Renewed HP Pay Strike Threat Could Hit Universal Credit Launch

Strike protest complaint arms fists © Shutterstock Suzanne Tucker

1500 HP workers plan to walk out next Monday

HP faces a renewed threat of strike action over job cuts and pay, which could impact the government’s benefits shake-up with the planned introduction of Universal Credit.

About 1,500 workers, mostly on government contracts, are due to strike on Monday 29 April. The action was called off last week, when HP made a fresh pay offer, but this has been rejected by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) union at meetings, and a 24 hour strike has been planned, which is likely to affect the new benefits system.

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Strike back on

“Work to rule action has now been called by the union commencing Friday 26 April 2013 and a 24 hour strike will follow on Monday 29 April 2013,” PCS branch secretary John Pearson commented to TechWeekEurope. “The action is expected to hit the go live of the government’s new Universal Credit IT system.”

The rejected HP offer amounted to a consolidated increase of 1.6 percent, according to the PCS press statement.  HP is also planning to lay off between 1300 and 1500 workers in the UK before October 2014, the union added.

“Our members are determined to win a settlement that will mean a wage increase in real terms. Hewlett Packard makes a fortune from the work our members do,”  said Alan Brown, PCS full-time official. “Our members create their wealth. A relatively decent wage and job security is the least that they deserve. Our members are determined to win this dispute.”

Of course, the strike could still be called off, if HP improves its offer. “We are always ready to talk,” said a PCS spokesman.

HP has been contacted, but has not yet responded to TechWeekEurope.

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