Unite: HP 'addicted to culture of job cuts' as axe raised again

Over 1,100 workers set to walk the plank by January – union


The brothers at Unite have slammed HP for being a "long term addict to a culture of job cuts" as the union bemoaned the loss of a claimed 1,124 UK staffers due to collect their P45s by January.

The redundancies are part of the 7,100 mass layoffs across Europe that HP is pushing through before the end of the current fiscal year - next November - as revealed by The Channel.

Stating the bleeding obvious to anyone with more than a passing involvement with HP, Unite said today the European managers at the vendor are merely doing the bidding of their US bosses.

"For the last five years HP has been addicted to a culture of job cuts in the UK to such as extent that its highly skilled workforce has little faith in the way that the company is being managed," said Ian Tonks, Unite national officer.

Unite said HP blamed "falling [customer] demand and reorganisation" for the cuts, and fingered "618 people in Bracknell, 483 in Warrington and 23 in Sheffield" as facing redundancy. Many of these people work remotely or at organisations employing HP, the union claimed.

The European Works Council last year sued HP and ripped up its works council agreement, saying efforts to consult over the planned mass redundancies had been obstructed by the vendor.

The pair quickly sat down at the negotiating table again, but those protracted discussions have once more left the EWC frustrated.

Tonks at Unite said that at a recent EWC meeting, HPers had been unable to answer specific questions about the future of EWC "as they could not get hold of their American bosses because of last week's Thanksgiving holiday. It's no wonder there is so little faith in the European management."

He added Unite will be "doing everything possible to mitigate these job losses which are a hammer blow to the UK's IT sector and very distressing for employees in the run-up to Christmas".

But talk is cheap and both Unite and the wider EWC have so far failed to derail HP job-slashing on this side of the pond.

The "Make It Better" programme launched by CEO Meg Whitman in 2012 initially involved 27,000 job cuts, which was later raised to 29,000. But more recently, during Q3 this calendar year, HP said the reduction could be up to 15 per cent higher than first planned - taking the total to between 33k to 34k.

Nearly 25,000 people are understood to have left HP since it all began in the summer of 2012.

In a statement, HP told us it had "commenced consultation for Q1 FY14 (November to January) in the UK regarding potential workforce changes for 2014".

It added: "The move is to "address current market and business pressures in support of HP's turnaround in EMEA.

"HP remains committed to supporting the employability of its employees through a number of internal initiatives, including re-skilling, redeployment and support to obtain alternative employment." ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Share your experience: How does your organization introduce new systems?

    The answer is rarely obvious. Take part in our short poll and we'll find out together

    Reg Reader Survey The introduction of new systems into an organization is essential. If we stay still, if we continue to rely on legacy systems, if we fail to innovate – well, we (or, in reality, the company) will die. As business guru Sir John Harvey-Jones once put it: “If you are doing things the same way as two years ago, you are almost certainly doing them wrong.”

    But who should lead innovation in our companies? Who should be introducing new systems? The answer is not obvious.

    On one hand, the introduction of new systems into the business should be led by the business. In principle, the people doing the work, dealing with the suppliers, selling to the customers, are best placed to be standing up and saying: “We need the system to do X,” whether their motivation be to reduce cost, increase revenues, make products more efficiently, or even bolster our environmental credentials.

    Continue reading
  • These Rapoo webcams won't blow your mind, but they also won't break the bank

    And they're almost certainly better than a laptop jowel-cam

    Review It has been a long 20 months since Lockdown 1.0, and despite the best efforts of Google and Zoom et al to filter out the worst effects of built-in laptop webcams, a replacement might be in order for the long haul ahead.

    With this in mind, El Reg's intrepid reviews desk looked at a pair of inexpensive Rapoo webcams in search for an alternative to the horror of our Dell XPS nose-cam.

    Rapoo sent us its higher-end XW2K, a 2K 30fps device and, at the other end of the scale, the 720p XW170. Neither will break the bank, coming in at around £40 and £25 respectively from online retailers, but do include some handy features, such as autofocus and a noise cancelling microphone.

    Continue reading
  • It's one thing to have the world in your hands – what are you going to do with it?

    Google won the patent battle against ART+COM, but we were left with little more than a toy

    Column I used to think technology could change the world. Google's vision is different: it just wants you to sort of play with the world. That's fun, but it's not as powerful as it could be.

    Despite the fact that it often gives me a stomach-churning sense of motion sickness, I've been spending quite a bit of time lately fully immersed in Google Earth VR. Pop down inside a major city centre – Sydney, San Francisco or London – and the intense data-gathering work performed by Google's global fleet of scanning vehicles shows up in eye-popping detail.

    Buildings are rendered photorealistically, using the mathematics of photogrammetry to extrude three-dimensional solids from multiple two-dimensional images. Trees resolve across successive passes from childlike lollipops into complex textured forms. Yet what should feel absolutely real seems exactly the opposite – leaving me cold, as though I've stumbled onto a global-scale miniature train set, built by someone with too much time on their hands. What good is it, really?

    Continue reading
  • Why Cloud First should not have to mean Cloud Everywhere

    HPE urges 'consciously hybrid' strategy for UK public sector

    Sponsored In 2013, the UK government heralded Cloud First, a ground-breaking strategy to drive cloud adoption across the public sector. Eight years on, and much of UK public sector IT still runs on-premises - and all too often - on obsolete technologies.

    Today the government‘s message boils down to “cloud first, if you can” - perhaps in recognition that modernising complex legacy systems is hard. But in the private sector today, enterprises are typically mixing and matching cloud and on-premises infrastructure, according to the best business fit for their needs.

    The UK government should also adopt a “consciously hybrid” approach, according to HPE, The global technology company is calling for the entire IT industry to step up so that the public sector can modernise where needed and keep up with innovation: “We’re calling for a collective IT industry response to the problem,” says Russell MacDonald, HPE strategic advisor to the public sector.

    Continue reading
  • A Raspberry Pi HAT for the Lego Technic fan

    Sneaking in programming under the guise of plastic bricks

    There is good news for the intersection of Lego and Raspberry Pi fans today, as a new HAT (the delightfully named Hardware Attached on Top) will be unveiled for the diminutive computer to control Technic motors and sensors.

    Continue reading
  • Reg scribe spends week being watched by government Bluetooth wristband, emerges to more surveillance

    Home quarantine week was the price for an overseas trip, ongoing observation is the price of COVID-19

    Feature My family and I recently returned to Singapore after an overseas trip that, for the first time in over a year, did not require the ordeal of two weeks of quarantine in a hotel room.

    Instead, returning travelers are required to stay at home, wear a government-issued tracking device, and stay within range of a government-issued Bluetooth beacon at all times for a week … or else. No visitors are allowed and only a medical emergency is a ticket out. But that sounded easy compared to the hotel quarantine we endured in 2020.

    Continue reading
  • Intel teases 'software-defined silicon' with Linux kernel contribution – and won't say why

    It might enable activation of entirely new features on existing Xeon CPUs … or, you know, not

    Intel has teased a new tech it calls "Software Defined Silicon" (SDSi) but is saying almost nothing about it – and has told The Register it could amount to nothing.

    SDSi popped up around three weeks ago in a post to the Linux Kernel mailing list, in which an Intel Linux software engineer named David Box described it as "a post-manufacturing mechanism for activating additional silicon features".

    "Features are enabled through a license activation process," he wrote. "The SDSi driver provides a per-socket, ioctl interface for applications to perform three main provisioning functions." Those provisioning functions are:

    Continue reading
  • Chip manufacturers are going back to the future for automotive silicon

    Where we're going, we don't need 5nm

    Analysis Cars are gaining momentum as computers on wheels, though chip manufacturers' auto focus isn't on making components using the latest and greatest fabrication nodes.

    Instead, companies that include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Globalfoundries are turning back the clock and investing billions in factories that use older manufacturing techniques to make chips for vehicles.

    The rapid digitization and electrification of cars has created a giant demand for smaller, more power-efficient auto chips, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. He added that cars don't necessarily need the latest manufacturing processes, though, and many are still using analog-based components for various functions.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021