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    Highlights for week ending November 2, 2002
  • "i_be_mad_as_heck" provides statistics from the 2001 Server Group "resource action" showing apparent age discrimination. Included are numbers and charts illustrating a) employee age distribution after the resource action, and b) layoff rates by age group.


  • From "anotherpuppylover": "If you are over 40 and you've been laid off from the Essex Junction IBM plant in Vermont, you should consider filing an age discrimination complaint. It's free and with the new simplified form it's very easy. Fill in the form and mail it the address listed on page 4. The VT Attorney General's office will send you a form that you have to sign witnessed by a notary public (it's free from any bank or town office). Mail the form back in the provided postage-paid envelope. You're done!" ... "The simplified EEOC complaint can be obtained from http://www.allianceibm.org/BTV/EEOCageform.htm. No logon is required and the form has nothing to do with the union.


  • Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin: State grant helps retrain workers laid off from IBM. Excerpt: "Seventy-four percent of affected IBM staff are 40 years and older, so it's particularly important to provide comprehensive services," DTED Commissioner Rebecca Yanisch said in a written announcement." (Emphasis added by editor of www.ibmemployee.com).


  • "rosiethemba" describes the software that IBM uses to assist in the selection of employees to layoff. Excerpts: "IBM uses 'PeopleClick' software to analyze their layoff data...a module PeopleClick calls their 'Adverse Impact Monitor'." ... "The founder of PeopleClick is a former Duke University Economics professor. He was ousted from the Duke Fuqua Business School, and demoted to the Duke economics department. With his own company, he now advises IBM on how to uses statistics to skirt the EEOC laws, that is give appearances that IBM is not breaking the law." ... "Look who from IBM sits on PeopleClick's board..."


  • An IBM retiree, "Don", comments on the cost of his IBM retiree medical plan. Excerpt: "For 2003 the medical that originally cost about $17/month when the premiums first started is now over $400/month. Of course, there has been no equivalent COLA increase in my pension. Actually, there hasn't been any kind of COLA since I retired in 1997. The only way I'll be able to collect IBM's promised lifetime medical is to die soon."


  • Anthony J. Bruno, an IBM retiree since 1997, contrasts IBM's treatment of its retirees with that of its executives. Excerpt: "Like others who retired from IBM I expected IBM to keep the commitment restated each year in our Employee Benefits literature, such as paid medical. IBM changed this practice, along with others during the difficult years of the early 90s. But as our company's fortunes improved and the executives reaped enormous stock option windfalls, the burden of paying for medical coverage was still on the shoulders of retirees."


  • "wantedtortire", an IBM retiree for less than a year, compares the contributions he made while working, and while retired, to the IBM medical plan. Excerpt: "I voluntarily retired from IBM less than a year ago and (luckily) qualified for the "old" plan and had more than my 30 years in. As an active employee my monthly contribution to health care for myself and spouse was under $100. Last year (after retirement) my rate went to $216 per month for exactly the same coverage. Now, a year later the exact same coverage will be costing me $506 a month. That's as 'apples to apples' as there is. Absolutely nothing has changed - same wife, same house, same car, and same dog." ... "As CPR put it awhile back, IBM Retiree Health Care (and active employee also) has become still another profit center to prop up EPS and create the large executive bonuses given both the stock market and business is down."


  • Linda Guyer comments on a suggestion that someone start a class action suit against IBM because of retirement medical benefits reductions. Excerpt: "The Alliance investigated this possibility with attorneyssome time ago, when retirees were first asked to pay for medical benefits. We had documentation from retirees that they were given back when they were "encouraged" to retire, which stated they would have medical benefits without contribution for life. The attorneys noticed there was fine print that said IBM could change this policy at any time. So we concluded that a class action suit would not be possible." ... "It's time everyone woke up to the fact that without an agreement in writing - such as in a union contract - we are all on the short end of the stick and in this business climate, we will all be hurt."


  • MSNBC: Lights, Camera, But No Action. Excerpt: Despite all the calls for corporate reform, star power rules over substance. Some shaky story lines may get in the way of real change


  • "idoubtitagain" answers the question "What is the criteria is for maintaining employment at IBM?" Excerpt: "There is no criteria, s**t flows down hill. I have no expectations of future stable employment at IBM, as well I have no doubt that someday the ax will fall on me. Recently I have seen entire teams moved offshore, highly dedicated, skilled, experienced and loyal employees gone, all of it due to 'costs' not competence."


  • The Christian Science Monitor: Weak economy puts more pensions in peril. Excerpt: "IBM is also under funded. In announcing third-quarter earnings, it said it would add $1.5 billion annually over the next three years to fully fund its pension plan by 2005. That represents about 20 percent of IBM's free cash flow in the past four quarters. 'Ouch!' exclaims Mr. Kasriel. 'Less left over for Big Blue to use for stock buybacks.'"


  • Wall Street Journal: The Retirement Welch Built Earns $1.4 Million a Month. Excerpt: "Though skeletal, the numbers paint a vivid picture of life at the pinnacle of American wealth. Mr. Welch spends $5,480 a month on country-club memberships. Total "personal expenses" come to $13,258 a month. That includes the clothes, the food and drink, and $425 on "personal care" and $1,482 on vacations and rental cars. Monthly expenses on "shelter" pay for two homes in Connecticut, two in Florida and one in Nantucket, Mass. Total: $51,531. The estimated value of all that real estate, plus a sixth property, in Lenox, Mass.: $30.7 million."

This week on the Alliance@IBM Site:

"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.