"That is above the Street consensus. They are going to save $800m from pension costs, year-over-year. But having said that, that is a good forecast." said Peter Misek, an analyst at Canaccord Adams.
"Study after study has shown that it is the small things that make workers feel committed to an organization," says Barbara Glanz, an author specializing in workplace issues. "One study shows the top three things workers want are interesting work, full appreciation for the work they do, and a feeling of being in on things." ...
"The most important factor in keeping employees happy is treating them with fairness and respect," says Pamela Skillings, a career coach in Jackson Heights, N.Y. "People want to be paid what they're worth, treated like adults, and rewarded for their good work." ...
Andrea Kay, a career consultant in Cincinnati, finds that respecting employees' ideas and time, as well as their ability to make decisions and be creative, makes them want to stay. "My clients who are miserable are in companies with policies that focus solely on profits at the expense of people," she says.
The AP also tracked down some employees, who, not surprisingly, are livid. “I was so angry I could hardly speak, and it takes a lot to make me angry,” said one. “I just don’t know how IBM expects us to take this and just run with it.” What does it mean for businesses that rely on IBM’s tech-support staff? In the long run, probably nothing. But for now, don’t be surprised if the person on the other end of the phone when you call IBM for help has a shorter temper than normal.
Here are some of the things people who identify themselves as IBM employees are saying, with the caveat that we have no way of verifying if the people really do work for the company:
But symbolism matters. Sure, a blog is a magnet for a vocal minority, but there probably isn’t an employee out there who would be happy about a pay cut. When asked whether he worried that disgruntled employees would leave the company or that a drop in morale could lead to poor customer service, the IBM spokesman tells us that those issues are between employees and their managers.
It was a good place to work at the start, but after a number years it just became a numbers game. All we got was lip service regarding education, etc.. Travel freeze, education freeze. Oh you could take any free online courses…. but that does not compare external stand-up courses…
In many respects, I am glad to have left and look forward to finding a new opportunity elsewhere. I’ve always had a hard time listening to people on the inside and the outside saying how IBM was a great place to work.. From where I was ’sitting’ I could not see how anyone could say that IBM was a great company to work for. I wonder what they were sniffing/smoking?
The company will save money on their contribution to the 401k since they only match on the base pay and not on the overtime pay… So the employee gets screwed twice.. first on the base pay and second on the 401k match.
A year ago my organization went through a laughable “LEAN” initiative. The entire thing collapsed under its own weight in two weeks, but not before most of the teams were “leaned” nearly out of existence. One week into the lean pilot, my team was cut by 60%. My dept.’s “global resources” ( i.e., peers in India) are good people, but they have weak technical skills and poor English, making them a hindrance rather than a help. They are system administrators for servers that sit here in the US, for which IBM has made no “hands and feet” arrangements. If the server goes down, there isn’t any skilled technician who can go to the server and troubleshoot it. If you’re an IBM customer, you might want to keep in mind that when something happens to your server, a wild scramble will likely ensue trying to club, cajole, or bribe someone into helping because the guy responsible for it is halfway around the world and there’s no plan in place to take care of it. Might not sound like a big deal, but if it’s the week before Christmas and your web server goes down, it could cost you a bundle.
Raises have been almost non-existent, bonus pay is a joke, hours are long, and morale is so bad it would be funny if it weren’t so maddening. There are 9 layers of management between me and Sam Palmisano. NINE! You wanna save some money? How about taking a look at what those 9 layers are doing? And how much they’re earning? When I moved to the job I’m currently in, the move had to be approved by six layers of management. At the time I was earning $45,000. Six layers of management had to approve a lateral job transfer for a low-end job and it didn’t even involve a pay increase. What are they paying all those people for if they can’t make a simple decision like approving a job transfer with no additional compensation??
IBM tells us that we’re not getting our pay cut, and that as long as we work 5 hours of overtime each week, we’ll bring home the same amount of money. The brazenness of that insult nearly takes your breath away. Just how stupid do they think we are? Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, so we all know how this will end up. We’ll get the overtime for a while, but eventually the screws will tighten, and then I’ll be trying to figure out whether to buy dog food or put gas in the car.
Somehow IBM makes money in spite of itself, usually on the backs of good, decent people who are trying to raise their families and can’t or won’t take the risk of jumping ship. They work hard despite the abuse because they feel a responsibility to put in an honest day’s work and take care of their customers. IBM doesn’t deserve them. I’m sure that most investors don’t much care about the plight of people like me, but they might care about bad management. How are you going to attract and retain talent in a company that cuts its employees’ salaries on the heels of a banner year? Sooner or later this jig will be up.
To “24 Years at Big Blue” …no, there are no bars on the doors and windows, but leaving a career position on which your family depends is not a trivial matter. Most people are working at IBM because they thought they were signing on to a company that would treat them with respect. We’re finding out differently the hard way, and IBM management couldn’t care less. Many people WILL quit, including me, as we should, and I’m sure that’s what they want. Fine. But it doesn’t make this bitter pill any easier to swallow. I also agree that there are many wonderful people working at IBM, including most of the people I work with on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, they’re not generally the ones making these decisions, so we’re left sitting on volcanoes all the time wondering where we’ll end up after the next explosion. Comment by Seeing red in big blue - January 25, 2008 at 12:49 pm
IBM will continue to cut and send jobs overseas until IBM is basically a front office for overseas jobs. Because we have no innovative leaders in the company, the only way they can figure out how to make money for IBM is to hurt their employees and be unAmerican and send the jobs overseas - but they will get richer and make a heck of a lot of people poor and probably throw our country into at least a big-time recession and who knows, maybe even a depression.
I agree with the post that more jobs will have pay cuts in the near future. Once IBM is successful with this cut, then they will move on to another group. Oh by the way, watch out those of you in other companies. When your management sees IBM is successful in this new “cost cutting venture”, they will be jumping on the bandwagon and there will be pay cuts in your company. Comment by IBM (I've Been Mugged) - January 25, 2008 at 8:06 pm
The good news for those workers is that IBM now plans to grant them so-called "non-exempt" status so they can collect overtime pay. The bad news: IBM will cut their base salaries by 15% to make up the difference, InformationWeek has learned. The plan has been greeted with howls of protest from affected workers.
The payroll restructuring goes into effect Feb. 16 and applies to about 8,000 IBM employees classified as technical services and IT specialists, according to internal IBM documents reviewed by InformationWeek and sources at the computer maker.
The plan calls for a "15% base salary adjustment down across all units with eligibility for overtime," the documents state. The move is a direct response to the employee lawsuits -- at least one of which has apparently been settled. "To avoid protracted litigation in an area of law widely seen as ambiguous, IBM chose to settle the case -- and to conduct a detailed review of the jobs in question," the documents state. ...
IBM also plans to lobby state and federal officials for changes to employment legislation that would allow high-tech companies to escape current overtime thresholds, according to the documents. "IBM believes aspects of the wage and hour laws have not kept pace with the realities of the modern workforce. The company will continue to press the government to update and clarify the law in this area," the documents state.
Under the salary adjustment, an IT specialist at IBM earning $80,000 per year would see his or her pay cut by $12,000 per year, the documents show. But IBM states it won't save any money because workers will gain back lost salary through overtime pay.
Some IBM workers fear they'll end up working more -- for less money. "In one swoop, everything I've worked for the last seven years is gone. All the extra time and hours ... have done nothing but give me a 15% pay cut," one employee wrote on a job board maintained by an IBM workers' group called Alliance At IBM. ...
Some IBM workers said they're particularly upset that the cuts come just days after IBM announced quarterly and year-end financial results that exceeded financial analysts' expectations. Referring to IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, one employee wrote that "Sam promised Wall Street a good 2008 -- that will come at the expense of more U.S. workers."
IBM spokesman Fred McNeese said the move would not save the company any money, because the affected employees generally should find that overtime pay makes up for the salary cut. However, internal documents obtained by The Associated Press indicate that many workers will lose money.
These documents, prepared for managers who have had to break the news to their underlings, say that one-third of the affected workers _ more than 2,500 people _ generally do not work enough hours to make up for the 15 percent cut in base pay. IBM is offering a one-time "transition payment" to reimburse affected workers for the losses they suffer in the first three months. ...
One document, labeled a confidential "Q&A for customers," lists this sample question that an IBM client might ask: "What has been the reaction of employees who are being reclassified?" The suggested response for managers: "They understand this is something we must do under current interpretations of the law and to remain competitive within our industry."
It is clear, however, that many employees are furious.
They worry that opportunities to work more than 40 hours per week, the point at which federal law requires overtime pay for eligible workers, will be reduced now that IBM has an incentive to trim employees' time on the clock.
One 20-year IBM veteran who usually works 50 to 52 hours a week, enough to come out ahead now that she can get paid overtime, expects to see her hours reduced. "Anybody who's been in IBM knows that when they look to cut costs, that's where they're going to cut it," said the employee, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because she fears reprisals from the company.
Even if they make enough overtime to compensate for the lower base pay, the IBM workers' now-reduced salaries will carry corresponding reductions in what they are eligible for in life insurance benefits and vacation or sick pay. "I was so angry I could hardly speak, and it takes a lot to make me angry," the longtime employee said. "I just don't know how IBM expects us to take this and just run with it." ...
On the surface, it would seem a surprising time for any IBM employees to find their compensation going down. The Armonk, N.Y.-based technology company earned $10.4 billion in 2007 and just raised its profit targets for 2008. ...
On the Net: Comments on union page about the cuts: http://www.allianceibm.org/salarycomments.php
The company asserts that this "changing the mix" will be cost neutral to IBM. Affected employees will "basically be making roughly the same before the change."
"That's a bogus claim they're making," said Lee Conrad, national coordinator for Alliance@IBM, a union that represents a small number of IBM employees. "They aren't going to be able to make it up." Conrad said the company has recently been pushing back on the amount of OT allowed. ...
Conrad argues that the wage cut is unnecessary since IBM has been flourishing, even in a declining economy. The company earned $10.4bn in 2007 and expects earning per share growth to hit at least 15 per cent during 2008. ...
The company, however, has relied on workers in low-cost centers such as Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Russia to achieve such results. Some analyst have even speculated that IBM conspires to squeeze out US employees through unfavorable conditions, rather than rely on massive layoffs. Idle conjecture, of course.
One wonders if ibm workers are ever going to get it, are they ever going to figure it out, power doesn’t give in to weakness. Unless workers get together and organize against the anti America thieves that are destroying our financial future and weakening our nation, the path is only for further decline. Every decent benefit American workers have today is because workers organized from a point of poverty and near slave status to insist on decent treatment.
Robber barons murdered early workers fighting for justice but once the battle was underway and they knew workers were determined to stand together, they began to negotiate for a fairer share of the wealth that workers were creating, it was just good business sense to negotiate once the odds were clearly in organized worker’s hands. Now today, with workers brainwashed into being some kind of foolish ‘army of one’ where they are like a flee on the back of an elephant, it’s just plain business sense to strip them back down to bare subsistence as long as they put up no resistance.
If you’re working for the pension thieves down in Armonk and aren’t keeping track, they’ve reported over 50 Billion net profit in the last seven years, and what did 95% percent of you get the last seven years, no raises or 2-3 percent raises every few years? Either wake up and organize or start reading about what life was like before unions negotiated 8 hour days, sick days, health coverage, vacation time, retirements, workers compensation, and overtime pay, because all those things are going to be a thing of the past by the time your children are old enough for the twenty first century slavery being legislated day in and day out by billion dollar industrial thieves.
IBM over the years misclassified employees and did not pay them properly, was sued, lost, paid employees compensation and now is making pay cuts. IBM is able to do this unilaterally because they can. There is no union contract that says they must negotiate terms and conditions of employment and wages.
Now the question is what do we do about it?
First: If you are not yet a member of the Alliance we strongly encourage you to do so. Membership gives you more protection legally as we go forward and it helps build an organization that can take on IBM management. We have 3 categories: Subscriber (free), Associate member ($5 a month), Voting member ($10 a month).
Second:: Our message should be loud and clear to IBM executives--NO PAY CUT!
Third: Getting our message out and organizing around it.
We need IBM employees to step up to the plate and be vocal and public. We need employees to sign petitions, get their co-workers involved in the campaign and the Alliance, hold picket signs at IBM locations and more.
We will be rolling out our action plan in a few days. Many of you work from home and are all over the United States. Making use of the Internet will be important as we take on this devastating move by IBM executives. We need to contact all employees facing this pay cut. We need you to send us the names, e-mails and location of your co-workers.
We would also like to hear your suggestions on how we wage this fight. If you are willing to talk to the Press, please contact us at: EndicottAlliance@stny.rr.com. Now more than ever we must organize and protect the standard of living of IBM employees.
While it was no surprise when General Motors, an ailing enterprise that lost $8.6 billion in 2005, decided to freeze its pensions, the new wave of freezes among healthy companies like IBM, Verizon and Lockheed-Martin has retirement experts predicting the era of the pension will soon be over for up to three-quarters of roughly 21 million workers enrolled in such plans.
"These companies that traditionally did right by workers have given a green light to other companies," said Karen Friedman, a policy director at the Pension Rights Center, which has compiled a list of more than 75 companies freezing pensions in the wake of the IBM and Verizon moves. "Companies are getting out of the pension business," Friedman said. "They are backing out of promises to workers."
That's around $14,000 saved per employee on average per year. Note the "per year". Also note that the savings for the company and the losses for the employee continue in perpetuity. That $14K per year figure is the savings AFTER the extra 4% match in the Savings Plan is factored in.
Between now and the time I expect to retire, I expect the pension plan freeze to cost me at least $100K or around 25% of my expected pension, perhaps more.
There is no way to make up for losing that much per year - no matter how much you put in the IBM Savings Plan Plus. Hopefully this exercise has brought home how devastating the pension freeze is for those impacted.
What we are witnessing is the disenfranchising of the US worker and of the middle class. Companies are doing this for short term profits, without realizing that they are committing hara kari in the long run because without a strong US middle class very few will be able to purchase what they sell.
All of this is the result of the policies followed by every administration since George H Bush that pursued the benefit of the corporations over the well being of the population and shifted operations overseas as to exploit their cheap labor The Europeans, who may have suffered pains and pangs at the beginning with their Union took the right approach putting their people ahead of their companies, which in the long run benefited both, and went after market expansion, not after third world exploitation.
Now and in the future they will have a market of 500-600 million with a strong middle class. The future belongs to them and to the Asian tigers.
In the past three years, the company has hired some 90,000 people in low-cost countries including Brazil, China, and India. These people, working in so-called global service delivery centers, provide a wide array of services for clients. The work goes beyond software programming to include data center operations, help-desk call centers, financial accounting, and benefits management. Initially, cheap labor was the big attraction of this move, with pay in India 70% to 80% lower than in the U.S. But these days, tapping the abundant talent pools—and new ideas—in emerging markets such as India and China is important as well. ...
Palmisano had to transform how service work was done. He assigned Robert W. Moffat Jr., 51, a longtime IBMer, to the task. Moffat had already wrung $5 billion of annual costs out of IBM's manufacturing supply chain. For decades, IBM factories had focused primarily on one product and one geographic market. But by 2005 they made any number of products for a wide range of locales, so IBM was able to operate fewer plants and keep them running at higher capacity.
Moffat figured that the same approach could be taken with services. His team surveyed countries for costs, available talent, educational pipelines, languages spoken, proximity to markets, and political stability. They used this information to choose locations where IBM would serve clients anywhere around the world. Moffat set up finance and administration back-office centers, for example, in Bangalore, Buenos Aires, Krakow, Shanghai, and Tulsa. ...
By sifting through several personnel databases with sophisticated software, IBM's top managers can quantify the skills they have on hand worldwide and compare them with projections of what people they'll need in six to nine months. When they spot a coming shortfall, managers coordinate with colleagues in other countries to recruit or train people. In one case, IBM managers in Phoenix wanted to build a team in Brazil to test software for a large U.S. corporate client. After they put a request on Professional Marketplace, a manager in Brazil assembled a team in a week. Now IBM has 30 software testers working in Brazil. ...
One of the major challenges in this setup is the difficulty of communicating by e-mail or even videoconferencing when programmers have never met one another. Strangers don't readily share knowledge. "A big problem is trust," says Dirk Wittkopp, director of IBM's Boeblingen lab. "It works better if you can go out to dinner with somebody and have a beer. But we can't put people on planes to visit each other all the time."
So Big Blue is trying to bridge the gap with software that borrows heavily from social networking. A new program called Beehive is essentially a corporate version of Facebook. IBM employees create profiles and post photos, list their interests, and comment about company events or happenings in their private lives. Klaus Rindtorff, an engineer who works for Wittkopp, lists his five favorite places to revisit, such as Death Valley, Calif., and includes photos of IBM colleagues in Germany, Italy, and the U.S.
Another program, called Small Blue, is a search engine for finding experts within the company. The software scans employees' blogs, e-mail, instant messages, and reports, then draws conclusions about each participant's skills and expertise. When other employees search by topic on Small Blue, the program scans its findings to get a list of experts. Currie Boyle, an IBM consultant in Vancouver, used Small Blue to find a specialist for a Canadian client. His initial search turned up people in the U.S. and Europe, who in turn led him to an IBM staffer in Haifa, Israel, who had just the information he needed to help his customer.
They should stop, take a deep breath and acknowledge the obvious: the way to put money into the hands of working people is to make sure they have access to good jobs at good wages. That has long been known, but it hasn’t been the policy in this country for many years.
Big business and the federal government have worked hand in hand to squeeze the daylights out of working people, stripping them (in an era of downsizing and globalization) of much of their bargaining power while ferociously pursuing fiscal policies that radically favored the privileged few. ...
The peak income year for the bottom 90 percent of Americans was way back in 1973 — when the average income per taxpayer (adjusted for inflation) was $33,001. That is nearly $4,000 higher than the average in 2005. It’s incredible but true: 90 percent of the population missed out on the income gains during that long period.
Mr. Johnston does not mince words: “The pattern here is clear. The rich are getting fabulously richer, the vast majority are somewhat worse off, and the bottom half — for all practical purposes, the poor — are being savaged by our current economic policies.” ...
Forget all the CNBC chatter about Fed policy and bargain stocks. For ordinary Americans, jobs are the be-all and end-all. And an America awash in new jobs will require a political environment that respects and rewards work and aggressively pursues creative policies designed to radically expand employment.
As a result, the 65-plus population, as we crossed into the new millennium, found itself with the highest rates of receipt of pensions and retiree health of any in the history of the nation.
IBM finally replied this week, saying, in short, “Thanks but no thanks”. Yvonne Perkins, vice president at IBM’s Enterprise Platform Software unit, told the holdouts that “for a variety of business, technical, and legal reasons we have decided to not pursue any OS/2 open source projects”. Just to rub salt in the wounds, Perkins added: “We would like to ask you to encourage any customers who are still planning their migrations or who have other technical requirements to contact their IBM representative to discuss how these assets and services could be leveraged.”
...the powerful AARP, said that by allowing employers to cut costs more for the 65-and-older crowd than for younger retirees, the Bush administration policy would lead to less coverage for everyone. "The rule helps employers, but I don't think it helps older Americans, especially those who have worked through their lifetime with the promise that they'd get these benefits," said Paul Secunda, assistant law professor with the University of Mississippi. ...
Meanwhile, health insurance costs continue to increase, and employers continue to pass increasing shares of those costs along to retirees. The proportion of large employers offering retiree health benefits has declined from two-thirds in 1988 to about one-third in 2006, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Hewitt Associates.
For the sickest heart attack patients, according to results published in the journal Health Affairs, wait times more than doubled. In 1997, half of them got to see a doctor within eight minutes; in 2004 it took 20 minutes. For a quarter of the heart attack patients, the wait reached 50 minutes or more — a particularly disturbing lag when every minute of delay increases the likelihood of death.
The researchers attribute the longer waits primarily to an increase in the number of emergency room visits coupled with the closure of many emergency rooms. Both factors are driven by the lack of universal health coverage. Uninsured patients — and those who have no primary care doctor — flock to emergency rooms for routine coverage, clogging the system. Meanwhile, hospitals lose so much money dispensing charity care through emergency rooms that many collapse into bankruptcy or give up emergency care.
Yet as dissatisfied as Americans are with health care costs, the public now sees access to health care as an even bigger problem than health care costs. In an open-ended question on America’s biggest health care problem, access was named by 30 percent of respondents, compared with 26 percent who said costs. This reverses the relationship that Gallup found in a November 2006 poll.
FACT Its much cheaper to get you to quit than to pay you severance. IBM is pushing the wages so low as they try to flatten it across the globe. Anyone in the right mind, who doesn't live in the ivory armonk tower knows that's not realistic This is a push to drive wages down low (wages = cost and profits) to get the best deal for the board when the sale of IGS goes thru. Others have eluded to ITS only.. wrong its the whole ball of wax. When this deal does go thru its not going to be pretty.
We have groups / divisions competing against each other. We have more layers of management (its getting flatter though) then the government. Polish up your skills and resume whilst you can. Take knowledge ahead of time that your days are numbered and USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. This way you can wait until they force you out with a package. Oh by the way.. the severance packages will be reduced. You will now get what the folks get for getting forced out on a pbc3.
Did you also notice a rise in pbc3 comments from team members? Its all part of the plan.. moral - work environment costs. They want you out. Now for the better news.. companies are hiring. IT is still paying as good as IBM for the most part. Get out while you can, if you are tired of the cr$p or stall it and milk them for severance while you get the most out of ibm before you leave. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THERE IS NO MORE IBM'ER.. NO MORE DEDICATION Good luck team -Sam screwed us yet again-
Alliance Reply: Your friend is absolutely correct! He is probably also a member of the same union that we are: Communications Workers of America (CWA). So if you joined Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701, you would be joining a group of other union members in other companies and even other countries that stand together. CWA in the USA has almost 700,000 members. Listen to your friend. He knows what he's talking about.
The FLSA does not say any employee moved from exempt to non-exempt must have their base pay cut. IBM says they are moving 24A and 06A to exempt to "better comply with ambiguous FLSA guideline tests on job roles". So if this is the case then they should have only made these affected job families non-exempt without a base pay cut. Of course IBM couldn't just do this since then they might have to pay out more to the OT eligible employees and God forbid IBM have to scrape up some money lost by not doing the base pay cut for more billions of $$$ for stock buybacks, executive bonuses, etc.
BTW, ask some IBMers who have taken job transfers from band 6 or 7 to band 4. Some or most of these folks were given base pay cuts as a provision for taking the new assignment. Nothing in the FLSA says IBM had to do this either. But without a union and a labor contract IBM will continue to do these things. Folks in other job families: BEWARE. You are probably next. How about if IBM doesn't move you to non-exempt but gives you a "pay readjustment:" downward\ so IBM can "remain competitive"? Don't think it can't happen to you? THINK TWICE now. -Anonymous-
It used to be that employees would do whatever they could to help IBM’s bottom line and its customers. Now IBM has become an: “IBM has screwed me over and over, so I give a rats ass about IBM” work force. How long can a company continue where upper management and employees are not pulling for the same team goal? IBM upper management better get their heads out the sand, pull this company out of its employee-morale death spiral, and recreate the IBM team mentality that made IBM what it once was. -wake_up-
The maddening part is what it does to my peace of mind. Now, fully 15% of my salary is at management\'s whim ....will the o/t be approved this week? If not, how will I manage? What about next week? Where can I cut? Should I work a part-time job? Should I look for a new job? (YES to that one). It\'s the anxiety that infuriates me...a week ago I didn\'t have these worries. I\'m taking a hit of $700/month. Not exactly chump change on my budget....15% isn\'t chump change for anyone. It\'s infuriating and humiliating. I feel like a kid working at Dunkin' Donuts. OT needs prior management approval...my manager doesn\'t even know who approves it. It\'s not him as far as he knows. So, who does? Some bean-counter who knows nothing about the work? Sorry, but that doesn\'t exactly instill confidence in me. -Disgruntled-
Maybe I could take it if I wasn’t already assigned the work of 5 people. You remember last year, when they laid off around 1400 people in May? My team lost 6 contractors (who weren’t counted in that 1400 number) and 3 regulars. You think that work just went away when the people did? I nearly killed myself last summer, trying to keep up with my workload. My team went through Lean at the same time, and we are still struggling with the implementation. We don’t have enough people assigned to the cluster to shift the work around.
So, now everyone on my team is non-exempt. Great, if we can get management approval to get the overtime, we can suffer no loss in pay. So what happens when they don’t allow overtime, as we all suspect will happen? I can’t do my job now, working 50-60 hour weeks. I am assigned to 5 client accounts. How are we going to support them? You think IBM is going to hire extra people, Band 6 people, in when we can’t provide the support our clients expect? Do you think I am motivated now to help my company through a tough spot in our business? Do you think I am motivated to do the extra assignments on my plate?
I have worked for IBM over 9 years. I feel betrayed by my company after having worked so hard over that time. I take pride in my work. I want to help my clients be successful. I feel as if we are being set up to fail. I look back over my career and see that the employee/employer relationship has been deteriorating. This is simply the last straw. “Trust and Personal Responsibility in All Relationships” is just lip service.
I wish I were in the same city as my manager. I’d love to see the dance he’s going to have to do to meet the “needs of the business” once the pay cut is effective. I always understood that overtime was part of the job, and while I wasn’t always happy about the amount, I always performed my duty. I’d also love to see management’s reaction if we don’t ask for overtime, but just work our 40 hours and sign off. That means no after hours phone calls, no page outs for those not on call, and few deadlines met. And by the way, if I’ve hit my 40 hours on Wednesday, I won’t be returning until the following Monday, just the way the contractors used to do. Becoming non-exempt might be the only way I’d ever get the work/life balance management has always talked about. Just sell us to Wipro, already. Their management can’t be any worse than this. -Fed Up and On My Way Out-
Alliance reply: Anyway you slice it, we need to organize and work to bring IBM to the bargaining table.... Lawsuit or no lawsuit, won or lost (remember the pension lawsuit?). There have been other lawsuits in the past that we have lost...Meanwhile, the non-union IBM employees have continued to wait for the "big win". The only Big Win that matters is, if we win an election to vote the union in. File all the Class Actions suits that you want... it only delays winning an election and getting a contract with IBM so that these things are spelled out, in ink. We need to organize so that we have that contract stipulating ALL the things we've been fighting for since 1999!
I've seen it said here that we were never told in writing that we HAD to work OT. This is not true, it has been in every PBC "template" that I've ever had since making the mistake of going to IGS. The number for me was such that if i took all my vacation, and holidays.... I HAD to work OT the rest of the time to compensate. I want to say that I remember the number being 2340... (45 * 52) but I'm not certain of that. At any rate it was a number that on couldn't reach AND take vacation W/O OT.
I say HURT by this because for a while, they let us work the OT, then clamped down on it, what was OK when it was free to IBM suddenly became un-acceptable when they were paying for it instead of my family. I'm simply appalled that in a time of economic uncertainty where the government is trying to GROW confidence in the economy and stimulate growth, IBM could take such an action. Clearly Tom's company is dead and being run by men that only care about THEIR own finances and to hell with the rest of the country, including those of us who's dedication and skill have allowed them to be where they are.
Join the Alliance.... write to the CANDIDATES... let's get this debate in the forefront. Let's have potential IBM clients ask themselves if this company has the moral integrity to deserve their business. I find it amusing that the company that has largely enabled the web and the interconnectivity that we have today has NO clue of the power of this medium when we ALL get together! No wonder these geniuses can't grow the bottom line by any other way than cutting salaries and slashing jobs... they simply don't understand what WE'VE made!. -wageslave-
Alliance reply: As was mentioned earlier, we have members that are staunch conservatives. They don't believe that corporations should be taking taxpayer dollars as incentive to continue doing business in this country.... and then leave anyway and not pay it back. Our conservative members are STRONG union supporters. They'll be glad to know another conservative IBM'er is signing up. Thank you for joining: We have 3 categories: Subscriber(Free); Associate Member($5/month); Voting member ($10/month).
Nice, great company. I don't understand that people that post about how it is the plainttiff's fault, especially seeing all these people who didn't join the suit but are getting screwed any way. IBM screwed up and now they don't like it. I've been wanting to leave IBM for months now because, partly due to LEAN, partly due to the fact that I've had 3 managers in the space of a year and every time I get a new one my plan to reach band 7 gets derailed because this new manager needs to see how well I work. I've been in the process for 5 years now! I honestly hope that those who can will leave IBM and those who can't that this thing gets reversed for them, because I don't find it fair. I think those people that blame the case are either managers or aren't affected by this decision. Run away people, this company owes you nothing! -Anonymous-
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.
On these engagements, all experienced resources within reach were already committed to the project. Global resources would have taken time to board and train. I couldn't afford to bring on a band 6 or 7, and have them poke through the manuals to figure out the work, and then distract the rest of the team. I needed someone I could ask to board a plane, and would be on-site and productive within 24 hours.
For my area, these engagements are atypical; I normally get resources normal channels, and take the time to train them and integrate them into the teams. Perhaps you're seeing a macro effect?
And could I generalize to assume an ordinary customer whose needs are not so critical (to us) is likely to see postponed dates and higher quality costs due to our inability to hire the right (on-shore) resources but instead green-bean GR folks who have to be trained on the job before they can be productive and do quality work? This is so in order to fit our business model which is do the work on the cheap (even if over and over and delays galore) in order to maximize the A-D Managers' salaries and boni? Instead of doing the perform with all the experienced and qualified resources our Sales people told the Customer we would use?
I also heard there were around 300 requests from people in other parts of IBM to move into the networking services units to try to get into AT&T. AT&T gave a bonus (especially for skilled hires), better raise plan, bonuses even for commissioned personnel and a better sales plan. Medical was 15% cheaper. Is that why they've tried to improve the sales plan in GTS but missed the mark because the finance crew wouldn't let them?
I was advised that a recent ITS/GTS sales plan announcement openly stated that sales commission and total pay had been marginally increased because IGS/GTS needed to be "more aligned to market forces", which verbage that really means it is not competitive. It is more than likely that as they made the sales plans similar across other divisions and position codes that IGS (GBS-GTS-SO) found its compensation inferior not only to the market, but to other parts of IBM. This would explain the flight of many good skilled human assets from GBS and GTS into STG, S&D and SWG in the last few years.
Looks like SWG and STG is the place to be in IBM, not GBS or GTS. Follow the money and profit if you want to make something out of your meager career in the blue pig!
I suspect that in the end, work will be shifted around...the hourly employees will be limited to 40 hours a week, and any work that they cannot handle will be assigned to other hourly employees, or perhaps to exempt employees.
It seems that the "Human Resource Global Supply Chain" crowd have been advocating the move from fixed cost resources (exempt) to "on demand" (hourly) costs in the human resource supply chain. Ideally, what they'd like to do is have a resource without pay on standby then pay them a cost rate (a la guppie) they throw the brand "surcharge" and the absurd admin costs then push that out as a rate for the client. This is the first step, prodded by the lawsuit, to get this project rolling. Since they want to move to selling only asset based services, they surmise clients will focus on the asset, not who delivers the asset since they are just low level mechanics. Individualism and differentiation be damned.
This is only the first step. Next come the IT architects. The real interesting one is when they pay hourly to the sales and principal types, based on the statistically analyzed sales call and closure hours from Siebel. They'll still pay commissions, but this is going to be a production line company for services in the future. The custom work is being given to business partners. That says if you're into unique and creative work, a Business Partner is where to be in the future.
Interesting that many with college degrees, wanting to be white collar exempt professional workers may just wind up being hourly blue collar types even with an MBA degree.
Personally, I think it is a conceit of the highest order, and doomed to failure. If I were to name IBM's biggest mistake over the past few years (maybe even decades), it would be the emphasis of the organization and internal efficiency, rather than the individual and collective talents of its employees. The fact is that the IT business is driven by PEOPLE...individual, freethinking human beings. IBM executive management in most ranks have either ignored this fact, or failed to recognize it in the first place.
Rest assured, however, that customer haven't forgotten it. IBM can treat employees like factory workers, serial numbers, and machine parts if it likes, but creative workers and customers will simply go elsewhere.
They purchased Lotus and Rational because they couldn't afford to compete. When they burned the people out, they were left with products that have maybe a 5 year return and then they buy someone else. Where the hell is Lotus 123? At one time 123 was 80% of the market.
Whoever thought this was going to be a great idea has done IBM a terrible service. IBM built human robots who serviced the financial and insurance robots. Unfortunately, now with a pay cut, the quality of service will be so bad, these companies will finally break from big blew and start to look at what the rest of the industry has to offer. Their products are just too dated.
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