The Channel logo

News

By | Paul Kunert 1st February 2013 15:49

HP workers halt legal fight against bosses over 29,000 job cuts

Disagreements settled, negotiations resumed

HP employees have "withdrawn" legal action against the company and agreed to return to the negotiating table to hear CEO Meg Whitman's plan to cut 29,000 jobs.

The collective of HP workers, who are supported by numerous unions, sued the vendor and claimed it had not properly consulted staff and made the redundancy process difficult to understand.

The case was brought by HP's European Works Council (EWC) to a Belgium court in late November to demand "urgent and temporary measures"; an initial hearing was due to take place last week.

But Koen Dries, a lawyer representing the EWC - made up of 44 representatives - said "silent diplomacy" between the council, unions IndustriALL and Uni-Europa and HP resolved some issues.

"We settled our disagreement," he said, but would not be more specific. It is understood the staff body hopes to reform under the European Works Council directive with new legal powers to force HP to carry out a proper consultation in future.

"The re-establishment of the social dialogue and the acceptance of the EU framework on information and consultation, will benefit all stakeholders of HP and will hopefully inspire other non-EU IT companies," Dries added.

An HP spokeswoman said "renewed social dialogue is in the best interests of the employees and the company", adding: "The legal action will now be discontinued as part of the understanding that the two sides have reached." ®

comment icon Read 9 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Woman cuddles 'sly-looking' Fennec fox. Photo by Shutterstock
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Frank Jennings

It's not like my boss painstakingly nurtured the contacts, right?

Features

Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock
Middle-class terror of engineering also part of problem
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world