HP and EDS workers stage Europe-wide protest

EDS and Hewlett-Packard employees will hold a two day action across Europe today (29 Jan) and tomorrow (30 Jan) in protest against plans to cut jobs and freeze wages.

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EDS and Hewlett-Packard employees will hold a two day action across Europe today (29 Jan) and tomorrow (30 Jan) in protest against plans to cut jobs and freeze wages.

The protest comes as HP looks to make up to 3,300 compulsory redundancies across its UK workforce, including its EDS subsidiary, during the first half of 2009.

Members of trade union bodies Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union and Unite will stage the protest outside HP's London office in Wood Street at 9am.

Sister unions in Paris, Belgium and Germany will also be conducting industrial action this week in a protest to job cuts.

Union bodies are calling on HP to stop compulsory redundancies and instead redeploy the existing workforce, or look to re-skilling for jobs at risk.

The unions also warned the company that its remaining workforce will be working "under dangerous levels of stress" and that the quality of service delivery to customers and clients may suffer. EDS works on high-profile contracts with the Ministry of Defence and Department for Work and Pensions.

"Our members are concerned about job security and worried about the contracts that they deliver, like the services that the Ministry of Defence rely on. So there is a concern about the quality of the services the company would be able to provide," said a PCS spokesperson.

Peter Skyte, Unite national officer, said: "This is not about the credit crunch taking its toll again. HP/EDS are cutting a quarter of the UK workforce because this already rich company wants to increase its profits by indiscriminately cost cutting."

"In 2008, HP's profit rose 15 percent to $8.3bn, sales climbed 13 percent to $118.4bn and it is outrageous that HP chief executive Mark Hurd's 2008 compensation rose by 31 percent while his workforce is being forced to make huge sacrifices."

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