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—July 28, 2007

  • InformationWeek: IBM May Owe California Workers Millions In Unpaid Overtime. A class action lawsuit claiming that IBM failed to pay overtime and other benefits could leave the computer maker on the hook for more than $5 million in back wages. By Paul McDougall. Excerpt: A former IBM sales rep is suing the company for unpaid overtime and other benefits in a class action suit that could leave the computer maker on the hook for more than $5 million in back wages. Tom Chau sold software and hardware for IBM in the San Francisco area from 2000 to 2004. Chau claims that IBM broke California law by routinely requiring him to work in excess of eight hours per day and more than 40 hours per week without paying overtime.

    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.

  • CNN/Money: IBM Senior VP sells 20,000 shares. Excerpt: A senior vice president of International Business Machines Corp. sold 20,000 shares of common stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. In a Form 4 filed with the SEC Monday, Steven A. Mills reported selling the shares Friday for $114.21 to $114.52 apiece.
  • New York Times: I.B.M. Plan Ties Training and Accounts. By Steve Lohr. Excerpt: In today’s economy, corporations freely roam the globe for the most efficient, lowest-cost sources of supplies and labor, while American workers are told that the way to compete is constantly to improve their skills with training and education.

    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.

  • Yahoo! message board post: "Re: IBM Plan Ties Training and Accounts" by "dave49_98". Full excerpt: 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?

  • Yahoo! message board post "Re: IBM Plan Ties Training and Accounts" by "jonatha1". Full excerpt: $1500 (less after taxes) will buy one 3-credit-hour course at the local state university, or (part of) one seminar/conference, or (part of) one round of courses leading to some sort of professional certification. Plenty of vision, probably not quite enough $$$...
  • Yahoo! message board post "Re: IBM Plan Ties Training and Accounts" by "bits_bytes_and_bugs". Full excerpt: Gee, another great sounding vapor "benefit" that is great PR spin in the press, but in reality is virtually useless and meaningless.
  • Union Network International (UNI): IBM announces profit records while employees still suffer bad working conditions. Excerpts: You might ask yourself why all these numbers are on a trade unions’ website? But, numbers count. They count a lot for multinationals. For example, IBM Chief Financial Officer (CFO) said that “2/3 of our improvement is operational efficiencies” while the rest is due to increased margins. But what are these “operational efficiencies”, and how do we increase margins?

    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?

  • Forbes: Book Excerpt, The Internet's Spice Route. By Robyn Meredith. Excerpt: Before our eyes, two giant nations--India and China--are simultaneously embracing both capitalism and globalization. The world economy is being transformed as a result, as Forbes Senior Editor Robyn Meredith explains in her new book, The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What it Means to All of Us ($26, W.W. Norton, 2007) . Each weekday through July 27, Forbes.com will post a new excerpt from the book.

    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.

  • New York Times: Tax Break Used by Drug Makers Failed to Add Jobs. By Alex Berenson. Excerpt: Two years ago, when companies received a big tax break to bring home their offshore profits, the president and Congress justified it as a one-time tax amnesty that would create American jobs.

    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.

  • New York Times editorial: Taxes in the Global Economy. Excerpts: As Americans grapple with the impact of trade and globalization, the government should be trying to ensure that America’s multinational corporations — and by extension, their shareholders — pay a fair share in taxes on the profits from globalization. Unfortunately, policy makers have moved in the opposite direction, dishing out excessive corporate tax breaks that have done little for workers and have served mainly to concentrate wealth among the few.

    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?

  • ZD-Net: Offshore outsourcing rates headed higher. By Dan Farber & Larry Dignan. Excerpt: India’s currency is gaining on the U.S. dollar. Workers at Indian outsourcing firms still garner double-digit raises. And demand shows no sign of slowing. Add it up and it spells price increases for companies outsourcing technology work offshore to India. At this point it’s unlikely that demand will diminish, but the pricing power enjoyed by Indian outsourcing firms is notable.
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • San Francisco Chronicle: Taxpayers pick up Bush's bill. By David Lazarus. Excerpts: Democratic lawmakers in Washington say they're drafting a health care reform bill that would expand coverage for low-income kids. President Bush says he'll veto any such legislation, warning that it would lead the nation "down the path to government-run health care for every American."

    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.

  • Financial World: As costs rise, more CFOs look to shift health-care burden to employees. By Matthew Scott. Excerpts: Financial executives are worried about the rising cost of health care and many are implementing measures that will shift more of the burden of increasing costs to workers. A new survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that 91% of financial executives polled had concerns about rising health-care costs, and 81% reported employee health-care costs at their companies had increased anywhere from 5% to 20% in the past year. [...]

    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.

  • New York Times editorial: Vetoing Children’s Health. Excerpts: 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. [...]

    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.

  • Physicians for a National Health Program: Will single-payer buzz from "SiCKO" last? Supporters hope Michael Moore’s latest movie will sway public opinion. The AMA and others counter that government-run health care isn’t the right solution. By Doug Trapp. Excerpts: Michael Moore’s latest film, “SiCKO,” has energized single-payer supporters and drawn attention to their cause. But what, if any, long-term effect the movie will have on the national debate on universal health care system reform is up for debate. [...]

    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.”

  • Yahoo! message board post:"Re: NYT: Retirees’ Health Costs Loom Over U.A.W. Talks" by Kathi Cooper. Full excerpt: Well of course our health care system costs GM/Ford $1,000 for each vehicle. We don't have universal health care like Japan does and the cost of health care in America falls upon the shoulders of corporations. As long as corporations pay for our medical, they have to pass the cost on to the consumer. (unlike ALL other countries with universal health coverage).

    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.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
Minimize
  • Historic Gains in 2007 IUE-CWA/ GE Contract (PDF). Excerpts:
    • Wage package, including COLAs, delivers projected 16.1% increase for average IUE-CWA member over term of contract
    • Almost $17,000 additional pay net of increased health care contributions over four-year term of contract for average hourly employee
    • Two SERO windows with a total of 900 opportunities
    • Veterans Day holiday added
    • GE will recommend special pensioner increase
    • Nearly $4,000 average improvement under regular pension update
    • Workers could see as much as a 30% improvement from guaranteed pension tables when combined with income boosts over length of contract
    • Short-service workers gain extra week of vacation
    • 66% increase in night shift differential for short-service workers
    • Eligibility for preferential placement expanded to include layoff situations
    • 25% premium pay for service shop work performed in Mexico
  • 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 07/21/07: Hurray! Great Quarter! An IBM commemorative quarter with Sam's mug on it will be placed on everybody's desk or couriered to your home at your expense. If you stare at it long enough it will grow fangs and pointed ears. There is a tiny chip inside that spits out subliminal messages of how wonderful IBM is and how lucky you are to be there and for you to pray to Sam everyday for the wonderful things he does for you. Then you come to your senses and put it on a railroad track. -samsquarter-
    • Comment 07/22/07: I would also like to congratulate everyone on a great quarter! You've all worked so hard that we're going to think up more ways to make it impossible for you to get a raise next year. No need to worry about the people at the top, the share price is up and they are getting richer. More jobs going to South America soon! -Sam Palm O'Casho-
    • Comment 07/23/07: One thing to definitely keep in mind with the FHA, especially those of you who think that staying longer will result in more benefits: If you die before you pull out the first dollar out of the FHA account, your dependents will lose it all. If you die while using the FHA, your dependents get to use whatever's left of it. Use it before you die or lose it for your family. This applies no matter how you qualified for the FHA. -FHA Flower Child-
    • Comment 07/23/07: If you are eligible to retire, and you get RA'd, it's just plain stupid to volunteer to retire. Essentially you are giving up 6 months salary plus additional severance benefits (CORBA, severance medical, etc.) in exchange for"doing the right thing for the sleaze balls in management and HR". There is no loss of honor in getting an RA. There is however, those who smile as they get they 6 month severance check PLUS their retirement. -Never Be a Blue Pig RA Volunteer-
    • Comment 07/23/07: Internal sources tell me there is a big resource related announcement August 1st. I also hear another team will lose all of its contractors -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/24/07: see a ton of vendors leaving end of August from Global Admin. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/25/07: Add this to the list of reduced benefits to ibm employees. Sam just released a note stating they will pay up to $500 towards employee education. They put this wonderful spin on things making it sound like they are setting up a wonderful account for each employee to help with training. No where does it say that they are getting rid of the current education plan that paid for college courses. IBM you suck! -miss understanding-
    • Comment 07/25/07: Just heard that in our area we will be loosing all our North American contractors soon (September time frame). To be replaced by off shore slugs. -TiredToTheBone-
    • Comment 07/26/07: Do I read this right? IBM is going to cut my job, so I need to retrain for some other employment where more positions are available. Like maybe from software engineer to truck driver. IBM will therefore give a 50% match on the first thousand dollars that I spend toward downgrading myself from white collar to blue. IBM then gets to claim the moral high ground for having assisted the transition. -Denim-
    • Comment 07/26/07: We just attended a 2Q meeting in RTP where our VP said that this past quarter was the best quarter we had in 6 years but we didn't meet our numbers. If this is the best quarter in 6 years, how can we not meet our numbers? I think the projection is too high on purpose by the exec. He also said that we went over in our expense. I have no idea how that happen. I buy my own office supplies at work since we don't have any. IBM prides itself in innovation. They are innovated on how to screw employees. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/26/07: The federal government (US) currently has a large number of positions available. www.usajobs.gov -Snakehips-
    • Comment 07/26/07: Denim- Perhaps blue collar work isn't too bad. I know I would lose my big gut. I know some "undocumented workers" that make 70k per year building fences, 6 months out of the year. So basically you trade off air conditioning for losing your gut and not having to deal with corporate BS. As these Execs get greedier and greedier they will always need someone to build bigger houses or clean their pools. Then when their companies collapse because no one in america needs computers anymore because we are all blue collar workers, they will lose their houses, etc. thus the "frugal pool boy or fence builder" can now take over for pennies on the dollar. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/26/07: Too bad that all the wrong people are being RA'd. I know plenty of people, with whom I work on an all-to-regular basis, whose absence would remove some roadblocks I encounter during the course of my workday. The those who are LEANed were solid contributors. -SoylentLEANisPeople-
    • Comment 07/26/07: I am currently an IBM employee at the East Fishkill site and starting on Monday July 30th, 500 employees are going to get layed off. This was right out of the mouth of a manager on the site. I along with so many of my fellow co-workers are so disgusted. Management spends most of there days hiding in their offices for fear of having to deal with all of the angry employees, and finally to Sam Palmisano, Thanks for allowing all of this to happen under your watch. You should be ashamed. You've made your millions along with all of your cronies in Armonk.

      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-

  • From the General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 07/22/07: Yes, team based were held. 1st Line managers are forced to pony up '3' performers, whether it's legit or not. "Relative Contribution" to force '3' performers are forced down every managers' throat. HR's goal is to eliminate a percentage of jobs each year (I think its 3 to 5% of an org) through UNFAIR PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT. It's another way to screw the employee. When did IBM become some employee hostile? -Color me sick of this sh*t.-
    • Comment 07/23/07: Team-based decision making is a method used for over 12 years. It allows the blame for unjustly firing people to be spread into a team, to avoid personal guilt and repercussions. As the unjust victim, you'll blame the team, not the management. It is also an excellent anti-union technique, because it puts employees at odds with their unionizable colleagues. Another nice touch of psychology from your friendly HR partner -Ex-Manager-
    • Comment 07/23/07: To "Color me sick..." who stated "HR's goal is to eliminate a percentage of jobs each year..." and others. Please stop blaming HR, folks. Think about it: HR just executes what the finance guys tell them. Most HR people hate layoffs and prefer to work for growing businesses with happy employees. -Not HR-
    • Comment 07/23/07: IBM continues no education budget for Americans per an email received today saying no discretionary budget for 3rd quarter. Probably will go to year end! We hear colleagues in South America and elsewhere overseas do get education paid for. So we Americans are getting screwed. The same email said that recruitment for hot skills should continue but prudent judgment is to be used in the management of recruiting expense. So they spend money to bring in NEW people with hot skills but will not provide training for existing Americans FOR A YEAR???? Please explain Sam and Randy ! The email was signed by: Rick Genovese Global Business Services General Manager Americas- Application Services -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/24/07: I stand corrected "Not HR", you're right. HR just manages what is dictated to them. Most HR folks I've worked with are good people. The responsibility for this mess falls squarely on the shoulders of the TOP DOG: Sam P. -Color me sick-
    • Comment 07/25/07: "RE: IBM continues no education budget for Americans" Oh they continue it .. but effective today - it appears IBM has delivered the message 'you can F^$*(%* pay for it yourself.' http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/25/technology/train.php?page=1 -BlueBlows-
    • Comment 07/25/07: RA'ed with last day at IBM of 6/30. $0.00. Job interview for a new position that afternoon. $5.62 for lunch. Starting the new job on 7/15 making $20K/year more... Priceless. Thanks for R/A'ing me IBM. You got me off my ass and into a better position. -Fubar-
    • Comment 07/25/07: So IBM is now forcing us to pay for our own education. The $1000 account is still not pre-tax dollars until any law changes. And so IBM kicks in $500? What will $500 do for you? One 3-day course is more than this total. They also require you to fill out and implement a development plan, so they will FORCE YOU to pay much more to keep those planned skills up-to-date and to acquire new skills. Think about that. Your skill plan, in order to get your next seat in IBM might require you update 3 skills you now have, and a new skill or two to advance to the next level. You have to do that. At your expense. WOW. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/25/07: The critical question related to this announcement is if it replaces the ALAP and DWSP programs. If it does, then it's very likely that there will be no more advanced degrees earned by working IBMers. Here's the math (if the ALAP/DWSP goes away). In-state tuition at our local university is about $500 per credit for graduate work. Taking two courses per year toward an MS costs $3000/year. You can put $1000 into the account and IBM kicks in $500. You're out $2500 per year. An MS requires about 30 credits (5 years at one course/semester), your cost is now $12,500 (was $0). IBM's cost is now $2,500 (was $15,000). I'll reserve judgment, but I can't find any reference to ALAP or DWSP on the education web pages. You can find it with the search engine, but it's not directly linked from Your Career or Your Life anymore (I'm sure it was linked from there last year).-No more continuing education?-
    • Comment 07/25/07: Wow. IBM takes away pension accounts and raises, and replaces them with this feeble 'resource action' account for use towards retraining when they kick you out the door. Interesting how they're only rolling it out in the U.S. for now. It's just corporate a**-covering for their blame the victim posture: if you lose your job to another country it's your own fault for being too stupid. The truth is if you lose your job to another country it's your own fault for not being in a developing nation where IBM can replace you for half your salary or less. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/25/07: I found out today after several years of my manager telling the entire dept they are free to look for other jobs, that effective today no one can transfer out of the dept anymore, after all the RA's people finding other jobs in IBM and retirements (people who waited until after the RAs, they figured might as well stick around if I get RA'd i leave with 6 months salary). Advancing my career at IBM was an option, but now my only option is to look elsewhere. I can't wait too see the look on my manager's face when i find another job and resign, with about 30 work requests lined up in my queue. Time to move onward. Even more ideally I'll hit the lottery huge and walk in and tell my manager i quit effective today. -Anonymous-
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 07/21/07: Regarding terminating the pension plan - termination of a pension plan incurs a 50% tax of the pension funds, thus it is likely IBM or any other large company will terminate a plan unless it is a distress (as in near bankruptcy) termination, in which case the tax is 25%. However, since IBM has a recurring history of violating and stretching the pension and tax laws, the company leadership is fully capable of doing so again. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/22/07: Given the grain of truth to the idea that at some point a person is"hanging on until retirement", I am not sure, other than the need to work somewhere and perhaps the 25k donation to future health insurance, what advantage there is to reaching retirement, given the pension changes and IBM insurance cost to retirees. Please enlighten me if I have missed something. -significant other-
    • Comment 07/23/07: To Significant Other.... I can answer for the cash balance plan, there's actually a little discussed part of the plan that if you retire after 30 years and before age 65, that will boost the amount of annuity you can get with your cash balance. Still haven't found the formula anywhere, but have seen description of this boost....5 years and counting. And as for FHA, you have to collect it for 10 years to max it out....if it's worth having and that's still debatable. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 07/25/07: To significant Other: If I understand your situation correctly, if you make 55 and retire, you get a lovely parting gift and a letter from Sam (oh wait, Sam will be on the Riviera by then, so, Sam's follow-on) thanking you for your contributions (insert your own joke here). You also get a bump to your pension, even though pension contributions are otherwise frozen by that time. (Standard disclaimer: based on Q&A's by HR and presentations by Randy M. Actual mileage may vary.) In addition, if you have *any* reason that you will have trouble getting insurance (e.g., too tall, too heavy, etc., see "Sicko" for examples), the FHA (again, not guaranteed by law, etc., etc.), as it currently stands, will allow you to continue to get, albeit expensive, health insurance. I know a few people who are continuing at IBM precisely for this reason. Even though the IBM insurance is expensive, it is available. Otherwise, they would probably be unable to get insurance at all. -alreadyGone-
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 07/20/07: Salary = was 46k; Band Level = was band 6; Job Title = IT Specialist Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = was 50; Div Name = IGS; Location = Boulder, Colorado; Message = I was "resourced" 5/31 (after my mgmt team flew me out to NY for a week that same month, talk about a waste of money), however, it's the best thing that has happened to me in 7 years of service with big blew! Took a month off with package money, found a new job making 10k more a year about a week after starting to look and am absolutely loving it.

      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-

    • Comment 07/23/07: I received a letter stating it was from the alliance. They stated they were looking into employees from the FAB lines not being paid for time while getting into and out of their garments. Any truth to this? We at the packaging end are told the same, be at your workstation at your start time. Getting into your bunny suits and getting you items from lockers several hundred feet from the lines has to be on your time. Sounds like pennies but multiple 15 minutes everyday from all those entering clean rooms and that adds up to a bunch of bucks for good ol beamer land. Come on IBM, save money by canning the fat cats, not shafting the little guys -EFK-

      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 bboru11@yahoo.com

  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 07/18/07: PBC "2" (or even worse)= 0% raise 2007 = you "helped" IBM make 2nd qtr. profit results that will give Sam and the rest of the executives more $$$ -not_so_fuzzy_IBM_math-
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.

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.