Feeds

HP faces first ever UK strike action

Big name customers could suffer if staff walk out

The essential guide to IT transformation

HP faces possible strike action from some of its employees in the UK, after trade union Unite announced a vote among its 150 customer engineers, whose jobs are being shifted to a subsidiary firm.

If the strike gets the go-ahead, it will be the first of its kind at HP, which in the past two years has undergone dramatic job culls in a move to cut costs at the computer vendor.

Unite said in a statement that it had begun a ballot that covers home-based customer engineers and support specialists who operate across the UK for HP.

Staff are angry about being shunted over to HP’s subsidiary company HP CDS at the start of next month. Unite claimed the computer giant is removing pay and pension benefits, including a performance bonus scheme worth up to £2,000 and a final salary pension scheme.

"This is HP's highest level of support for its biggest customers - and they're going to be seriously hacked off if there is a strike. It is staggering how the engineers are staying positive when they're being treated like garbage," an ex-HP insider told The Register.

The union said it had served HP seven days notice of the ballot, which kicks off today. The outcome of the vote will be announced in the middle of November, added Unite.

Unite said it had asked workers to vote after a consultative ballot at the start of October came out in support of HP workers downing tools. The computer maker employs around 18,000 staff in the UK.

"Our members face cuts to their pay and pensions and have no choice other than to begin an industrial action ballot,” said Unite national officer Peter Skyte.

“This is the latest in a series of attacks by the company on our members' pay and conditions, while senior executives and shareholders do very well indeed.”

He added that the union was willing to talk to HP to “seek a resolution to this dispute... but not on the basis that one employee’s pay cut results in an HP executive’s pay and bonus increase.”

A HP company spokesman echoed Unite's stance on looking for ways of settling the spat to avoid action.

"HP respects the rights of its employees to be part of a union. We will evaluate the situation as soon as the result of the local ballot is available. We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the union in an attempt to avoid any form of industrial action," he told El Reg. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.