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HP UK: meeting unions over staff redundancy plans

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HP has confirmed it will convene with unions reps in a bid to thrash out the number of UK workers that could get the heave-ho over the next 90 days.

Consultation began on 30 January "regarding potential workforce changes" that have been pencilled in by management for HP's fiscal Q2, which started this month.

"Collective consultation meetings with the HP UK works council and trade unions will take place… on 4 and 6 February respectively," the vendor confirmed in a statement sent to The Channel.

The latest cull is all part of CEO Meg Whitman's global 'Make It Better' programme that initially involved 27k redundancies but has since swelled to 29k and then onto between 33k to 34k.

Some 7,100 folk across HP Europe are to be shown the door, as revealed by El Chan last year, with Unite the union claiming in December that more than 1,100 of these will come from the UK.

HP reminded us today that the sacking fest is to "address current market and business pressures", but that it will be looking at internal initiatives including "re-skilling, redeployment and support to obtain alternative employment".

During the redundancy process HP has been continually criticised by the European Work Council and local unions for what they claimed was a failure to properly consult with staff.

It is understood that unions want to ascertain if HP will shift more redundancies to the UK and relocate roles in areas of Europe where average salaries are lower than, a fear already expressed to us.

HP refused to make any further statement on this issue, but HP staff will no doubt be interested to learn of a separate, unrelated filing the company made in the US related to fiscal 2013.

In HP's yearly proxy filing with the SEC, it confirmed CEO Whitman received stock options worth $12.7m and enterprise wing president Bill Veghte was paid $15.6m in stock, bonuses and base salary.

The filing also shows that Dion Weisler, the Brit that HP hauled in to run the PC and printer biz worldwide, got $9.2m in stock and bonuses, while the man he replaced, Todd Bradley, made $9.3m. ®

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