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Highlights—October 7, 2006
- IBM Yahoo! message board post "Pension
calculation delay, errors" by "ibmaccountant". Excerpts: An old friend of mine with over 31 years
in IBM told me he went to HR with a request to review his date of hire. He'd been a student engineering co-op and
had heard he could add to his service time with the appropriate documentation.
He went to HR in RTP and was told that IBM had destroyed all his records and that the company
had no proof of his employment as a student and any of his early years of service full time (1971-1977). He remarked
about the smug smile of the HR rep as they told him they couldn't help him. They even hinted they might review his
start date and move it up to less than 30 years!
Well, he got them good! He had copies of all his time cards, his TEAs and his payroll checks,
as well as other legal documents. The HR folks were stunned when he came in with his lawyer into the RTP facility and
presented them with boxes of documents, all originals or certified (signed by an IBM manager) first copies.
The HR folks asked him to hand over the documents for copying and verification and that they'd
need to keep them for a while, but he calmly refused their request because he didn't trust them (he's naturally not
trusted management ever since I knew him) and told the HR folks he'd brought his attorney and a notary public along
to make notarized copies for just that possible request. They all went to the copiers together and got the notarized
When asked by an HR executive why he wouldn't hand over the docs, he answered "well if
you lost them the first time what guarantee do I have you won't lose them again? I have lost confidence in HR with
you losing all my original documents!" The HR folks then tried the IBM confidentiality thing with them but his
lawyer intervened and that was the end of that fishing expedition....
He then went home with the originals and got an extra 6 months added to his service date, which
boosted his pension calculations. He called HR every week and followed up with a letter, pestering them until he got
what he rightfully deserved.
When challenged about an ILC CLAIM entry from 2003 last year, he calmly produced a pdf copy
of the entry and stunned management. He has kept every document in his attic and the bank and intends to keep it until
well after his retirement. He even has copies of the old green sheets from the beginning and engagement records on
CD, scanned and neatly organized.
He trusts no one and has no confidence in IBM management. I guess someone tried to fire him
for cheating on the mileage to a client in 1975 and instead he got the manager fired for falsifying his records.
Now there's a guy who we should have listened to many years ago. He calls the current management
a spineless bunch of cowards.
- Accounting Web: Study Finds Young
Workers Displaced by New Immigrants. Excerpts: That the arrival
of new immigrants in a state results in a decline in employment among young native-born workers in that state is just
one of the stark images revealed by the authors of The Impact of New Immigrants on Young Native-Born Workers, 2000-2005.
Published recently by the Center for Immigration Studies, the study analyzes recent employment
data and draws a stark picture of the effects of immigration on American-born workers and the structure of the U.S.
labor market. Andrew Sum, Paul Harrington and Ishwar Khatiwada of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern
University, conclude from their study of data from Current Population Survey (CPS) monthly household surveys of employed
persons, conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Current Employment Statistics
Survey (CES) and other U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, that the arrival of new immigrants in a state results in a
decline in employment among young native-born workers in that state.
- Accounting Web: Fastow’s Shortened Sentence Sparks Surprise, Anger. Excerpts: A federal judge
last week shortened the prison sentence for former Enron Corp. finance chief Andrew S. Fastow from 10 years to six,
prompting surprised reactions from those who thought his sentence was a done deal.
Fastow made a plea deal in 2004, agreeing to cooperate with investigators. He also agreed not
to seek a reduction in his 10-year prison term for pocketing more than $45 million from the Houston energy giant. “My
outcome is already determined,” he had told the court. Now, he may spend as little as 3½ years in prison
if he gets credit for good behavior and for completing a drug-treatment program.
The reduced sentence “was a slap in the face to employees,” said former Enron worker
Rod Jordan in the Washington Post.
- CNET News: Indian
call center staff sold data, TV show says. By Andy McCue. Excerpts: An undercover TV investigation claims to have
infiltrated criminal gangs selling thousands of U.K. credit card and passport details for as little as $9.50 each
from offshore call centers. The "Dispatches" documentary, shown on U.K.'s Channel 4, follows a 12-month
investigation. It included footage of middlemen offering an undercover reporter the credit card details gleaned from
Indian call centers of 100,000 U.K. bank customers.
- MarketWatch: Going
in for labor. Outsourcing not so lucrative when productivity factored in. By Thomas
Kostigen. Excerpts: Despite New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's widely embraced thesis that the world is flat
because technology makes outsourcing and therefore globalization a breeze, a new Conference Board study shows otherwise.
The report released this week by the well-respected research organization best known for its
consumer confidence index and the index of leading economic indicators, says the competitive advantages of outsourcing
are in some cases completely wiped out due to low productivity.
"One critical lesson for businesses that benefit from one-time labor-cost benefits when
investing in 'low wage' countries is that productivity gains from new technology and innovation have to keep pace with
often fast-rising wages of skilled and semi-skilled workers or the 'cost advantage' begins to erode," says Bart
van Ark, Director of the Conference Board international economic research program.
In other words, the comparative cost advantage of taking a business to low-wage countries such
as China or India, where manufacturing costs are lower than in the U.S., are often not the giant bargain they seem
when wages are adjusted for low productivity, according to the report.
- The National Law Journal: Pension Law
to Spur Legal Work. By Amanda Bronstad. Excerpts: Lawyers at some of the nation's largest law firms expect a sharp
rise in legal work following the recent passage of a pension reform law that makes broad changes to employee retirement
programs. Specifically, lawyers in tax, trusts and estates, and employee benefits anticipate that the law, called
the Pension Protection Act of 2006, could bring more legal work from employers looking to overhaul the retirement
plans they offer to employees. [...]
The act also makes changes to cash-balance plans, which are increasingly popular alternatives
to traditional pension plans. In a cash-balance plan, an employer makes annual contributions to a retirement account
held by each employee, who then collects the sum when he or she retires. In a traditional pension plan, the employer
also contributes funds, but the amount the employee receives on retirement is a set rate determined by salary and longevity.
A recent example are the cash-balance plans provided by International Business Machines Corp.,
which won a court victory on Aug. 7, when the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that IBM's plans were not discriminatory
against older workers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Cooper v. IBM Personal Pension Plan, No. 05-3588
(7th Cir.). The 7th Circuit found that IBM's plan does not discriminate against older employees because its funds are
accrued equally among employees of all ages. Older employees tend to favor traditional plans because they are based
on an employee's tenure and salary in the last years of employment.
- New York Times: The
War Against Wages. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: Should we be cheering over the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial
Average has finally set a new record? No. The Dow is doing well largely because American employers are waging a successful
war against wages. Economic growth since early 2000, when the Dow reached its previous peak, hasn’t been exceptional.
But after-tax corporate profits have more than doubled, because workers’ productivity is up, but their wages
aren’t — and because companies have dealt with rising health insurance premiums by denying insurance to
ever more workers.
If you want to see how the war against wages is being fought, and what it’s doing to
working Americans and their families, consider the latest news from Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart already has a well-deserved reputation for paying low wages and offering few benefits
to its employees; last year, an internal Wal-Mart memo conceded that 46 percent of its workers’ children were
either on Medicaid or lacked health insurance. Nonetheless, the memo expressed concern that wages and benefits were
rising, in part “because we pay an associate more in salary and benefits as his or her tenure increases.”
The problem from the company’s point of view, then, is that its workers are too loyal;
it wants cheap labor that doesn’t hang around too long, but not enough workers quit before acquiring the right
to higher wages and benefits. Among the policy changes the memo suggested to deal with this problem was a shift to
hiring more part-time workers, which “will lower Wal-Mart’s health care enrollment.”
And the strategy is being put into effect. “Investment analysts and store managers,” reports
The New York Times, “say Wal-Mart executives have told them the company wants to transform its work force to
40 percent part-time from 20 percent.” Another leaked Wal-Mart memo describes a plan to impose wage caps, so
that long-term employees won’t get raises. And the company is taking other steps to keep workers from staying
too long: in some stores, according to workers, “managers have suddenly barred older employees with back or leg
problems from sitting on stools.” [...]
So what’s keeping paychecks down? Major employers like Wal-Mart have decided that their
interests are best served by treating workers as a disposable commodity, paid as little as possible and encouraged
to leave after a year or two. And these employers don’t worry that angry workers will respond to their war on
wages by forming unions, because they know that government officials, who are supposed to protect workers’ rights,
will do everything they can to come down on the side of the wage-cutters.
- AFL-CIO: Labor
Board Ruling May Bar Millions of Workers from Forming Unions. By James Parks. Excerpts: The Republican-dominated
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted along party lines to slash long-time federal labor laws protecting workers’ freedom
to form unions and opened the door for employers to classify millions of workers as supervisors. Under federal labor
law, supervisors are prohibited from forming unions.
The NLRB ruled on three cases, collectively known as “Kentucky River,” but it’s
the lead case Oakwood Healthcare Inc. that creates a new definition of supervisor. Dozens of cases involving the definition
of supervisor now before the NLRB will be sent back, with employers having the option to craft arguments that will
meet the new definition of supervisor and limit the number of workers who can join a union.
- AFL-CIO: Want Rights?
Get Political. By John J. Sweeney. Excerpts: In one bold and unjust stroke,
the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointed by President Bush has invited employers to rob workers of their
freedom to have a union by simply reclassifying them as “supervisors". [...]
It is clearer now than ever that if America’s workers want to restore their hard-fought
freedom to form unions and bargain collectively with their employers, we must replace our anti-worker national leadership.
The recent NLRB decision was not a surprise. Bush has spent years loading the board with Republican
members who share his ideology and agenda. Under Bush, the NLRB—which was designed to protect workers’ rights—has
effectively eliminated the right of temporary agency workers to form unions, ruled teaching and research assistants
are students rather than employees and not entitled to federal labor law protections, questioned the legality of well-established
majority sign-up and neutrality procedures to form unions and supported employer efforts to use taxpayer money for
anti-union campaigns. Perhaps most outrageous of all, regardless how deeply its decisions affect workers, the Bush
NLRB has refused to hear oral arguments in any case since 2001.
- BBC News: Strikes close Indian tech capital.
Workers striking over a regional border dispute have brought Bangalore, India's equivalent of Silicon Valley, to a
standstill. Excerpt: Offices, schools and government sites were shut as activists staged a 12-hour stoppage in the
state of Karnataka. The dispute centres on Belgaum, a town 500km north of Bangalore and claimed by both Karnataka and
the neighbouring state of Maharashtra. It began soon after India gained independence nearly sixty years ago. More than
1,500 Indian and multinational technology firms like Hewlett Packard, Dell, Microsoft, IBM, Infosys and Wipro have
offices in Bangalore.
|News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and
Health Care Reform
- New York Times: Falling
Into the Doughnut Hole. Excerpts: Millions of elderly Americans enrolled in the new Medicare
prescription drug program are approaching the notorious “doughnut hole,” a gap in coverage that will
force them to pay for their medicines out of pocket until they qualify for catastrophic coverage. Many of the heaviest
users of prescription medications have already fallen into the hole — an unwelcome surprise for the many who
do not pay much attention to the fine print of their policies.
The hole makes little sense from a medical or insurance perspective. Rather, it is the inevitable
result of designing a program with political rather than programmatic aims in mind. And the danger is that
some who are ailing, suddenly faced with higher drug bills than they expected, will forgo needed medications
and get sicker. [...]
The decision to offer shallow initial coverage to all beneficiaries was largely an effort
to please the millions of middle-class elderly voters who had been led to expect they would benefit from the drug
plan. But with nowhere near enough money in deficit-ridden Washington to pay for all this, the doughnut hole emerged
as the only way to combine politics with some modicum of cost control.
- Workforce Management: Business
Health Care Advocacy Group Calls For New Medical Safety Standards.
A group of large employers say they will no longer allow hospitals and doctors into their preferred provider
networks if they do not meet a series of safety standards. Excerpts: A group of large employers, among them
Wal-Mart, IBM and Microsoft, announced Wednesday, October 4, that they will no longer allow hospitals and doctors
into their preferred provider networks if those medical providers do not meet a series of safety standards aimed
at reducing costs and avoidable death and injury. The large employers, who compose the board for the National Business
Group on Health, will no longer pay for medical claims for avoidable medical errors, says Helen Darling, president
of the Washington, D.C.-based group. Preventable medical errors lead to between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths each year
and cost as much as $30 billion, a number that includes lost productivity.
- New York Times: Poor
U.S. Scores in Health Care Don’t Measure Nobels and Innovation. By Tyler
Cowen. Excerpts: Advocates of national health insurance cite an apparently devastating fact: the United States
spends more of its gross domestic product on medical care than any nation in the world, yet Americans do not live
longer than Western Europeans or Japanese. More Americans lack insurance coverage as well. It is no wonder that
so many people demand reform.
But the American health care system may be performing better than it seems at first glance.
When it comes to medical innovation, the United States is the world leader. In the last 10 years, for instance,
12 Nobel Prizes in medicine have gone to American-born scientists working in the United States, 3 have gone to foreign-born
scientists working in the United States, and just 7 have gone to researchers outside the country.
| New on the Alliance@IBM
- STG Systems and Technology Group Resource Action. Excerpts: About
400 IBM U.S. employees in Systems and Technology Group’s development and technology collaboration
solutions organizations, across nine major site locations, will be notified today (Thursday, October 5),
that they have been selected for a resource action. This is a subset of those selected earlier for redeployment.
In addition, unlike the Sept. 7 redeployment program, which had an indefinite time frame, this program has
a 30-day window. Below is a Q&A to help you answer employee questions. Please refer all press queries
to your site communications team, or contact Jeff Couture, 1-802-769-2483, (T/L: 446-2483).
Overview: About 400 technical positions are being eliminated. Affected employees are provided
with retraining options and additional resources to help them move into other IBM jobs, including new positions
we are creating. IBM is streamlining its Development organization to take advantage of more efficient processes
that are helping reduce the time to market for new IBM products and lower costs for our clients.
Q&A Q) I heard we are having layoffs. What is happening? A) About 400 US employees
are being notified today, Oct. 5, that their jobs are being eliminated. They have 30 days to find another job within
Q) Which locations are affected? A) Most of the jobs being eliminated are at our larger
development and manufacturing sites, including Austin, Texas; New York's Poughkeepsie and Fishkill sites; Burlington,
Vermont; Raleigh, North Carolina; Rochester, Minnesota, San Jose, California; and Tucson, Arizona. There are about
a dozen other locations where a smaller number of jobs are being eliminated.
Q) Why is this happening? A) Senior management has been frank about changes we need to
make in our organization to continue to lead in what is a very dynamic marketplace. Some of those changes include
streamlining our development organization to rebalance skills, eliminate redundancies and deliver greater economic
efficiencies -- helping reduce the time to market for new IBM products and lowering costs for our clients. Managing
change, while almost always difficult, is a constant at IBM, and in our industry.
Q) How many IBMers do you expect will lose their jobs? A) That's difficult to say. Our
experience has been that a significant number of employees are able to find other opportunities within the company.
Q) Is there a time limit? A) Affected employees have 30 days to find a new position.
Q) How many employees does IBM have in the US and do you expect it will have declined in
2006? A) About 130,000. We are expecting our US employee population to increase by a few thousand people in 2006.
Q) We heard last month about job eliminations that involved the redeployment of employees
into different positions. Is this action related to that one? A) Yes. The employees who are being notified today
are a subset of those who were part of the redeployment process. The redeployment program has placed several hundred
people into other IBM jobs, including some newly created positions where members of our technical community are
working directly with IBM clients.
Q) What kind of severance package are employees receiving? A) Employees who are laid off
will receive one week of pay for each fully completed six months of service, with a minimum of two weeks, up to
a maximum of 26 weeks. They will also be eligible for transitional medical and life insurance benefits, as well
as outplacement and career counseling services.
- Dear Alliance Members and Supporters,
I’m writing to you now because your attention to the upcoming fall elections is critical.
We, the American middle class, are under attack from corporations and from political officials who are complicit
in encouraging mushrooming corporate profits and fat cat CEO raises and benefits. Meanwhile the average professional
and blue-collar workers are taking home less and are seeing long promised pensions and medical benefits disappear.
The Alliance@IBM /CWA Local 1701 does not endorse or give money to candidates but we do
urge each of you to be politically active and find out how your elected officials have voted in the past
few years on the issues that affect your personal economic survival.
Issues, such as the list below, are extremely important to the Alliance and our members.
- Pension legislation
- Loss of jobs to off-shoring
- Broken promises to retirees
- Health Care affordability
- Labor Law reform
Not only must you know your elected officials’ history of supporting or not supporting
issues important to IBM employees and retirees, it is also critical to understand that the court system in our
country does not always work for fairness. Indeed, the laws can often be unfair. The Cooper vs. IBM lawsuit over
cash balance pension conversion was won by employees in the first round; however, on appeal, the judge decided
the conversion was (in my words) equally ripping off everyone, thus there was no age discrimination.
Recently a decision by the National Labor Relations Board will impact future union membership
for millions of workers (see
article on our web site
What can we all do to fight such injustices? First of all you must join and encourage your
colleagues and friends to join the Alliance@IBM
, and support the activism that’s absolutely needed to fight
and pressure IBM to do the right things for its employees. Are you willing to let Sam Palmisano have a 29% raise,
while you have received little or no raise, no COLA in retirement or lose your job for the sake of outrageous CEO
pay? Americans are already seeing a growing divide in wealth between “Haves” and the Have-nots”.
This trend will continue unless we all say, “enough is enough”.
Find out the facts and vote for yourself, your family, and the economic success of all
IBM employees and retirees. Go to the polls this fall armed with the evidence and let’s change the direction
of this country, from exploiting the middle class worker to helping us thrive. After all, isn’t that what
America is about?
In solidarity, Linda Guyer President, Alliance@IBM / CWA Local 1701
- From the Job Cuts Status & Comments
- Comments 10/02/06: Get a load of Nick
Donofrio's paycheck. Can we outsource him? We
can get bad management elsewhere, like India. -OutSource Execs-
- Comments 10/02/06: Re: deluded RTP_guy. Your days are numbered and you don't realize it. You're
like the guy on the Titanic saying all is well as the ship was going down. There are icebergs all around SWG
in RTP. 30% will be outsourced to India/China/Brazil by the end of 2006. The remainder by the end of 2007. Your
job does not require special skills that only Americans have.
Our universities and universities around the world are graduating more Indian and Chinese
programmers with your skills than American programmers. It's only a matter of time before you are on the street
applying for that job at Jumpin Java coffee shop down the street from where the 500 complex used to be. Once IBM
outsources most of the 500 complex to China, India, and Brazil. The few who are left can easily be consolidated
into the main RTP campus.
A friend in commercial real estate said that the 500 complex is being sold with IBM having
a short term lease with the new owner that expires on December 31, 2007. For those in RTP SWG that don't see the
writing on the wall, your days are numbered whether you believe it or not. -Anonymous-
- Comments 10/02/06: I left IBM 9 months ago to work for a major competitor in the NW(starts
with an "M")and it was the best choice I have ever made. While my 1st line manager at IBM was
a really nice guy the org I worked in was going nowhere fast and my 2nd line and above were a bunch of
sniveling wimps that only cared for themselves. I still read this board on a regular basis and continue
to be stunned at the behavior of a once great company. The sad truth is I really don't understand why
everyone is so upset, business is business. If IBM treats you like dirt go work for the competition and
stick it to big blue. Big blue obviously sticks it to you.... -Glad-to-be-gone-
- Comments 10/02/06: Fact, a few months ago I was outside and saw a photographer taking
photographs of the 500 complex on loop road. I approached him and asked if I could help him. He identified
himself as being with some commercial real-estate firm. I doubted he was from the Wall Street Journal
doing a piece on what a great place IBM is to work. About the same time, I witnessed someone measuring
the hallways in the 500 buildings with one of those professional wheel measuring devices. No, I cannot
prove I saw these things. But I do believe that it's sold. -screwedbyibm-
- Comments 10/03/06: Wow, JustTheFacts, your comment hit home. All of our testers are
now in India and we are authoring documentation for all of our processes. We're being told to explain
everything "intimately". Some of us see the writing on the wall, but management keeps telling
us not to worry. It's like we're running a foreign student exchange program. We send a few people over
to show them how we do things, and they send people here to see how we're doing our jobs. -Anonymous-
- Comments 10/05/06: IBM RTP 500 complex not yet sold. You can track ownership here: http://tinyurl.com/hexlb Working
@ IBM was like biting on aluminum foil for 2 years. I got out on my own volition. Now I get raises and
bonuses; sure beats the framed plaques for your cubicle, the mind numbing "process", and
ever present management condescension. -Anonymous-
- Comments 10/06/06: I received my resource action notification today. Lots of questions
about the fine print of how to get a severance package. Who can I talk to? Honestly, I'm happy to be
leaving! Just happy that I'm not someone who invested 30 years in the place and thought he or she was
going to be okay in the end. Looks like a lot of people over 50 and 60 got the ax. Spend time with your
families..they'll appreciate you more for it! -Anonymous in RTP-
- Comments 10/06/06: I was laid off today, after being "notified" of my "redeployment" on
9/7. I'm in Rochester. Since my job moved to India, I'm getting 60 days notice, last day is 12/4. Nov.
6 is the earliest "last day" allowed, per this doc. I'm getting the "26 weeks pay" severance.
-dumped in rochester-
- Comments 10/06/06: I have empathy for all of you undergoing this current resource action.
I left in February 2003 after 23 years...just up and quit...no package...but a new employer, good job,
and not having to travel every week. I was just sick of it all, and I had a feeling that it was only
going to get worse. Back then the layoffs were about every 6 months and the way they announced it then
was something like "We had a layoff action yesterday. If you did not receive a notice, then you
are OK". Really a back asswards way of doing it, but the way they are doing it now is even more
disgusting. As many of you have posted here, the grass is greener on the other side. Sure I had some
fear in leaving, but I am really better off now. Had I stayed through all of this for another 3+ years,
I most likely would have been a nervous wreck. The grass is really greener. -Anonymous-
- Comments 10/06/06: Yesterday the team developing and supporting a crucial STG component
for BladeCenter found out that a percentage of them were getting laid off. "Deal with it or get
steamrolled"....well they dealt with it! The entire team had suspected an action soon even though
management had stated many times that they were "immune to layoffs" because of the criticality
of their component to blade strategy. The entire team turned in their resignations en masse Friday evening.
Those who had gotten a package promised to share their severance with their teammates, if they got anything.
Now that took guts! Bravo and Kudos to that team! Management is in shock. -Fighting Back Incompetent
- From the General Visitor's Comment
- Comment 9/30/06: I am skeptical about some of the postings of people getting new jobs. If you are over
40 in IT, you don't exist. If you are over 50, you didn't exist 10 years ago. If you are over 60, your
kids don't exist either. In my experience, most of the times, your applications will not even be acknowledged.
You may be lucky to get an interview once every four months. -Anonymous-
- Comment 10/02/06: To answer some of your questions below... So who’s running our
country? Big business. The US government is just a puppet and it's been like that for a long time. Would
most Americans vote to move jobs offshore? They just did, twice. How many would give up their pensions
or allow their pensions to go unfunded, were it up to a vote?
It will never be up for a vote. Your lifestyle is taken away from you. If you resist,
you're a communist. How many would say that it’s ok to fire older workers if you’re only doing it
because they are too expensive?
Most Americans don't know &*$%^ about current politics. They don't understand what's
going on, this is why it's happening. Corporations will go as far as we allow them. Unfortunately, I don't think
they can be stopped peacefully. Would Americans vote to allow corporations to finagle the law to pay 7% income
Of course they would. Every time someone says "tax cut" the riff-raff jumps
up and yells "Hurray, I want a tax cut, yes please, give it to me!" Would we vote to allow corporations
to cut our way of life by, lowering pay, moving jobs offshore, un-funding pensions, firing older workers
due to higher costs? Who is "we"? Most Americans believe ANYTHING. I've seen sheep with more charisma.
How many Americans would vote for such a system? Roughly half. They've been brainwashed. Welcome to the Soviet
Republic of America. -WakeUpTime-
- Comment 10/02/06: The problem with IBM is not just management; it is also with the employees.
It sure seems most employees still don't want to get involved to try to make working in IBM a better
experience. These employees say they support and are behind the Alliance but are still waiting to join.
To those that say they are still waiting to get involved, what are you waiting for? Join the Alliance:
join NOW. You don't have to be apathetic about IBM which seems to be the prevalent sentiments these days.
IBM can be fixed, improved, and saved. You don't have to be intent on leaving IBM or waiting to be forced
out, but you have to do something positive, and take initiative with the first step. Joining the Alliance
is that first step! The longer you wait or take inaction the worse IBM will get. Do you deserve a voice
in the company you (still) work for? With collective bargaining you will get that voice and a contract
as well for your benefits protection. -Anonymous-
- Comment 10/03/06: For 'Beenawakeallthistime'--you seriously think that brainwashing
is required to convince everyone of the Bush administration's idiocies? Lies, corruption--one after another.
No liberal or 'left' brainwashing required, honey. Just look at the facts. These guys are a disaster
and a total DISGRACE to our country. The man can't even give a speech without screwing SOMETHING up.
Crooks, thieves, hypocrites and liars.
Time to give up the IBM overtime and pick up a newspaper, buddy.... Maybe you will learn
something about what is going on in the real world. In the last week alone we have had CEOs go to jail, a congressman
who is a pedophile (oh, sorry--he was molested as a child--guess that is a good excuse!) and too many other things
to mention. Are these left-wing fairytales, as you might like to believe? I think not, my dear. They are facts.
- Comment 10/03/06: Three years ago I got a glimpse of the Globalization plans that many
of you are now experiencing. After hearing some very high level details, I knew that my days at IBM were
numbered and I subsequently left for a much better job. For those of you remaining at IBM, you must understand
that IBM is committed to offshoring to stay competitive. Realize that the plans to move more work offshore
haven't materialized as quickly as first planned, mainly due to Offshore employee retention issues and
labor rates outstripping cost structures.
A union will only intensify the drive to move more work offshore, so either hang in there
understanding the conditions, or make your plans to leave. Complaining will make you feel better momentarily,
but getting a new job will revitalize you.
Sadly, IBM is in the classic "death spiral"; costs cuts to show better net profit,
customers reduce spend due to dissatisfaction with IBM, revenue declines, more cost cuts ensue, . . .
. Evidence of this death spiral can be seen clearly in IGS. Services Backlog is a term IGS uses for signed
revenue in future years. The backlog has been in continual decline in the past few years mainly due to large outsourcing
contracts terminating early. Further complicating this issue is that contract values are declining and
the investment to win new business is very high compared to retaining existing customer base.
The impact of IBM's Globalization plans will be likely far reaching and long lasting.
Like many other company's, IBM has an impending retirement bubble of Baby Boomers. The long term IBM'ers are hanging
on until they retire. However, the next generation of leaders, have been steadily leaving, as they see little
future in the company. A shortage of strong technical and business leadership in the near future will be further
crippling to IBM.
The same experienced leaders are leaving to influential positions with companies that
buy IBM products and services. After seeing how dysfunctional the company had become, how many of them
will buy IBM services in the future? Lastly, IBM is treating employees as a commodity, which leaves a
lasting bad and all too often last impression of the company. How many of these people will work for IBM again?
Fool me twice? Not on my watch. -Anonymous-
- Comment 10/06/06: It never ceases to amaze me how badly informed Americans are. Don't
get me wrong, Americans are pretty nice people, except the politicians, but you guys just don't see what
is happening in the world. This is largely down to the impotent media you have. It's better to have a
nation half asleep watching reality TV or Fox 'News' than actually knowing what is going on.
Our governments in UK have screwed us over too but it never gets as bad as over there
simply because you can't silence the media in the same way. We just don't have the Communist/Traitor/Terrorist
witch hunts that you have every time someone tries to speak up. Companies like IBM play on this. Bush shuts up
the opposition - FFS this man 'won' an election by coming second and no one challenged it! - while Sam and his
cronies move your jobs out while you stand by and watch.
America is buried in debt and the only thing stopping the ship tipping over is that oil
and gold are priced in dollars, guaranteeing demand for the currency and ultimately somewhere to spend
the cash. I implore all you who are eligible to vote this year to give Bush a kick in the ass and vote Democrat.
On a side note, we get Fox News over here and apart from not being able to believe that
you can blatantly lie in a news broadcast and not have a regulator penalise you, I was staggered to see
the story of the Republican pedophile guy. His name was displayed on screen with his party affiliation shown as
Democrat! Now that's deflection for you! -Former UK IBMer-
- Comment 10/06/06: 80% of IBM jobs will be offshore. If you are not in an "External
Customer Facing" position your days ARE NUMBERED. This is the IBM Executive plans for profitability.
Too bad, the offshored employees will not be able to deliver. This means 8 out of every 10 people in
the USA will lose your job with IBM. If your mindset has not grasped this yet, it better. -Anonymous-
- Pension Comments page
- Comments 09/30/06: Cooper has a lot of guts, and her efforts have impacted more than just IBM. Since
I'm one of the lucky ones (2nd-choicers) who still has a pension (albeit, 1/2 of what was originally
promised), I think I have her and some others who raised their voices in 1999 to thank for that. I wasn't
really paying much attention--too busy putting in those 70 hours per week and not realizing that IBM
culture had *radically* changed. I didn't realize yet that IBM execs and the Board were out to deliberately
screw us, with the intention of getting long term Beamers to quit. Lou's legacy. Younger IBMers have
no idea that "Respect for the Individual" wasn't just the slogan du jour. I can very distinctly
remember, on more than one occasion, seeing a manager stopped dead in his tracks (literally!) because
an employee said "I don't think you're demonstrating respect for the individual." It was a
very powerful concept, which made this company into the great economic engine that can now, for a few
years, sponsor a relatively few techies in India. It's probably too big to last without that shared sense
of values, though. The execs and Board think they can "manage" it, but something this big really
needs to be self-directed, and they have intentionally destroyed that. -Anonymous
- IBM employees on employee
- Comment 10/3/06: I was a band 9, made well over $100k a year, and still left to go work for Microsoft.
If you have great technical or business skills take them somewhere else if you aren't happy!! Focus your
energy on writing a great resume and cover letter. I don't read about many of the other tech companies
in the US treating people this bad, why put up with it? -Band 9 and still left-
- Comment 10/6/06: I work at east fishkill,most of the people I work with myself included
did not receive a raise for 4 years. This year we received about 3% and management made a big deal about
it. I'm sure our medical employee payment will be over 3%. They are already telling us medical will go
up...what a joke this company has turned into. -Anonymous-
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