Union ballot in fight to salvage Fylde IT jobs

The site on Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, which is already being partly developed

The site on Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, which is already being partly developed

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Fylde IT workers whose jobs are at risk are balloting for industrial action.

Around 166 staff working for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at offices on Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, will be affected by plans to move their jobs to Newcastle and Glasgow when the lease on the site comes to an end.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is pressing for some roles to be retained in the North West in order to avoid redundancies.

But with no satisfactory response to its demand for a commitment to no compulsory redundancies, a ballot for industrial action has been launched, with workers having until March 1 to vote.

Workers, who provide IT services to the Department for Work and Pensions, are also angry no detailed timetable of the plans to move jobs and close the St Annes site has been forthcoming.

PCS industrial officer Richard Murphy said: “HPE’s treatment of its staff at St Annes is shabby and shows a complete lack of respect.

“The staff are working in difficult conditions and under the constant threat of redundancy.

“HPE’s lack of openness and unwillingness to make concessions show a lack of respect verging on contempt.”

The site is being redeveloped with a new pub and Booths supermarket already open, and 250 houses being built.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies is backing the calls to keep jobs ideally on the Fylde coast, or at least in the North West so staff can commute.

He has met with government ministers in a bid to put pressure on HPE.

A spokesman for Hewlett Packard said: ““HPE respects the rights of its employees to participate in this process. The company will continue to offer employees and their representatives the opportunity to discuss their concerns with us through all appropriate communication channels.”