HP to cut 1,300 jobs in UK, says Unite

Hewlett-Packard is to cut 1,300 jobs in the UK, according to trade union Unite.

The cuts form part of the 9,000 redundancies that HP announced in June, Unite says. They are in addition to 900 UK job cuts that the company also announced that month.

“HP is in consultation with the appropriate representative bodies within the UK regarding potential workforce changes which were announced June 1st, 2010," said the company in a statement regarding the news. 

Many of the 1,300 UK jobs will be moved to offshore locations, the union claims. Unite spokesman Peter Skyte described the cuts as “relentless” and said the UK’s employment law made it a particular target for redundancies.

"Lax employment protection in the UK compared to other European countries means that the UK is bearing the brunt of cuts, as it’s quicker and cheaper to sack UK people and export their jobs abroad,” he said.

HP employs around 16,000 people in the UK.

When HP announced the 9,000 redundancies earlier this year, it said the cuts were a result of “productivity gains and automation” in its data centre operations.

Many were sceptical of this explanation, however. “If you can replace 9,000 jobs with ‘automation’ you must have just invented some earth-shattering technology,” remarked RedMonk analyst Michael Coté at the time.

Speaking in London last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he believed cloud computing would lead to the automation of around 10% to 15% of jobs in the IT sector.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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