PC Workers Get Holiday Furlough – Again

December 9, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - In what has become something of a holiday "tradition," two major personal computer makers are sending workers home without pay for the December holidays.

Personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard is requiring most employees in North America to take off the week of December 23, as HP and Compaq Computer, which HP bought in May, did last year.   Workers can use accrued vacation, but must take the time off without pay if their vacation is used up, according to Reuters, citing a company spokesperson.

Contract workers in HP’s internal technology division will also take off 20 workdays, from December 9 through January 10, during which time regular employees will work on merging the information technology systems of the two merged companies, according to the report.

Gateway will send home nonessential employees without pay December 24 through the end of the year, in an effort to save money (call center and customer support personnel will still be on the job).   Gateway also furloughed workers during the holiday last year.

Hewlett-Packard closed down its operations completely during the July 4 week, asking that workers take vacation time during that period (see  Tech Firms Ask Workers to Stay Home ), as part of the firm’s efforts to “enhance our ability to execute through the current US market softness.”