UK employees at Hewlett-Packard (HP) face an anxious wait over their future after the IT giant announced it would be cutting 9,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to save up to $700m (£476m).
The move comes as part of HP’s plans to consolidate the data centres and management platforms it uses to deliver services to its clients, taking the opportunity to automate many aspects of its work.
The job cuts – details of which have not been confirmed – will come over a number of years and are expected result in savings of between $500m (£340m) and $700m (£476m) after reinvestment.
When HP announced a deal to buy IT services firm EDS in 2008, it revealed plans to lay off about 24,600 workers over three years. HP said at the time it would replace about half of those positions. These latest are not part of those reductions, according to a spokeswoman.
The move has angered unions, which have been involved in a number of disputes with HP over recent years, with workers from various offices around the UK threatening to strike over pay freezes, pension plan payments and redundancies.
Jim Hansen, national officer at the Public and Commercial Services union, said that he is “deeply concerned” to hear of the planned redundancies.
“The UK arm of HP had already suffered its share of cuts in the last two years yet, since the acquisition of EDS, it has posted huge profits,” he told technology website V3.co.uk. “We are very surprised to hear HP has announced this through the press without consulting us first,” he said.