HP plans to slash 3,378 jobs over two years following its acquisition of EDS, in a move that has angered the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

HP confirmed today that 3,378 UK jobs over the next two years would be targetted under the company's integration plan that will see the loss of 24,600 jobs globally, including 9,300 from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

HP hinted that some of the 9,300 EMEA positions targeted will be moved offshore, stating "roughly half" will be "replaced to create a global workforce that has the right blend of services and delivery capabilities to address the diversity of its EMEA markets and customers".

"Where possible we will redeploy impacted individuals," said HP in an emailed statement.

But the PCS, which represent 2,000 EDS staff, condemned the announcement and said it would "vigorously oppose" any moves to impose compulsory redundancies.

“Our worst fears have been confirmed. We feared 3,000 job losses for the UK, and the figure is even higher," said Jim Hanson, PCS national officer for EDS.

"For the last 18 months we have already seen job cuts in EDS with a voluntary redundancy exercise already in progress. It is disappointing that these figures have been made public before we have discussed how they have been arrived at.”

EDS manage high-profile contracts with government departments, including the Department for Work and Pensions and Ministry of Defence . The union warned that the delivery of public services could be affected due to the job cuts.

General secretary Mark Serwotka added: "This announcement creates further uncertainty with little or no detail of where the axe will fall and comes as a huge blow to the workforce in the time of economic turmoil. Our concerns about government IT contracts in the MoD and DWP will not be alleviated by this announcement.

"It’s not just jobs that are at risk, but the delivery of public services that rely on IT services provided by the former EDS. We will be pressing management for more detail and assurances on compulsory redundancies and service levels in this period a massive economic uncertainty.”

But Ovum analyst David Mitchell said: "HP/EDS are not likely to do anything that will damage existing customer contacts or future business. HP has had a long reputation of running a customer-focused business and they won’t do anything to damage that. There is absolutely no mileage for HP/EDS in damaging current public sector business by cutting costs in appropriate places and damaging customer relationships. It would be penny-wise, pound foolish."

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