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Highlights—December 11, 2004
- Wall Street Journal: IBM
to Exclude New Workers From Its Cash-Balance Pension. Move to Only 401(k) Plans Follows Legal
Questions, Marks Shift in Hiring Tack. Excerpts: International
Business Machines Corp., in a surprising move, disclosed that it will exclude new workers from
its cash-balance pension plan starting Jan. 1, and offer them only a 401(k) savings plan. The
change comes as IBM grapples with legal challenges over its cash-balance pension plan, which
was implemented in 1999. The move won't affect current employees or retirees and will have little
impact on the company's cash flow. However, the new policy is noteworthy because IBM and many
other employers long have maintained that cash-balance plans are better pensions for younger
workers who don't plan to spend their entire career with one employer. ... In changing its practice,
IBM appears to be acknowledging that its cash-balance plan may not be quite as attractive to new
workers as it had maintained.
Cash-balance plans have been controversial because when companies adopt them, the pensions of older,
long-employed workers can fall 20% to 50%, which has led to charges of age discrimination. This
fall, IBM agreed to pay $300 million to thousands of current and former employees to settle part
of a suit regarding its cash-balance plan, which last year a federal court determined had discriminated
against older employees. (IBM is expected to appeal the age-discrimination claim in the case.)
Despite the criticism, more than 400 large employers have adopted cash-balance plans, which can
give a substantial lift to a company's earnings, thanks to accounting rules. Reducing workers'
pensions generates gains that boost income. IBM's cash-balance plan has contributed more than $4
billion to the company's income during the past five years. ... IBM didn't publicly announce the
change, which some employees noticed yesterday on the company's Web site. If link is broken,
Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--23 KB].
- New York Times: I.B.M.
Prepares Substitution for Pensions of New Hires.
By Mary Williams Walsh. Excerpts: I.B.M., dogged by complaints about changes it made to employee
pensions in the 1990's, has decided to close its pension plan to new employees at the end of
the year and give all new workers a 401(k) plan instead. The outcry over the pension plan highlighted
the wrenching changes for many workers, as corporate America moved away from providing fixed,
guaranteed pensions and toward offering vehicles for employees to use to save for their own retirements
instead. The changes in I.B.M.'s plan, in 1995 and 1999, creating hybrids of the traditional
pension plan and a 401(k) design, led to protests by older workers, who lost significant benefits
as a result. With the decision to close what is known as a cash-balance plan, the company has completed
a decade-long shift.
The cash-balance model was thrown into doubt in 2003, when a federal judge ruled that the changes
I.B.M. made to its pension plan in the 1990's caused the plan to discriminate against older workers.
Implicit in the judge's decision was the opinion that virtually all cash-balance plans - which
cover millions of workers at hundreds of companies - were illegal for the same reason. I.B.M.
is appealing. Since the ruling, the companies that offer cash-balance pensions have been in limbo,
uncertain about the legality of their own pension plans and their degree of potential liability.
Repairing a cash-balance pension plan to eliminate the age-discriminatory aspects is very costly.
In September, I.B.M. reached a settlement with lawyers for current and former workers that would
limit its liability to about $1.7 billion if the ruling was upheld. I.B.M. said that its decision
to offer new employees a 401(k) plan in the future was made in an effort to keep its compensation
in line with the pay and benefits offered by competitors. If link is broken, view
Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--22 KB].
- Washington Post: IBM
Stops Offering Cash-Balance Pension. Excerpts: International Business Machines
Corp., taken to court by workers over changes it made to its traditional pension plan, has decided
to stop offering any such plan to new employees. IBM will continue to defend its current "cash-balance" pension
plan in court against charges that it violates federal age-discrimination laws, IBM Senior Vice
President Randy MacDonald said in a telephone interview yesterday, but will offer workers hired
after Jan. 1 only an enhanced 401(k) plan.
- Plan Sponsor: New IBM Hires Lose
DB, Gain Enhanced 401(k). Excerpts: The future of cash-balance plans literally hangs in the
balance, as International Business Machines pursues an appeal of the landmark court ruling
that its 1999 traditional defined benefit plan conversion to the nearly 20-year-old CB hybrid
savings concept discriminates against older workers. So it may not come as much of a surprise
that starting on January 1, 2005, all new U.S. hires at IBM will be enrolled in a newly designed "401(k)
pension" rather than the controversial cash-balance plan. Randy MacDonald, senior vice president
of human resources for IBM in Armonk, N.Y., explains the change to contributing editor Bruce
Shutan while also lamenting the industry's restrictive legislative and regulatory climate.
- IBM outlines its retirement plan for new employees on its "Jobs
at IBM" Web page. Excerpt: Through the IBM Savings Plan, IBM offers a leading-edge 401(k)
pension plan. Employees can contribute up to 80 percent of eligible compensation each pay period
on a before-tax basis, and up to 10 percent on an after-tax basis, up to amounts permitted by
tax laws. For eligible employees, IBM offers a dollar-for-dollar match, up to the first 6 percent
of pay you contribute to the plan. Employees are eligible for this match after one year, and, once
eligible, are fully vested. (Employees are always fully vested in their own contributions.)
- Janet Krueger comments
on IBM's move to an enhanced 401-K plan for new employees. Full excerpt: Actually, it
looks like new IBM employees will be getting a
relatively good deal. I've always said that a defined contribution plan with good
investment options and a full match is MUCH better for employees than
a cash balance plan attempting to disguise itself as defined benefit
plan where it takes 5 years to vest, the employees get minimal
interest rates with no investment choices, and all that is protected
is a derived age 65 annuity. REAL accounts in each employee's name,
with the employee benefiting from investment proceeds, are way better
than virtual accounts where the employer benefits from investment
proceeds and gets to meddle with the formulae every 4 or 5 years.
An employee hired on Jan 1,
2005, *IF* he participates in the new
401K up to the full match, will be far better off in 10 years than an
employee hired on Dec 31, 2004 with the old 401K and the cash balance
plan. Now, if we could only make Congress listen -- they do NOT need to
legalize cash balance plans, they need to encourage employers to
leverage options that are already available and legal!
P. S. One last thought... IBM claims
they are modeling their
employee benefits after what their competitors have to offer.
Someone should let them know Microsoft allows up to 12% with 100%
- "west_coast_retired_guy" comments
on the change.
Full excerpt: The new enhancements look
like a good deal for new employees compared
to the cash balance plan which really was constructed to maximize
moving vapor profits to the bottom line using surpluses in the old
pension plan. IBM's cash balance plan had lots of problems, including: Took 5 years to vest at
all. Yielded only one year treasury bill rates plus 1%.
Vunerable to some loss of benefits.
Provided no individual flexibility in investment choices.
Vunerable to management efforts to puff up bottom line. Probably illegal. Looks to me like the
replacement of the cash balance plan with an
enhanced 401K is a win-win, both for employees as well as IBM.
- "ibmaccountant" comments.
Excerpts: Now that IBM has now eliminated its CB and DB plans and has defined
contributory medical for new employees, it will become much easier
for new prospective employees to compare IBM versus other companies
in terms of benefits. The big secret brand image of IBM having great benefits that couldn't
be easily compared is rapidly disappearing. It's like the "open
source" movement for operating systems. IBM will not be able to play
shell games and hide behind the brand image in the recruiting market
for new talent. They've already started to react to that future
problem by proclaiming a 0 cost medical as an option for single
employees, sticking it to the older employee with dependents. This
skews the medical costs to make the company more attractive to new
college hires at the expense of committed employees. For now, dumbing down benefits make sense
since there is a glut of
talent in the IT industry. Demographics, however, paint a grim
picture for a company that takes this strategy in the next 5 -10
years here in the US.
- "Don" comments.
Full excerpt: Actually, I think the big plus to IBM is they can run their business
without having to have a pension plan. First IBM stopped giving COLAs to current retirees. Next
changed the way DB pensions were calculated. Then they tried to pass
off a CB plan as a DB plan. Now they only offer a 401K and can
reduce or terminate the employer match at any time. Along with this, they put a cap on retiree
medical contributions by
the company and started charging retirees the 'difference.' I put
that in quotes since there is really no way to find out what
percentage of the medical costs IBM is really paying. By jacking
these fees up with time, IBM can be sure it will never have to
actually contribute any real money to the DB pension fund if it
starts running short. What happens to the CB plan is still up in the air until the final
settlement is in but I suspect that those employees who managed to
get vested will be offered some kind of conversion either back to the
DB or into the 401K or offered an annuity from the insurance company
IBM recently acquired. In any event, IBM is really no longer in the pension business.
- National Public Radio Morning Edition: Companies
Doing Away with Pensions. Excerpt: A 401K savings plan is the choice of more and more corporations
trying to stabilize the bottom line. Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of the Employee Benefit
Research Institute, talks about IBM's decision to jettison traditional pensions -- and why the
move represents the future of retirement options. Hear Salisbury and NPR's Steve Inskeep.
- Washington Post: IBM
Reassures Workers After Milestone China Deal. Excerpts: During an IBM employee meeting here
Wednesday, a worker got up and asked a question that perhaps only 10 years ago would have been
unthinkable: If he wanted to keep his job helping to design some of the world's most advanced
computers, would he have to move to China? On the other side of the globe, at a Lenovo employee
meeting in Beijing, a worker got up and asked a similar question that a decade ago also would
have been unthinkable, but for different reasons: If he wanted to keep his job, would he have
to move from communist China to America? ... None of the workers asked about the deal here
would speak for the record, but some said privately they had feared significant layoffs were
in the offing. IBM and Lenovo officials said Wednesday that the deal will not result in job
cuts at either company. That news brought relief for now, but some remain worried about the ultimate
outcome. "We're concerned about the long-term situation for the employees. When deals like
this go through, there are usually job cuts that follow," said Lee Conrad, national coordinator
for Alliance@IBM, which advocates for worker rights at the company. "IBM employees are finding
themselves working for a Chinese corporation. And that's making a lot of people nervous."
In meetings with workers Wednesday, IBM executives reassured those who are about to become
Lenovo employees that their jobs are secure and that their pay and benefit levels will remain
roughly the same. "Things really aren't going to change," said Fran O'Sullivan, who is general
manager of IBM's PC division and slated to become chief operating officer of Lenovo. "I'm going
to stay here. And I'm going to continue to manage the PC business out of Research Triangle Park." If
link is broken, view
Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--32 KB].
- CNET News: Michael
Dell: IBM deal a dud. Excerpts: A deal that would let China's Lenovo acquire
IBM's PC unit would work about as well as other mergers in the industry, Michael Dell said--that
is, not well. During a question-and-answer session Tuesday at Oracle's OpenWorld conference, the
Dell chairman said a deal between Lenovo and IBM would likely follow a pattern seen in many mergers
where two very different organizations fail to mesh. "We're not big fans of the idea of taking
companies and smashing them together," Dell
said. "When was the last time you saw a successful acquisition or merger in the computer industry?
It hasn't happened in a long, long time...I don't see this one as being all that different." Dell
also said his company is not interested in buying IBM's PC unit. Dell has only made a few acquisitions
in its 20-year history. They have all been relatively small. The company's largest and first
acquisition, ConvergeNet, helped get Dell into the storage market, but it didn't work out, and
Dell dissolved the unit a few months later. "We like to acquire our customers one customer
at a time. We see organic growth as the more sustainable and healthy way," he said.
- CNET News: Method
to Palmisano's madness. Excerpt: Above all, Palmisano gets top credit for securing
the future of IBM with its big move into services. Even though the global services push got started
under Gerstner, it was Palmisano who drove that train. With 20/20 hindsight, it now seems a no-brainer:
Margins on personal computers, workstations and servers were getting thinner every year, and IBM
needed to find a place in a high-priced business where the word "commodity" was not part
of the lexicon. Under Palmisano, IBM achieved all that in spades--so much so that Big Blue's success
in services loomed large in Hewlett-Packard's controversial acquisition of Compaq Computer, a deal
that has yet to prove itself. Charlie Chaplin was the perfect mascot when 40 megabytes was mega-storage
and 80286 microprocessors constituted technology's cutting edge, but those days are gone. Just
like legendary safecracker Willie Sutton, Palmisano long ago recognized where the real money was--and
he's pointed IBM in that direction ever since.
- The China Syndrome. If You Want
to Understand IBM Selling Its PC Division, Just Look East. By Robert
X. Cringely. (Editor's note: highly recommended). Excerpt: What is absolutely key to this deal
is that the buyer is Lenovo, the largest Chinese PC manufacturer. Yes, the division was unprofitable
and IBM would have eventually had to do something about it, but Sam Palmisano wanted a Chinese
buyer and was willing to accept far less cash than he might have received elsewhere just to get
the buyer he wanted. IBM got rid of a headache and in doing so, gained unique access to what
will shortly be the world's largest IT market. This deal is all about China, not the U.S. Doing
business in China always requires having a partner. You don't just set up an IBM China and start
selling stuff. You find a local partner company and move into the market together. Now IBM's
partner will be Lenovo, the biggest, baddest PC maker in China, which is a good partner to have.
IBM not only has its Chinese partner, it has a substantial equity position in that partner as a
result of this transaction. That's unique as far as I know. Chinese-U.S. corporate partnerships
aren't always the easiest marriages, but in this one, IBM actually has a vote. It also got Lenovo
to move its global headquarters to the U.S. and accept an American CEO and 10,000 U.S. employees,
which will have to change the way Lenovo runs its global business.
- BBC News: Engineering the difference, by James Dyson (inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner). Excerpt:
Thousands of other companies are doing what we were forced to do. From Doc Marten shoes and Hornby
train sets, to Sony's high-tech electronics, they were all failing to make things competitively
in their home markets and moved their production to China. This shift has led to a huge period
of wealth creation. But it won't last. Why? China syndrome Because countries such as China have
already mastered low-cost production. Now they are buying Western know-how - the joint venture
between Shanghai Automotive and MG Rover, is primarily to secure rights to Rover's technology.
Chinese companies are also copying Western styling. Their universities are churning out vast numbers
of engineers and scientists. And they're good.
They're taking on Western companies by snapping up Western brands. Today, a Chinese company bought
IBM Personal Computers lock, stock and barrel. Manufacturing, management and the brand. Chinese
corporations have bought Thomson and RCA televisions, Dirt Devil and Vax vacuum cleaners, Alcatel
cellphones `and Dornier aircraft. To survive against them, we can't just rely on shallow styling.
We need technology and design that they don't have. Our only chance for survival is better engineering.
But to get engineering and manufacturing right in the future, we need to recognise our strengths
and failings in the past. Manufacturing companies and entrepreneurs need to have their ideas
here. Do the engineering here. Develop the technology here. Oversee the production from here.
Plan the marketing and organise the selling here. Then the revenues return to this country.
- Wall Street Journal: Will
Chinese ThinkPads Still Seem Hip? By William M. Bulkeley and Charles
Forelle. Excerpts: ThinkPad users aren't the only ones who might have reason to worry, analysts
say. IBM also could lose prestige and some of its reputation as an innovator among corporate types
who buy the company's other products if the jet-black laptop ceases to be the computer to be seen
with in executive suites and business-class sections of airplanes. ... No longer being connected to
such a widely noticed product could be bad for IBM's overall brand image, because much of what
the company sells is out of the public eye. "If the name IBM is locked up in the [computer]
server room and sits on all that [software] that I don't see, I think that the brand begins to
lose the resonance that it has left," says Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis at NPD
Group, a market-research firm. ... Bill Morrow, who runs the Florida-based Web site Thinkpads.com,
which sells the machines and hosts a discussion forum, says their value to IBM is far broader than
their sales. "CEOs buy these machines. CEOs put these machines on their desks," he says. "That
logo is there in front of them at all these times. That's great advertising." And it's not just
corporate chieftains who love their ThinkPads. Al Gore, Walter Cronkite and Bryant Gumbel are among
celebrities who have been cited publicly as fans, IBM says. An ad campaign IBM ran last year featured
such notable users as the founder of Cirque du Soleil, author Sylvia Nasar and Harvard Prof. Henry
Louis Gates. If link is broken,
view Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--36
- Vault's IBM Business
Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many
employees acquired from PwC.
- "ancientblueconsultant" comments
on IBM's sale of its personal computer division.
Full excerpt: Armonk is transitioning from being a technology company headquarters into
a investment management firm. This is not the beginning of a downhill trend nor a good
thing for consulting business. It is the beginning of the mediocre period where IBM will be
managed like a flexible, "On
disposal or acquisition) set of operating franchises. The sale of the PC operating franchise
is the beginning of a growing pace of asset sales and acquisition to make IBM look like
a real On Demand enterprise. The termination of the pension plans for new employees are
the last HR step to design the employee into a disposable tool that goes along with the rest
of the assets. In 5 years, all of the older folks will be gone and the liability will be history.
The large multi-national will become a new type of life form, and humans are a lower
form of life, subject to the whims of the borg as it continues to search for profit.
- Washington Post: Temps
Lose Bargaining Rights Won In 2000. NLRB Reverses Stand Along Party Lines. Excerpts: Temporary
workers will no longer be able to bargain for job benefits as part of a unit with permanent employees,
the National Labor Relations Board has ruled, reversing a Clinton-era precedent. In a 3 to 2 vote
that was issued Friday, the three members appointed by President Bush -- Robert J. Battista, the
chairman; Peter C. Schaumber and Ronald E. Meisburg -- said there is a difference between temporary
and permanent workers. "Thus,
the entity that the two groups of employees look to as their employer is not the same. No amount
of legal legerdemain can alter that fact," their
ruling stated. ... The new case is the latest of three major decisions overturned by the board
this year by 3 to 2 votes. In June, the board ruled that employees in nonunion companies are no
longer entitled to have a co-worker present when they are interviewed as part of a disciplinary
investigation. In July, it ruled that graduate teaching assistants at universities are not employees,
and therefore cannot organize. ... Labor experts and attorneys said they expect the labor board
to continue to overturn Clinton-era decisions as its majority moves from Clinton appointees, who
were thought to have a pro-labor bias, to Bush appointees, who are thought to have a pro-corporate
bias, Panken said.
- New York Times commentary, by Paul Krugman: Inventing
a Crisis. Excerpts: Privatizing Social Security
- replacing the current system, in whole or in part, with personal investment accounts - won't
do anything to strengthen the system's finances. If anything, it will make things worse. Nonetheless,
the politics of privatization depend crucially on convincing the public that the system is in imminent
danger of collapse, that we must destroy Social Security in order to save it. ... But never mind:
the same people who claim that Social Security isn't an independent entity when it runs surpluses
also insist that late next decade, when the benefit payments start to exceed the payroll tax receipts,
this will represent a crisis - you see, Social Security has its own dedicated financing, and therefore
must stand on its own. There's no honest way anyone can hold both these positions, but very little
about the privatizers' position is honest. They come to bury Social Security, not to save it. They
aren't sincerely concerned about the possibility that the system will someday fail; they're disturbed
by the system's historic success. For Social Security is a government program that works, a demonstration
that a modest amount of taxing and spending can make people's lives better and more secure. And
that's why the right wants to destroy it.
- New York Times commentary, courtesy of LibertyPost.org: A
False Start on Social Security. Excerpts: Even before the debate has truly begun over the
centerpiece of President Bush's second-term domestic agenda - creating private retirement accounts
within Social Security - White House and Congressional budget leaders have been floating the
idea that it won't require a major increase in the federal budget deficit. This is dangerously
misguided. Unwilling to raise taxes, Congress and the administration will have to borrow well
over $1 trillion to turn the president's wish into reality. For a country that already needs
to borrow $2 billion a day just to stay afloat, that gargantuan price tag for privatization is
one reason it's a bad idea. It is far from the only reason, and arguably not even the main one.
Yesterday, for instance, the president's top economist said privatization would very likely lead
to major benefit cuts, which could be devastating for people who lost money in their private accounts.
For now, however, the cost issue is moving to center stage in Washington. It is imperative to
refute the suggestion that private accounts would somehow, magically, pay for themselves.
To convince the public that those costs won't matter, privatization advocates are concocting
a ruse something like this: Borrow, say, $2 trillion today to establish private accounts, with
the expectation that they'll generate such tremendous personal savings that the government will
be able to cut future Social Security benefits by an even larger amount and use the savings
to erase the debt, plus interest, some 40 years down the line. By this sleight of hand, the
money borrowed is not new debt, and there's no need to count it toward the deficit. Remember
how Enron used off-the-books maneuvers to pretend it had no debt? Remember how well that worked
out? For privatization advocates who have been stumped by how to pay for the transition to private
accounts, this ploy has significant political advantages: creating the illusion that Social
Security privatization entails no cost would bolster the case for privatization for an unwitting
public. It would also give political cover to legislators and other policy makers who want to be
on the president's team but may otherwise balk at the huge deficits that come with playing along.
- New York Times: The
Two Faces of China. Excerpts: Few business executives watch the growth of
the Chinese economy as closely as Michael R. P. Smith, the chief executive of the Hongkong
and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Yet even Mr. Smith was startled when his staff recently projected
that in 2034, bank assets in China would surpass those in the United States. "When I saw that,
I said, 'That can't be right,' and I went back to the economics guys," who
confirmed the projection, Mr. Smith recalled. Much the same surprise is cropping up in industry
after industry and in country after country. From steel to oil to cars to credit cards, China
is poised to become the world's biggest producer and market for many goods and services. Along
the way, China has come to terrify many foreign business executives and attract others - and
sometimes both at the same time, depending on whether they see the country as a competitor,
a cheap source of supply, a market, or all three.
American imports from China exceed exports by more than five to one, as retailers like Wal-Mart
Stores buy immense and growing quantities of goods from China. With as many people as the entire
industrialized world combined, China has tens of millions of unskilled workers willing to work
for less than $100 a month. During the Democratic primaries this year, Senator John Kerry repeatedly
Arnold C.E.O.'s" who moved jobs overseas. Those statements drew strong objections from the
business community, including Democratic business leaders, and Mr. Kerry's comments about
trade were relatively tame during the general election campaign. Yet many corporate executives
wonder how much longer a big American trade deficit and the moving of jobs overseas can persist
without becoming the subject of strong protests by Americans who say that foreign workers
are taking away their jobs "China kind of got a pass in this campaign; that may not always
be the case," said
Benjamin W. Heineman Jr., G.E.'s senior vice president for law and public affairs.
- Washington Post: Bush
Plans Tax Code Overhaul. Changes Would Favor Investment, Growth. Excerpt: Instead the administration
plans to push major amendments that would shield interest, dividends and capitals gains from
taxation, expand tax breaks for business investment and take other steps intended to simplify
the system and encourage economic growth, according to several people who are advising the White
House or are familiar with the deliberations. The changes are meant to be revenue-neutral. To
pay for them, the administration is considering eliminating the deduction of state and local
taxes on federal income tax returns and scrapping the business tax deduction for employer-provided
health insurance, the advisers said.
- WLNS TV News: Colgate-Palmolive Execs
Get Perks Despite Cuts. Full excerpt: Even as Colgate-Palmolive
announces job cuts, the consumer products maker has disclosed that many executives are given
allowances to spend on anything from pet sitters to running shoes. The plan, called "Above
and Beyond," is
detailed in the company's quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The
program has been in place since 1986 and covers 800 executives. Under the plan, executives
and officers can ask for reimbursement for exercise equipment, instructional videos, grooming
and boarding services for pets and veterinarian fees and visits. The allowances range from $11,500
yearly for top executives, down to $2,000 for more junior officers. The Associated Press came across
the program while searching SEC filings. Colgate-Palmolive announced plans to cut 4,400 jobs and
close one-third of its factories as part of a 4-year plan aimed at boosting its sales and profits.
- New York Times: Unions
Plan Big Drive for Better Pay at Nonunion Wal-Mart. Excerpt: The A.F.L.-C.I.O.
and more than a half dozen unions are planning an unusual - and unusually expensive - campaign
intended to pressure Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, to improve its wages and benefits.
The campaign will be highly unusual because it will not, at least at first, focus on unionizing
Wal-Mart workers, but will instead focus on telling Americans that Wal-Mart - with wages averaging
between $9 and $10 an hour - is pulling down wages and benefits at companies across the nation.
on the Alliance@IBM Site:
- IBM PC Division Employees Alert! Full excerpt:
- PC Division Sold - Although virtually unknown in the United States, Lenovo, China's largest
PC maker and the world's fastest growing one, has bought the IBM PC Division for
$1.75 billion. The sale brings the end of an era in an industry that IBM helped invent.
- What of the PC division employees? The impact on employees, their families and communities
is still to be determined.
Nearly 10,000 IBM employees will become Lenovo employees, doubling their workforce.
In RTP alone there are an estimated 1900 PC division employees.
- The fight for a voice in the workplace continues. The Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701 is deeply
concerned about the impact that this sale will have on current IBM employees. We
want to make it clear that we will not abandon our members or co-workers. We intend
to keep organizing and representing employees as they move into Lenovo.
In fact, we will actively pursue the formation of a new Alliance chapter at Lenovo.
We encourage IBM PC division employees to contact us.
Let us not be victims in this sale, but active participants in this transformation.
Let us all do our part to ensure that the employee's voices are heard, as employees
of IBM become employees of Lenovo.
- Contact the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701 via phone at 607-658-9285, fax us at 607-658-9283,
email us at EndicottAlliance@stny.rr.com
- RTP Alliance@IBM Newsletter Fall
2004 [PDF]. Included in the newsletter are these articles:
- Cash Balance Class Action Lawsuit Update
- Profile of a Successful IBM Career
- Conference On Non-Majority Unions
- PBC Survey Asks: Does It Work? Is It Fair?
- PBC: How Does It Work?
- American Rights at Work: Litany
of NLRB Decisions Strip Workers of Protection in Union Organizing.
Excerpt: A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), announced last
Friday, makes it more difficult for workers to receive legal protection from employer
threats. Reversing a 2000 decision, the Bush-appointed NLRB members ruled that employees
must provide evidence that an employer spread a threat of plant closing among its employees
for the purpose of overturning union election results. According to the dissenting
NLRB members, “Since
the 1950s, at least, the Board rightly has recognized that when an employer threatens
to close a plant if the union wins a representation election, the threat very likely
will make the rounds of the workplace. It is, after all, an extraordinarily powerful message,
for it implies the end of every employee’s job.” "This rapid erosion of labor
law is leaving workers in America more vulnerable than ever," says David Bonior, Chair
of American Rights at Work, a new workers' rights advocacy organization. “Workers who
stand up for themselves are now in double jeopardy—attacked
by their employer and abandoned by the very agency created to protect them.”
|Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Off-Shoring
Grand Avenue, by Steve Breen:
- WashTech: Honeywell’s
Secret Five Year Globalization Plan Exposed.
Excerpt: Honeywell International Inc. is planning to move 5,000 aerospace division jobs offshore
over the next five years, according to internal documents that outline the company’s global
development strategy. The documents, titled, “Strategies In-Place to Enable 5-Year Plan,” detail
key Honeywell priorities, including establishing avionics manufacturing in Brno, Czech Republic,
outsourcing selected manufacturing, reducing high-cost staff and increasing the use of technical
capabilities at international locations based in Mexico, India and the Czech Republic.