HP Inc. (HPQ) the leading printer and PC maker, announced Thursday that it will lay off 3,000 to 4,000 workers across the board as part of a larger restructuring over the course of the next three years.

The announcement comes along with HP’s fiscal 2017 guidance, foreseeing profits from $1.55 to $1.65 per share, falling in line with analysts’ consensus target of $1.61 per share. The additional job cuts follow HP’s earlier announcement to cut 3,000 positions in 2016. Despite the dismal news, HP wants its workers to know that not all of them will be laid off, indicating some will be placed at contract agencies, reports Business Insider(See also: HP to Cut up to 4,000 Jobs by 2020.)

HP’s History of Job Cuts, Worker Replacements

In light of massive job cuts, HP Inc. has indicated to Business Insider that it may offer affected workers the opportunity to continue their roles as employees at contract agencies. The company stated, “HP has a strong record of success in placing employees in outsourced roles to mitigate the headcount number.” HP has a track record of shifting employees to positions as contract workers from before its 2015 split with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

 

While the offer presents workers with the stability of a job, in the past HP employees reportedly felt slighted by the new jobs with reportedly smaller benefits, lack of seniority and lower pay. Some indicated that they lacked negotiation power, and would be fired without severance if they declined the offer. In one case involving IT provider Ciber Inc., HP employees protested the offer and made their case to management, which in turn renegotiated the deal to provide salaries on par with workers' previous HP earnings.

At the Head of a Declining Industry

HP Inc., which split from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) last November, has experienced particularly tough market conditions in the declining PC and printer markets. As more consumers demand emerging technology, using smartphones and smart devices to perform daily tasks, the company reported significant sales declines including a 14% year-over-year (YOY) decline in its printing business for fiscal Q3. The IDC reports PC shipments down 3.9% YOY to 68 million units, while Gartner indicates a 5.7% market slump indicating the “longest duration of decline in the history of the PC industry.” (See also: PCs: HP Gains on Lenovo, Apple Sales Down.)

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