Hewlett Packard to axe 1,300 jobs

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Computer giant Hewlett Packard is to axe 1,300 jobs in the UK and switch work overseas, union leaders said today.

Unite branded the news "butchery", saying the cuts came on top of 900 job losses announced in June to take place by the end of October.

Nearly 4,000 jobs have now been cut by the company throughout the UK over the past two years, with the figure now set to rise to almost 6,000, said Unite.

National officer Peter Skyte said: "Despite significant profits HP appears hell-bent on continuing to butcher its highly skilled UK workforce.

"It is increasingly difficult for HP employees in the UK to plan for their futures when the threat of redundancy is continually hanging over their heads. Morale is at an all time low.

"Lax employment protection in the UK compared to other European countries means that the UK is bearing the brunt of cuts, as it's quicker and cheaper to sack UK people and export their jobs abroad."

Unite said the cuts brought into question the Government's assumption that the hi-tech private sector will spark growth and new jobs in the UK.

"These job cuts mainly involve the export of jobs to HP locations outside the UK," said Mr Skyte. "On the evidence of these cuts, the UK Government's belief that the hi-tech private sector will be the motor for growth and new jobs is largely a mirage."

The company has sites across the UK, including in Belfast, Bracknell, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Erskine (Scotland), Hook (Hampshire), London, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Peterlee, Sheffield, Uxbridge, Warrington and Washington.