The UK's largest trade union is balloting its members working at HP on strike action after the company changed the status of some of its engineers and support specialists.
Unite announced the action over HP's planned changes in staffing rules, which would see 150 employees of HP IT services shifted to jobs at HP CDS. The workers would lose final salary pension schemes and performance benefits worth around £2,000.
"Our members face cuts to their pay and pensions and have no choice other than to begin an industrial action ballot. This is the latest in a series of attacks by the company on our members' pay and conditions, while senior executives and shareholders do very well indeed," said Peter Skyte, a Unite national officer.
"Unite remains willing to seek a resolution to this dispute with HP, but not on the basis that one employee's pay cut results in an HP executive's pay and bonus increase."
HP reported profits of £973m its last financial quarter, and claimed that European demand was lower than in any other major market.
The company has already confirmed that it is cutting some UK staff, but has not confirmed numbers. Unite expects 850 jobs to go. HP has already axed jobs at EDS and has repeatedly cut salaries for those staff still employed.
Unite has become increasingly active in the IT sphere, taking on IBM and Fujitsu over pensions and job losses. If the ballot is successful it will be the first time HP has faced a British strike.
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