He claims that the company misclassified him and other workers in similar positions as "exempt" from overtime, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for Northern California. Chau also maintains that he and others were denied legally required meal and rest breaks.
Paying for it is usually up to beleaguered employees, which only adds to their sense of economic insecurity.
I.B.M., often a trendsetter in business practices, is taking a step to address the workers’ economic problem — a step it hopes other companies will follow and help encourage a change in tax policy.
I.B.M., at a conference in Washington today, is announcing that it will begin offering its employees in the United States specialized savings accounts for training and education. The “learning accounts” will be modeled on 401(k) retirement accounts, which began in the late 1970s. Workers will put up to $1,000 a year into the accounts, and I.B.M. will contribute 50 cents for every dollar put in by the employee.
How ground breaking. At AT&T our annual training budget was $1500. Often we could get an extra $1000 plus we were allowed to attend conferences paid by the company.
Now IBM, who denied training because there was no money for those of us outsourced to IGS, decides they will pay one fuc**** THIRD of your training.
Its too bad they don't make 10 Billion profit, oh wait, they do. Is it any wonder they are no longer on the 100 best Companies to Work For?
They are a lot of explanations to answer these questions, but the simplest one is to save money (and thus reduce costs through job cuts for example) in order to increase margins. Regarding “operational efficiencies”, you can buy better machines that produce more in less time and ask your staff to be more “productive”. But the difference between human and machines is that people need to rest sometimes to be “productive”. What seems obvious to the majority doesn’t seem to be known by the management of IBM France.
But let’s come back to numbers. According to a report written by doctors working at IBM France, 2/3 of the workers have a stress level over 6, which means it can be dangerous for their health. This represents an increase of 34% in the last three years, which equates to an average yearly increase of more than 10%. So, my question is: Is that worth having 2/3 of the staff overstressed to have 2/3 of improvement coming from increased “operational efficiencies”? I’m not saying that all the gains come from the exploitation of workers, especially because the numbers of IBM France are not those of IBM World, but how to ignore this issue?
Middle-class Americans and Britons are growing increasingly worried that their jobs will be moved from Boston to Bangalore, from Manchester to Mumbai, from Dallas to Delhi. The fears of these Western workers are justified. India has more than 100 million English speakers--about twice as many as the U.K itself--and that is helping India attract millions of new jobs, propelling its once-crumbling economy into the 21st century.
Drug makers were the biggest beneficiaries of the amnesty program, repatriating about $100 billion in foreign profits and paying only minimal taxes. But the companies did not create many jobs in return. Instead, since 2005 the American drug industry has laid off tens of thousands of workers in this country.
And now drug companies are once again using complex strategies, many of them demonstrably legal, to shelter billions of dollars in profits in international tax havens, according to their financial statements and independent tax experts.
The corrosive effects of that trend were detailed in The Times yesterday by Alex Berenson, who examined the fallout of the Orwellian-named American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Pitched by tax-axing lawmakers as a way to generate cash for new hiring, it allowed American companies to bring foreign-held profits back to the United States in 2005 at a discount of up to 85 percent off the normal tax rate. Some 100 companies repatriated about $300 billion, avoiding about $90 billion in taxes.
But instead of hiring more workers, many of the participating multinationals had mass layoffs, especially drug companies. Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company, repatriated $36 billion at the discounted rate, while laying off 8,000 employees in 2006 and announcing layoffs of 10,000 more. Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough also repatriated billions while laying off thousands. Technology companies did the same. Hewlett-Packard, for example, repatriated $14.5 billion in 2005 and laid off 14,500 workers. In some instances, the corporate tax savings were more than enough to cover the severance costs and other expenses of the layoffs. [...]
Among other things, $90 billion could provide a lot of health care and bolster unemployment compensation for American workers. Instead, that sum has gone mainly into the pockets of the already rich. Where is the politician who will take an over-my-dead-body approach to future tax holidays and who will broach the need for new corporate taxes?
Like that would be a bad thing.
What's particularly galling about Bush's position is that it's coming from a man who just underwent a colonoscopy performed at the taxpayer-funded, state-of-the-art medical facility at Camp David by an elite team of doctors from the taxpayer-funded National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
If anyone understands the benefits of government-run health care, it's the president.
But let's not get sidetracked. Bush wasn't being entirely accurate when he derided the notion of government-run health care for every American. That might make for a fine little sound bite, especially among those who fear the specter of "socialized medicine," but it's not really what's at stake.
Rather, advocates of health care reform are seeking government-run insurance for every American, leaving the health care part to those who know best - doctors and nurses.
This is a crucial distinction at a time when 47 million Americans lack medical coverage and, according to researchers at Harvard University, about a third of the $2 trillion spent annually on health care in this country is squandered on bureaucratic overhead.
"Cuba is socialized medicine," observed Dr. Kevin Grumbach, who heads the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF. "The government employs all the physicians and owns all the hospitals. That's not what anyone is talking about for this country."
Rather, the focus here is on two indisputable facts: that the United States spends about twice as much per person on health care as most other industrialized democracies, and that Americans on average do not live as long as people in countries that guarantee medical coverage to their citizens.
"Why have all other countries figured out a way to do this?" Grumbach asked. "Why are we the only ones that are so uncivilized?"
The United States spent an average of $6,102 per person on health care in 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available), according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Canada spent $3,165 per person, France $3,159, Australia $3,120 and Britain a mere $2,508. Life expectancy in the United States was lower than in each of these other countries and infant mortality was higher. [...]
Bush told an audience in Nashville last week that the Senate bill is "the beginning salvo of the encroachment of the federal government on the health care system." He said he'd veto any such legislation making its way to his desk.
That's a fine how-do-you-do for a guy who had five growths removed from his colon on Saturday largely at the government's expense and had them promptly examined by government experts at the government-run National Naval Medical Center.
Happily, the tests showed no sign of cancer. So Bush can rest easy for another few years, thanks to all that government health care.
No one at the White House could be reached to discuss how much the president paid out of his own pocket for the colonoscopy and subsequent testing.
Presidents typically have their own health insurance, although the first-class treatment they receive is largely defrayed by taxpayer funds. In other words, they're prime beneficiaries of government-run health care - just like in Cuba.
In a paper found on the Web site of the Defense Department's Armed Forces Institute of Pathology ( www.afip.org ), former White House physician George Fuller outlines the mission of the taxpayer-funded White House Medical Unit.
He writes that a primary purpose of the group is to provide "confidential, immediate and private access to preventive, routine and urgent care for the principals." This, Fuller adds, "is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week commitment with no exceptions."
The quality of health care is so exacting, he observes, "that the president cannot even ride an elevator in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building without a physician escort."
According to Fuller, the president enjoys the benefits of medical and dental clinics in the White House, as well as "a fully equipped and supplied outpatient clinic" at Camp David, where Bush's colon was explored.
He says the White House Medical Unit also "keeps a unique and extensive library of medical facilities throughout the world" to provide for the president's health care needs during overseas travel.
All in all, Bush is the last person with a right to complain about government-run health care for every American. We should all be so lucky.
In an effort to contain soaring health-care costs, most organizations are trying a variety of strategies, including offering high-deductible, consumer-driven plans, changing providers or reducing company contributions,” said Mr. Morrow. These measures shift some costs to employees, but in most cases, maintains the level of benefits.
President Bush is threatening to veto any substantial increase in spending for a highly successful children’s health program on the bizarre theory that expanding it would be the “beginning salvo” in establishing a government-run health care system. His shortsighted ideological opposition would leave millions of children without health insurance at a time when medical costs are soaring.
In the film, Moore unapologetically targets the profits and influence of the health insurance and drug industries while questioning the profit motive of the American public-private system. He challenges the country’s inability to provide basic, affordable health care to everyone the way other countries do. The movie mentions the American Medical Association as a longstanding opponent to socialized medicine. [...]
Moore, at the Capitol Hill news event, said there are many myths about other countries’ health care systems. “Yes, they have their flaws. All human systems do. But ask a Canadian if they would trade their national health care card for your HMO card. You won’t find a Canadian willing to do that. Or a Brit or anyone from Ireland or from France.”
What makes me mad is that GM/Ford want to solve their 'problem' by taking away our medical benefits. That would make us a country with less medical coverage than we already have. Instead, we should switch to a universal care system, like the rest of the world. We are the ONLY big country in the WORLD without it.
Can we do that? Or will our benefits continue to erode 'in the spirit of global competition'?
We need a level playing field, where the cost of the product is not hindered by health benefits to the employees. As long as corporations are in charge of our medical, we will lose.
I'm voting for the candidate that endorses universal health coverage. Why? I'm sick and tired of leaving my health care in the hands of billionaire CEO's and greedy corporations.
Global competition is here. We must make the playing field level by not 'falling' for the "$1000 cost of vehicles is health coverage so we need to reduce health coverage to remain competitive" bull. Watch out for those fallacies. See through them. Vote your conscience when the time comes.
For a company who's motto was "Respect for the Individual" you have certainly done nothing but disrespect all of your once greatest assets, Your Employees. IBM is going down the tubes and I only hope that all of the share-holders take a moment of their time to actually look at the numbers and see how IBM is manipulating them. This is another Enron in the works....... -Anonymous-
For everyone left at IBM think long and hard about what you are actually achieving by staying around and doing your "bloated" projects which in my experience typically accomplish nothing each month other than continuous customer let down, creating jobs for technically ignorant long time ibm'ers, and excuses from mgmt on why your career (and salary) are stagnant. I was once told IBM is a "way" of life ... you got that right! I finally gave that life up and now after only 1-2 months in a new career am more successful than I was in over 7 years with IBM and am actually smiling while at work.
Maybe it’s not IBM, maybe it’s simply big business and sell out CEO’s who care more about the money in their pocket than the sweat and tears put in by their dedicated (not to mention fellow American) employee’s. IBM just isn’t what it was, I agree it used to be THE place to work, something to say with pride, now it's simply comedy. Sorry to say but in my opinion a union won't do anything, the company (and its name) is garbage now. To end my rant, thanks IBM (and all of my fellow (ex)co-workers for training me only to let me go so another company can reap the benefits of IBM, now that's lean (only I leaned IBM out of my life) ;) -Anonymous-
Alliance reply: The Alliance received an initial complaint about this and contacted the New York State Department of labor. Having you change into bunny suits on your own time is a violation. You should be getting paid. We need affected employees to come forward so we can go through with getting the Labor Department involved. Please call Lee Conrad at the Alliance office at 607 658 9285 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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