22 March 2010
Staff working on government contracts in Newcastle, Washington, Preston, Lytham St. Annes and Norcross have already taken three days of strike action and will be walking out in two 48 hour stoppages on 29 and 30 March and 6 and 7 April.
The staff work mainly on IT contracts for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as well as the Ministry of Defence and General Motors. The previous strike action combined with a continuing work to rule has hit the central production of benefit giros for the DWP, disrupted updates to IT systems affecting benefit cheats and other central government information.
There has been growing anger amongst staff since HP took over EDS in August 2008 with 3,400 staff already axed across the UK. Staff have been further angered by the imposition of a pay freeze last year and for 2010 despite the company delivering record revenues worth billions of dollars.
In addition to the strike action, the union will be launching a petition and seeking the support of MPs.
Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "Staff have worked hard to help the company deliver billions of pounds in revenues and feel betrayed by HP’s refusal to address concerns on jobs and pay.
"The escalation of their campaign illustrates the determination of HP staff to achieve guarantees on job security and a fair pay rise. The company needs to start valuing its own workforce and negotiate a settlement that addresses the concerns of the workforce."