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    Highlights—March 6, 2004
  • Dow Jones Business News: IBM Awards CEO Palmisano 250,000 Options On Common Stock. Excerpt: International Business Machines Corp. awarded Chairman, President and Chief Executive Samuel J. Palmisano 250,000 options on company common stock, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The options, awarded Tuesday, have an exercise price of $105.96 and vest in four equal annual installments starting one year from the grant date, according to the filing. IBM's shares closed trading Thursday at $96.79. In 2002, Palmisano received 300,000 stock options with a strike price of $97.59, according to IBM's most recent proxy filing

  • Bob Djurdjevic's Annex Research: Analysis of New IBM Stock Option Rules. Greed De-clawed. Step in Right Direction, But No Panacea. Excerpt: Sam Palmisano, IBM's CEO, is continuing his efforts to remold IBM back to its old conservative corporate values, and to distance himself from his predecessor's "Era of Greed" (1997-2002).  Big Blue announced yesterday a new stock options plan under which its top executives could not profit from the options unless the price of the IBM shares were to rise at least 10%. The IBM move de-claws the greed that flourished under the former IBM CEO, Lou Gerstner.  It reverses the previous rules under which Gerstner and his lieutenants were granted stock options at prices substantially below the market.  We calculated that Gerstner's average costs, for example, were about $16 when the average market price was about $100 (in the in 1997-2001 period).   As a result, we wrote in April 2002, Gerstner even "outLayed Ken Lay" (the former Enron CEO and his top 6 executives) in terms of personal greed at the expense of general shareholders (see "Sir Lou OutLayed Lay!" , Apr 1, 2002, from which the following chart comes).

  • New York Times: I.B.M. Wins Ex-Workers' Cancer Suit. Excerpt: A California jury ruled on Thursday in favor of I.B.M. in a case brought by two former employees who contended that they contracted cancer because they had been exposed to dangerous chemicals at I.B.M.'s disk-drive factory in San Jose. The verdict, which came after less than two days of deliberations, is a blow to worker advocacy groups who hoped that the jury would support their argument that electronics companies knowingly exposed workers to noxious chemicals in the 1970's and 80's. The case was brought by Alida Hernandez, 73, whose cancer was diagnosed in 1993, and James Moore, 62, who suffers from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It was the first of more than 200 worker lawsuits filed against I.B.M. in various states.

  • Forbes: EDS bonds up on rumor IBM may buy all or part of it. Excerpt: Electronic Data Systems Corp. bond prices rose relative to Treasuries on Thursday on rumors that the company was in talks to sell all or part of itself to International Business Machines. Analysts downplayed the rumors, saying that even if IBM were interested, it could potentially buy EDS for a lower price later this year if the company's troubles mount.

  • CNET News: IBM fund retrains to fight U.S. job drain. Excerpt: IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano on Monday announced a $25 million fund dedicated to training Big Blue's employees and business partners, part of the company's efforts to make the U.S. technology industry more competitive globally. The fund, called the Human Capital Alliance, aims to help IBM employees who seek more training out of concern that they could lose their jobs to technical experts overseas, according to the company. Palmisano announced the two-year fund at the company's PartnerWorld conference taking place here this week.
    • "madinpok" comments (full excerpt): Let's assume the $25 million will be spent only on IBM's US employees and ignore the non-US employees and business partners for now. $25 million divided by 145,000 employees yields a generous $172.41 per employee. Yep...that'll really prepare us for those new high tech jobs.
    • "dr_bendoveru2" comments. Excerpt: What really gets my goat about this article is the "PR Spin IBM trying to do". $25M is just a spit in the ocean and a small fraction of what IBM will be paying for legal fees over the next few years for all their management screw ups. This re-training dialog IBM and the politicians talk about is nothing but pure bullshit. The real issue is the fact that companies can get cheap labor period, and by outsourcing and they have no obligation to their employees. Employees now become nothing more than a simply commodity, end of story, pure and simple economics. If you can pay someone $5/hr. vs. $40-50/hr. to do the same job what will any company will do? Hire cheap labor, unless there are Govt. sanctions in place that prohibit it.
    • Linda Guyer comments. Full excerpt: I do agree with you. I would go further, however. This is not just "a frickin joke" and sickening, it is truly insulting to the intelligent employees at IBM. We just saw $4 billion spent on a stock buyback (or was it $6 billion?) and by comparison $25 m is nothing. Besides, if IBM provides nothing in writing about this, whose to say they don't spend it on leisure camp and stress reduction classes for executives? I would dare them to put on the internal web site the names of the people who are getting the retraining and what they are retraining for, with an account of the money spent for it. Unfortunately this is pure PR, which is the science of changing people's minds about something when it is in the PR customer's best interest to do so. IBM wants to appear to care, so they throw a little money at it and make a big deal with a press release and lots of media coverage. Meanwhile the job drain continues unabated. Intelligent employees will see right through this. There will be a test, however. The people on my floor whose jobs are going to Brazil are asking their managers if they can get some of this retraining money. I will report back here if they actually get anything.

  • Oakland Tribune: IBM chief: Global picture better. Computer, software sales expected to improve. Excerpt: International Business Machines Corp. Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano said the global economy is improving this year, lifting sales of computers and software, and IBM will spend $25 million to retrain some workers. ... IBM, based in Armonk, N.Y., has been criticized by the Communications Workers of America, which is seeking to represent the company's employees, for its labor practices, which includes regularly firing workers who are now longer needed. IBM plans to move 3,000 jobs from the U.S. to the developing countries where labor is cheaper. "They certainly need to do more," said Lee Conrad, a spokesman for the CWA's Alliance@IBM."They should recall the IBM employees that they cut over the past couple of years before the hire anybody from outside the company."

  • Boston Globe: Fooled by the shell game. Excerpt: WHEN ALAN Greenspan told a congressional committee last week that Social Security benefits for baby boomers should be cut to help reduce the growing federal budget deficit, the third move in a game I call the Social Security Shell Game was played out. The Social Security Shell Game has distracted voters while bringing about a significant shift in the tax burden from the rich to the middle class. The first move in the shell game occurred more than 20 years ago. To avert a funding crisis in Social Security due to the impending retirement of the baby boom generation, a commission headed by Alan Greenspan in the early 1980s proposed major changes in Social Security, including increases in payroll tax rates. ... Now we get to the third move in Social Security Shell Game. Rather than condemn the tax cuts that have entirely spent the surplus accumulated as a result of the commission he headed to save Social Security, Greenspan instead recommends cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits to the baby boomers to help rein in the deficit. This is breathtaking. Imagine if Congress had come forward in the 1980s with a proposal that recommended cutting Social Security benefits to future retirees while raising taxes on wage income. The monies collected would be used to provide a windfall gain to big estates by eliminating a tax that they had fully expected to have to pay and to cut taxes disproportionately on the income of the rich.

  • New York Times commentary by Paul Krugman: Maestro of Chutzpah. Excerpt: he traditional definition of chutzpah says it's when you murder your parents, then plead for clemency because you're an orphan. Alan Greenspan has chutzpah. Last week Mr. Greenspan warned of the dangers posed by budget deficits. But even though the main cause of deficits is plunging revenue — the federal government's tax take is now at its lowest level as a share of the economy since 1950 — he opposes any effort to restore recent revenue losses. Instead, he supports the Bush administration's plan to make its tax cuts permanent, and calls for cuts in Social Security benefits. Yet three years ago Mr. Greenspan urged Congress to cut taxes, warning that otherwise the federal government would run excessive surpluses. He assured Congress that those tax cuts would not endanger future Social Security benefits. And last year he declined to stand in the way of another round of deficit-creating tax cuts.

    But wait — it gets worse. You see, although the rest of the government is running huge deficits — and never did run much of a surplus — the Social Security system is currently taking in much more money than it spends. Thanks to those surpluses, the program is fully financed at least through 2042. The cost of securing the program's future for many decades after that would be modest — a small fraction of the revenue that will be lost if the Bush tax cuts are made permanent. And the reason Social Security is in fairly good shape is that during the 1980's the Greenspan commission persuaded Congress to increase the payroll tax, which supports the program. The payroll tax is regressive: it falls much more heavily on middle- and lower-income families than it does on the rich. In fact, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, families near the middle of the income distribution pay almost twice as much in payroll taxes as in income taxes. Yet people were willing to accept a regressive tax increase to sustain Social Security. Now the joke's on them. Mr. Greenspan pushed through an increase in taxes on working Americans, generating a Social Security surplus. Then he used that surplus to argue for tax cuts that deliver very little relief to most people, but are worth a lot to those making more than $300,000 a year. And now that those tax cuts have contributed to a soaring deficit, he wants to cut Social Security benefits.

  • Slate: The Free-Lunch Bunch. The Bush team's secret plan to "reform" Social Security. Excerpt: During the 2000 campaign, candidate George W. Bush seemed particularly confident about his ability to pay for Social Security reform. Despite independent estimates that creating the kind of "voluntarily" private accounts he envisioned could cost more than $1 trillion, Bush consistently took the position that he could reform Social Security for free, without undermining promises to baby boomers anticipating retirement over the next several decades.Why was Bush so sure of himself? According to documents unearthed yesterday from the trove of 19,000 files given to me by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and a bit of additional probing, candidate Bush and later President Bush believed in the "Lindsey Plan." These documents show us what the president thought about Social Security reform at the only moment over the past three years—the fall of 2001—when he was fully engaged with this issue.

  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: President's Savings Proposals Likely to Swell Long-Term Deficits, Reduce National Saving, and Primarily Benefit Those with Substantial Wealth.

  • Wall Street Journal: Warren Buffett Takes on Funds, Corporate Executives and Taxes. Excerpt: Mr. Buffett railed against excessive pay packages for corporate executives. He criticized compensation committees for not paying enough attention to the interests of shareholders and said that directors of public companies and mutual funds need to have their interests aligned with rank-and-file shareholders "in a big way." Mr. Buffett said all 11 directors at Berkshire are required to hold substantial amounts of the company's stock, so their own financial interest is in line with those of shareholders. (Each of the 11 directors own at least $4 million in Berkshire stock, either directly or indirectly through family members.) Mr. Buffett suggested this model -- all the directors purchased their stock in the open market, and Berkshire doesn't grant stock options or any other incentive-based compensation -- was one that other companies should consider adopting. ... Mr. Buffett also used his letter to return to another recurring subject: taxes. Mr. Buffett accused the Bush administration of pursuing tax cuts that favor large corporations and wealthy individuals. "If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning,'' he said Too few corporations -- and corporate executives -- were paying close to the 35% federal tax rate they should be, Mr. Buffett wrote. Aside from 1983, the percentage of federal receipts from corporate income taxes last year was the lowest since data was first published in 1934, he said.

  • Wall Street Journal: Medicare Drug Law Helps Business. A Few Major Corporations Expect Combined Savings In Excess of $2.5 Billion. Excerpt: The Medicare prescription-drug law passed late last year is having a healthy effect on the outlook for corporate finances. Within the past few weeks, a handful of large companies have reported they expect to collectively save more than $2.5 billion over time, thanks to the new government subsidy for employers that offer prescription-drug benefits to retirees. ... The subsidy has become controversial because although it was intended to encourage employers to continue to provide retiree health coverage, it doesn't discourage them from cutting benefits and shifting more costs to retirees. What's more, the language of the legislation indicates that employers can be reimbursed even for amounts retirees pay. (Emphasis added by editor).

  • Mother Jones: Medicare's Hidden Bonanza. After millions in campaign contributions, an insurance magnate's 10-year lobbying campaign finally pays off. Excerpt: For conservative leaders, the best part of the Medicare bill President Bush signed in December had absolutely nothing to do with Medicare. Rather, the provision that House Speaker Dennis Hastert calls "the most important piece in the bill" and former Speaker Newt Gingrich considers "the single most important change in health care policy in 60 years" is a little-noticed tax rebate set to cost the Treasury $6.4 billion over the next decade. The measure allows Americans to open tax-free "health savings accounts," which can be used to pay medical bills—in effect removing their owners from the shared risk that has been the core of the health-insurance system since World War II. ... Rarely has a basic federal program been so tied to one man or one company. In their 10-year campaign to promote health savings accounts, Rooney's family, companies, and employees have given $3.6 million to political candidates and committees, with 90 percent going to Republicans. Rooney and his companies gave another $2.2 million to Republican organizations, including $121,000 to help pay for President Bush's Florida recount battle, and nearly $1.9 million for a group called the Republican Leadership Coalition, which ran attack ads against Al Gore during the 2000 campaign. Rooney also registered himself as a lobbyist and spent close to $2.2 million working the halls of Congress and the White House.

  • Chicago Tribune: Retiree benefit cutbacks threaten United recovery. Excerpt: At the same time United Airlines is trumpeting to Wall Street that employee morale has never been better, workers say the move by management to curtail retiree benefits has ruined their trust in the company. "We're concerned about United Airlines and its future business if management doesn't make good on promises," said Sara Dela Cruz, a spokeswoman for United's flight attendants. More than 2,500 flight attendants retired in the first half of 2003 after the airline said workers retiring after July 1 would receive reduced medical benefits, Dela Cruz said. In January, however, the airline announced it wants all retirees to pay a greater share of their medical benefits, regardless of their retirement date. "We believed United was on the road to recovery, with a new sense of cooperation and collaboration between the union and management, and that has been destroyed by this decision," Dela Cruz said.

  • Business Week: What Investors Want Now: Jobs. With burned-out employees hitting the productivity wall, the bulls need a sign -- a "Now Hiring" sign. A tension exists between job growth and productivity, she points out. As the U.S. economy continues to expand at an annual rate of about 4%, the friction is palpable in executive suites. On one side are the bean-counters, who want to push existing employees to do even more. On the other side are maxed-out managers, who want to add workers to the payroll. With so much productivity growth over the last few years and no job growth, something has to give. And CEOs who want to see stock prices move higher in 2004 probably will start to listen to their stressed workers, say the pros. It will be job growth, not further productivity gains, that most likely boosts share prices for the rest of 2004.

  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Wal-Mart stands out on rolls of PeachCare. Retailer's sign-up ratio far exceeds other firms'. Excerpt: A snapshot of Georgia's program for uninsured children shows that it's packed with kids of Wal-Mart employees. A state survey found 10,261 of the 166,000 children covered by Georgia's PeachCare for Kids health insurance in September 2002 had a parent working for Wal-Mart Stores. That's about 14 times the number for next highest employer: Publix, with 734. ... The survey findings surface as Wal-Mart's pay, benefits and corporate policies have come under fire nationally. Labor unions and other critics have denounced the Arkansas-based retail giant for what they call low-wage, low-benefit jobs. And unions fear the influence Wal-Mart practices could have on employee benefits in all industries. Georgia's PeachCare program was launched in 1998 to provide health insurance to children whose parents cannot afford or don't have access to those benefits. Wal-Mart said it does not encourage employees to use states' insurance plans for children or Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor. "We offer affordable health coverage to all of our associates, both full time and part time," said Dan Fogleman, a spokesman for the company. But the number of PeachCare children whose parents work for Wal-Mart struck a nerve with a local advocacy group for low-wage women. "Most employees who make $7 to $8 an hour can't afford health insurance," said Cindia Cameron, organizing director of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women. "When a very wealthy employer passes off to taxpayers what is rightfully a labor force cost, that's a serious public policy problem."
Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Outsourcing Issues
  • Wall Street Journal: Lesson in India: Not Every Job Translates Overseas. ValiCert Learned Key Roles Must Remain in U.S. For Outsourcing to Work. Excerpts: When sales of their security software slowed in 2001, executives at ValiCert Inc. began laying off engineers in Silicon Valley to hire replacements in India for $7,000 a year. ValiCert expected to save millions annually while cranking out new software for banks, insurers and government agencies. Senior Vice President David Jevans recalls optimistic predictions that the company would "cut the budget by half here and hire twice as many people there." Colleagues would swap work across the globe every 12 hours, helping ValiCert "put more people on it and get it done sooner," he says. The reality was different. The Indian engineers, who knew little about ValiCert's software or how it was used, omitted features Americans considered intuitive. U.S. programmers, accustomed to quick chats over cubicle walls, spent months writing detailed instructions for overseas assignments, delaying new products. Fear and distrust thrived as ValiCert's finances deteriorated, and co-workers, 14 times zones apart, traded curt e-mails. In the fall of 2002, executives brought back to the U.S. a key project that had been assigned to India, irritating some Indian employees.

  • New York Times: Job exports debate spills into corporate arena. Excerpt: Thursday's Senate vote to bar most companies that win federal contracts from performing the work outside the US is the strongest sign yet that the election-year debate over job losses could result in legislative curbs on the operations of big US companies. After a day-long debate in which such prominent Republicans such as Charles Grassley denounced "the defeatist wing of the Democratic party" for advocating protectionist solutions, a majority of Republicans lined up with the Democrats in a 70-26 vote. The amendment to the Jumpstart Our Business Strength (Jobs) Act, offered by Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, would prevent US companies that win federal government contracts from moving the work offshore if that work was previously done in the US. It mirrors legislation already passed by some state governments that is aimed primarily at preventing data-processing jobs from being moved to India and China. "American workers are hurting," said Mr Dodd. "Our nation's chief export shouldn't be jobs."

  • Wall Street Journal: Business Coalition Battles Outsourcing Backlash. Big Lobbyists, Companies Aim at a Blizzard of Bills Meant to Keep Jobs at Home. Excerpt: With overseas outsourcing a hot U.S. election-year issue, big business is quietly mounting an offensive against state and federal efforts to keep jobs at home and otherwise restrain globalization. Some of the best-financed trade groups in the U.S. have formed a coalition to beat back federal legislation that would restrict foreign outsourcing by government contractors and limit visas for non-American workers with technology skills. Calling itself the Coalition for Economic Growth and American Jobs, the new entity comprises about 200 trade groups -- including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the American Bankers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Information Technology Association of America -- as well as individual companies.

  • New York Times: Microsoft, Amid Dwindling Interest, Talks Up Computing as a Career. Excerpt: Matthew Notowidigdo, who came to M.I.T. five years ago and will receive his master's degree in computer science in May, has chosen not to. The head of the department said Mr. Notowidigdo, a 22-year-old native of Columbus, Ohio, was one of his brightest students, who would be welcomed at any computer science Ph.D. program in the country. But Mr. Notowidigdo has decided not to be a software engineer. Instead, he plans to head to Wall Street this spring to join the bond trading desk at Lehman Brothers, where he will work on research and analyzing fixed-income securities. While he may pursue a Ph.D. someday, he says it will be in economics rather than computer science. ... And he said his summer job last year, doing programming work for a New York investment bank, also influenced his plans for the future. The bank's technology department was outsourcing some software work to India, and as part of the project, programmers from Wipro, a large India outsourcing firm, were brought to New York. Mr. Notowidigdo was impressed at the level of their skills. The outsourcing trend, Mr. Notowidigdo explained, "factors into my thinking about what I want to pursue as a career."

  • New York Times commentary by Paul Krugman: The Trade Tightrope. Excerpt: Let me spare you the usual economist's sermon on the virtues of free trade, except to say this: although old fallacies about international trade have been making a comeback lately (yes, Senator Charles Schumer, that means you), it is as true as ever that the U.S. economy would be poorer and less productive if we turned our back on world markets. Furthermore, if the United States were to turn protectionist, other countries would follow. The result would be a less hopeful, more dangerous world. Yet it's bad economics to pretend that free trade is good for everyone, all the time. "Trade often produces losers as well as winners," declares the best-selling textbook in international economics (by Maurice Obstfeld and yours truly). The accelerated pace of globalization means more losers as well as more winners; workers' fears that they will lose their jobs to Chinese factories and Indian call centers aren't irrational. ...

    First and foremost, we need more jobs. U.S. employment is at least four million short of where it should be. Imports and outsourcing didn't cause that shortfall, but if the job gap doesn't start closing soon, protectionist pressures will become irresistible. Beyond that, we need to do much more to help workers who lose their jobs. It didn't help the cause of free trade when Republican leaders in Congress recently allowed extended unemployment benefits to expire, even though employment is lower and long-term unemployment higher than when those benefits were introduced. And in the longer run, we need universal health insurance. Social justice aside, it would be a lot easier to make the case for free trade and free markets in general if, like every other major advanced country, we had a system in which workers kept their health coverage even when they happened to lose their jobs.

  • Forbes: Weak jobs data shifting scrutiny to U.S. companies. Excerpt: U.S. companies will be hard-pressed to explain to Americans why they aren't hiring despite improved profit and share prices, exposing a scandal-wracked business sector to grass-roots outrage, corporate image experts said on Friday. Unexpectedly meager new job numbers issued by the Labor Department on Friday turned up the heat on President George W. Bush as he seeks re-election this year. Image experts expect the rival Democratic party to take aim at Bush and large corporations in the run-up to the November vote. As a result, companies will need to convince the public of the merits of employing fewer full-time workers domestically or moving operations to low-cost centers overseas. ... The U.S. technology sector, facing harsh criticism for cultivating operations in India or China, has already shown signs of organizing ahead of a bigger outcry. Some members of Congress are seeking legislation to deny U.S. companies federal financing if they shift jobs overseas. "It's an election year. If you're the CEO of a company, you've almost got to wait until all the politics are out of the equation" to talk about outsourcing plans, Motorola Inc. CEO Edward Zander said at the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecommunications Summit in New York last week.

  • CNET News: Bill aims to curb offshoring. In a move designed to make U.S. companies think twice about sending jobs overseas, a group of politicians is proposing a novel way to punish them for it. Excerpt: The proposed Defending American Jobs Act, introduced on Wednesday, requires federal agencies that provide grants or loan guarantees to businesses to obtain reports on the number of employees those companies have inside and outside the United States, and on how much each group is being paid. One year after the bill becomes law, which is unlikely to happen this year, grant or loan recipients would be required to disclose how many domestic employees have been laid off as a proportion of the company's total global work force. Here's the catch: If more U.S. workers than foreign workers received the ax, the company would be "ineligible for further assistance" until it started hiring American employees again.

  • ZDNet reader commentary: Offshore outsourcing is good business? Economists just don't get it. Excerpts: Many economists suggest that there are laws of economics that would function to everyone's mutual benefit if only politicians and narrow-minded ignorant people stopped interfering. But there are no such laws. Moreover, the vaunted efficiencies of "the market" are bogus. Just as having ready access to raw materials, such as oil, works to one's advantage, so having ready access to the right information works to one's interest. Work on the effects of asymmetries of information on the functioning of markets is what Stiglitz won is Nobel for. This knocks the props out from under the moral justification of classical economic doctrine that the politically unfettered decisions of individuals in markets will result in the collective best overall outcome and probably the best outcome for any one individual making the decision because each of us know best what is in our own best interest. ... I see a different path to the objective of helping displaced IT workers. I believe that political action is the only way to address the larger problem. Fifty years ago, the U.S. economy had no competition because every other economy of note had been destroyed. The U.S. government re-launched those economies to provide markets for the goods of U.S. corporations, and continued to build them at taxpayer expense with foreign aid. Now those economies and their workers compete with U.S. workers for similar jobs in IT and elsewhere. In the past two decades, their comparative lack of capital has not been the impediment it once was because huge sums of private capital can quickly flow to them if the return is perceived to be sufficiently high. To try to maintain our standard of living in the face of competition from foreign workers, women have increasingly entered the official work force and we all work longer hours. But we are actually worse off.

  • Denver Post: Outsourcing ships off jobs, self-esteem. Excerpt: Roland Carrillo did it the American Way. Work hard, society told him. He did. Generate results. He produced. Be loyal. He was. Carrillo gave Johns Manville a quarter-century of effort and excellence. Johns Manville gave Carrillo's information technology job to a company in India. You want to know about shipping U.S. jobs overseas? Forget President Bush and his fancy-pants advisers with their "jobless recovery," their "creative job destruction" and their "outsourcing." Head out to Littleton. Sit down in the kitchen with Carrillo. The place mat in front of you says a lot about the man and his family: "One hundred thousand welcomes to our home and table." Roland and Claire Carrillo are nice, hardworking people. They have lived as Americans are told they should. Married nearly 30 years, they've raised two kids and put them through college. They've added value to the society, Claire as a kindergarten teacher, Roland as a computer expert. ... Men and women like Carrillo are what's right about this country's economy. What's happened to them is what's wrong. So when Bush and his boys tell you outsourcing is good for the country, beg the president's pardon and tell the truth: Outsourcing may help already overpaid executives. It might help stockholders. Everybody else gets to wonder how the American Way took such an ugly turn.

  • Boulder Daily Camera: Talks will focus on offshoring controversy. Experts to mull the trend to send jobs out of the U.S. Excerpt: Two regional events hope to shed light on the issue. The first event, put on by the Westminster-based Colorado Software and Internet Association, will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Westin Tabor Center in Denver. "Offshoring — the Good, the Bad and the Ugly," will include industry leaders and Sen. Deanna Hanna, D-Lakewood, who sponsored a law to stem offshoring. Cost is $40 for members and $75 for everyone else. The second event is co-sponsored by the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado and the American Electronics Association. That event will be 8 a.m. to noon on March 25 at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in Denver. Cost is $119.20 for AeA members and CU alumni and $149 for everyone else. ... Forrester Research has said 3.3 million U.S. services industry jobs and about $136 billion in wages will move overseas in the next 11 years.

    One of the companies with stated plans to increase offshoring is IBM, which employs about 4,700 in Boulder. Lee Conrad, the Endicott, N.Y.-based founder of Alliance@IBM, a pro-union group, said corporations and politicians who say offshoring is good for the U.S. economy are driven by short-sighted greed. "Good for whose economy? When you see millions of our jobs moving overseas, that is not good for our local, state or national economies," Conrad said. "These are jobs with good pay and benefits being shifted out of the country." He said once an economy loses those jobs, it has an impact on retail, housing and all the other industries that rely on an employed population.
Now on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • Think Twice for March/April 2004 [PDF]. Articles in this edition include:
    • Tech Worker Job Crisis Starts Hitting Home
    • 2004 IBM Stockholder Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island
    • Stockholder resolutions challenge IBM on Executive Compensation, Offshoring and Pensions.
    • Offshoring Legislation In The Different States
    • IBM ordered to repay workers put on cash-balance pension
    • Outsourced to IBM: Broken Promises Plague New Hires
    • Cuts in incentive plans called “underhanded” by employees
    • Cut by IBM:“Dead Man Walking”

  • Reuters: IBM Says It Settles Birth Defect Lawsuit. Excerpt: International Business Machines Corp. on Tuesday said it has settled a New York lawsuit brought by plaintiffs who said poor working conditions at one of its factories caused birth defects. The company did not disclose the terms of the settlement to the $100 million suit, which was brought by Candace Curtis, whose mother, Heather Curtis, was pregnant when she was hired in 1980 by IBM. Candace was born months later severely deformed. ... Some 250 other claims, including about 50 birth-defect cases, await Armonk, New York-based IBM, which makes microchips and computers and sells software and computer services.

  • Click here for the Health Focus Survey. Alliance@IBM is offering this due to the recent interest in lawsuits and health issues related to IBM chemical exposures.

  • Call to Action! Join the Rally to protest Offshoring at the IBM Shareholders' Meeting - April 27 in Providence, RI.

  • Alliance@IBM urges IBM workers to fight plan to move jobs offshore.
WashTech logoNow on the WashTech site:
  • Demonstrators Rally Against Pro-Offshoring Group. Excerpt: More than two dozen information technology workers picketed in front of the Westin Hotel Thursday as members of a tech industry trade organization, known for its support of offshore outsourcing, celebrated its 20th anniversary and handed out achievement awards. Attendees of the glitzy Industry Achievement Awards dinner, sponsored by WSA (formerly the Washington Software Alliance), were well insulated from the din of rush-hour traffic and chants such as, "No awards for offshoring jobs!" and "Outsource CEOs!" ... Outside, some passersby stopped and asked picketers why they were protesting. One couple, a man and woman who asked they not be identified, asked Microsoft programmer writer Jim Galasyn what the WSA is and why was he protesting. "It’s an industry association — for the software industry," Galasyn said. "They're outsourcing jobs to where?" the man asked. "India, typically," said Galasyn. Galasyn explained his view that outsourcing is shortsighted because U.S. companies that send IT work offshore shorts the tax base, depleting revenues.
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