HP Meg Whitman
HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman.


HP is now trying to rectify a situation in which the company was forcing a few hundred of its employees to take new jobs with giant pay cuts, or be let go with no layoff severance.

Specifically, HP is renegotiating the contracts so that employees who take the new job will make the same salaries as they did with HP and won’t have to take a pay cut, a source close to the situation told us.

The ultimatum

It all started last month, when HP gave a group of several hundred employees in its struggling Enterprise Services unit an unusual layoff ultimatum. HP had lined up a new job for them at one of its partners called Ciber. HP was contracting with Ciber to have the employees continue working on HP projects with HP customers.

The¬†job offers were non-negotiable, employees were told. If they refused, they would still be let go from HP, but wouldn’t qualify for the severance pay that tens of thousands of previously laid-off employees were getting: One week of pay for every year of service. Employees who took the job would also lose other benefits.

This group wasn’t the only group of people that HP turned into contractors by lining up other jobs. HP did a similar thing last month for a group of mostly hourly workers, lining them up jobs at contract agency Adecco. The new job offers from Adecco came in all over the map, with some offered pay cuts and demotions but others raises and promotions, one person close to that situation told us.

HP employees
HP employees. HP/Glassdoor


But with the Ciber offer, job offers were low compared to what they were making at HP and to what the job market offered, several people told us.

We heard that Ciber was offering some people a 30% salary cut. Others said they were offered $20,000 less.

For instance, people making $76,000 as programmers with over 10 years’ experience were offered salaries in the $40,000 to $50,000 range, people told us.

Many employees didn’t take the offers.

And some of them ignored the non-negotiable status and made their case to HP management why this situation was unfair to them and why HP’s customers would be hurt.

And they also took their case to Business Insider. We published a series of articles.

Apparently, standing up against the situation worked.

We just heard from someone involved that HP has gone back to Ciber and renegotiated the labor deal, asking Ciber to match the current salaries of the people HP was moving to Ciber’s payroll.

A representative¬†from HP generally confirmed this to us, saying, “HP has taken additional steps to ensure affected employees are appropriately compensated.”

One person we heard from was extremely relieved, telling us that “in the end, the employees were considered” and this person was ready to get back to work and work hard.

As reported by Business Insider