French HP workers to strike after layoffs

12th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 12 (AFP) - US computer group Hewlett Packard said Monday it would cut 1,240 jobs in France, about a quarter of its workforce there, but would try to do it through voluntary lay-offs to avoid the costs of direct redundancies.

PARIS, Sept 12 (AFP) - US computer group Hewlett Packard said Monday it would cut 1,240 jobs in France, about a quarter of its workforce there, but would try to do it through voluntary lay-offs to avoid the costs of direct redundancies.

Separately, union sources told AFP that the company planned to slash 5,969 jobs overall in Europe and said workers in France would be called on to strike.

"Hewlett Packard between now and 2008 is going to eliminate 5,969 jobs in Europe, of which 1,240 are in France," said Patrick Nowak, a representative of the CFE-CGC trade union.

He added that an inter-union committee at Hewlett Packard in France was to convene to urge "all workers to down tools from today".

The chief executive at HP in France, Patrick Stark, confirming the lay-offs, said: "As much as is possible, I hope to have sufficient numbers of volunteers to enable us to avoid forced departures."

California-based Hewlett Packard employs 45,000 people in Europe, half of them in Germany, Britain and France. The HP France workforce numbers 4,800.

Nowak denounced the cuts as a "scandal", charging that management did not appreciate "the impact of such a decision on workers".

But Stark said the cutbacks were necessary "to assure the survival in the medium- and long-term" of the company, which had to adapt to changes in the industry and "anticipate future upheaval".

He said all departing employees would be given financial support and assistance in finding other jobs.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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