HP TO CUT 3,300 UK JOBS
HP TO CUT 3,300 UK JOBS
2008-10-10 at 12:12:52 pm #20386
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
Unions 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.
The 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.
“This 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.”
HP 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.