HP Strike Action Called Off By Union

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HP workers have suspended their two-day strike action as talks continue over pay freezes and redundancies

HP staff belonging to the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union have suspended their strike action, planned for Monday and Tuesday, as talks continue at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Industrial action, thought to involve 1,000 PCS members working for HP Enterprise Services division, remains likely however.

This particular strike has been on the cards for a while now however, and concerns the 3,400 staff that HP axed when it acquired outsourcing specialist Electronic Data Systems (EDS) back in 2008. Another 1,000 redundancies are planned during the first four months of this year, the union claimed back in January.

Strike Action
Strike Action

“Strike action is not a step that our members take lightly,” said union secretary Mark Serwotka at that time. “They have worked hard to help the company deliver fourth quarter revenues of $30.8 billion, yet have been slapped in the face with job losses and a pay freeze for two years running. The company needs to start valuing staff and recognise the crucial part they play in its success by giving guarantees on job security and a fair pay rise.”

However the strike, which was to have begun on Monday, has been halted after talks at the reconciliation service ACAS.

“Following a meeting with HP at ACAS on 25 March, where significant progress was made on the issues of pay and job security, PCS has agreed to suspend the current work to rule and strike action planned for 29th and 30th March,” said Jim Hanson, PCS national officer for HP.

“Further talks will take place at ACAS on 30th March, after which the union will review action planned for 6th and 7th April.”

Another IT company that is currently dealing with industrial action is Fujitsu, which is facing industrial action over pensions and its plans to cut around 1,200 jobs in its services arm.

There is little doubt that the recession has hit the IT sector hard and cost cutting has been witnessed across the industry. Earlier this month mobile operator Vodafone announced plans to cut 375 jobs across the UK as part of a £1 billion cost-cutting scheme. Meanwhile aerospace and defence contracting company Boeing has given 60-day layoff notices for 1,020 employees.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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