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    Highlights for week ending June 30, 2001
  • Reuters: IBM Services Unit Cuts Jobs, But Says Still Hiring. "International Business Machines Corp's services unit is laying off some U.S. employees but is continuing to hire and will end the year with a net gain in head count, a spokeswoman said on Monday."
  • See the latest regarding lawsuits against IBM concerning pension and retiree medical issues.

  • Employee Benefits Institute of America: Failure to Answer Employee's Questions About Enhanced Benefits Under Serious Consideration Was Fiduciary Breach. Excerpt: "The employee in this case missed out on enhanced early retirement benefits because he retired six weeks before the benefits were announced. He later sued the company, under ERISA arguing that the benefits in question were under serious consideration at the time the employee made inquiries about whether enhancements would be provided and that therefore the company breached its fiduciary duties to the employee by failing to tell him about the anticipated benefits."
    • Janet Krueger provides this advice: "Anyone considering retirement should periodically (at least once a year) ask the plan sponsor for a copy of any plan amendments that have been filed, as well as information about any plan amendments that are pending that would effect your plan benefits. To do this, all you need to is send a note to pension/raleigh/ibm@us.ibm.com and include your full name, your employee number, and a mailing address." Read Ms. Krueger's complete posting...

  • USA Today: Tax cut shrinks projected surplus. Excerpt: The new tax cut, coupled with falling corporate tax revenue, has gobbled up three-quarters of the projected federal budget surplus through 2004, a revised Congressional Budget Office estimate reveals. As the surplus shrinks, budget experts from both parties now say Congress and President Bush will have to tap funds reserved for Medicare to pay for the spending increases they want for the fiscal year that begins in October. Dipping into Medicare is something lawmakers and the White House have vowed not to do.

  • Binghamton (N.Y.) Press & Sun-Bulletin: IBM eliminates 200 temporary jobs at Microelectronics.
  • How one of IBM's competitors handles slowdowns, an alternative to layoffs where even the CEO pays a price.

  • IBM employee Jamshyd Taylor writes an eloquent letter to J.R. MacDonald, IBM's H.R. Director. Excerpt: "Tell me, when you entered the business world, was it your intention to build your wealth by disrupting the lives of thousands of loyal workers. Do you really feel that building a permanent climate of uncertainty is the way to incent loyalty to this once great institution? Was it your intention to destroy the reputation of IBM as one of the greatest successful and ethical businesses of all time by abandoning one of the finest moral codes in the history of business - the Basic Beliefs?"

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Union activists confront IBM. Big Blue tries to fight off court ruling. Excerpt: "Another initiative is the IBM Employee Benefit Action Coalition. It organized a federal lawsuit against IBM on the pension issue, now in the Southern District of Illinois. Janet Krueger, a spokeswoman for IEBAC, said the sides are arguing for and against class-action certification. The case, Kathi Cooper vs. IBM, could affect 100,000 IBM employees, she said."

    "IBM claims the suit has no merit. It was brought in November 1999, and has not been dismissed as IBM seeks. But Krueger said it takes years for such suits to wind up."

    ‘‘'Some people are very frustrated that things have taken so long,' she said. 'It’s hard to stay so mad about things for so long.' Most of those who stand to collect if Cooper wins are middle-aged and will be able to use winnings in retirement, she said."

    "Activists may not be done with their wrestling with IBM. 'We’re looking at filing suit on behalf of retirees that are now paying such a huge share of their medical benefits,' Krueger said. 'And they don’t have nearly the time to sit and wait as we did.'" If link is broken, view Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--132 KB].

  • New York Times: The Standard Checkup? Well, Not Exactly. Excerpts: "For most Americans, the era of managed care has meant brusque treatment from overworked medical personnel, 15-minute doctors' appointments, endless waits for simple diagnostic tests and byzantine health insurance procedures. But when price is no object, there is an alternative—a growing number of alternatives, in fact, as more hospitals and clinics are offering gilt-edged services aimed at those who are used to going to the head of the line." "Rates for executive physicals at the best-known centers are $1,500 to $3,000, depending upon the tests selected. Since the examinations are considered preventive care, health-insurance plans almost never cover them. But many corporations pick up the tab as a perk for their top executives." If link is broken, view Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--31 KB].


"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.