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    Highlights—September 3, 2005

Union Community Fund: Help Working Families Devastated by Hurricane Katrina
Donations to the Union Community Fund are tax-deductible.
Working families in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama desperately need your help. Please contribute as generously as you possibly can to the special Hurricane Relief Fund of the AFL-CIO's Union Community Fund, labor's charity for working families and communities in distress. We are working with the labor federations in the affected states and with relief organizations to target help to our working brothers and sisters who need it most. UCF is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public charity.
  • Legislative Alert from the Pension Rights Center. Full excerpt: FOLKS, we just heard that the Senate HELP Committee is marking-up
    their pension bill NEXT WEEK—AS EARLY AS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th. This is a crucial battle that we have to win to ensure that Congress passes a bill that contains cash balance provisions that protect the benefit expectations of older employees.
    We've heard that Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Committee, is INSISTING that the bill include provisions that will legalize cash balance plans on a retroactive basis.
    WE NEED TO ACT FAST – THIS WEEK – TO make sure that the bill does NOT legalize cash balance plans going backward and to ensure that the bill fully protects workers' interests going forward.
    HERE ARE THE STEPS YOU SHOULD TAKE:
    1. Call, fax and e-mail the Members of the HELP Committee (list below) and tell them [cash balance plans are nothing more than a scam, but] that if they [must] address cash balance plans in their legislation it must:
      • Protect the benefit expectations of older employees.
      • Ban the wearaway of both normal and subsidized early retirement benefits
      • Include adequate transition benefits such as providing employees with a choice between the old and new plans once they reach retirement age.
      • NOT legalize cash balance plans retroactively. Tell them any attempt to do this would be very complex and undermine the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers.
      You should focus first and foremost on the Members of the Senate HELP who are your own Senators (but if you have time, call all Members of the Senate HELP Committee). We've also attached a draft letter that you can use. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE DETAILS OF YOUR OWN SITUATION. The most effective e-mails and faxes are those that include personal details of how you've been hurt by cash balance conversions.
    2. If you only have limited time, you should focus your e-mails, faxes and phone calls on the following four Members of the Senate HELP Committee who will be instrumental in the outcome of cash balance legislation:
    3. Also, even if your own Senators are not on the Senate HELP Committee, you should write them to ask that they co-sponsor the 'Pension Benefits Protection Act' (S. 1304), introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), which allows workers the choice between the old and new plan during conversions and which stops companies from engaging in "wearaway" practices that effectively freeze the benefits of older employees. Also ask your Senators to call Members of the Senate HELP Committee to ask them to protect employee interests in cash balance conversions. You can find your own Senators by looking on the following web site, http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm or by calling the Senate operator at (202) 224-3121.
    Attached [posted in the files area of this board] are a list of the members of Senate HELP Committee with their contact information and a draft letter you can use to send to members of the HELP Committee.
    Let's work together to make sure that the Senate HELP Committee passes a good bill that protects older employees. Please feel free to contact us.
    Karen, Ryan and Joellen
    Pension Rights Center
    1350 Connecticut Ave, NW
    Suite 206
    Washington DC 20036
    www.pensionrights.org
    (202) 296-3776
  • Yahoo! message board post by Janet Krueger: IBM's Lobbying Fiasco. Full excerpt: We need lots of calls into Washington, DC -- the HELP committee is going to act on their version of cash balance legislation right after Labor Day...
    Just as a reminder, IBM has spent a lot of money lobbying in Washington, and the only way we can counteract that is to remind our senators and representative that we vote!
    I just uploaded a file to the FILES area of this board named IBMLobbyingArticles with 4 Wall Street Journal articles on IBM's lobbying fiasco...
    Editor's note: You must join the IBMPension Yahoo! message board to view documents in its files area. However, for your convenience a PDF version of the Wall Street Journal articles posted by Ms. Krueger is available on the www.ibmemployee.com server. The articles included in this PDF file include:
    • Many Ties Link Pension Lobby To Regulators. By Ellen E. Schultz and Theo Francis. 10 September 2003.
    • Leading the News: House Acts to Derail Pension Rules --- Amendment May Prevent Cash-Balance Regulations Proposed by the Treasury. By Ellen E. Schultz and Theo Francis. 10 September 2003.
    • Treasury Says Employees of IBM Doctored Item Sent to Lawmakers. By Ellen E. Schultz. 18 June 2004.
    • IBM Sets Accord On Pension Plan For $300 Million. By Ellen E. Schultz, Theo Francis and William M. Bulkeley. 30 September 2004.
    IBM has actually doctored documents they sent to Congress. When I was out in Washington, one senator's staffer actually expressed anger to us that IBM had "flat out lied" to Senators. As you talk to senate staffers, ask them if they've seen the WSJ articles, and offer to send them if they don't remember them! Also, feel free to reference them in your letters or faxes to Senators, or attach them.
    As they choose whether to support us or IBM, they need to know who the good guys are!
  • Raleigh News & Observer: Gifts for Lenovo? Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo's bold request for incentives has to be weighed against the need for jobs. Excerpts: Tar Heels have been told that economic development is a dog-eat-dog competition for jobs, and that's certainly how it looks.Thanks to an e-mail error, and reporting by The N&O's Jonathan B. Cox, the public has received a rare glimpse into the early stages of a multi-million-dollar deal between Durham and a global computer corporation. Lenovo, the Chinese outfit that bought IBM's personal computer business earlier this year, is telling Durham officials it wants $14 million worth of incentives to keep 1,900 people working here. If asking for a handout isn't enough, the company says other states and maybe even Singapore would be interested in competing for those jobs. The quick answer to such a bargaining strategy would in prosperous times be "No" and quickly. [...]
    Usually, the public is shielded from the messy runup to big economic-development deals. Companies demand secrecy in these negotiations, partly to keep their competitors off balance but also to play off their suitors against each other. By mistake, Durham County Manager Mike Ruffin sent to reporters copies of Lenovo's request for incentives as a Chamber of Commerce executive summarized it. And a breathtaking request it is. The world's third largest computer maker wants millions worth of outright grants, in addition to college tuition breaks for its employees and other considerations.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "madinpok". Full excerpt: Your results are right in line with what several people who took a close look at the FHA predicted back in 1999. The estimate was that, for many people, the FHA would last 3-4 years before running out. After that, you can still buy health insurance from IBM, but you will pay for the full cost out of your own pocket. Right now, that is about $12,000 per year for employee+spouse.
    So if you plan on retiring at 53 - 55 years of age, plan on spending about $150 - $250K of your own money on health insurance before you are eligible for medicare at age 65. After that, plan on another $250k for supplemental insurance during the rest of your lifetime. This amount could be even higher if medical costs continue to rise at anything near the rate they have over the last 10 years.
    The alternative is to find a post-retirement job that provides less expensive access to medical insurance. Not an easy task for many people. But the money you earn at WalMart will help offset the high cost of medical insurance.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Kathi Cooper. Full excerpt: A full time job at Wal-Mart will get you good health insurance for $40
    a month. It's managed by BCBS. While you are covered by Wal-Mart health insurance, your FHA balance is untouched. Just one (of many) options to manage your health care after retirement.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "fhawontcutit". Excerpts: It's amazing how many people can tell you how much they "lost" in the cash balance conversion, but they have absolutely no idea what was done to them on the retiree medical plan. For many people, the retiree medical plan changes will be a bigger hit to retirement security than the cash balance conversion. (Not to mention that many have been fired prior to retirement eligibility and have absolutely no retiree medical coverage.)
    If anyone is planning on getting a "post-retirement job", I would suggest they take a look at what you may be competing against: http://streetsideinvestor.com/2005/08/11000-apply-for-400-openings-at.html
    And you will have to keep your "post-retirement job" until you (and spouse) are eligible for Medicare. Now what are the chances that you (and spouse) are going to make it to age 65 in that "post-retirement job", especially if you something happens to you before then? Do you think you will even get enough hours to even qualify for health insurance? If you start incurring medical bills, will you even be working enough hours to keep the medical benefits? [...]
    The boomers had better wake up and soon. They have a healthcare crisis. It's time to admit it and do something about it instead of these patchwork ideas of trying to combine COBRA, FHA, and post-retirement jobs, and who knows what else to try to get by. It's time for everyone to face reality here: we have a healthcare crisis in this country and it's just a matter of time before it hits you and your family.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "madinpok". Excerpt: While many people may be able to find less expensive insurance by getting a quote on the open market, some people will have no choice but to continue buying insurance from IBM at whatever rate they want to charge. If you have a pre-existing health condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc, you will find that most insurance companies will not want you as a customer, leaving IBM as your only choice. And insurance companies are becoming even more choosey about who they will insure at a reasonable rate. If you have high blood pressure, a family history of certain diseases, or even a bad credit record, expect to pay more.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Kathi Cooper. Full excerpt: It is good FHA strategy to never use up all of your FHA account. Always leave a little in it. Why? Because you will always be able to use IBM's medical plans if you keep some FHA dollars in your account. The day you use up all your FHA funds is the day IBM cuts you off and you are open to the whims of the open marketplace. As long as you have some funds in your FHA account, IBM can't drop you. (this hint from a very smart lady at the ESC that poured her guts out to me one day, regarding benefits)
  • Yahoo! message board post by "brizmoydm". Full excerpt: When the change to the retirement plan came on June 30, 1999, I was
    seven days short of my 25 Anniversary. I was force into the Cash Balance Plan until the Senate Hearings embarrassed IBM into offering a choice to employees with 10+ years of service and over 40 years of age. After the choice was offered between the old plan and the new plan, even Stevie Wonder could clearly see that the Prior Plan was better for me. Unfortunately I did not have a choice on the Medical. I am stuck with the FHA
    I am now eligible to retire with a little over 31 years, but my FHA has a balance of approximately $20K. That is supposed to cover my benefits until I am 65 which is 11 years away. I guess that I'll be doing my own version of "five loaves and two fish". I inquired about expected benefit cost in retirement by calling Fidelity. The net result is that the benefits that I am paying $342 per month as an employee will increase to $1,170 per month as a retiree. Even utilizing COBRA, I'll be lucky if my FHA Balance lasts three years.
    Are there any suggestion that folks on this group can provide. I am sort of "boxed in" since my wife is a breast cancer survivor for 15 years. I am told that she will still be classified as a "pre-existing condition" and insurers will either decline coverage or offer coverage at rates that are astronomical.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Skip Bogard. Excerpts: On "the blessing" if one was within 5 yrs of retirement in 1999 or being on the Retirement Plan - Prior Plan...any retiree who thinks their blessing might continue tomorrow is deluding himself and/or his spouse.
    Retirees from the 1980's, or even those retired much earlier, and even former IBM executives can still be given a FHA-like account at ANY TIME with an opening balance determined to be ANY AMOUNT by IBM with simple plan changes. Law changes or simply IBM's whim to ignore a contract (executive contracts, foreign or local union contracts, foreign or local labor laws, or other) can be changed or ignored.
    Any retiree still living from the 70's, 80's, or 90's who thinks "they have it made" while others don't is seriously deluding themselves. IBM has broken every set of employment laws including the FMLA, ADA, ADEA, FCPA, SUTA, OSHA, Right-to-Know Chemical Exposure, and Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Janet Krueger. Full excerpt: Regardless of the advice offered by an administrator at Fidelity, IBM STILL has the right to eliminate the FHA with no notice, regardless of whether you have used any or all of it.
    Do NOT blissfully assume it is a real account, and that as long as you leave a little Monopoly money in it, IBM will have to provide you with access to insurance. While that may be so under the rules as IBM has explained them to Fidelity today, IBM has very carefully reserved the right to change those rules at any time.
    There is no federal law that says IBM cannot eliminate the FHA or any other health care they promised you. And there is no contract you can refer to, since you were not employed under a union contract.
    If you believe there SHOULD be a federal law forcing employers to live up to health care promises made to retirees and employees, you might want to check out www.nrln.org and lobby for their health care legislation.
    If you believe you SHOULD be working under a union contract, check out www.allianceibm.org.
    If you believe everyone, including retirees, should have access to affordable health care without having to depend on the ongoing largesse of their employers, then you should start working towards universal health care by electing different people to Congress than most of those who are there now. Check out www.uhcan.org for a starting place...
  • Yahoo! message board post by "bozemansmith". Excerpt: Just wanted to point out another potential "gotcha" in the FHA. If you are retired or retiring and you don't need the FHA just now (perhaps because -- like me -- you are covered via a spouses employer's benefit) you may be thinking you will just let the "money" sit there and earn interest until you need to use the IBM plan (spouse loses job, say).
    That is a good plan, BUT: you MUST be continuously covered by SOME health plan until you need the FHA and IBM coverage. If for any reason you have a period of no coverage, the FHA "money" DISAPPEARS. Permanently. Therefore you cannot "go naked" without any insurance while in good health thinking the FHA and IBM benefits are there if things take a turn for the worse -- they won't be.
    If you are in this situation, you should seriously think about retaining paperwork to "prove" coverage during the interim.
    This could also be part of a strategy to use a cheaper coverage now and revert to the IBM coverage if / when you need to. Clearly, there is some risk that if you do not use the FHA now that in the future IBM may abandon it and you get nothing.
    I personally believe the FHA was a large red herring to throw people "off the trail" of their true lost benefits, and IBM will continue the farce until it ceases to be of use to them. However, it could have considerable value in a lawsuit environment by allowing IBM to claim "But we did not strip away promised benefits, we just <changed> them...." So I don't think it will disappear right away.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Kathi Cooper. Excerpts: The ESC (Employee Service Center) is famous for giving out wrong information. My first phone call to them showed that I could get a high deductible policy for nothing! I demanded to talk with management to correct the information that I KNEW was wrong.
    Next, they sent me a brochure. Sure enough, NOTHING in it referred to the FHA. The brochure did state that I would have free medical for the high deductible policy. Three phone calls later, I was finally promised by one of the supervisors that they are making sure all will be corrected and will be available to all FHA IBM'ers in time for our fall medical choices. That is unacceptable. [...]
    I told them the false SPF they are handing out is in violation of disclosure laws, as it is a legal document. I told them thousands of IBM'ers will be making life decisions based on wrong information. I told them to STOP IT immediately. A lot of good that does.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "Don". Excerpts: I got a note off line from Kathi Cooper and am quoting some of it here with her permission. I've done some editing to protect the innocent.
    "STAY AWAY!!!! The spouse of a good friend at IBM was hospitalized and my friend was approached by Care Advantage. Their mission is to get you out of the IBM's health system as soon as possible. They are paid by how much they SAVE IBM in health costs. They sound like they are on your side, but not.
    "My friend did some research on Care Advantage and says:
    'Do NOT say anything to them as they need information from you to do their job. Do NOT give any medical info out. Do NOT trust them. They do not have your medical information (or maybe they do and need your permission to use it) so they need it. They use this info to examine and 'cut' care and drugs, etc... They make cases against you if you appeal something. Their client is IBM, not you.'
    "Did you see the movie Soylent Green. Remember when Robinson decided to die and nice people took good care of him while he died. Then after he was dead, he was food. Well, their job is kind of like those nice people. Be nice, but get you out of the health care system. You are a drain on it. They want to manage your care and manage you out."
    There is some information about these folks on this web site. One of their goals is to manage employees away from specialists to cut costs. Note that this is a site for "Information for HR and Benefit Directors and other Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors and Advisers." These people are not our friends.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Linda Guyer. Excerpts: Every job band in IBM has a salary range. Here's a hypothetical example (I don't actually know what the $ ranges are for each band, that is "secret information"):
    Say your job is Band 5 and the range for that band is $30,000 - $60,000 per year. The midpoint of that range is $45,000. That is what IBM management refers to as the market reference point. My interpretation of that term is that it is the average of what employees at other companies are paid to do a similar job. If you are paid $45K for your job, IBM considers you at 100% of market reference point. IBM manages this very carefully to avoid paying any employee too much and thus adversely impacting any executive raises or bonuses.
    You should ask your manager for the salary range for your band. They should share this information with you and tell you where you fall in the range. You have a right to this information. If you are way below the midpoint, you can ask your manager how you can earn (note the politically correct term, "earn") future raises and how soon you can catch up to the midpoint. Be realistic in your expectations - if you have only limited experience you will probably spend quite a few years in the lower part of the range. If you are rated "1" you can reasonably expect decent raises each year. If you are rated "3" you may as well seek employment at another company, unless you were just promoted. Good luck.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "ibmaccountant". Full excerpt: Today I got a call asking for a donation to re-elect the Republicans into Congress and the Senate. In the past, I've given substantial amounts of money to the GOP.
    This year, I told them I would be giving my money to the Democrats unless I saw them kill HR3820 and its associated bill in the Senate. The party on the other side of the line tried to give me the party line about saving pensions, and I told her off. Before I told her off, she thought I was pro-HR3820 so she did state that there was a troubling trend of rising opposition to the GOP on this issue and added that the strategy is to eliminate all defined benefit pensions (public and private) to free the money to "save large corporations for the good of the country". She did mention retirees already "on the dole" (her words) will also be converted.
    They want to eliminate pensions because it is a constant political reminder of the Roosevelt legacy, which Bush is determined to eradicate from the American landscape. The forces pushing for this are trying to keep the baby boomers working (they are worried about the demographics of the baby boomers retiring and not spending money in the US) by taking their hard earned pensions away from them and hand that money to investment firms and back to large corporations.
    If you are a future pension victim, you might want to send an e-mail to the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee at askthechairman@nrcc.org. Flood their systems with e-mails, friends, or your future as a wage slave is sealed!
  • Yahoo! message board post by Steve Berger. Full excerpt: I just finished sending similar comments to 15 different House members, both Democratic and Republican. Seems as if you are not in their district, they don't want to hear from you, especially the Republicans. Here is what I said:
    To Whom this may Concern:
    Some fellow IBMers received calls recently from a GOP group requesting donations because there was a troubling trend of opposition to HR3820; that the GOP was trying to free this pension money to save large corporations for the good of the country. Little did these canvassers know that these people also were in opposition since they would be directly affected negatively. The response was that they were no longer going to fund political activities for the GOP but, instead, would fund political activities on the part of the Democrats to un-elect GOP members of both Senate and House this coming election.
    I know many others, who are not a part of IBM, who have said the same. It appears there is a general attitude amongst Republicans to return to pre-Franklin Roosevelt years when there were no pensions or social security. It, therefore, is in the best interest of anyone 40 years or older to give their political donations to either Democrats or any new moderate political party to prevent the Republicans from legally robbing them of their hard earned futures and turning them over to large financial interests. The GOP must have a ton of freaking idiots working for them these days or are callous as hell if they actually plan to get re-elected doing this. Therefore, all politicians, newspapers, and action groups on this list, listen up:
    As an independent America, I am re-declaring my rights and independence and recommend that whoever else is out there do the same. There is a line in the Declaration of Independence that says, "But when a long term of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them to absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
    Since it is obvious the GOP and the administration design to create a non-retiring working class working for subsistence wages, and that, I believe, this bill was co-authored by Republican and Democrat, its time to "provide New Guards" by creating an new moderate political party that has some common sense, unless both Republicans and Democrats work together to absolutely, unequivocally, kill this bill.
    Sincerely, Steve Berger
  • Network World: Reconsidering the IBM-Lenovo deal. By Linda Musthaler. Excerpt: Let's discuss the easy issue first - the potential brain drain. Before his appointment as Lenovo president and CEO, Steve Ward headed PCD. He had the dubious distinction of telling thousands of his fellow IBM employees that their division had been sold and explaining the rationale for the sale. Ward expected a backlash; instead, he received applause and cheers. Ward attributes the unexpected reaction to the employees' passion for the PC. In recent years, IBM did its best to stifle that passion by de-emphasizing PCs and making PCD feel like the unwanted stepchild. Lenovo's adoption of this stepchild meant that PCD would gain a prominent position in a growing company focused on the PC platform. PCD employees could feel like rock stars instead of back-up singers in their new company. Ward says that less than a handful of employees declined the offer to trade an IBM badge for a Lenovo badge. So much for the brain drain.
  • New York Times: Wal-Mart Workers Are Finding a Voice Without a Union. By Steven Greenhouse. Excerpts: Having failed to unionize any Wal-Marts, American labor unions have helped form a new and unusual type of workers' association to press Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to improve its wages and working conditions. With its first beachhead in Central Florida, the two-month-old group is already battling Wal-Mart, the nation's largest corporation, over what it says is the company's practice of reducing the hours that many employees work, often from 40 a week to 34, 30 or even fewer, jeopardizing some workers' health benefits. Belva Whitt, a cashier who earns $7.40 an hour, said she had joined the new group, the Wal-Mart Workers Association, largely because she was unhappy with her wages and because her hours were reduced to part time from full time many weeks. [...]
    Labor leaders say they support the nonunion Wal-Mart Workers Association because with the company fighting aggressively against unionization, they recognize that it will be extremely hard to unionize any Wal-Marts. "This dovetails nicely with what we're doing," said William McDonough, organizing director of the food and commercial workers, which has sought unsuccessfully to unionize several Wal-Marts. "Our role is to help Wal-Mart workers get a voice on the job."
  • Washington Post: Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent. Excerpts: Even with a robust economy that was adding jobs last year, the number of Americans who fell into poverty rose to 37 million — up 1.1 million from 2003 — according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday. It marks the fourth straight increase in the government's annual poverty measure. The Census Bureau also said household income remained flat, and that the number of people without health insurance edged up by about 800,000 to 45.8 million people. [...] While disappointed, the Bush administration — which has not seen a decline in poverty numbers since the president took office — said it was not surprised by the new statistics.
  • New York Times: United States of Shame, by Maureen Dowd. Excerpt: W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn't dry. Bye, bye, American lives.

Vault Message Board Posts
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA): Delegates Vote $4 Million for CWA Hurricane Relief. Excerpt: Local 1180 President Arthur Cheliotes, whose local is based near Ground Zero in New York City, reminded members how quickly CWA came to the aid of fellow members in New York after September 11th. He moved for the $4 million contribution, which delegates unanimously supported. Savant said he and newly elected CWA President Larry Cohen "will work together to get as many resources as we can to ease the suffering of our sisters and brothers in that area. What has happened over there certainly has broken our hearts, it may break our pocketbooks, but it will not break our spirits."
  • Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Guest Viewpoint: We cannot let Endicott's past ruin its future. By Rep. Maurice Hinchey. Excerpts: For too long Endicott residents have endured health and economic repercussions related to living in the presence of toxic contamination. The contamination moves in a 300-acre plume beneath the village and contains known or suspected carcinogens, notably trichlorethylene (TCE). This contamination is the legacy of Endicott's industrial past and at least a portion can be traced directly to IBM's Endicott plant. A new report by the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry shows increased rates of certain types of cancers, specifically kidney and testicular cancers, and congenital heart defects for people and infants living in the area of the spill. I fought to initiate this study and regard it as helpful in understanding the impact toxic chemicals have on public health in Endicott.
  • National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN): National Retiree Group Cite Legislative Priorities For Addressing America’s Pension Crisis. Excerpts: “Workers and retirees have planned for retirement based on the expectation that the pension and other benefits they have earned through decades of their labor will be there for them. There must be safeguards in pension reform legislation that will prevent employers from breaking promises to workers and retirees,” announced NRLN President Jim Norby. Norby cited the current effort by corporate lobbyists on behalf of legislation to legalize cash-balance plans retroactively, which is vigorously opposed by the NRLN and its member organizations. “Making cash-balance legislation retroactive would endanger pending lawsuits for hundreds of thousands of employees and retirees,” Norby said.
  • Click the Alliance@IBM sponsored Health Focus Survey, if you are an IBM employee, former employee (EI), IBM Retiree, or contractor.. . We urge all IBMers to fill out our Health Focus Survey to help document health problems IBMers might associate with working with toxic materials at IBM.
  • Contractor UK: India rules 30,000 UK IT Work Permits. Excerpts: Over 30,000 UK IT work permits have been granted to foreign computer experts within the last year-and-a-half, according to exclusive data obtained by Contractor UK under the Freedom of Information Act. More than 80 per cent of the 30,090 permits approved between January 2004 and June this year went to Indian computer experts, flocking to British shores as software engineers, system analysts and ‘other IT related’ occupants. The grand total of 24,764 Indian nationals arriving in the UK dwarfed the second highest number of entrants, who originated from the United States. Just over 1,700 American IT managers, engineers and techies snapped up work permits within the same year-and-a-half period. [...]
    Paul Taylor, UK managing director of Hudson IT, says two “key drivers” inspire swathes of Indian nationals to join British technology departments. “Essentially it’s about remuneration. Indian IT pros, whether they seek contract or permanent work, can obviously earn a lot more in the UK than at home. If we set aside the quality of life lure of the UK, remuneration probably is more important than anything else as a key driver,” said Taylor. John Kell, the Professional Contractors Group’s political researcher, supports the IT director’s view, citing homeland rates for Indian IT workers ranging from just £4,000 to £7,000 a year.
  • Alliance@IBM: Attention IBM employees: IBM is blocking e-mail to and from the Alliance@IBM e-mail address endicottalliance@stny.rr.com from inside the company. Please send your job cut information and other correspondence from your home e-mail. You can also contact us the following ways: Phone 607 658 9285 or Fax 607 658 9283.
  • IBM Pension Lawsuit FAQ about Cooper v IBM, Updated 6-21-05. Excerpt: Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the class action lawsuit against IBM's 1995 and 1999 pension plans. The answers are my personal opinions, have not been verified with either IBM or plaintiffs’ counsel, and should not be construed as legal advice. On July 31, 2003, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of the employees in this case. IBM will appeal portions of the ruling. On September 28, 2004, IBM and the legal team on Cooper v IBM announced that an agreement had been negotiated that settles some of the claims and set the amount of damages that IBM will pay to the class if IBM's appeal of the district court's age discrimination rulings is unsuccessful. Click on any question to jump to the answer. Or scroll down and read them all.
  • Job Cuts Status & Comments Page. Excerpts: Job cuts are coming. Information needed: What is Your location? How many job cuts at your location? What locations are cutting jobs? Name of Division and Business Unit?

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