HP Softens European Job Cuts
Oct 4, 2005
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Hewlett Packard is ready to reduce 1,240 job cuts in France, the company said in a newspaper interview following strong political pressure against the restructuring. Correspondents in Paris French daily business paper La Tribune reported that HP France chief executive, Patrick Starck, said, "We are open to negotiating, and seriously, not just for a few dozen jobs."

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin had implied last week that the company would reduce the number of planned job cuts in France after discussions with the government.

Under the original plan, Hewlett Packard had announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs in Europe, with 1,240 redundancies intended for France. The planned cuts in France provoked indignation among trades unions and also in political circles.

Starck told the newspaper that France was an important market for the company, its third-biggest in Europe, but that the Hewlett Packard group, being a global business, had to adjust to anticipate changes in demand.

Adjustment in Britain had occurred over 18 months, but in France it was now necessary to make changes all at once.

However, it would be "socially irresponsible" for the company to put off the plan, he said, adding that growth in the company's services and software divisions would enable some employees to change jobs internally. (Australian IT, Reuters)

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