One-day work stoppage planned for key HP subsidiary

Issued : 29 July 2010

Engineers and technicians employed by HP Customer Delivery Systems (HP CDS) - which is a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard (HP) Ireland - are to hold a one-day work stoppage next Tuesday (August 3) over management's refusal to engage with their trade union, IBOA, on a number of key issues including job security.

The workers provide essential maintenance services throughout the country for a range of electronic equipment including bank ATM machines and Point-of-Sale devices in shops, for computer systems in a number of Government Departments (including the processing of social welfare cheques) as well as for the ESB's national grid and for mobile phone service providers, Vodafone, O2 and Meteor.

HP CDS staff have raised concerns over job security, redundancy terms, pay, possible transfer and redeployment, as well as the general management culture and issues relating to dignity and respect at work.

Management has signalled its intention to renege on an existing collective agreement with IBOA and has rejected a recent Labour Court Recommendation urging HP CDS to engage in effective dialogue with the Union.\\

IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick, said today that, although the Union had sought meaningful negotiations, management had adopted a wholly negative posture.

"Our members would much prefer to be using their considerable technological expertise for the benefit of their customers next week. But the prehistoric approach to industrial relations being adopted by management in HP CDS in refusing to engage in serious discussions of our members' key concerns has left them with no alternative but to take industrial action.

"We find this approach all the more surprising because IBOA has established a very constructive working relationship with the parent company, HP, on behalf of our members employed in that company.

"However, in its HP CDS subsidiary, despite IBOA repeatedly indicating its willingness to negotiate, local management has refused to enter into meaningful talks by rejecting the positive efforts of the Labour Court and rescinding previous agreements with the Union.

"If management will not engage with us across the table, then we will seek to engage with them on the picket line. In the meantime, we will be asking Mr. Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission to consider the prospects for an intervention by the Commission in order to resolve the current impasse."