Join your fellow employees who are fighting for your benefits -
Join the Alliance!
Retirees, Vendors, Contractors, Temps, and Active Employees are all eligible to become members of the Alliance.
Highlights—August 7, 2004
- Committee for Just Treatment of IBM Canada Retirees (COMJUST): COMJUST
Communication with IBM. Excerpt: Retirees and former IBM Canada executives have encouraged COMJUST to make
a direct appeal to IBM for redress of retiree concerns. In response, on April 30, 2004,
we sent a letter with attachment to IBM. We believe the letter credibly describes retiree
concerns about benefits cutbacks and lack of ad hoc pension increases and explains why
these concerns are almost universally held by retirees. Our objective was to present a
case strong enough to encourage IBM to take voluntary corrective action. Then, on May 25,
2004, prompted by an article in the Globe & Mail and by the fact
that we had not received a response to our original letter, we sent a follow-up letter
to IBM. We felt that the Globe & Mail article was important enough to bring to Mr.
Kilroy's attention. On June 11, 2004, IBM responded to COMJUST’s April 30 and May
25 letters to Ed Kilroy, IBM Canada General Manager. Here is a summary of the content
followed by the response as received.
- Vault's IBM
Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees,
including many employees acquired from PwC. Some sample posts follow:
the internet - "Buyer Beware"' by "Dose of reality". Excerpt:
If you think about our treatment of employees over the past five years, the cumulative
effect has been to serve notice that the creation of staff good will toward the company
is not even remotely part of our HR strategy. Once a company crosses over a certain
line in staff mistreatment, and the pretense of fairness and reward is gone, the whole
employee dynamic changes. Whether this was by initial design, or due to the pressures
of having to close profit gaps, the effect is the same. Couple this with the pension
plan games and our well-documented age discrimination, and the implied HR strategy is
obvious. The only way we can continue to operate is with a strategy of 3 – 4 years
recycling for the vast majority of core staff. Bring them in, brainwash them into sprinting
on the treadmill for a few years with the real payoff ever out of reach, cull a select
few for advancement, and let the rest move on or manipulate comp on a micro (person by
person) level to push them out when they are no longer viable. The only way this strategy
works is to maintain the illusion of long term opportunity long enough with new staff,
and convince them that things are no better anywhere else, to get sufficient mileage out
of them to get a return on investment out of their hiring.
- In "Hard
to give a categorical answer" "Dose of reality" answers a potential
new hire's question about the likelihood of receiving raises after being hired. Full
excerpt: There were many very good performers that have gotten no raises the past two
years. If token raises are given in the future, assume a smaller relative token raise
will be given if you are maxing out in your band. A more important question than the
range, is what is the distribution. The range could be 0 - 10%, but if only 1 in a hundred
get more than 4%, then the range is a meaningless statistic. Excluding any desperation
bump ups that were given selectively to prevent a critical staff member from leaving,
the real operating range was 0 - 3%, with the vast majority at 0. This includes below
average through above expectations, and many that were graded initially as a 1 performer
were curved down to the 0% category. There were pockets of differential treatment,
depending on service line and sector, but again these are outliers, unpredictable and
not well publicized – it is
a political game.
The best way to look at this, is to assume at best you will be flat or nominal
1 - 2% for the foreseeable future. Avoid letting your ego convincing yourself that
you will be one of the rare exceptions that is rewarded, or playing out a fantasy
that policies and comp will change after you walk in the door. The halls are paved
with disillusioned staff who came in with those expectations. Bear in mind that
promotions do not in and of themselves get you a raise. Sory to be so dire, but
you asked, and you are better off knowing before you walk in the door, so you can
manage expectations, and figure out how to exit quickly and leave better off than
the day you came in. Use the time to develop externally marketable skills, not jumping
through hoops and destroying your work life balance to please your managers – the
latter approach will get you nowhere.
- New York Times: In
Blow to Bush, Only 32,000 Jobs Created in July. Excerpt: Employers
added just 32,000 jobs in July, a small fraction of what forecasters had expected and far
below the robust gains in employment earlier this year. The government also announced that
job growth in May and June was less than initially estimated. "The economy is spinning
its wheels again," said Richard Yamarone, chief economist
at Argus Research in New York. "Corporate America is reluctant to hire anyone above
the bare minimum.
- New York Times: It's
Not Just the Jobs Lost, but the Pay in the New Ones. Excerpts: But
a growing number of analysts say the evidence increasingly suggests that the current recovery
has indeed been tilted toward lower-paying jobs. Industries ranked in the bottom fifth
for wages and salaries have added 477,000 jobs since January, while industries in the top
fifth for wages had no increase at all, according to an analysis of Labor Department payroll
data by Economy.com, an economic research firm. "Since employment peaked, we've lost
many more higher-paying jobs than lower-paying jobs,'' said Mark Zandi, chief economist
at Economy.com. "In recovery, we've created
more lower-paying jobs than higher-paying jobs." ... "The market for college-grad
jobs over the last four years has been expanding,'' Professor Levy said. "But the
market for high school graduates has been deteriorating, with production and clerical
jobs shrinking and being replaced by lower-paying service sector jobs.'' Other analysts
say the long-term trend is more complicated, noting that real wages for middle-income
workers have been losing ground to those in the top 10 percent of earners over most of
the last 30 years. ... Adjusted for inflation, average hourly wages have fallen slightly
in the last year. And for many who have lost their jobs as a result of plant closings
and layoffs, the impact has been more acute: a recent survey of displaced workers by the
Labor Department found that 57 percent of those who had found work were earning less than
they did in their old jobs. As of December, when the survey was taken, 4 of 10 displaced
factory workers had yet to start a new job.
- Chicago Tribune, courtesy of the Akron Beacon-Journal: Not
really a pension guaranty for some. 10% get less -- perhaps a lot less -- in pension
if U.S. unit has to step in. (Free registration required). Excerpt: On the most grueling
days, Duane Warning reminded himself that there would be a pension awaiting him -- and
that he had earned it. He got his pension, for sure, but it was not what he expected.
After 37 years as a Trans World Airlines pilot, commuting daily for the last 15 years
on the job from his home in the far south suburbs of Chicago to a St. Louis hub, he wound
up with about half of what the airline had promised him. "I was decimated. I was upset.
But there was nothing I could do. I had to swallow it,'' said the 60-year-old former
pilot, who receives a $1,600 monthly pension, not the $3,100 he had counted on. The difference
in the numbers is the result of TWA's bankruptcy and the federal takeover of its pension
plans in 2001. Warning and others with promises of comfortable pensions have faced rude
awakenings when their firms abandoned their pensions and the Pension Benefit Guaranty
Corp. stepped in. They quickly learned that the agency has a cap on benefits and a formula
that means they may not receive 100 percent of their old pensions. It also cuts back
on pension hikes workers had received in the last five years, and it bears no responsibilities
for extra bonuses linked to workers' pensions. One out of 10 workers whose pensions
are taken over by the PBGC do not get 100 percent of the benefits once promised to them,
PBGC officials in Washington say. Pension experts say the reason for this is that when
the agency was created 30 years ago, it was meant to come to the rescue of blue-collar
workers, not better-paid workers like Warning.
- Denver Post: United
retirees perplexed. Airline's pension moves have some looking at lifestyle changes.
Excerpt: During much of Skip Hillegas' 31-year career, the United Airlines pilot held
tightly to an idyllic mountain property near Salida. The three-hour commute to Denver
almost convinced him to move, and in 1996, he sold nearly a third of the land after United
employees accepted pay cuts in exchange for stock in the ailing company. He retired in
2000, but Hillegas and his wife, Cathy, may soon face an even bigger challenge to their
lifestyle. United has stopped making payments into its massively underfunded pensions
and is considering terminating them. If that happens, the couple's retirement income
could be more than halved, forcing them to make difficult choices. "I'm not sure
what we will do. We'll have to sell assets and pare down our living expenses," Hillegas
said. "We thought we had finally escaped United's problems,
and we could count on everything we've got. But all of those assumptions have gone
down the tubes."
- New York Times: Pension
Tension. Excerpt: First it was the steel companies. Now it's
the airlines. Is the auto industry next?bIn the past three years, bankrupt companies, mostly
in unionized, old-economy industries, have dumped $11.2 billion in pension obligations
on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that insures the pensions
of 44 million people. As a result, the agency has gone from having a $7.7 billion surplus
in 2001 to an estimated deficit of about $9.7 billion. And the situation may soon become
much worse. The agency now faces a possible $5 billion default by United Airlines and the
prospect of more airline defaults. Plenty of other companies, like Goodyear, also have
seriously underfunded pension plans.
- New York Times: How
Does It Feel in the Middle? Excerpts: The mixed picture here coincides
with what many economists are observing. Almost three years after the last recession ended,
hourly wages have declined in the past year after accounting for inflation. And even though
the nation has added 1.5 million jobs since last August, it is still more than one million
jobs below the total number of jobs in 2001. At the same time, the adult population has
swelled by more than three million people. Meanwhile, corporate profits have soared both
in absolute numbers and as a share of the total economy. Corporate profits rose by nearly
one-third between the first quarter of 2003 and the first quarter of 2004. As a share of
the gross domestic product, corporate profits shot up from less than 10 percent to more
than 12 percent in the same period, according to estimates by the Commerce Department.
... The disparity is also widening between middle-income and high-income earners. Adjusted
for inflation, wages for middle-income men - those in the 50th percentile of earnings
- were virtually flat at about $15 an hour between 1980 and 2003, according to a paper
that will be published in September by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research
group in Washington. By contrast, wages for high-income men - those in the 95th percentile
of earnings - climbed by one-third, to $44 an hour in 2003 from $32 an hour in 1980.
- UC Berkeley: Study
estimates Wal-Mart employment policies cost California taxpayers $86 million a year.
Excerpt: The study indicates that Wal-Mart workers in California rely on the state
for about $32 million annually in health-related services, and $54 million a year in
other assistance such as subsidized school lunches, food stamps and subsidized housing. "When
workers do not earn enough to support themselves and their families through their own
jobs, they rely on public safety net programs to make ends meet," said
the report by Arindrajit Dube of UC Berkeley's Institute for Industrial Relations,
and Ken Jacobs of the campus's Center for Labor Research and Education. The researchers
said they conservatively estimate that the approximately 44,000 workers at 143 Wal-Mart
and its sister Sam's Club stores in California earn about 31 percent less than workers
in large retail as a whole, and that 23 percent fewer Wal-Mart/Sam's Club workers generally
are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance than workers in large retail. There
is an array of reasons for the low rates of coverage, said the researchers. They include
higher employee turnover, eligibility issues, employee costs for health plans and plan
quality. In the end, Wal-Mart essentially "is shifting part of its labor costs onto
the public," the report said.
comments on a Yahoo! message board. Full excerpt: Earlier this year, there was a
small "resource action" in
Poughkeepise. A few people affected were offered jobs in other
groups in Poughkeepise or Fishkill. Others were offered jobs in
places like Austin or Raleigh. The catch was that the pay in some
cases was lower, and there was no moving and living. If the people
wanted the job, they had to pay their own moving expenses. Also,
there were no promises that the job in the new location would be
stable for any amount of time - they could be hit with another
layoff once they got there. If they turned down the job, they got
NO SEVERENCE PAY AT ALL, since HR said that turning down the
offer was considered a resignation, not a layoff. Also, by
resigning from IBM, they would not be eligible for any
unemployment compensation from the state (this also helps keep
the rates on IBM's unemployment insurance down). Talk about a
no-win situation for the employee. What do you do if you are
offered a job across the country and your spouse also works for
IBM and hasn't been hit by the resource action? There might
not be a job for them at the new location. Similar problem
if they work for an employer other than IBM. If this was a preview of IBM's new no-layoff
policy, some people
may be worse off than they would have been under the old policy.
At least before they got severance pay.
- Paul Krugman: Witness
to the Great Unraveling of America.
- Los Angeles Times: President
Pushes Flextime. Excerpts: President Bush called on Congress
on Thursday to pass legislation making it easier for employers to offer workers time
off instead of overtime pay — an idea Republicans hope will appeal both to Bush's
core business supporters and to swing voters juggling home and work responsibilities.
... "I think the government ought to allow employers to say to an employee, 'If you
want some time off, and work different hours, you're allowed to do so,' " Bush told
a crowd of supporters in Ohio, where polls show he is in a dead heat with Democratic
nominee Sen. John F. Kerry. "Government ought to be helping families." Although
Bush cast the proposal in terms designed to appeal to working parents, critics — including
Kerry and labor unions — called it a backdoor effort to deny workers the overtime
pay that many depend on to make ends meet.
- Economic Policy Institute: Longer
Hours, Less Pay.
Labor Department’s new rules could strip
overtime protection from millions of workers. Excerpts: Changes in the primary duty
test and the redefinition of “executive” will allow employers to deny overtime
pay to workers who do very little supervision and a great deal of manual or routine
work, including employees in factories and industrial plants. Employees who can only recommend—but
not carry out—the “change of status” of the two employees that they “supervise” will
be exempted as “executives” even if they manage nothing more substantial than
a team or grouping of employees. In all, 1.4 million low-level, salaried supervisors
will lose their overtime rights, along with 548,000 hourly supervisors, who could be
switched to being paid on a salary basis and thus denied overtime protection. More than
900,000 employees without a graduate degree or even a college degree will be designated “professional
employees” and lose the right to overtime pay,
even if their pay and status fall far below that of degreed employees. As many as
2.3 million team leaders with no supervisory authority will be exempted as “administrative
employees” even if they are line or production employees.
Approximately 130,000 chefs and sous chefs who are not executive chefs will be exempted
as “learned professionals” and “creative professionals.” Pre-kindergarten
and nursery school teachers, no matter how low their pay, will be exempt under the
new rule, even if their work does not require the exercise of discretion and judgment.
We estimate that 30,000 nursery school teachers will lose the right to overtime pay.
Mortgage loan officers will be affected by the new financial services industry exemption
and by the gutting of the protections for employees who are line workers, rather
than policy or business operations staff. Ultimately, 160,000 mortgage loan officers
will lose the right to overtime pay that they currently have today. In addition,
nearly 90,000 computer employees, funeral directors, and licensed embalmers will become
exempt professionals and lose their right to overtime pay.
- Wall Street Journal: Fewer
Workers Have Health Benefits. Excerpts: The number of Americans with job-related
health benefits declined to 63% from 67% between 2001 and 2003, a new study estimates.
The study, based on a national survey of 46,600 people under the age of 65, highlights
the erosion in employer-sponsored health coverage caused by a sluggish economy and
rapidly rising health-insurance premiums. During the economic boom of the late 1990s,
the percentage of Americans with health benefits tied to their jobs rose modestly.
The decline in coverage represents one of the largest shifts in employer health-care
coverage in recent years, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change,
a Washington-based independent policy research group that conducted the study. The
center is funded principally by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ... Sluggish job
growth has made it difficult for managed-care companies to acquire new health-plan
members and increase revenues. But recent signs of job growth don't necessarily spell
more health-plan business, some executives say. "It's fair to say that some jobs
that are being created may not be the jobs that come with benefits," said Ron Williams,
president of Aetna Inc., at an investor conference earlier this summer. Much of the
new job growth comes from smaller businesses or service-sector companies, many of which
don't offer full health-care coverage, some analysts say. Other companies offer coverage
only to employees, not their families.
- Washington Post: Where
Are the Business Patriots? CEOs Need to Be Statesmen Again. Excerpts: Of course we had not forgotten. I'm also
aware that today's White House and both houses of Congress are led by my party. But
that doesn't alter my belief that our long-term fiscal prospects look even more troubling
now than they did in the 1980s. Let's look again at the deficit twins in government
and trade. Most serious analysts forecast that we face about $5 trillion in federal
budget deficits during the coming decade, just when the baby boom generation begins
to hit retirement age. At a time like this, we should be saving rather than squandering
our resources. The other "twin" refers to our unprecedented current account
deficit, the broadest measure of the difference between how much we spend overseas and
how much we earn from our exports. That deficit now stands at 5.4 percent of the gross
domestic product (GDP) -- the highest in U.S. economic history. This deficit requires
us Americans to borrow about $2 billion from foreigners every working day. No expert
I know believes this is sustainable. And remember, other developed countries are aging
faster than we are and their "baby boomer" bills are even larger than ours.
Former treasury secretary Robert Rubin refers to these twin deficits as confronting a "day
of serious reckoning." Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker says there's
a 75 percent chance of a crisis in the next five years.
Within the rising generation of CEOs, we desperately need more like Jeff Immelt of
GE, who quietly but courageously restructured his executive compensation to expense
stock options and put major emphasis on long-term operating performance. To keep a
true long-term alignment between shareowners and management, Immelt has decided not
to sell any of his stock until he retires. That's leadership. We also need more Warren
Buffetts -- more corporate John McCains -- who speak straight and sensibly about our
collective future. When they talk, we listen. That's leadership, too. We business
leaders must answer the questions that our critics are asking. We make crucial contributions
to our economic system. But we also reap the greatest rewards. If we benefit so much
from this democratic arrangement, don't we have to make it more accountable, more
durable and more fair? True corporate leadership is a kind of business patriotism: It
requires taking an honest stand on the great questions that face us. Patriotism is taking
a chance -- and not just saying, "I got mine." Patriotism is putting ourselves
on the line for those policies that we believe will help the long-term interests of
our economy and our country. Right now, America is running on empty. If those of us
in business don't speak up, we can only blame ourselves when our country's engine of prosperity
simply runs out of gas.
- Washington Post: Just
a Little Maintenance. We Can Fix Social Security, If We Can Manage the Politics. Excerpts: On April 20,
1983, Republican and Democratic congressional leaders joined President Ronald Reagan
at the White House to sign landmark legislation strengthening Social Security. They were
addressing a genuine crisis. Beginning in the 1970s, a lethal combination of high inflation
and high unemployment had sent benefit payments soaring as payroll tax revenues dwindled. "Just a few months ago," Reagan noted, "there was legitimate alarm
that Social Security would soon run out of money. On both sides of the political
aisle, there were dark suspicions that opponents from the other party were more
interested in playing politics than in solving the problem." But then, he
said, a bipartisan commission found a solution, political leaders of both parties "set
aside their passions," and a compromise was reached.
If only that were true today. Now, with the baby boom generation nearing retirement,
Social Security needs another adjustment. The mechanics of fixing the program aren't
complicated, but the politics of fixing it are. The problem isn't so much insolvency
as it is ideology. I served on that 1983 commission, representing then-House Speaker
Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, the Democrat from Massachusetts, and I know
that repairing Social Security is well within our grasp -- all we need is the political
will. Much has been made recently of Reagan's innate optimism, but even the late
president would be hard put to bring Democrats and Republicans together today in
of compassion and commitment" that he invoked 21 years ago. Back then, Reagan
reaffirmed "for all time our nation's ironclad commitment to Social Security" and
said the bill "struck the best possible balance between the taxes we pay and
the benefits paid back." By contrast, the present occupant of the White House
has committed himself, if reelected, to begin dismantling the Social Security system
by introducing private savings accounts to be financed, in part, by siphoning off
some of the payroll tax revenue now committed to Social Security.
- Washington Post: Just
As Scary As Terrorism. Anyone Seen Our Economic Policy? Excerpts:
At the same time, the image the United States is presenting to global investors is
increasingly tainted by our apparent disregard for both economic and diplomatic fundamentals.
The message we have conveyed in recent years is that there is no economic problem
we confront today -- from gigantic deficits to huge under-funded liabilities -- that
we wouldn't prefer to have our children solve tomorrow. So, it should not be surprising
that other important measures of investor interest have also taken a dramatic turn
for the worse in recent months. ... Yet our economic leadership seems to be looking
the other way. Two weeks after the OECD report came out, Treasury Secretary John Snow
told a Cleveland audience, "There is no more serious threat to our economy than
the threat of terrorist attacks on our soil."
It is hard to assess the number of ways in which this statement is wrong, but let's
try. Let's start with the biggest domestic economic problems. Almost any one of
them is a greater threat to the economy than virtually any imaginable form of terrorism.
There is the record-breaking budget deficit that is likely to amount to $5 trillion
over the next decade. Then there's the burgeoning trade deficit. And the $72 trillion
in unfunded future retirement and health care obligations to our own citizens.
And a record low savings rate, which suggests that we will need even more help
with retirement funding. And the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs and the cost
of fixing our dysfunctional health care and energy systems. Every one of these
is a gigantic problem on its own. Taken together, they represent a series of bombs
placed at the foundations of our society, and they are capable of exploding in
ways that would touch more Americans than anything even the most sophisticated
terrorists could devise. ...
Consider our broken health care system. Americans pay, on average, $4,000 more a
year for the same or less adequate health care than citizens of other OECD countries;
at General Motors the cost of employee health care now exceeds the costs of steel.
That is the kind of labor cost that drives foreign investors (and domestic companies)
overseas. So health care becomes a jobs issue; and the lost jobs are an economic
security issue. This is a cold, hard reality. And every minute we ignore the problem
or fail to view it in strategic terms we are losing ground. In this light, health care
should become a top priority in a thoughtful National Economic Strategy, as should education
and investment in infrastructure. Addressing these areas would mean creating jobs
-- and that is a much more positive, proactive approach to protecting workers than reactive,
punitive trade strategies that produce tensions with our trading partners.
|Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Off-Shoring
- CBS News: Out
of India. Excerpt: To many American employers, India is Nirvana. It has a stable
democracy, an enormous English-speaking population, and a solid education system
that each year churns out more than a million college graduates -- all happy
to work for a fraction of the salary of their American counterparts. And India
epitomizes the new global economy -- a country that often looks on the edge of
collapse, a background of grinding poverty, visually a mess. And yet, whether
you know it or not, when you call Delta Airlines, American Express, Sprint, Citibank,
IBM or Hewlett Packard's technical support number, chances are you'll be talking
to an Indian. ... New Delhi is nearly 11 hours ahead of New York, so manning
the phones is largely night work. By day, the agents - as they're called - are
dutiful Indian sons and daughters. By night, they take on phone names such as
Sean, Nancy, Ricardo and Celine so they can sound like the girl or boy next door. "The
real name is Tashar. And name I use is Terrance," says
one representative. "My real name is Sangita. And my pseudo name is Julia," says
another representative. "Julia Roberts happened to be my favorite actress, so
I just picked out Julia." American movies are part of an agent's training in
how to sound all-American.
Lavanya Prabhu is a call center trainer who guides young Indians through the labyrinth
of American English. And she says she is able to pick up some of typical American
accents while instructing her students. "Well, you have Brooklyn. 'You walk
the walk and you talk the talk.' And you have the southerner's thing. 'Oh hello,
there. What can I do for you today,'" says
Prabhu, who spends most of her time trying to de-Indianize her countrymen.
But it's difficult to get in. In fact, Prabhu says they accept approximately five
applicants out of 100 applications. On any given day in New Delhi and Bombay and
Bangalore, the call goes out for new call center recruits as more and more American
companies come calling. The call center employees earn $3,000 to $5,000 a year,
in a nation where the per capita income is less than $500. The perks include free
private transport to and from work plus the sheer heaven of an air-conditioned workplace.
on the Alliance@IBM Site:
- ThinkTwice for August/September 2004 [PDF].
Articles this month include:
- Organizing IBM — Rev it up!
- The Employee Free Choice Act
- Take Action! Help us Strengthen Workers’ Right to Form Unions!
- New IBM Program to Help Employees
Whose Jobs are Offshored
- The Value of a Union Contract
- Offshore Contractors Target
State Government Work
- News Interactive (Australia): Union
hits out over offshoring. Excerpt:
A union has accused IBM of talking down the effect on staff numbers of its
decision to shift Telstra work to India, saying the company was simply delaying
layoffs by redeploying staff to jobs that eventually would be offshored.
Community and Public Sector Union officials are "still concerned" about
the redeployment process, claiming IBM is not providing staff with training
and support needed to find alternative work. According to IBM, the layoffs
may not be as severe as first thought. Initial estimates were that up to
450 positions would be affected. An IBM spokeswoman said the company wanted
to save as many jobs as possible, and was redeploying staff to other Telstra
projects and business with other clients. CPSU assistant secretary Larissa
Andelman said 16 staff had been made redundant so far and within the next
four weeks 55 staff would be affected when another parcel of work was moved
- The Telegraph (India): Enter
union, in call centres. Excerpts: Trade unionism is entering the infotech bastion,
reaching out to the low-wage sweatshops that business process outsourcing (BPO)
outfits have become. The global Union Network International has launched a
new organisation that targets workers in Indian back-offices. The Centre for
Business Process Outsourcing Professionals has been launched in Hyderabad and
Bangalore and will be formally registered in August. ... The rise of a trade
union in BPO space has spooked the industry, which has already been under fire
in the US and Europe for spiriting away jobs to the sub-continent. Experts
fear this could kill the BPO boom in the country, which even the powerful India-bashing
lobby in the US has not managed. “This is bad news for the sector,” said
Pavan Duggal, a senior cyber law expert and Supreme Court advocate. “Over the
last few years, the BPO segment has emerged as a major foreign exchange earner.
Growing trade unionism will kill this industry.”
- Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: IBM
lays off about 40 workers in Endicott.
Excerpts: On Tuesday, IBM managers informed affected employees of the layoffs.
Martin said the workers performed a variety of functions but declined to
comment on their specific lines of business. However, documents obtained
by Alliance@IBM in Endicott indicate 19 of the 40 workers affected by the
resource action were cut from the company's Bank Systems unit. Laid off workers
in the department range in age from 42 to 55. A rise in electronic payments
nationally caused 29 workers in IBM-Endicott's Payment Solutions department to lose
their jobs last year. Many of those workers were reported to have had more
than 20 years with the company. "People are being cut piecemeal within IBM-Endicott,
and it's very difficult for them to find new jobs in an anemic job market," said
Lee Conrad, organizer for Alliance@IBM, a group that works to unionize IBM workers. "People
that we talk to say they have a hard time finding new employment, particularly
at the levels of wages and benefits that they've been used to."