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HP UK staff to down tools over job cuts and pay freezes

Karl Flinders

As many as 1,000 Hewlett-Packard staff will go on strike for one day this month to show their disapproval of pay freezes and job cuts at the company.

The former EDS workers voted overwhelmingly to down tools and will walk out for one day on 10 December.

The workers are part of the HP Enterprise Services division, they work on IT contracts for the Department for Work and Pensions in locations including as Newcastle, Washington and Preston.

Since HP acquired EDS in August 2008 there have been 3,400 job losses. There have also been pay freezes despite the supplier making large profits.

There is also an overtime ban, which begins next week.

Public and Commercial Services Union general secretary Mark Serwotka, said the "Management cannot continue to take staff for granted and need to start rewarding staff properly and give them guarantees over job security."

"It is disgraceful that hardworking staff who are shouldering greater workloads and contributing significantly to HP's revenue and profits should be rewarded with pay freezes and job losses.

"The ballot result illustrates the depth of anger amongst a workforce who face a second year of pay freezes despite the company delivering fourth quarter revenues of $30.8bn.

An HP spokesman said of the 914 staff balloted, 358 voted in favour of striking, 100 voted against it and the remainder abstained.

In a standard statement, HP said it would maintain dialogue with the union and expected minimum disruption should staff decide to down tools.

Elsewhere in HP, 98 staff last month voted to strike over the transfer of 150 cusotmer engineering workers and support specialists to another HP company (HP CDS).

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