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HP/EDS Australia meets with union

EDS union APESMA has met with representatives of HP and EDS today following the news that employees in Australia will be facing pay cuts.

EDS union APESMA has met with representatives of HP and EDS today following the news that employees in Australia will be facing pay cuts.

They've indicated to us that they see this as an alternative to mass redundancies.

Michael Butler, APESMA

EDS VP Australia New Zealand David Caspari had written to employees in Australia and New Zealand to say that the company would also look to put through cuts here, depending on legal issues and employee consent. A spokesperson from HP said that the cuts would be across both HP and EDS.

Michael Butler, industrial relations director at the union (the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia) said that he met with representatives of both HP and EDS today. "They've indicated to us that they see this as an alternative to mass redundancies," he said, although he added that they also wouldn't give any commitments that there wouldn't be job losses in the future.

The union will be meeting with HP/EDS again next Wednesday, where it will put forward what it believes needs to happen for pay cuts to go ahead legally and without discrimination.

In order for the cuts to go ahead, there needed to be employee consent, which the company has acknowledged. Butler believed HP/EDS required a process to make sure that all employees understood the choice and that the message didn't get garbled as it travelled down the levels of the company.

"We will do all we can to make sure the process is fair and make sure that there's genuine consent," Butler said.

Butler also intended to speak about other general issues such as what it will mean about jobs in the long term if employees do agree to the pay cuts.