Job shock as 80 staff are ‘facing axe’

Hewlett Packard at St Annes

Hewlett Packard at St Annes

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Unions fear more than 80 computer technicians in Fylde face redundancy amid reports a major IT company wants to outsource work to other parts of the UK and abroad.

Just weeks after the go-ahead was given for a 30,000 sq ft retail park at Premium Bonds in St Annes, more than 80 IT jobs are reportedly set to be axed at Hewlett Packard’s (HP) offices on the same site.

A spokesman for the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents members at HP, said the company is making redundancies cross the North West, moving the jobs to Newcastle, Scotland and India.

John Pearson, secretary of PCS’s HP North West branch, said: “HP has given notice of close to 600 redundancies to take place on July 31. It looks like more than 80 of these will be at our St Annes site.

“The entire development staff working on major Department for Work and Pension systems such as Jobseekers Allowance payments, the new personal independence payments and the central payments system and audit trail analysis system, are on the redundancies list.”

Mr Pearson said although jobs could be saved before the July 31 deadline, it was “extremely unlikely”.

He added: “The union wants HP to end the transfer of jobs abroad, end its widespread hiring of self-employed contractors and give guarantees no union members will be forced into compulsory redundancy and that sites such as St Annes have a future.”

St Annes Town Mayor and Heyhouses Coun Viv Willder, herself a former civil service worker at the site, said the job cut claims were “devastating” news.

A Hewlett Packard spokesman refused to comment on the exact number of redundancies, but added: “We are in consultation with our HP UK Works Council and recognised trade unions about some workforce reduction activity that will take place. Employees in the parts of HP that are likely to be affected have been informed at a top level, however while we work through the consultation process our efforts remain focused on mitigating against compulsory redundancies wherever possible through providing support to impacted employees on redeployment opportunities within the wider HP.”

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