IBM has confirmed that it will cut 13,000 jobs worldwide, or about 4% of its total workforce.
Most of the job losses will be at IBM’s European operations, with up to 3,000 UK staff expected to be at risk.
IBM, which employs 100,000 staff in Europe, with about 25,000 of those working in the UK., said the plans would cost between $1.3bn (£684m) and $1.7bn.
Union Amicus called the move a “slash and burn” reaction to poor results and called for talks.
“We fear the worst, given that it is quicker, cheaper and easier to get rid of workers in the UK than elsewhere in Europe,” a spokesman told the BBC.
Most of the redundancies in Europe will be voluntary and talks have already begun with unions and worker councils over the timing of the job cuts in Europe, IBM said.
The company is to unveil further details of the shake-up on Thursday.