HP set to cut 1,300 UK jobs

Hewlett Packard says it will cut 1,300 jobs from its UK operations, taking the total number of redundancies at the IT firm in the last two years to beyond the 6,000 mark.

Confirming the plan to CUK, a spokesman for HP said it was too early to determine if contract IT roles would be affected, as the latest cuts are still in the consultation stage.

However the cuts will begin this month and are likely to bite non-customer facing roles, such as technical support, as most will be made by moving work overseas.

The spokesman said: "We will be working with...[employee unions] to mitigate the impact, looking at options including redeployment of staff to elsewhere within HP."

In line with workforce changes proposed by HP in June, he said the cuts were part of the company's plan to boost the delivery and offerings of its Enterprise Services unit.

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which is warning of possible strike action if the cuts go ahead, was unimpressed.

"This is not being driven by financial necessity, but by HP’s relentless obsession with profit," the PCS said of the job cuts.

“It’s shameful that a company as wealthy as this should seek to make even more money by sacking loyal workers who helped to earn those profits."

Another union, Unite, agreed, saying that despite HP's "significant profits" - up by 14% in August - the company is "continuing to butcher its highly skilled UK workforce."

Morale at HP is, as a result, at an "all time low", Unite national officer Peter Skyte added, notably in the UK, where he says staff are more vulnerable to outsourcing.

"Lax employment protection in the UK compared to other European countries means that the UK is bearing the brunt of cuts, as it's quicker and cheaper to sack UK people and export their jobs abroad."

Yet the union believes some of HP's overseas workers are also feeling low, given the emergence of a campaign for 'decency at work' by staff at HP's Indian offices.

Mr Skyte said: "[HP's] IT employees in India are complaining about the stress caused by tremendous pressure to live up to unreasonable targets and deadlines."

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