European unions protest HP job cuts

Trade unions across Europe have slammed Hewlett-Packard's management for their plans to cut thousands of jobs worldwide.

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Trade unions across Europe have slammed Hewlett-Packard's management for their plans to cut thousands of jobs worldwide.

HP's proposed re-structure will mean the loss of almost 3,400 job cuts in the UK, nearly a fifth of HP's British workforce.

HP plans to cut 7.5 percent of its global workforce, part of its global cost cuts following its acquisition of EDS, which is around 24,600 jobs. Some 9,300 of the cuts would be in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

A “co-ordinated day of union activities” across Europe will take place on 13 November, according to Peter Skyte, national officer at UK union Unite. He said Unite opposed any compulsory redundancies and is demanding full consultation.

Reuters reports there was a four hour strike at all EDS sites in Italy on Tuesday, while demonstrations took place in front of local headquarters in Rome, Milan and Rosselsheim in Germany.

"After years of restructuring, EDS had finally stabilised and achieved solid positive results in Europe. The announced dismissals are the largest workforce reduction in the history of EDS. It will have catastrophic consequences for employees, clients and the success of HP in Europe," said UNI-Europa and European Metalworkers' Federation in a statement.

Up to 1,000 HP staff are attending a meeting with HP CEO Mark Hurd at Ascot today.

A protest by trade union Unite, aimed at catching the attention of Hurd during his trip, was called off after the driver of an advertising van called in sick. The driver had been due to circle the roads around the race track, carrying a message against the job cuts, the union said.

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