By Claire West
Computer firm Hewlett Packard could face industrial action by staff in the UK if it goes ahead with plans to cut 1,300 jobs, the Public and Commercial Services union warns.
HP claims the redundancies are necessary because of business "tail off" and to make best use of "shoring opportunities". The union - which represents 2,500 staff in HP - condemned the move that comes as the company continues to make vast profits.
In 2009 HP declared global profits of 8 billion US dollars and its then chief executive Mark Hurd received a total reward package of 24 million US dollars. All of the accounts employing PCS members - mainly providing IT services to central government, including the Department for Work and Pensions and Ministry of Defence - are profitable.
The union has pledged to campaign to save the jobs and says this will include industrial action in the event of any PCS member facing compulsory redundancy. The government should also consider the overall economic impact on local communities and welfare benefits before giving the green light to HP to deliver UK public sector work from overseas, the union says.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This is not being driven by financial necessity, but by Hewlett Packard's relentless obsession with profit.
"It's shameful that a company as wealthy as this should seek to make even more money by sacking loyal workers who helped to earn those profits. Cuts in areas such as Newcastle will have a devastating effect on the local economy and will simply increase the number of people out of work and dependant on welfare benefits."