final salary pension scheme," the union said in a statement.

In November, more than 75 percent of Unite members at HP voted for an all-out strike over the dispute.

The strike announcement is the second to hit HP in the UK this week. On Wednesday, The Public and Commercial Services Union said that up to 1,000 of its members at HP Enterprise Services could take part in a one-day strike on 10 December and in an ongoing overtime ban beginning 8 December.

Employees on IT contracts for the Department of Work and Pensions voted to launch the strike. The contractors are based in Newcastle, Washington, Preston, the Fylde Coast and other offices around the UK.

The strike is the culmination of a unrest arising out of the takeover of EDS by HP Enterprise Services in 2008. Earlier this year, HP Enterprise Services introduced a pay freeze and announced that it will cut 1,000 British jobs next year. The company had already eliminated 3,400 posts.

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