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UK HP workers will strike tomorrow

MoD and DWP sites set for walkout

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HP workers are going on strike tomorrow, following talks which delayed the first mooted day of action in December.

Talks between unions and HP ended yesterday without agreement.

About 1,000 people are expected to be involved. They want better job security and better pay as well as recognition of collective bargaining rights for those on standard contracts.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said staff were not taking strike action lightly. However, "they have worked hard to help the company deliver fourth quarter revenues of 30.8 billion dollars yet have been slapped in the face with job losses and a pay freeze for two years running.

"It is disgraceful that staff should be treated in such a way as they shoulder greater workloads to help generate good profit levels."

Four sites will feel the brunt of tomorrow's action: Newcastle, Washington, Preston and near Blackpool. Staff at these centres work mainly for the Department of Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Defence and General Motors.

Those taking industrial action are mostly EDS staff hit by a pay freeze and fears of redundancy since HP took the firm over in 2008. The Public and Commercial Services union believes 3,400 people have lost their jobs since then, and HP wants to cut another 1,000 jobs in the first four months of this year.

HP said it was sorry its "reasonable offer" was rejected by the union and no alternative offered.

"In cooperation with our clients we have put together a plan to mitigate the impact of the action on Friday," the company said. "This will include reducing non-urgent project work and moving resources to ensure all critical work is prioritised.

"We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the union in an attempt to avoid any further form of action." ®

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