Hewlett Packard to cut 1,124 UK jobs

Departure

Hewlett Packard (HP) has announced plans to cut more than 1,100 UK jobs at the start of next year.

The computer manufacturer said it would cut 1,124 jobs in the first three months of next year as part of its global plan to combat falling demand and overhaul the company.

The Unite union said the jobs were attached to HP's bases in Bracknell in Berkshire, Sheffield and Warrington in Cheshire. HP said it had not spelled out where the cuts would fall.

Unite said workers were told about the cuts on Wednesday and that a union representative would attend a meeting in Bracknell where the plans would be outlined.

The union's national officer Ian Tonks said: "For the last five years HP has been addicted to a culture of job cuts in the UK to such an extent that its highly skilled workforce has little faith in the way the company is being managed and will be going forward. Unite will be doing everything possible to mitigate these job losses which are a hammer blow to the UK's IT sector and very distressing for employees in the run-up to Christmas."

The union said it expected 618 jobs to go at its Bracknell hub, where employees work at multiple locations. A further 483 jobs will be cut at Warrington and 23 at Sheffield, the union said.

Unite said many of those facing redundancy either work from home or have been contracted out to companies.

In a statement, HP said: "The proposed UK workforce management plan is part of HP's global multi-year productivity initiative that was announced on 23 May 2012, and updated at its securities analysts meeting on 9 October 2013, to address current market and business pressures in support of HP's turnaround in Europe, the Middle East and Africa."

HP's share price has almost doubled over the last year as investors have warmed to new boss Meg Whitman's efforts to overhaul the company - even as sales of computers have fallen. But her plan has been at the expense of HP's workforce as Whitman has cut thousands of jobs at the computer giant's operations around the world.

Personal computer sales have fallen in each of the past six quarters, hitting HP's traditional business as consumers opt for tablets and smartphones. This year will see the biggest ever drop in shipments of PCs with demand continuing to fall into 2014, according to research firm International Data Corporation.

Unite said HP's European operations had little autonomy and that job cuts were driven by its head office in the US.

HP said it would help workers find other jobs within the company and give them help to find other jobs if they needed it.

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced 150 job losses at its plant in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. The factory employs 700 workers out of about 3,200 employed in Ireland by the US drugs company.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Sean Farrell, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 4th December 2013 15.28 Europe/London

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