HP staff vote for industrial action on jobs
Failure to cooperate with ‘knowledge transfer' may affect DWP and MoJ contracts
By Anh Nguyen | Computerworld UK | Published: 09:50, 15 July 2014
HP staff who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), have voted to take industrial action over the company's plans to move hundreds of jobs out of the north west of England.
As part of global cuts to its workforce, HP is centralising work at two sites in the north east of England and Scotland, which will involve moving 400 jobs at its sites in Lytham and Warrington. While HP did not disclose how many people are involved at these locations, it is understood that there are around 800 employees at the Lytham site.
According to PCS, the "vast majority" of the roles will not be open to redeployment or relocation.
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PCS industrial officer Peter Olech said: "Staff not only fear for their jobs and livelihoods but are incredibly worried about the damaging effect of taking hundreds of jobs out of the north west economy.
"We hope Hewlett Packard recognises the strength of feeling and serious issues at stake and comes back to the table to talk to us constructively about protecting jobs and our communities."
The union represents 70 percent of the HP staff based at the north west sites. Eighty-three percent of the members voted to take industrial action, stopping short of strike action, that involves refusing to cooperate with the 'knowledge transfer' process required to move the work. It is understood that 99 PCS members voted in the ballot.
HP said that it is working with employees, whose roles are affected, to offer them options including relocation, redeployment and support to find another job.
"We are disappointed that a limited number of employees have voted in favour of local industrial action at our Lytham and Warrington offices," the company said in a statement.
"For our application services business in the UK, we have created a number of Regional Delivery Centres to bring together our teams for specific services and skillsets. This allows us to continue to drive innovation, to improve service for our clients, preserve competitiveness and provide better longer-term career prospects for employees."
HP is in the process of cutting thousands of staff worldwide. In May, the company announced it would cut an additional 11,000 to 16,000 jobs to reduce costs, in addition to the 34,000 jobs it has already cut so far since it announced a 'turnaround' plan two years ago.
Earlier this month, HP reached an agreement in three shareholder lawsuits arising from its acquisition of UK IT firm Autonomy.
Under the terms of the agreement, the shareholders and their lawyers will assist HP in bringing claims against Lynch, Shushovan Hussain, Autonomy's former chief financial officer, and potentially others. HP will also be modifying its policies and procedures for evaluating potential mergers and acquisitions on the lines recommended by the shareholders and their lawyers.