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HP targets compulsory redundancies at EDS UK

'You wouldn't jump, so get ready for the push'

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HP will start compulsory redundancies at subsidiary EDS in the UK after failing to find enough volunteers willing to give up their jobs.

Restructuring as a result of the merger was announced in September. As we reported at the time 633 people put their hands up to leave EDS. An internal email seen by The Register reveals that HP has received "in excess of 780 expressions of interest" - HP refused to discuss numbers so we don't know if this figure includes the original 633 or not.

In total HP wants to cut 3,378 jobs from the combined firm during the first half of 2009.

The email said that the low level of interest meant the firm "will not meet the synergy targets for H1 2009 through this VR program and we will have to move to compulsory redundancies".

HP would not tell us how many people within the ITO-BPO and Apps department the email was sent to but it states: "As you occupy a role within a group from which a selection for redundancy will be made, this letter is to formally advise that you will be included in the selection process."

Individual employees will be given a score based on what skills they have which might be useful to the future of the business. Those with lowest scores will be offered redundancy.

Management began telling staff earlier this week.

Peter Skyte, Unite union's national officer for IT, said: "There is limited overlap or duplication of roles in the UK - these cuts are about throwing red meat to Wall Street. It's been a hasty timetable driven by the quarterly reporting cycle.

"We have other concerns too - it is normal in these situations to remove contractors and temps first - there's been minimum reductions in these staff. There is also disquiet about what these job cuts will mean for the workload of staff who remain."

HP sent us the following statement:

HP confirms that notifications in the UK&I are currently taking place relating to those positions affected by WFR [Work Force Reduction] associated with the integration of EDS into HP.

HP has previously announced that on 25 September 2008, it submitted specific information about Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Workforce Management activities to the HP and EDS European Works Council (EWC) related to the HP integration of EDS, which in turn was announced on 15th September 2008.

HP stated that it expected the Workforce Management exercise in EMEA to affect approximately 9,300 employees over a two year period, with roughly half of these positions replaced to create a global workforce that has the right blend of services and delivery capabilities to address the diversity of its EMEA markets and customers.

Where possible we will look to redeploy impacted individuals.

HP is also providing staff with an "outplacement service" and counselling. ®

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