Hewlett Packard (HP) employees oppose the merger with Compaq by a 2:1 margin, according to a survey by David W. Packard.
The survey of 445 employees, conducted by Field Research, found that 38 per cent of workers strongly oppose the deal, 25 per cent somewhat oppose the deal, 20 per cent somewhat favour the deal and 11 per cent are in favour of it. Some six per cent had no opinion.
The poll will boost the heirs of the original HP founders in their battle against the board's plans to merge with Compaq.
Hewlett and Packard family members and foundations, which represent 18 per cent of HP shareholders, have announced their opposition to the deal, which requires the majority of votes cast to be in favour, with each share being worth one vote in an election slated for 19 March.
However, an HP spokeswoman maintained that the survey was not representative of HP's overall employee population as it was only carried out in one site in Corvallis, part of HP's imaging and printing businesses. She said that it focused on one part of the company's business in only one country.
HP has claimed that its own internal polling shows that the majority of workers support the deal. But there were also questions about the way in which this particular poll was carried out.
Some of HP's surveys contained only four possible responses: 'very supportive', 'somewhat supportive', 'not supportive at all' and 'unknown'. Those who answered 'somewhat supportive' were counted among those in support of the deal. There was also no 'somewhat unsupportive' option.
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