The Public and Commercial Services trade union has - as expected - opened a ballot calling for work-to-rule action over HPE's plans to axe 166 jobs in Lancashire.
Staff at HPE’s infrastructure outsourcing unit in Lytham who work on public sector contracts, including business for the Department of Work and Pensions, were put at risk of redundancy at the end of January.
The PCS union claims HPE is using the end of the site's lease to relocate all infrastructure technology outsourcing roles to its sites in Cobalt, Newcastle and Erskine, Glasgow. The plan will be carried out in a number of phases throughout 2016 and 2017.
The cuts are part of a major organisational restructure, involving the departure of 30,000 employees over the next couple of years, with the axe falling heavily on Enterprise Services.
PCS industrial officer Richard Murphy said: "HPE’s treatment of its staff at Lytham St Anne's is shabby and shows a complete lack of respect. The staff are working in difficult conditions and under the constant threat of redundancy. HPE’s lack of openness and unwillingness to make concessions show a lack of respect verging on contempt."
The industrial action ballot opened on Tuesday 16 February and closes at noon on Tuesday, 1 March. The ballot is for action short of a strike. This includes an overtime ban, members only working for their contracted hours, taking full break entitlements and not covering for anyone else’s work.
A spokesperson for HPE toldThe Register the company will: "Continue to offer employees and their representatives the opportunity to discuss their concerns with us through all appropriate communication channels." ®