Hewlett-Packard announces massive UK job cuts

The world's largest maker of PCs, Hewlett-Packard (HP), has announced it would cut over 1,124 UK jobs in 2014.

The redundancies would hit staff in Bracknell, Sheffield and Warrington early next year.

The cuts form part of a restructuring strategy the computer maker planned last year, in which the company would shed 34,000 jobs globally.

The development signifies tough times ahead for PC makers, who saw demand shrink globally for the past six quarters with projections of a 10.1 per cent fall this year. Demand has suffered with the growing popularity of smart phones and tablets.

The US company confirmed the news after it was apparently leaked last night by the Unite union. According to Unite, HP was "a long-term addict to a culture of job cuts" with its European managers having little autonomy as key decisions were made by the company's American bosses.

According to Unite national officer Ian Tonks, for the last five years HP had been addicted to a culture of job cuts in the UK to such an extent that its highly skilled workforce had little faith in the way the company was being managed and would be going forward.

According to Unite, workers were told about the cuts on Wednesday and a union representative would attend a meeting in Bracknell where the plans would be outlined.

The union expected 618 jobs would be axed at the Bracknell hub, where employees worked at multiple locations. A further 483 jobs would be cut at Warrington and 23 at Sheffield, the union said.

Unite added, many of those facing redundancy either worked from home or had been contracted out to companies.

In a statement, HP said: "The proposed UK workforce management plan is part of HP's global multi-year productivity initiative that was announced on 23 May 2012, and updated at its securities analysts meeting on 9 October 2013, to address current market and business pressures in support of HP's turnaround in Europe, the Middle East and Africa."

The share price of the company had almost doubled over the last year with investors warming to new boss Meg Whitman's efforts to overhaul the company - even amid falling computer sales.

Her plan though came at the expense of HP's workforce as she has cut thousands of jobs at the computer giant's operations around the world.