Feeds

HP faces first ever UK strike action

Big name customers could suffer if staff walk out

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
Cisco and friends chase WiFi's searing speeds with new cable standard
Cat 5e and Cat 6 are bottlenecks for WLAN access points
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.