Protests Against Hewlett-Packard Mar Mobile World Congress 2011

Posted: Feb 17 2011, 1:32pm CST | by , in Rumors | MWC

Protests Against Hewlett-Packard Mar Mobile World Congress 2011
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Activism and computer people, together at last.

10:45 AM, Fira Barcelona. The last day of the Mobile World Congress opened to the shouts and jeers of roughly two dozen disgruntled workers. These former-HP employees were on a mission to raise awareness about the domestic impact of Hewlett-Packard's "cost cutting". The company plans to axe some five thousand employees across Europe, despite a solid Q4 and growing profits. /

One hundred Spanish workers were fired last year in an attempt to bolster company profits. Layoffs are expected to continue into 2011. Since Spain currently has a youth unemployment rate of around 20%, this is quite the hot-button issue in Barcelona. Cornelia Rodriguez, European Works Council representative, claims that many of those fired workers were replaced with lower-paid replacements in a manner of days.

On a legal level, it's hard to say whether or not HP is in the right. They aren't doing anything but trying to maximize profits, albeit at the cost of quality-of-life for hundreds of people. The question of whether or not HP is in the right will have to be answered by consumer dollars. If you're angry about the treatment of their workforce, don't continue to support their growth.

I spent a fair chunk of my day trying to hunt down HP representatives. Sadly, their only booth at the show was staffed with people who knew nothing about the layoffs. I'm reaching out to the company for a response, but the PR people on-site just gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look when I asked. We'll keep you updated when and if HP responds.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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