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Protestors gather outside HP conference in Spain over job cuts

HP has scrapped hundreds of roles in unemployment-stricken Spain over the last three years

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Protestors gathered outside HP’s annual European conference in Spain this morning as up to 10,000 visitors turned up to see the technology giant’s latest products and hear what the company has planned for the future. 

Up to 50 protestors demonstrated outside the Discover conference at the Fira exhibition centre in Barcelona over the fact that the company has cut 300 jobs in Spain over the last three years. The cuts come after HP announced in Septemer 2011 that it planned to slash 29,000 roles by 2014 as part of its long-term restructuring plan, which aims to cut costs across the organisation. 

One protesting HP employee and union member, told Techworld: “Several unions have been trying to convince the company to stop layoffs and get to an agreement so that costs drop and people are protected.

“Unemployment and the economic situation in Spain is a big drama. We have an average of 30 percent unemployment and 50 percent unemployment for young people.”

There are families losing their houses and even people committing suicide as a result of the high levels of unemployment, she added. 

As HP cuts jobs in Spain it is giving more work to people in India, said the protestor, who has been employed by the company for 12 years. “There has been a tendency of outsourcing to countries with less labour rights and there has been a strong tendency to give work to contractors. For instance, in Spain, there are companies in the HP group with 40 or 50 workers who don’t belong to HP.”

She added: “We are smart professionals. We are engineers with degrees. We are IT people. We are not irrational people.” 

Last month, HP said that over 7,000 roles would be lost across the EMEA region as part of the restructuring plan, with over 1,100 of those being lost in the UK.

A HP spokesperson told Techworld: "The restructuring plan is designed to deliver a more agile and responsinve business model in the (EMEA) region, streamling processes, advancing innnovation and creating efficiencies for the benefit of customers, shareholders and employees." 


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