William Ritz, manager of public relations for Health and Life Sciences and State and Local Government at HP, stressed to WRALTechWire on Thursday that recent layoffs at its operation in Raleigh were not linked to corporate layoffs being made at the direction of CEO Meg Whitman.

“As I wrote [Wednesday] the reductions are NOT part of any corporate realignment; they are the result of the state’s decision to change Medicaid vendors effective next month,” Ritz wrote.

WRALTechWire reported initially that the cutbacks were part of the thousands of layoffs the world’s No. 1 PC maker and tech conglomerate is making. After receiving a copy of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN notice) HP had filed with the state, a story was published citing the loss of the contract as the reason for the cuts.

However, Ritz would not comment when asked about other layoffs HP had made or might make in North Carolina due to the corporate cost cutting.

He also declined to say how many workers have in either Raleigh or the state.

“HP doesn’t break out employment numbers by state or locality,” Ritz said. “I only handle public relations for HP’s health and life sciences unit (Medicaid).”

“HP has considerable government and commercial business in North Carolina. We like doing business in North Carolina and providing opportunities for North Carolinians,” Ritz wrote,  ”and we look forward to growing our North Carolina business in the future.”

Asked why HP issued the WARN notice in June while beginning layoffs in March, Ritz said the WARN report contained an error.

“Regarding the WARN notification, the initial notice contained an error and was amended,” he said. “Workforce reductions began on May 17, not March 17.”

As many as 147 HP workers could lose their jobs.

Not all the 147 workers could be out of work, however, HP says some could find employment else where in the company.

“The actual number of affected individuals may be less than indicated above due to the possibilitythat some of the notified individuals may find a new position elsewhere within thecompany and/or transfer to another HP facility,” HP said in the letter sent to the state of North Carolina.

The cuts were to be completed by either June 14 or June 28, the company said. 

“Each affected individual was given or will be given an equivalent to 60 days of pay and benefits,” HP said.

Jobs affected by the action as cited by HP:

  • 1 Assistant III
  • 2 Clerk II
  • 15 Clerk Ill
  • 14 Clerk IV
  • 1 Financial Analyst II
  • 7 Insurance/Healthcare Cons I
  • 47 Insurance/Healthcare Cons II
  • 14 lnsuraricelHealthcare Cons III
  • 7 lnsurance/Healthcare Cons IV
  • 4 lnsurance/Healthcare Cons V
  • 2 Insurance/Healthcare Cons VI
  • 1 Internal Consultant I
  • 4 ITO Svc Delivery Cons I
  • 17 ITO Svc Delivery Rep II
  • 6 ITO Svc Delivery Rep IV
  • 1 ITO Svc Delivery Rep V
  • 1 Mgr Administrative Services
  • 1 Project Manager Ill-Internal
  • 1 Sup Administrative Services
  • 1 Svc Info Developer IV

Much of that Services business became part of HP when it acquired EDS in 2009 for some $13.9 billion.

According to its website, the Enterprise Services group “provides infrastructure technology outsourcing services, applications services, and industry services, including business process outsourcing to more than 1,700 business and government clients in 90 countries.”

The company says it provides :comprehensive IT services to more than 1,700 business and government clients in 90 countries.”

Just last week at a conference, Whitman said HP had reached the half-way point in a plan to lay off some 27,000 people out of a work force numbering 350,000 by the end of 2013. 

Last month, HP reported a 32 percent drop in earnings for its second quarter.