Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links

“News and links for IBM employees, retirees, ex-employees, and persons interested in pension, retirement, off-shoring and corporate governance issues”—The news you won't see on W3!

Our Friends:

Watching IBM Watching IBM Facebook

Quick Links:

Get involved! Insider trading After IBM Lenovo Employee Discount

Previous highlights:

April 2, 2016 March 26, 2016 March 12, 2016 March 5, 2016 February 27, 2016 February 20, 2016 February 13, 2016 February 6, 2016 January 30, 2016 January 16, 2016 December 26, 2015 December 19, 2015 December 12, 2015 December 5, 2015 November 28, 2015 November 21, 2015 November 14, 2015 November 7, 2015 October 31, 2015 October 24, 2015 October 17, 2015 October 10, 2015 October 3, 2015 September 26, 2015 September 19, 2015 September 12, 2015 August 29, 2015 August 22, 2015 August 15, 2015 August 8, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 18, 2015 July 4, 2015 June 27, 2015 June 20, 2015 June 13, 2015 June 6, 2015 May 30, 2015 May 23, 2015 May 16, 2015 May 9, 2015 May 2, 2015 April 25, 2015 April 18, 2015 April 11, 2015 April 4, 2015 March 28, 2015 March 21, 2015 March 14, 2015 March 7, 2015 February 28, 2015 February 21, 2015 February 14, 2015 February 7, 2015 January 31, 2015 January 24, 2015 January 17, 2015 January 10, 2015 January 3, 2015 December 27, 2014 December 20, 2014 December 13, 2014 December 6, 2014 November 29, 2014 November 22, 2014 November 15, 2014 November 8, 2014 November 1, 2014 October 25, 2014 October 18, 2014 October 11, 2014 October 4, 2014 September 27, 2014 September 13, 2014 September 6, 2014 August 30, 2014 August 23, 2014 August 16, 2014 August 9, 2014 August 2, 2014 July 26, 2014 July 19, 2014 July 12, 2014 July 5, 2014 June 28, 2014 June 21, 2014 June 14, 2014 June 7, 2014 May 31, 2014 May 24, 2014 May 17, 2014 May 10, 2014 May 3, 2014 April 26, 2014 April 19, 2014 April 12, 2014 April 5, 2014 March 29, 2014 March 22, 2014 March 15, 2014 March 8, 2014 March 1, 2014 February 22, 2014 February 15, 2014 February 8, 2014 February 1, 2014 January 25, 2014 January 18, 2014 January 11, 2014 January 4, 2014 December 28, 2013 December 21, 2013 December 14, 2013 December 7, 2013 November 30, 2013 November 23, 2013 November 16, 2013 November 9, 2013 November 2, 2013 October 26, 2013 October 19, 2013 October 12, 2013 October 5, 2013 September 28, 2013 September 21, 2013 September 14, 2013 September 7, 2013 August 31, 2013 August 24, 2013 August 17, 2013 August 10, 2013 August 3, 2013 July 27, 2013 July 20, 2013 July 13, 2013 July 6, 2013 June 29, 2013 June 22, 2013 June 15, 2013 June 8, 2013 June 1, 2013 May 25, 2013 May 18, 2013 May 11, 2013 May 4, 2013 April 27, 2013 April 20, 2013 April 13, 2013 April 6, 2013 March 30, 2013 March 23, 2013 March 16, 2013 March 9, 2013 March 2, 2013 February 23, 2013 February 16, 2013 February 9, 2013 February 2, 2013 January 26, 2013 January 19, 2013 January 12, 2013 January 5, 2013 December 29, 2012 December 22, 2012 December 15, 2012 December 8, 2012 December 1, 2012 November 24, 2012 November 17, 2012 November 10, 2012 November 3, 2012 October 27, 2012 October 20, 2012 October 13, 2012 October 6, 2012 September 29, 2012 September 22, 2012 September 15, 2012 September 8, 2012 September 1, 2012 August 25, 2012 August 18, 2012 August 11, 2012 August 4, 2012 July 28, 2012 July 21, 2012 July 14, 2012 July 7, 2012 June 30, 2012 June 23, 2012 June 16, 2012 June 9, 2012 June 2, 2012 May 26, 2012 May 19, 2012 May 12, 2012 May 5, 2012 April 28, 2012 April 21, 2012 April 14, 2012 April 7, 2012 March 31, 2012 March 24, 2012 March 17, 2012 March 10, 2012 March 3, 2012 February 25, 2012 February 18, 2012 February 11, 2012 February 4, 2012 January 28, 2012 January 21, 2012 January 14, 2012 January 7, 2012 December 31, 2011 December 24, 2011 December 17, 2011 December 10, 2011 December 3, 2011 November 26, 2011 November 19, 2011 November 12, 2011 November 5, 2011 October 29, 2011 October 22, 2011 October 15, 2011 October 8, 2011 October 1, 2011 September 24, 2011 September 17, 2011 September 10, 2011 September 3, 2011 August 27, 2011 August 20, 2011 August 13, 2011 August 6, 2011 July 30, 2011 July 23, 2011 July 16, 2011 July 9, 2011 July 2, 2011 June 25, 2011 June 18, 2011 June 11, 2011 June 4, 2011 May 28, 2011 May 21, 2011 May 14, 2011 May 7, 2011 April 30, 2011 April 23, 2011 April 16, 2011 April 9, 2011 April 2, 2011 March 26, 2011 March 19, 2011 March 12, 2011 March 5, 2011 February 26, 2011 February 19, 2011 February 12, 2011 February 5, 2011 January 29, 2011 January 22, 2011 January 15, 2011 January 8, 2011 January 1, 2011 December 25, 2010 December 18, 2010 December 11, 2010 December 4, 2010 November 27, 2010 November 20, 2010 November 13, 2010 November 6, 2010 October 30, 2010 October 23, 2010 October 16, 2010 October 9, 2010 October 2, 2010 September 25, 2010 September 18, 2010 September 11, 2010 September 4, 2010 August 28, 2010 August 21, 2010 August 14, 2010 August 7, 2010 July 31, 2010 July 24, 2010 July 17, 2010 July 10, 2010 July 3, 2010 June 26, 2010 June 19, 2010 June 12, 2010 June 5, 2010 May 29, 2010 May 22, 2010 May 15, 2010 May 8, 2010 May 1, 2010 April 24, 2010 April 17, 2010 April 10, 2010 April 3, 2010 March 27, 2010 March 20, 2010 March 13, 2010 March 6, 2010 February 27, 2010 February 20, 2010 February 13, 2010 February 6, 2010 January 30, 2010 January 23, 2010 January 16, 2010 January 9, 2010 January 2, 2010 December 26, 2009 December 19, 2009 December 12, 2009 December 5, 2009 November 28, 2009 November 21, 2009 November 14, 2009 November 7, 2009 October 31, 2009 October 24, 2009 October 17, 2009 October 10, 2009 October 3, 2009 September 26, 2009 September 19, 2009 September 12, 2009 September 5, 2009 August 29, 2009 August 22, 2009 August 15, 2009 August 8, 2009 August 1, 2009 July 25, 2009 July 18, 2009 July 11, 2009 July 4, 2009 June 27, 2009 June 20, 2009 June 13, 2009 June 6, 2009 May 30, 2009 May 23, 2009 May 16, 2009 May 9, 2009 May 2, 2009 April 25, 2009 April 18, 2009 April 11, 2009 April 4, 2009 March 28, 2009 March 21, 2009 March 14, 2009 March 7, 2009 February 28, 2009 February 21, 2009 February 14, 2009 February 7, 2009 January 31, 2009 January 24, 2009 January 17, 2009 January 10, 2009 January 03, 2009 December 27, 2008 December 20, 2008 December 13, 2008 December 6, 2008 November 29, 2008 November 22, 2008 November 15, 2008 November 8, 2008 November 1, 2008 October 25, 2008 October 18, 2008 October 11, 2008 October 4, 2008 September 27, 2008 September 20, 2008 September 13, 2008 September 6, 2008 August 30, 2008 August 23, 2008 August 16, 2008 August 9, 2008 August 2, 2008 July 26, 2008 July 19, 2008 July 12, 2008 July 5, 2008 June 28, 2008 June 21, 2008 June 14, 2008 June 7, 2008 May 31, 2008 May 24, 2008 May 17, 2008 May 10, 2008 2008 Stock Meeting April 26, 2008 April 19, 2008 April 12, 2008 April 5, 2008 March 29, 2008 March 22, 2008 March 15, 2008 March 8, 2008 March 1, 2008 February 16, 2008 February 9, 2008 February 2, 2008 January 26, 2008 January 19, 2008 January 12, 2008 January 5, 2008 December 29, 2007 December 22, 2007 December 15, 2007 December 8, 2007 December 1, 2007 November 24, 2007 November 17, 2007 November 10, 2007 November 3, 2007 October 27, 2007 October 20, 2007 October 13, 2007 October 6, 2007 September 29, 2007 September 22, 2007 September 15, 2007 September 8, 2007 September 1, 2007 August 25, 2007 August 18, 2007 August 11, 2007 August 4, 2007 July 28, 2007 July 21, 2007 July 14, 2007 July 7, 2007 June 30, 2007 June 23, 2007 June 16, 2007 June 9, 2007 June 2, 2007 May 26, 2007 May 19, 2007 May 12, 2007 May 5, 2007 2007 Stock Meeting April 21, 2007 April 14, 2007 April 7, 2007 March 31, 2007 March 24, 2007 March 17, 2007 March 10, 2007 March 3, 2007 February 24, 2007 February 17, 2007 February 10, 2007 February 3, 2007 January 27, 2007 January 20, 2007 January 13, 2007 January 6, 2007 December 30, 2006 December 23, 2006 December 16, 2006 December 9, 2006 December 2, 2006 November 25, 2006 November 18, 2006 November 11, 2006 November 4, 2006 October 28, 2006 October 21, 2006 October 14, 2006 October 7, 2006 September 30, 2006 September 23, 2006 September 16, 2006 September 9, 2006 September 2, 2006 August 26, 2006 August 19, 2006 August 12, 2006 August 5, 2006 July 29, 2006 July 22, 2006 July 15, 2006 July 8, 2006 July 1, 2006 June 24, 2006 June 17, 2006 June 10, 2006 June 3, 2006 May 27, 2006 May 20, 2006 May 13, 2006 May 6, 2006 2006 Stock Meeting April 22, 2006 April 15, 2006 April 8, 2006 April 1, 2006 March 25, 2006 March 18, 2006 March 11, 2006 March 4, 2006 February 25, 2006 February 18, 2006 February 11, 2006 February 4, 2006 January 28, 2006 January 21, 2006 January 14, 2006 January 7, 2006 December 31, 2005 December 24, 2005 December 17, 2005 December 10, 2005 December 03, 2005 November 26, 2005 November 19, 2005 November 12, 2005 November 5, 2005 October 29, 2005 October 22, 2005 October 15, 2005 October 8, 2005 October 1, 2005 September 24, 2005 September 17, 2005 September 10, 2005 September 3, 2005 August 27, 2005 August 20, 2005 August 13, 2005 August 6, 2005 July 30, 2005 July 23, 2005 July 16, 2005 July 9, 2005 July 2, 2005 June 25, 2005 June 18, 2005 June 11, 2005 June 4, 2005 May 28, 2005 May 21, 2005 May 14, 2005 May 7, 2005 April 30, 2005 April 23, 2005 April 16, 2005 April 9, 2005 April 2, 2005 March 26, 2005 March 19, 2005 March 12, 2005 March 5, 2005 February 26, 2005 February 19, 2005 February 12, 2005 February 5, 2005 January 29, 2005 January 22, 2005 January 15, 2005 January 8, 2005 January 1, 2005 December 25, 2004 December 18, 2004 December 11, 2004 December 4, 2004 November 27, 2004 November 20, 2004 November 13, 2004 November 6, 2004 October 30, 2004 October 23, 2004 October 16, 2004 October 9, 2004 October 2, 2004 September 25, 2004 September 18, 2004 September 11, 2004 September 4, 2004 August 28, 2004 August 21, 2004 August 14, 2004 August 7, 2004 July 31, 2004 July 24, 2004 July 17, 2004 July 10, 2004 July 3, 2004 June 26, 2004 June 19, 2004 June 5, 2004 May 29, 2004 May 22, 2004 May 15, 2004 May 8, 2004 2004 Stock Meeting April 24, 2004 April 10, 2004 April 3, 2004 March 27, 2004 March 20, 2004 March 13, 2004 March 6, 2004 February 28, 2004 February 21, 2004 February 14, 2004 February 7, 2004 February 1, 2004 January 18, 2004 December 27, 2003 December 20, 2003 December 13, 2003 December 6, 2003 November 29, 2003 November 22, 2003 November 15, 2003 November 8, 2003 November 1, 2003 October 25, 2003 October 18, 2003 October 11, 2003 October 4, 2003 September 27, 2003 September 20, 2003 September 13, 2003 September 6, 2003 August 30, 2003 August 23, 2003 August 16, 2003 August 9, 2003 Pension Lawsuit Win July 26, 2003 July 19, 2003 July 12, 2003 July 5, 2003 June 28, 2003 June 21, 2003 June 14, 2003 June 7, 2003 May 31, 2003 May 24, 2003 May 17, 2003 May 10, 2003 2003 Stock Meeting April 26, 2003 April 19, 2003 April 12, 2003 April 5, 2003 March 29, 2003 March 22, 2003 March 15, 2003 March 8, 2003 March 1, 2003 February 22, 2003 February 15, 2003 February 8, 2003 February 1, 2003 January 25, 2003 January 18, 2003 January 11, 2003 January 4, 2003 December 28, 2002 December 21, 2002 December 14, 2002 December 7, 2002 November 30, 2002 November 23, 2002 November 16, 2002 November 9, 2002 November 2, 2002 October 26, 2002 October 19, 2002 October 12, 2002 October 5, 2002 September 28, 2002 September 21, 2002 September 14, 2002 September 7, 2002 August 31, 2002 August 24, 2002 August 17, 2002 August 10, 2002 August 3, 2002 July 27, 2002 July 20, 2002 July 13, 2002 July 6, 2002 June 29, 2002 June 22, 2002 June 15, 2002 June 8, 2002 June 1, 2002 May 25, 2002 May 18, 2002 May 11, 2002 2002 Stock Meeting April 27, 2002 April 20, 2002 April 13, 2002 April 6, 2002 March 30, 2002 March 23, 2002 March 16, 2002 March 9, 2002 March 2, 2002 February 23, 2002 February 16, 2002 February 9, 2002 February 2, 2002 January 26, 2002 January 19, 2002 January 12, 2002 January 5, 2002 December 29, 2001 December 22, 2001 December 15, 2001 December 8, 2001 December 1, 2001 November 24, 2001 November 17, 2001 November 10, 2001 November 3, 2001 October 27, 2001 October 20, 2001 October 13, 2001 October 6, 2001 September 29, 2001 September 22, 2001 September 15, 2001 September 8, 2001 September 1, 2001 August 25, 2001 August 18, 2001 August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—May 26, 2007

  • Charlotte News & Observer: Union recruits as IBM lays off. Alliance sees more traffic on Web site. By Anne Krishnan. Excerpts: A union that has worked since 1999 to organize IBM employees sees an opportunity to boost its membership in the wake of the company's recent job cuts. Alliance@IBM, a division of the Communications Workers of America, has had limited success recruiting members from IBM, a company with a long history of looking after its employees. At 6,000 members, the union has the allegiance of fewer than 5 percent of IBM's U.S. employees.

    But Alliance officials hope to make inroads now that IBM's decision to lay off 1,315 of its U.S. workers -- including about 50 employees in Research Triangle Park -- has sparked rumors that tens of thousands more jobs could be cut.

    The grassroots power of the Internet is also helping. Some employees are turning to the union for what they see as unfiltered information. "They look to us as a way to find out what's going on," said Lee Conrad, an Alliance organizer in New York.

  • Reuters: IBM aims to boost China headcount by 10 pct/yr. IBM, the world's largest technology services company, expects to raise its headcount in mainland China by at least 10 percent annually for the next few years, its country head said on Tuesday. [...]

    "I want to get hiring capability to where we are able to hire 100 people a week," Chow said, adding that seasonal fluctuations meant that some periods needed more manpower and some less.

  • Kansas City Star: Age case is settled by Sprint. Ex-workers said the company sought to get rid of personnel 40 and older. By Diane Stafford and Dan Margolies. Excerpts: Nearly 1,700 employees who were laid off by Sprint Corp. between October 2001 and March 2003 would get about $20,000 apiece under a $57 million legal settlement reached this week. The settlement, if approved by a federal judge, would end a four-year-old age-discrimination action alleging Sprint focused on workers who were 40 and older, in violation of federal law. [...]

    The former Sprint workers complained the company lowered performance ratings and moved workers who were older than 40 into positions slated for elimination. The case has been cited as an example of “forced ranking,” an employee-evaluation system made famous by Jack Welch, the former chief executive of General Electric. Major corporations sued in recent years over forced rankings include Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Ford Motor Co. and Capital One. [...]

    The layoffs occurred during William Esrey’s tenure as Sprint’s chief executive officer. In 2002, while many of the layoffs were under way, Esrey was paid $1.1 million in salary and given a $919,937 bonus, according to depositions in an unrelated lawsuit. In early 2003, Esrey was forced out by Sprint’s board during an imbroglio over the use of the company’s accounting firm in devising personal tax shelters. Court filings show he got at least $10.5 million in severance pay. [...]

    In a case similar to the one against Sprint, older workers who were laid off during a restructuring of IBM between 2001 and 2003 sued the company for age discrimination in 2003. The trial judge threw out the lawsuit because workers had signed waivers promising not to sue. But a federal appeals court in San Francisco reinstated the suit in August, holding that the waiver was not “written in a manner calculated to be understood” by the average employee.

    Unlike the IBM workers, Sprint employees did not have to sign agreements not to sue as a condition of receiving severance pay.

  • New York Times: Bilking the Elderly, With a Corporate Assist. By Charles Duhigg. Excerpts: The thieves operated from small offices in Toronto and hangar-size rooms in India. Every night, working from lists of names and phone numbers, they called World War II veterans, retired schoolteachers and thousands of other elderly Americans and posed as government and insurance workers updating their files.

    Then, the criminals emptied their victims’ bank accounts.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board post: "RE: Labor Movement" by "sby_willie". Full excerpt: I hear you. Lots of folks feel the same sentiment. But remember this: IBM wants you to just plain flat out LEAVE, RESIGN, QUIT! By doing so you save them $$$ and aid their cost cutting at all costs mission. They know the ones who are scared for their jobs and livelihood. Those are the ones who are really targeted regardless of how great or badly they have performed (PBC rating doesn't matter), or how valuable they are, or what they can do. If they know you want to get laid off or can get a job with a competitor they will do nothing positive for you. You still working for them means you are not competing against them (yet) which certainly helps them. They will not show you the door. You have to work real hard to get laid off from IBM which means you might have to just barely show up for work and be totally worthless for awhile to maybe convince them to actually lay you off. And even then they might not lay you off!

    Believe me the reason IBM doesn't have a voluntary package is folks would take it now and leave in droves. Forget folks leaving through the door, they would be climbing through ground floor windows to get out of this IBM!

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board post: "Re: Labor Movement: by "ibmoptioneer". Full excerpt: I'm pretty sure they'll encourage the few vested 2nd choicers left to leave in 2007 by announcing shortly that anyone that stays past Jan 1, 2008 is essentially agreeing to a second CB conversion. That would take care of it.

    There's a good chance that you'll see some interesting cases of subordination, pushback, rebellion and essentially chilling out on the job by September if not earlier. People who have been hurt over the years and who know they are leaving and are vested will have ZERO INCENTIVE to do anything the last few months of the year. I also predict that there'll be an announcement that due to the backlog of people retiring the Fidelity 60 day average for retirement processing will be increased to 3-4 months so they know who's leaving and try to screw them going across the fiscal year boundary.

    They know there's some trouble ahead in late 2007. They are pumping the stock and painting a rosy scenario so that it when the sh_t hits the fan at least the share price drop won't be too bad.

  • New York Times: More Than Ever, It Pays to Be the Top Executive. By Eduardo Porter. Excerpts: In the 1960s and ’70s, chief executives running the nation’s biggest companies earned 80 percent more, on average, than the third-highest-paid executives, according to a recent study by Carola Frydman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Raven E. Saks at the Federal Reserve. By the early part of this decade, the gap in the executive suite between No. 1 and No. 3 had swollen to 260 percent.

    Many experts argue that chief executives have a particular ability to drive their own pay upward, in part by manipulating directors they work closely with and encouraging the use of consulting firms that have a built-in incentive to increase pay packages for those who hire them.

  • MapLight.org: Money and Politics, Illuminating the Connection. MAPLight.org brings together campaign contributions and how legislators vote, providing an unprecedented window into the connections between money and politics. We currently cover the California Legislature and U.S. Congress.
  • Wall Street Journal: Not Your Father's Pay: Why Wages Today Are Weaker. By Greg Ip. Excerpts: American men in their 30s today are worse off than their fathers' generation, a reversal from just a decade ago, when sons generally were better off than their fathers, a new study finds.

    The study, the first in a series on economic mobility undertaken by several prominent think tanks, also says the typical American family's income has lagged far behind productivity growth since 2000, a departure from most of the post-World War II period.

    The findings suggest "the up escalator that has historically ensured that each generation would do better than the last may not be working very well," says the study, which is scheduled for release today. [...]

    In 2004, the median income for a man in his 30s, a good predictor of his lifetime earnings, was $35,010, the study says, 12% less than for men in their 30s in 1974 -- their fathers' generation -- adjusted for inflation. A decade ago, median income for men in their 30s was $32,901, 5% higher than 30 years earlier.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • Salon, courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Care Program: "Sicko". Michael Moore’s scathing, important look at the U.S. healthcare system has plenty to rile the far right — and a lot more to enrage the larger American public. By Andrew O’Hehir. Excerpts: It’s both a more finely calibrated film and one with more far-reaching consequences than any he’s made before. Moore is trying to rouse Americans to action on an issue most of us agree about, at least superficially. You may know people who will still defend the Iraq war (although they’re less and less eager to talk about it). But who do you know who will defend the current method of healthcare delivery, administered by insurance companies whose central task is to minimize cost and maximize shareholder return? Americans of many different political stripes would probably share Moore’s conclusions at the press conference: “It’s wrong and it’s immoral. We have to take the profit motive out of healthcare. It’s as simple as that.”

    “Sicko” purposefully does not focus on the 50 million or so Americans who don’t have health insurance, as scandalous as that is, but on the horror stories of middle-class working folks who believed they were adequately covered. There are so many of these they begin to blur into each other: the woman in Los Angeles whose baby was denied treatment at an emergency room outside her HMO network, and died as it was being transferred hours later; the woman in Kansas City whose husband was repeatedly denied various drugs his physician prescribed for kidney cancer, and who in the last stage of life was denied a bone-marrow transplant that could have saved his life; the woman who was told her brain tumor was not a life-threatening illness, and died; the woman who was told her cancer must have been a preexisting condition, and died. [...]

    His portrayal of the Canadian, British and French systems is undoubtedly simplistic , and several Canadian reporters took that up with him at the press conference — although all of them admitted they wouldn’t trade their system for ours. But Moore’s overall point is, I think, inarguable: Flawed as they may be, those systems are a hell of a lot more humane and civilized than anything we’ve got. (Life expectancy is significantly higher, and infant mortality lower, in all of those countries than the United States. Whatever outdated stereotypes you may hold, these days poor people in Britain are statistically healthier than rich people in America.)

    Addressing a series of questions from foreign reporters at the press conference, Moore said: “We should do what we always do as Americans, steal the best things you’re doing and make them our own. The Canadians do certain things very well. The Brits do certain things very well. The French have the best system in the world, and that’s not my opinion. That’s how the World Health Organization rates them. None of them is perfect, but it’s not my role to make criticisms. It’s my role as an American to say, why don’t we take the best elements you’re doing and blend them together, and call it the American system?” [...]

    When Moore interviews Tony Benn, a leading figure on the British left, his larger concerns come into focus. Benn argues that for-profit healthcare and the other instruments of the corporate state, like student loans and bottomless credit-card debt, perform a crucial function for that state. They undermine democracy by creating a docile and hardworking population that is addicted to constant debt and an essentially unsustainable lifestyle, that literally cannot afford to quit jobs or take time off, that is more interested in maintaining high incomes than in social or political change. Moore seizes on this insight and makes it a kind of central theme; both in the film and aloud, at the press conference, he wondered whether some essential and unrecognized change has occurred in the American character.

  • The Guardian (United Kingdom), courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Care Program: Oh yes, he's got an agenda. Michael Moore’s new film about the US healthcare system must be seen in Europe as well as the US. By Agnès Poirier. Excerpts: In four tidy acts, Michael Moore spells out the facts. Act one: 50 million Americans have no health cover, and 250 million who think they do, through costly health insurance schemes ($2,000 per person a year), are often denied treatment when they need it. A guy without cover who chopped off two of his fingers in a bout of DIY was presented with an invoice for $12,000 to reattach his ring-finger and $60,000 for his forefinger. Being a romantic, and skint, he chose to get his ring-finger back.

    Act two: when did it all start going wrong, asks Moore. The answer: in August 1971. President Richard Nixon and his adviser Edgar Kaiser plot to break the system. “The less care they give, the more money they make,” says Nixon, caught on tape. They? Their friends, the health industry moguls, the same ones who fund the political campaigns of US congressmen. Moore shows us the price tag on every single one of them. One in particular, Billy Tauzin, leaves Congress to become CEO of the drug industry’s top lobbying group, PhRMA, with a $2m a year salary.

    Meanwhile astute national publicity campaigns have demonised the concept of universal healthcare by associating it with “socialised medicine”, which in American English translates as “Soviet medicine” - the kind such oppressive regimes as Canada, Britain and France have adopted for their citizens. [...]

    I know what you’re thinking, I know what you’re going to say. And so what? Yes, Michael Moore has an agenda. No, he isn’t among the giants of documentary film-making. No, he isn’t an ordinary journalist. He is, as he says, the op-ed variety, the kind who is constantly angry. He has issues with the way of the world and wants to set records straight. His goal is simply to put universal healthcare back at the centre of the American debate. And while Moore’s main objective is to reach his fellow Americans, his film should also make Europeans ponder on the system they too often take for granted. George Orwell would hate it. But forget about him for a minute. There may sometimes be such a thing as good propaganda.

  • New York Times: A Katrina Health Care System. By Atul Gawande. Excerpts: Meanwhile, officials at West Jefferson Medical Center outside New Orleans reported that the number of indigent patients admitted there has tripled since Hurricane Katrina. The uninsured are now 30 percent of their emergency room patients. Officials in Houston hospitals are reporting similar numbers. Conditions seem worse rather than better. Katrina caused a vicious spiral. Large numbers of people lost their jobs and, with them, their health coverage. Charity Hospital, the one state-funded hospital in New Orleans, closed. The few open hospital emergency rooms in the area have had to handle the load, but it’s put the hospitals in financial crisis. Four hundred physicians filed a lawsuit against the state seeking payment for uncompensated care, and massive numbers of doctors and nurses have left the area.

    In Washington, a conference held by the American College of Emergency Physicians revealed that New Orleans may have it worst, but emergency rooms everywhere are drowning in patients. Mandated to care for the uninsured, they are increasingly unprofitable. So although the influx of patients has grown, 500 emergency rooms have closed in the last decade. The result: 91 percent report overcrowding — meaning wait times for the acutely ill of more than an hour or waiting rooms filled more than six hours per day. Almost half report this occurring daily. [...]

    A few days later, the Commonwealth Fund released one of the most detailed studies ever done comparing care in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Britain. We’ve known for awhile that health care here is more expensive than anywhere and that our life expectancy is somehow shorter. But the particulars were the surprise.

    On the good side, the study found that once we get into a doctor’s office, American patients are as likely as patients anywhere to get the right care, especially for prevention. Only Germans have a shorter wait for surgery when it’s needed. And 85 percent of Americans are happy with the care they get.

    But we also proved to be the least likely to have a regular doctor — and starkly less likely to have had the same doctor for five years. We have the hardest time finding care on nights or weekends outside of an E.R. And we are the most likely (after Canadians) to wait six days or more for an appointment when we need medical attention. Half of Americans also reported forgoing medical care because of cost in the last two years, twice the proportion elsewhere.

  • New York Times: A Short American Life. By Nicholas D. Kristof. Excerpts: How’s this for a glimpse into America’s health care mess: The student winner I’ve chosen to accompany me on a reporting trip to Africa next month is a superb medical school student named Leana Wen. She receives her M.D. this month, and will research health care access this summer at a Washington think tank.

    I asked Leana about her health insurance coverage, just in case she catches leprosy on the Africa trip.

    “Actually, I was going to become one of the 45 million uninsured for the summer,” she said. “The think tank does not provide insurance for ‘temporary’ employees, and my school did not allow extension of health insurance post-graduation. I still haven’t found a reasonably priced insurance plan for this period.”

    Aaaaargh! When a newly minted doctor investigating Americans’ access to medical care has no insurance — then you know that our health care system is truly bankrupt. [...]

    The U.S. now spends far more on medical care (more than $7,000 per person) than other nations, yet our infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and longevity are among the worst in the industrialized world. If we had as good a child mortality rate as France, Germany and Italy, we would save 12,000 children a year.

    It is disgraceful that an American mother has almost three times the risk of losing a child as a mother in the Czech Republic. According to a new report from Save the Children, a woman in the U.S. has a 1-in-71 chance of losing a child before his or her fifth birthday.

  • New York Times: Congress Putting Long-Term Care Under Scrutiny. By Charles Duhigg. Excerpts: A Congressional committee yesterday began looking into business practices in the long-term care insurance industry. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has asked Conseco and the Penn Treaty American Corporation, two of the nation’s largest sellers of long-term care insurance, to produce documents showing how the companies market long-term care policies and handle policyholder claims. [...]

    In March, The New York Times reported that some long-term care insurance companies had developed procedures that made it difficult, if not impossible, for policyholders to get paid. That article — which focused on Conseco and Penn Treaty — was cited by the House committee and in the senators’ letters as the instigation for their investigatory requests.

    “We have two companies that seem to be engaging in questionable practices, and we have every reason to think we will turn up other companies engaged in questionable practices,” said Representative John Dingell, Democrat of Michigan who is chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “Now that we’re aware this is occurring, we’re going to shine a light on it that won’t be extinguished.”

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
Minimize
  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page (Note: There were a massive number of posts to this page during the last week. The following is a sampling of the large list of posts received by the Alliance@IBM.)
    • Comment 05/18/07: I was in the May 1 cuts after 8 hard years and lots of overtime and hard work. The internal job postings are a waste of time. I've been rejected for everything despite all my training for new work for the past 1.5 years. I worked EXTREMELY hard for this company and it made no difference to the greedy executives. I have been interviewing although nothing has come along yet. All I can say is that there are a lot of smaller companies out there that treat people very well. I just want to wish you all well in the future. There is life after IBM and we will all look back at this one day and be happy we are gone from this company from hell. Good luck to all of you and God Bless!! -dont_look_back-
    • Comment 05/20/07: I work on a Global services "Strategic Outsource" (SO) account and from what I understand the "new deal" the customers are being offered is as follows: Customers can select the "mix" of US-based workers and off-shore workers that best "meet their needs". The billing rate for US workers is roughly 400% of the off-shore rate. For example off-shore @ $45/hr vs. on-shore $180/hr. Alas, I think most customers will elect to dramatically increase the number of off-shore positions.... Why wouldn't they? They can staff @ 3X the on-shore numbers and still save money.... yeah yeah the off-shore workers have a funny accent, different work ethic, higher turn-over rate, etc. etc. etc. but when you can get a 300% staffing increase and STILL save money what would YOU do as an exec? I anticipate the most common answer will be to keep a handful of on-shore whipping boys & girls around and off-shore the rest of the jobs. Yeah, I think it stinks but .... it's where we're headed. Prepare your resume, or prepare to be whipped 24x7 ... assuming of course that you are "lucky" enough to be selected to be one of the few remaining US employees. -Are US workers that good?-
    • Comment 05/20/07: Don't be too worried about specific dates. Remember that IBM has until May 31st to dump you in order to get you off the books by the end of 2nd Quarter. In fact, May 31st was the date they used in 2005 for a second round of layoffs in Global Services (at least those people got to enjoy their Memorial weekend, but were surprised as they walked in the door on Tuesday). There will probably be different dates for different organizations, just so there will not be one large lump sum total to be reported. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/21/07: I'm also in the Tulsa office and, yes, IBM has done an excellent job in keeping the door rotating. Out of 12 folks in our original group, established in Aug 2005, only 3 are left. Ev1 else left due to the very low pay (about half of the $45 billed for off-shore folks) and the really heavy workload with tons of OT... and if you get too much OT, IBM lets you know "they can't afford it"... but they expect you to do your job. And the job I got, 3 folks were doing it before IBM got the contract... it's been just me since Aug 2005 and I've asked and asked for help. No wonder I'm exhausted ! -Tulsa Slave-
    • Comment 05/21/07: One of my friends is one of the LEAN coordinators. Folks - It's over. OVER .. OVER. LEAN is being used by IBM to slash, cut and burn employees in the US. While LEAN may be a tool used to produce higher efficiency and better quality of work, IBM is using it as a tool and an excuse to off-shore most of the work. The highly skilled technical people who thought they were safe from lay-offs will have to re-think their safety in this company. NO one is exempt or too valuable for IBM to shed. If you\'re hanging around to get your package, then that's ok, but don't hang around thinking you won't be layed off. NO ONE is safe. I have this from the horse's mouth. -doomed-
    • Comment 05/22/07: IN RTP/SWG, 1st line managers get packages on May 29th, deliver the news to affected employee on May 30th -rtpreporter-
    • Comment 05/24/07: I got my 30 day notice today . . . 2 out of 11 in my department. -
    • Comment 05/24/07: 3 out of 8 people in a dept in GTS were RA'ed today. It is expected that between 25-30% in that org will be RA'ed over the next week. (I'm personally skeptical of that number though) Apparently layoffs are going to be staggered and information about them are being kept isolated in order to make it more difficult for others to grasp the scope of the cuts. -racerxny-
    • Comment 05/24/07: OK, I was in Global Services in Canada. Cut in the May 3rd bloodbath. Number of lives destroyed is unknown, and a wide-ranging number. I have heard between 200 and 800 families in Canada from that mess. God knows how many more are coming this and next week. As for the package, as far as I know, no one was given 30 days. I believe all were terminated "without prejudice" as it says in the letter, and are now flagged as "never rehire" at IBM. As to the actual dollars and cents, once I have that last cheque in my account, and the last dime squeezed out of my medical plan, I will disclose. Don't want some HR scumbag to track me down by giving too many precise details. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/25/07: I've gotten first hand informal confirmation from management that there's a big RA coming for GTS sales in the Americas. Probably the industries and all the ITSM/BDE GTS sales positions will be eliminated. -GTS Seller-
    • Comment 05/25/07: At IBM East Fishkill NY several CDI contract service workers that worked with IBM Global Service support were given the axe this week! -Enough is Enough-
    • Comment 05/26/07: When making the transition out from under the weight of the IBM slave galley, its important to take a critical look at your resume to 'de-ibm' your lingo. IBM has a language all its own and acronyms used internally do not have any external relevance. Think in terms of externally relevant skills and drop the IBM double talk. My experience is that a lot of employers view long term IBMers as less viable candidates because they simply do not understand the skills descriptions.

      Have a few people from outside IBM review your resume content... if they don't understand it you can bet that an employer won't either. Post on Monster or Workopolis, I've also used LinkedIn successfully. Personal advice - Take the leap, cut the umbilical cord & start your real career.

      Looking back, a few of the people I worked with will remain lifetime friends but the IBM company was SOUL DESROYING. Now making 40% more ... better benefits.... a real expense plan.... a realistic and stable quota. I actually trust my leaders and feel positive - every day. I hold no nostalgia for IBM...-beentheredonethat-

    • Comment 05/26/07: The people I know who were layed off did not look for another job at IBM. One cited that if they take another IBM job, and get layed off in the future, they will not get a package. Another thought that any other job working for any employer other than IBM, would be a vast improvement over the abusive situation working for IBM. They're better off being out. -Fred-
    • Comment 05/27/07: As an ex-IBM 2nd line manager, I know first hand that managers are given a date range for resource actions. They also stage the actions to avoid an upsurge in negative publicity and unionization activity. The RA has already started in RTP. It started on Tuesday and has been going on all week and even on Saturday. Local management is given leeway on dates for procrastination, confusing the press and making those in the know from leaked memos, etc. the sense that their information is not accurate.

      Some plans are even changed when they are leaked and announced on this board, so thank the Alliance for delays and cancellations of resource actions. Most of the identified as affected so far are in IGS. One female Senior VP in IGS who is from the UK leaked some of the data to a employee and we know that at least another 2.1K in GTS IAS will be given notice through 6/1. 6/1, not 5/31 is the last date for forced attrition for 1H07. -GTS Slave-

  • From the General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 05/19/07: It's now quite clear what IBM thinks of the "average" stockholder. Last month they had their annual stockholders meeting but just this week they had the institution investors meeting. They obviously pull out all the stops for this meeting and it was clear in Knoxville, TN that the stockholders meeting there was all fluff, no substance, and a "we'll do this for you, average stockholder, but we don't really care about you all that much" attitude and stance.

      Of course at the institution investor meeting none of the investors present would have the guts to ask IBM this: "Sam (Palmisano), so you will invest further in BRIC's but since IBM is an AMERICAN company what is wrong with IBM in the USA? IBM has done great since Watson created IBM in the USA now what is the REAL story? Sounds like you are clearly abandoning America." -sell(out)_IBM-

    • Comment 05/21/07: I remember when Poughkeepsie had its own HR Retirement dept. This dept had a slogan. It was "We work hard so you wont have to" This was refereing to the retirees. Back then, Retirees were respected elders. Today, they (we ) are trash. -Still Here-
    • Comment 05/25/07: To IBM managers that want to participate in this and other forums and comment sections of the Alliance: Just tell your employees what is going on and then your direct report employees can post it. That does not infringe upon current USA labor law. Most of us non-managers who have joined the Alliance or are interested in joining sure understand that 1st line management is getting hammered by IBM now too. I for one appreciate managers who are"on the level" and I want to get a union to help their situations in IBM as well if it is possible! I would also like and work to change USA labor law to be similar to the labor laws in Europe where some management can in fact join work councils and trade unions with their employees. -sby_willie-
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 05/21/07: Salary = €23,000; Band Level = ?; Job Title = Software Developer; Years Service = 0; Hours/Week = 39; Div Name = ?; Location = Dublin, Ireland; Message = Hey guys, IT graduate in Ireland who has just gotten a job with IBM in Dublin as a software developer. I have heard some very bad rumours about graduates who have started a few years back and are still earning similar sums despite being in the job for several years. Can anyone give me any inside info? -New Hire-
    • Comment 05/21/07: Salary = 53k; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Senior Consultant; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 40-60 plus travel; Div Name = GBS; Location = All over; Message = PBC 1s, crappy/no raises, crappy bonuses, I'm outta here -OnThe WayOut-
    • Comment 05/22/07: Salary = 60K; Band Level = 6; Job Title = IT/Specialist; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 40/wk; Div Name = 23; Location = ITS Delivery; Message = Consistent 2 PBC...no raise in more than 4 years now...1.3% bonus payout...its rediculous...even when u exceed your util targets u get nothing for it. I am out as soon as I find a better gig...wasting my life here with no real career development. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/23/07: Salary = pathetic; Band Level = 8; Job Title = ITSM; Years Service = 11; Div Name = ITS; Location = South Africa; Message = Hi, good web page. I am surprised to find it exists. Surely IBM has tried to shut it down. -max-
    • Comment 05/23/07: Salary = £27; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Consultant; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = GBS; Location = London; Message = Hello IT grad from Ireland... Believe what you've heard! Payrises are a joke. We started as graduates on 25k and have gone up only 2k in 2 years, and its not looking like it's getting much better. I don't know about software development, but in consulting IBM definitely pays the lowest salaries in the industry. And they are not ashamed or apologetic - "tough luck" is the overriding message from the immediate management. Upper management make the right noises but haven't actually done anything about it.... most people I joined with are thinking of leaving now. IBM will lose all their best people after they've paid for all the recruitment and training. Bad tactic. -Poorer than when I finished being a student 3 years ago...-
    • Comment 05/23/07: Salary = RM30,000 a year (1USD = RM3.5); Band Level = 6; Job Title = Financial Analyst; Years Service = 1.5; Hours/Week = 90+; Div Name = APAC; Location = Kuala Lumpur; Message = My increase was RM100 this year (please look at the above for the exchange rate to know how pathetic this is). I have just been offered a job at a smaller company that is paying 25% more (which I intend to take), and I have just given my letter. IBM also treats its employees like dirt in Asia, increases are so pathetic you are better off not getting them at all, as your tax burden increases with it as well. Look at the hours I'm working a week, no OT paid, weekend and public holiday work with no pay, and horrible management. Thanks a lot IBM, I will never ever work for you again. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 05/25/07: Salary = 84K; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Senior I/T Architect; Years Service = 23; Hours/Week = 60+; Div Name = 07; - IGS Location = Work@home; Message = I'm sticking around because I have small children and can work at home. Believe me...IBM takes full advantage of the work@home employees by making them work all hours of the day, night and weekend. We also have pager duty coverage 24X7 and there is NO extra compensation for this. Basically, we are slaves to IBM. -another-sucker-
    • Comment 05/25/07: Salary = 76K; Band Level = 8; Job Title = IT/Specialist; Years Service = 10; Hours/Week = 40+; Location = CT; Message = Huge responsibilities, releases every week to difficult clients, expected to be online working 24/7...hired in at band 6 despite having 8 years experience...starting salary was 46K... now I'm near the bottom of the barrel of the salary range for band 8 it seems, I had 2 years in a row with no raise during my career. I feel crazy to stay here but I'm a single mom with 2 kids.... -low band 8-
  • PBC Comments
Vault Message Board Posts:
Minimize

Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A few sample posts follow:

  • "It's not the bean counters" by "jaywalk". Full excerpt: It's the efficiency experts. Look up Lean Manufacturing in Wikipedia and you'll find that it was intended to be applied to a manufacturing environment. The focus is on the elimination of redundancies, reduction of defects and inventory control.

    It will be interesting to see how IBM's management intends to apply principles developed for an assembly line Paying people based on their value to the company = -100 points. Training employees in order to meet the long-term goals of the company = -80 points. Reclassifying employees to non-exempt status and allowing them to work over 60 hrs/week = +125 points. I wonder how well Sam and Lou would do playing this? to software consulting. Personally it sounds to me like they're confusing apples and feathers. One is a repetitive process in a controlled environment, the other is almost entirely defined by the individual client's business requirements.

  • "The real strategy" by "Dose of Reality". Full excerpt: You have to understand that none of the moves of the last decade have been about making sound business choices (you know the kind that maximizes long term shareholder value). The MO has always been about extending the cashing out of the IBM brand as long as possible to the enrichment of a few insiders.

    Gerstner and SP both came to the realization that IBM was bigger than both of them, and they didn't have the board imperative, the intellectual capability, or the strength of character to transition IBM from the big 1970s market leading fiefdom-laced bureaucracy into what it needed to become - a truly integrated and market-efficient one stop IT product/service shop.They instead opted for the easy cost takeouts that did absolutely nothing in terms of investing in the future or improving organizational capabilities. Gerstner and SP both came to the realization that IBM was bigger than both of them, and they didn't have the board imperative, the intellectual capability, or the strength of character to transition IBM from the big 1970s market leading fiefdom-laced bureaucracy into what it needed to become - a truly integrated and market-efficient one stop IT product/service shop.They instead opted for the easy cost takeouts that did absolutely nothing in terms of investing in the future or improving organizational capabilities.

    Even the manufacturing propeller heads we have in the front office realize that Ravi is no substitute for a real domestic business-savvy consultant. Heck, Ravi isn’t even a good substitute for a Little Rock support desk clerk. They are just making one final dress-up of the P&L while we still have a decent portfolio of long term contracts at pricing that assumed that we still had the business-savvy consultant and the Little Rock support desk clerk. Clients will need some time to unwind their IBM connections, and in the meantime, we have cut labor costs by two thirds.

    They are just looking to get one more big personal score – it’s that simple.

  • "IBM Making 3D Business Sim Game" by "outsourcee". Full excerpt: From http://news.com.com/2102-7339_3-6185379.html "IBM on Monday introduced a three-dimensional video game that puts a businessperson in a virtual office with the task of constructing a more efficient company.

    The game, called Innov8, is meant to address a lack of skills in understanding and improving a company's internal business processes. Innov8 stems from a business school contest where students were asked to come up with good ways to educate business and IT people on business process management and service-oriented architectures concepts."

    The game won't be released until Sept. I'm guessing it's scoring is being changed from what the students thought was correct to what IBM thinks is correct in the business environment.

    • Paying people based on their value to the company = -100 points.
    • Training employees in order to meet the long-term goals of the company = -80 points.
    • Reclassifying employees to non-exempt status and allowing them to work over 60 hrs/week = +125 points.

    I wonder how well Sam and Lou would do playing this?

  • "Not a joke?" by "NutritionFacts". Full excerpt: I thought this was a joke until I cut and pasted the link. Gawd. This is beyond sad.
  • "For once..." by "Dose of Reality". Full excerpt: ...I am speechless! I haven't the words to describe this. Quintessentially ironic...ridiculously sublime, like matter is to anti-matter, or maybe just a sick joke from someone that has nothing to lose. Could have just been a brain fart from one of the geniuses at O&M?? I think this one deserves a whole chapter in the book.
  • "This is almost" by "mogrits". Full excerpt: ...beyond the realm of a Dilbert strip. There is no joy in Muddville, Mighty Casey has struck out.
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.