I'm a non-CW HP employee. What you heard anout September is true. In July, we just had you all's first furlough. Some CWs were exceptions as the most productive ones got chosen to continue to work. This might answer your first question. It's really favortism as your manager will make decisions based on your level of output.
In regards to your second question, I have not heard about that. However, I'm not really if this will be a huge issue. The problem is that HP expanded too big too quickly, meaning that we hired way too quickly, expecting more growth than what's possible. So, now we've hit the peak of demand, we are going to come back down for a little while... and because HP is going to avoid laying off a lot of non-CWs, there are going to be unorthodox measures. Our investors have two main unrealistic expectations: infinite growth and massive free cash flow for good dividends. HP is going to be penny-pinching big time. It's also HP's fault for providing larger dividends so early.
Your last question is difficult to answer because it's hypothetical. HP will start laying off non-CWs if there is no longer any plans to provide steady investment for a particular strategy. If you have to ask yourself if HP is really focused on the strategy your manager is providing to the company, that can be a dangerous sign. I was laid off from our sister company, HPE, in 2020 BEFORE our CWs, along with six other people in my organization. The best part, those CWs are now full fledged HPE employees today. But I knew my layoff was coming because I knew how the company was already treating the org even before covid. You'll never see a shortage of CWs at HP. There will always be someone who will want to work for half of your salary or less.