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By | Kelly Fiveash 13th November 2008 15:09

'UK workers bear brunt of global HP job losses': Unite

EDS Blighty staff take it on the chin

Unite has hit out at Hewlett-Packard for making more job cuts in Britain - mostly among its EDS staff - than anywhere else in Europe.

The UK’s largest union said yesterday that HP’s decision to axe a quarter of its British staff following the takeover of the IT services firm in August was a mistake.

"This should be a merger for growth not a merger for cuts,” said Unite national officer Peter Skyte.

“HP in the UK is predominantly a services company and critically reliant on people for this. It is completely unacceptable that the UK is bearing the brunt of these global job loses.”

Unite also slammed the UK government’s employment rights and protection policies, arguing that its “light touch approach on regulation and employment legislation” benefited multinationals looking to cut jobs in the UK.

HP said in October it would axe 3,378 jobs in the UK - 90 per cent of them are understood to be EDS staff.

It plans to trim its global workforce by 25,000 - more than seven per cent - over the next two years.

Unite, alongside other European unions, plans to fight the job cuts, even though many of them are not recognised by HP.

A “European day of action” is taking place today with events in the UK, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France and Germany. ®

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