HP workers go on strike

HP workers in the government and motor industry are going to strike for the whole of Friday in a row over pay and job losses.

1,000 members of the PCS union will be picketing in Newcastle, Washington, Preston and the Fylde Coast, after last minute talks with the computer giant broke down. HP expressed regret that it had failed to resolve the dispute.

The strikers who work for the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), the Ministry of Defence and General Motors, are protesting over the 1,000 job losses that are planned at HP in the first four months of this year. HP has already cut 3,400 staff since 2008 although the company has recorded massive profits.

“Strike action is not a step that our members take lightly,” said Mark Serwotka, PCS union general secretary. “They have worked hard to help the company deliver fourth quarter revenues of $30.8bn, yet have been slapped in the face with job losses and a pay freeze for two years running.

“It is disgraceful that staff should be treated in such a way as they shoulder greater workloads to help generate good profit levels,” he added.

HP has issued a statement saying: “A reasonable offer was put on the table by HP in response to the union’s requests, however this was rejected without a counter offer being proposed by the union.”

HP said it will continue to maintain a dialogue with the union in an attempt to avoid any further action.

*EyeSee Fujitsu workers also go on strike today over the payment and pension issues, with union Unite announcing that it would continue its ongoing strike for five more days. The union claims that by ending its final salary pension plan Fujitsu has effectively cut salaries by up to 20 per cent. It is also unhappy about the current pay freeze at Fujitsu, despite the company making £177 million in profits last year.