Hewlett-Packard has confirmed that it is cutting 6,000 jobs across Europe. France will take the biggest hit. A quarter of the country’s workforce of nearly 5,000 is being laid off and with other cuts certain in Germany and the UK. Workers who gathered at the company’s headquarters in Paris, heard the details from union representatives. They were told the layoffs will occur between now and 2008.
One angry employee said: “We find this just disgusting, I don’t know if I’m one of those who will lose his job. But we think the entire restructuring package is really not justified.” At its plants throughout Europe Hewlett-Packard has around 45,000 workers. The company says it wants to avoid compulsory layoffs and will try to work out agreements based on voluntary departures. HP says the cuts are part of a restructuring plan to “safeguard the future of the company.
It is being squeezed between two strong competitors. They are IBM at the high end of the market and Dell, which covers the low-cost segment. The unions say that details of where exactly the axe will fall elsewhere in Europe should emerge later this week and next.