That probe dates to June 2003 and IBM said it thinks it stemmed from the other investigation into Dollar General. IBM sells point-of-sale products to Dollar General, a client of IBM's Retail Store Solutions unit. A Wells notice gives a company a chance to clarify and resolve issues administratively.
"IBM has consented, without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, to entry of an administrative order by the SEC directing that IBM cease and desist from committing or causing any violations of certain provisions of the federal securities laws and related SEC rules," the statement said. It also said an individual IBM employee in Sales and Distribution had received a separate Wells notice relating to the Dollar General inquiry and he had resolved it.
The statement said IBM will not restate any of its business results due to this settlement, meaning past earnings statements will remain as they were. As IBM's statement was after hours, the SEC could not be reached. IBM, however, said the SEC's order "notes that the revenue recognition errors at issue were, in many cases, errors with respect to the recognition of revenue as between quarters, and in most cases, were discovered and corrected by IBM in advance of the commission's investigation."
It is beginning to send a subtle message that the SEC is more interested in corporate interests rather than the interests of the ordinary investor. And since a lot of us IBM employees are IBM stockholders, that is not a good message to be hearing now is it?
In the original video, posted by the firm Cohen & Grigsby from a May 15 conference, an attorney is shown advising attendees on how to meet the minimum requirements of advertising a job to U.S. candidates so that a foreign worker can more easily be hired. The firm's conference dealt with the U.S. government's labor certification requirement for foreign workers, the first step in helping them obtain green cards. The law requires that an employer prove there are no qualified U.S. citizens for a permanent job being offered before hiring a non-citizen.
In one 10-minute segment of the conference video, a panel of lawyers are shown discussing Program Electronic Review Management (PERM), an electronic labor certification system the government put in place two years ago to reduce certification to under 60 days. It was that portion of the video lambasted by the Programmers Guild, an organization of IT professionals that is staunchly protectionist against the loss of U.S. jobs to foreign workers both onshore and offshore.
The PERM process requires that an employer post a job in at least three places and allow 30 days for job candidates to respond and for the employer to review resumes. If no interested and qualified U.S. workers respond, an employer can instantly and electronically apply for a foreign worker's labor certification.
In the video, attorney Jennifer Pack advises attendees that posting the job at an employer's Web site and with a local newspaper is usually enough to fill the minimum requirement, if the newspaper also posts the job online.
Another attorney, Lawrence Lebowitz, adds, "We're going to try to find a place [to advertise] where we are complying with the law and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants." Earlier, Pack mentions less desirable methods that are more likely to pull in qualified and interested workers, including job fairs, online job sites like Monster.com, campus recruitments, and job placement firms.
Although admittedly anecdotal, I keep hearing two things: first, that older IT workers -- even those who have kept their skills up to date or are clearly competent to acquire new ones -- are getting the shaft in favor of younger workers. And when employers run out of young U.S. citizens to hire, they turn to the (on average) very young H-1B visa holders before they'll look at the seasoned 45-year-old Americans.
Second, many foreign H-1B holders are feeling a vicious backlash as the trend toward outsourcing continues and as technology companies keep issuing their dire warnings that without more H-1Bs they'll have to send more jobs offshore. Actually, H-1B holders -- the majority of whom are Indian -- get hit with a double whammy: Not only do they get paid less, on average, than their American citizen counterparts, they're often very personally blamed for keeping IT salaries artificially depressed because of what many claim is an oversaturated IT labor market. "It's gotten very ugly very fast," one H-1B holder told me.
High-tech companies want to be able to hire larger numbers of well-educated, foreign-born professionals who, they say, can help them succeed in the global economy. For these scientists and engineers, they seek permanent-residence visas, known as green cards, and H-1B visas. The H-1B program provides temporary work visas for people who have university degrees or the equivalent to fill jobs in specialty occupations including health care and technology. The Senate bill would expand the number of work visas for skilled professionals, but high-tech companies say the proposed increase is not nearly enough. Several provisions of the Senate bill are meant to enhance protections for American workers and to prevent visa fraud and abuse. [...]
Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, a co-author of a treatise on immigration law, said: “High-tech companies are very organized. They have numerous lobby groups. When Bill Gates advocates more H-1B visas and green cards for tech workers, everyone listens. [...]
Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, have a proposal that would overhaul the H-1 B program and give priority to American workers. Their proposal would also define, in great detail, the wages that must be paid to workers who have H-1B visas.
Mr. Durbin contended that some companies have used foreign workers to undercut the wages of American workers. And in some cases, he said, foreign workers come to this country for a few years of training, then return home “to populate businesses competing with the United States.”
“The H-1B visa program is being abused by foreign companies to deprive qualified Americans of good jobs,” Mr. Durbin said. “Some companies are so brazen, they say ‘no Americans need apply’ in their job advertisements.”
Well... good luck. The latest surge of jobs heading to India might well include yours. Such outfits as Citigroup, Boeing, and Eli Lilly are now moving out the work of white-collar elites – including investment banking, aircraft design, and the clinical testing of drugs. "High-end outsourcing" is the new wave, and it's pulling away the professional work of well-educated Americans who've been enjoying six-figure salaries, nice homes, and the good life.
Economist Alan Binder, a former top official at the Federal Reserve, says: "We have, so far, barely seen the tip of the offshoring iceberg, the eventual dimensions of which may be staggering." How staggering? Binder says that up to 42 million American workers – about one-third of us – are looking at a rude awakening.
What's the middle-class future then? Binder says America needs to increase jobs that have to be done in person so they can't be outsourced – jobs like doctors and police officers. Yeah, well, I'm thinking we'll need lots of police officers to contain everyone who can't be a doctor! And... how exactly, are the rest of us to pay for seeing the doctor?
It used to be "them" who had to worry about outsourcing. Now it's "us." Our politicians have got to quit pretending that this is not a problem – and start developing policies to revitalize American's middle-class.
Durbin and Grassley say these companies are abusing the L visa program, which is intended to allow multinationals to transfer foreign managers and specialists within a company to U.S. offices. The Senators allege that outsourcing firms are not engaging in transferring at all, but instead are hiring foreign workers expressly to bring them to the U.S.—and to take the place of American workers. The newly released data show that of the top 20 L visa users in fiscal year 2006, 14 are offshore outsourcing firms, including Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computer Services (SAY), Wipro (WIT), Infosys Technologies (INFY), Patni Computer Systems (PTI), and Accenture (ACN). [...]
Durbin and Grassley obtained the information on L visa users from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services after requesting it in a June 13 letter. The data show, for example, that Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy obtained 4,887 L visas in fiscal year 2006, the most of any firm, American or Indian. "I find it hard to believe that any one company has that many individuals…legitimately being transferred within a single year," said Durbin. [...]
Critics say the L visa program could allow for even more abuse than the H1-B program, which allows high-skilled workers to come to the U.S. for up to six years. While H1-B visas are capped at 65,000 per year, there is no annual limit to the number of L visas, and while H1-B visa workers must receive the prevailing wage, there is no such requirement for L visas. The number of such visas issued has increased from 39,886 in 2001 to 53,144 in 2006.
This year's batch of students with degrees in engineering and computer science can take advantage of a job market that's grown steadily over the last four year years. Challenger cited Labor Department statistics showing unemployment for recent tech grads down to 2 percent.
"In the tight labor market there are many companies which are eagerly awaiting the new graduates," Challenger said. "They bring in new skills and expertise and they are not as high priced." [...]
Spring and summer are busy hiring times for companies and graduating students. But the recruiting process take place throughout the year through the likes of job fairs, lectures, alumni events and on-campus interviews. Companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM put huge amounts of people, time and money into recruiting students, although they're unable to assign specific dollar figures to such efforts.
IBM, for example, spends much more than $100 million on student activities annually, said Gina Poole, the company's vice president of innovation and university relations. "You can't even begin to count the time IBMers put into this," she said. IBM has even created its own academic discipline, Services, Sciences, Management and Engineering (SSME) to help ensure future recruits will have the skill set the company looking for.
“At a time when employees’ retirement security is anything but secure, things are looking rosy in the corporate board room, where our nation’s corporate elite make sure that they have pensions, higher incomes and other benefits so generous that Midas would have been embarrassed,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who proposed the bill, in a statement.
Despite rising corporate profits in recent years, many workers have had their pensions frozen, the statement said. Many companies have said they cannot afford pensions while at the same time awarding top executives lucrative non-pension benefits that function much like pensions, the statement continued.
“These employees talk about these cut-backs as ‘broken promises’ and ‘pension pay cuts.’ They say they feel betrayed by companies to whom they have given their blood, sweat and tears. Employees like Margo Bryerton of Verizon ask, ‘Why is it that company execs can pay themselves these gargantuan executive compensation plans while our companies freeze or terminate our pensions?’ [...]
IBM announced its freeze in 2006, and, in the same year, gave its CEO Samuel J. Palmisano more than $24 million in total compensation. The Hershey Company announced its freeze in October 2006, and CEO Richard H. Lenny made $11,349,910 in total compensation. HP (Hewlett-Packard) announced its freeze in February 2007. In 2006, CEO Mark V. Hurd made $24,031,487 in total compensation.
It was a production defect but, captivated, amateur musician Gunnarson and his colleagues soon learned how to reprogram the room-size business workhorse's innards to emit melodies that rank amongst the earliest in a long line of Scandinavian digital music.
Fast-forward four decades, and recently discovered tape recordings of Gunnarson's works form the basis of a touring song-and-dance performance, IBM 1401: A User's Manual. The show was composed by Gunnarson's son Jóhann Jóhannsson, with interpretive dance choreographed by Erna Omarsdotti, whose father is another IBM alum.
"We've sometimes had older tech guys my father's age who have shown up, not because they're dance or music enthusiasts, but because they recognized the name of the machine," Jóhannsson told Wired News. "We had a group of people from (particle physics lab) CERN when we played in Geneva. It's great to hear reactions from this group of people, as it really is like playing it to my father in a way." [...]
"The 1401s cost the equivalent of $2 million or $3 million in today's money and had to run 24 hours a day -- the engineers had a very important role, but IBM didn't really care that they were using it to make music," said Robert Garner, who is leading the restoration.
It was the third announcement this year of the return of AT&T Tier I customer support jobs. In El Paso, Texas, a new center is now up and running with more than 400 CWA-represented workers, and another 400 are expected to be on the job at a new call center scheduled to open in Indianapolis, Indiana, this July.
Overall, more than 2,000 new jobs are expected to be created as a result of CWA's 2005 National Internet agreement with AT&T, reported Executive Vice President Jeff Rechenbach, who heads the Telecom Office.
Basically, the IBM United Healthcare plan paid nothing. This year, I have additional cancer treatment expenses added to what I had to pay last year. So far, every bill that went from Medicare to United Health, ended up with United Health paying nothing. They claim my out of pocket is only $2,000 so far, using their method of calculating it, so they do not have to pay anything.
The medical billing departments I have to deal with find it hard to believe our United Health Plans (controlled my IBM) pays so little, or none at all. This will only get worse as IBM finds more ways to shift the medical costs away from them and onto us retirees.
When you read about these new plans being proposed, they always mention how many millions of dollars the companies will save on their medical and retiree benefits. They never mention how it may help us retirees, because it won't. We are at the bottom of the food chain, and will probably stay there if big companies have their way.
But now corporate America, having created the problem, is trying to help solve it. A group of some of the nation’s biggest companies plans to announce today a program meant to make health insurance available to their former employees ages 55 to 64.
Not only would the insurance policies be relatively affordable, but no one could be turned down for coverage, regardless of medical condition. That is a crucial provision, because high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and other medical afflictions of late middle age can make it hard for early retirees to find an insurer willing to cover them at any price. [...]
Typically, the policies will carry a moderately high annual deductible — perhaps $500 to $1,100 or so in out-of-pocket medical expenses before coverage kicks in. The retirees’ monthly premiums will range from $400 to $1,200 or more, depending on whether the employer defrays part of the cost. That is significantly lower than what people in this age range can expect to pay, if they can find individual insurance at all. [...]
The sponsor, the HR Policy Association, represents 250 large companies, including General Electric, I.B.M., Sears, Starbucks and United Parcel Service. Although the association says it does not know how many total early retirees there are among its members, a few of the bigger companies have tens of thousands, while some newer technology businesses have none. [...]
“This is a burning issue for corporations,” said J. Randall MacDonald, a senior vice president at I.B.M., which has 30,000 early retirees. “Employees have become increasingly concerned.”
One disturbing study published last year by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found average waits of 38.2 days to get an appointment with a dermatologist to check out a possibly cancerous mole. "Waiting is definitely a problem in the U.S., especially for basic care," says Karen Davis, president of the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which studies health-care policy. She attributes the delays to a number of factors. Only one-third of U.S. doctors are general or family practitioners, she notes, compared with half in most European countries. Also, only some 40% of doctors have arrangements for after-hours care, making it difficult to see a physician on nights and weekends. As a result, emergency rooms have become fallback systems for routine care. [...]
Of the countries surveyed, 81% of patients in New Zealand got a same or next-day appointment for a nonroutine visit, 71% in Britain, 69% in Germany, 66% in Australia, 47% in the U.S., and 36% in Canada. Those lengthy wait times in the U.S. explain why 26% of Americans reported going to an emergency room for a condition that could have been treated by a regular doctor if available, higher than every other country surveyed.
A growing number of large employers are beginning to consider overall costs, by adding productivity measures to their financial calculus for health care.
“The evidence is compelling that we should be looking at the total health care outcomes picture,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, the global medical director at the information technology company Cisco Systems, a member of the Integrated Benefits Institute. She said that in her own company’s case, studying employees’ overall health records had alerted Cisco to costly conditions like depression and muscular and skeletal problems affecting some workers’ productivity. The affected employees were encouraged to seek advice from health coaches and to seek treatment, Dr. Hymel said.
Melissa Block sizes up Sicko — as entertainment and expose — with film critic Bob Mondello and science correspondent Joanne Silberner, who covers the health industry for NPR.
Madeleine Brand spent a few minutes with Moore at the posh Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, hours before he moved on to attend a premiere on Skid Row, which has become known as a location for so-called "patient dumping" by local hospitals. (The text version of the interview has been edited for clarity.)
Great movies and documentaries raise people’s latent indignation levels-for a short time. Norma Rae, The China Syndrome and The Grapes of Wrath had this effect. But films do not usually move either people or legislators to action. Their effect does not reach enough people. Their urgent 2 hour impact tends to diminish quickly, as compared with the omnipresent and powerful corporate or commercial interests determined to preserve the status quo. [...]
Will ‘Sicko’ be any different? Certainly the giant HMOs, hospital chains and drug companies are firmly entrenched with all the sinews of power that have left this country, alone among western nations, without health care for all. They have endured easily many mainstream print and television expose©s (see the New York Times, AP, 60 Minutes and the nightly evening news, for example) year after year.
Moore said Cohen thanked him for helping to provide the courage for his own daring adventures on ''Borat,'' in which Cohen's Kazakh alter-ego wrestles naked with his portly producer and draws the ire of a rodeo crowd for butchering the national anthem.
''I said to him, `But yeah, I've never done anything like wrestle naked with another guy on the floor of an insurance-brokers or mortgage-brokers convention,'' Moore told The Associated Press. ''So after I saw `Borat,' if he says I was an inspiration for those things, I now have to up the ante for him. So we sailed into the mined waters of Guantanamo Bay with sick 9/11 workers and a bullhorn.''
And though they have not yet seen the movie, to be released nationwide Friday, June 29, health insurance and pharmaceutical executives and employer groups have been striking back at Moore and his proposal to end the health care crisis by abolishing private health insurance in favor of a government-run single-payer plan.
“The American people do not support a government takeover of the entire health care system because they know that means long waits for rationed care,” says Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobby group, in a press release.
I can't stop or avoid the cold, wet drizzle of IBM processes that make trying to get work done there so frustrating and slow. Most of the time, we don't even know who we'd contact to try to change them. I use the "cold drizzle" analogy because the endless stream of "Thou Shalt" mandates falls from the sky exactly like that.
My slice of IBM has become big on "agile" programming. But they do it in a hybrid way that offers the worst of old-school IBM and true agile programming: Breakneck pace of development, but micro-managed via PERT-charts, and with all of the cold drizzle intact. As far as I can tell, "agile" just means "shut up and run faster".
The most creative thing I can see to do is to find a better job elsewhere. I'd say about half of the engineers at our site are looking elsewhere. Some are "eyes open, would happily leap if the right opportunity knocked". Others are like, "dear God, get me the hell outta here!" looking. I know it doesn't matter if I leave. Or even if half my peers leave. I can't see it changing a single thing. -Ya@endicottalliance.org-
Randy and Jennie Mays - can we put in the overtime for supporting 5 times as many principals than we used to or are we going to be dunned because we 'don't manage our desks well' or 'do not know how to prioritize'? Give us a break, please. We are really the silent minority who never complain; we eat at our desks and work on beat-up outmoded laptops, sign for your packages, get your lunch, order your supplies, plan your big meetings, do your charts, arrange your complicated travel, handle your expense accounts, avoid conference conflicts, and represent your office with amazing political aplomb and good grace.
If the principals have a flawless day and get their jobs done smoothly, they can thank the efforts of the admins who made it so. The admin managers are just as victimized and consistently put in the position of whipping the dead horses to get more out of us. Maybe the top execs should give up some of their mega-bonuses and let the money trickle down a little....... -Stunned Admin-
Many of the skill and engineering left EIT. The former IBM panel plant is a shell of what it was now but enjoys lucrative NYS tax breaks. All the EIT owners and silent owners are enjoying the big bucks while x-IBMers within days and weeks of full iBM pension/medical benefits were screwed! I left EIT and found a well paying and job out of the industry.
My advice, before iBM RA's you or sells you off, look around for other opportunities and do NOT limit yourself to the electronics/service industry. You can do very well, just take the chance. IBM is not worth the waste of your time and life, anymore. If you stay, work to form a union. It will at the least force iBM to show some respect. -TrySomethingNew-
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:
As a well-known elder retired IBM executive, I still get asked by many for retirement letters. In June of 2006 I wrote 11 letters. So far this month I've written 71. It's a massive brain drain going on so far this year. The amazing thing is that about 30-40% of the departees I write letters for tell me the numbers of professionals leaving at the 10-20 year experience level are staggering. The ranks are depleted at the customer contact level and are now creeping into the research executive levels.
When this pig blows it will go quickly, I'm afraid.
Negatives (why I'm out):
So here's my advice, I think if you're B6-B9, and don't plan on staying long-term, I think this is a great, safe place to be. As long as you don't want to grow to be a partner, and focus solely on building your skills, IBM is a decent place to be, I might even say a good place to be (you COULD do worse, trust me on that).
If you want to be a leader, or come in as a leader, or you really have a desire to see successful projects, build a network, stay 10 years, etc. this is the wrong place.
I think it's a simple fix really, someone needs to bite the bullet, and get rid of a LOT of the leadership. I know this is expensive due to pensions, blah blah, but it needs to be done. This can be done fairly... DoR is an exec here (love you man) but he's clearly miserable, there are many like him, and there's no way that many miserable people are really working at 110% capacity, building the best place to work for future leaders. At the same time, I bet those guys would retire right now if the price was right...
Maybe after the oldster miserable folks leave in the next 10 years, I'll be back. And MAN it is CRAZY being a 30yr old B10 here, I have a few dozen 50yr old B8&9s on my teams, this doesn't count all the oldster B10+s. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's just a tad strange, I'm used to being the youngest around but usually we're only off a decade or so, here I'm the youngest by 30 years at times... Anyway, not that it means anything... I think it pisses them off more than I even think about it....
Anyway. It's late I wish you luck, I'll be around a few weeks, then sign off. (I'm also not like those losers that don't get a life and continually post how crappy it was when I worked there a year ago. When the paychecks stop, I'll post on my new company board (but I'll lurk here for fun!!) SP
You are a perfect candidate for the boutique practices, except that in a smaller organization, you need to do a lot of jobs and many IBM executives fail because they won't dare get their hands dirty. Don't let IBM false pride get in the way of success. That's what makes folks like JB losers. It's gotten to their heads and they've been re-programmed.
I'll pass the fact that you've left to the ancientblueconsultant, who introduced me to this board. He's been sweeping the market with those oldsters in that niche of yours.
Don't worry, Scott, the old farts like me with tons of experience and tens of thousands of hours of billable experience are bailing out quickly. That strong base of B6-B9 will be full of newbies before long. Don't forget that as you leave voluntarily without a package you need to sign nothing, especially the "Statement of Understanding". Don't hobble yourself at the gate before your glorious run.
I believe for most people in most organizations, a person should consider hiring in to IBM under two and only two circumstances - a) they have no place better to go, or b) they do not plan to stay more than 3 to 5 years.
There are two parts of the business to avoid - the consulting and the services parts of the business. Just about any other part of the business is better than these two.
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