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 user 2008-10-10 at 12:13:29 pm Views: 32
  • #20792
    HP to cut over 3300 UK jobs
    Unions vow to fight for IT jobs after HP sheds more than 3,000 staff
    • More than 20% of staff to go in EDS takeover
    • Concern over contracts for UK public services

    reacted with fury yesterday to an announcement by Hewlett-Packard that
    it is to sack 3,378 staff in Britain after its takeover of IT company
    EDS last May.

    The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union,
    which represents more than 2,000 staff at EDS, warned that the delivery
    of computerised government services to benefit claimants, pensioners,
    Ministry of Defence personnel and Home Office and prison services could
    be hit by the big reduction in staff over the next two years. The union
    warned it would “vigorously oppose” any compulsory redundancies by HP.

    computer firm, which had already announced it was going to sack 24,600
    workers worldwide, had been expected to sack staff when it took over
    EDS. It is, in fact, sacking more than a fifth of the 15,000 EDS
    employees in Britain. This is 10% higher than the union’s worst fears.

    announcement creates further uncertainty with little or no detail of
    where the axe will fall and comes as a huge blow to the workforce in
    the time of economic turmoil,” Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the
    PCS, said yesterday.

    “Our concerns about government IT contracts
    in the Ministry of Defence and Department of Work and Pensions will not
    be alleviated by this announcement.

    “It’s not just jobs that are
    at risk, but the delivery of public services that rely on IT services
    provided by the former EDS. We will be pressing management for more
    detail and assurances on compulsory redundancies and service levels.”

    last night declined to discuss exactly where the job losses will fall.
    EDS staff are based in 200 sites across Britain including London,
    Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Exeter and
    Swansea. As well as having a number of high-profile Whitehall
    contracts, they also work for Transport for London in developing the
    Oyster card and redesigning computer services for Scottish and
    Newcastle brewery.

    Hewlett-Packard said in a statement: “HP
    expects the workforce management exercise in Europe, Middle East and
    Africa (EMEA) to affect approximately 9,300 employees, with roughly
    half of these positions replaced to create a global workforce that has
    the right blend of services and delivery capabilities to address the
    diversity of its EMEA markets and customers.”

    In Britain it
    added: “Based on local legal requirements and consultations with the HP
    and EDS works councils and employee representatives, HP expects that
    the number of positions impacted for UK is up to 3,378. Where possible
    we will redeploy impacted individuals.”

    The PCS union is already
    fighting for thousands of civil service jobs and the losses are
    expected to accelerate as a result of the economic downturn when
    Alistair Darling, the chancellor, announces the latest figures in his
    pre-budget report.