HP to cut 1,300 more UK jobs, say unions

Hewlett-Packard intends to trim 1,300 jobs in the UK as part of a "hell-bent" effort to "butcher" the country's high-tech work force, union officials said today.

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Hewlett-Packard intends to trim 1,300 jobs in the UK as part of a "hell-bent" effort to "butcher" the country's high-tech work force, union officials said today.

The reductions are in addition to 900 HP layoffs that are supposed to be concluded by the end of this month, as well as several thousand other cuts during the past two years, according to Unite.

Meanwhile the PCS, a union representing public sector workers, said that any compulsory redundancies could be met with industrial action. Mark Serwotka, general secretary, said: “Cuts in areas such as Newcastle will have a devastating effect on the local economy and will simply increase the number of people out of work and dependant on welfare benefits.”

An HP spokesman indicated the reported job cuts are part of the company's previously announced plans in June to reduce its workforce by about 9,000 people over a multi-year period.

"HP is in consultation with the appropriate representative bodies within the U.K. regarding potential workforce changes which were announced June 1st, 2010" the spokesman said in a statement. "This is an initiative to transform HP’s enterprise services business to benefit clients through new offerings and improved service delivery.”

HP overall has undergone significant changes in recent months, marked by the high-profile departure of CEO Mark Hurd after a scandal involving alleged falsification of expense reports and a relationship with a company contractor.

The company appointed former SAP CEO Léo Apotheker to replace Hurd last month. Industry observers expect HP to place a stronger focus on its enterprise software business with Apotheker at the helm.

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