Chirac wants EC to examine HP cuts

Sept. 20, 2005 at 2:25 PM   |   0 comments

PARIS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- France wants the European Commission to examine proposed job cuts announced by Hewlett Packard in Europe.

French President Jacques Chirac called on his center-right government to ensure the U.S. computer giant respects its obligations to workers, following HP's announcement it planned to cut 6,000 jobs in Europe, including 1,240 in France.

Among the options being floated by Chirac, France 2 television reported Tuesday: Taking the matter to the EC.

Of Hewlett Packard's 45,000 jobs in Europe, half are located in the United Kingdom and France.

Plans by the California company to cut the largest proportional share of its European jobs in France -- roughly a quarter of its 4,800 staffers here -- has sparked outcry.

On Friday, employees went on strike near the French city of Grenoble, where HP's regional headquarters is located.

But Grenoble's deputy mayor, Michel Destot, told France Info radio Tuesday that the Palo Alto, Cali., firm might reconsider some cuts.

In California for talks with HP officials, Destot told France Info he had been told that "negotiations have only just begun" regarding the company's efforts to trim its work force in Europe.

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