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Highlights—January 26, 2008

  • ZDNet UK: Strong results boost IBM's 2008 profit forecast. Excerpts: The world's largest computer services company forecast 2008 earnings would rise 15 percent to 16 percent, hitting $8.20 (£4.20) to $8.30 per share, while Wall Street analysts had expected $7.91 on average, according to Reuters Estimates.

    "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.

  • Christian Science Monitor: Seven things employees want most to be happy at work. Experts say job satisfaction begins with respect and appreciation, not salary and perks. By Marilyn Gardner. Excerpts: Ask bosses what makes employees happy at work, and many are likely to think in terms of tangible rewards: a good salary, a pleasant office, generous benefits. Those play a role in job satisfaction, of course. But increasingly, workplace specialists are discovering that for many workers, the "happiness factor" depends heavily on intangibles, such as respect, trust, and fairness.

    "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.

  • Wall Street Journal: IBM’s Salary Cuts. By Ben Worthen. Excerpt: IBM last week raised its earnings outlook for 2008. One reason it may make more money: IBM is cutting salaries for 7,600 employees by 15%. ...

    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.

  • Wall Street Journal: IBM’s Pay Cut is Bad Symbolism. By Ben Worthen. Excerpts: IBM’s decision to cut pay for some tech workers isn’t going over very well if the comments on yesterday’s post on the subject are any indication. ...

    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:

    • “It was very disheartening to know that all our hard work to provide quality to our customers, means we get a pay cut. Guess now we really know how they feel about us workers.”
    • “I’ve been with the Co. for more then 15 yrs. and I didn’t send back the form on that LAWSUIT. So I lose on that and now I have to pay for it. They just don’t care.”
    • “I am salaried and never expected to be paid overtime since I still get paid when I am home with sick kids or personal illness. IBM preaches Work-Life Balance, but how can you be so if you now have to work 50 hours to make up for the pay cut. And I am quite sure they will prevent you from working the overtime unless the customer has to make up for the overtime cost.” ...

    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.

  • The following are selected comments posted on the Wall Street Journal Web site in response to Ben Worthen's blog:
    • We’ve already had issues trying to get support. I’m sure this will do wonders for us…… Comment by Annoyed customer..... - January 23, 2008 at 4:41 pm
    • They just don’t care. For the most part they’re getting away with it. You been in customer meetings? Biggest snow job you’ve ever seen. Just a bunch of charts and graphs and metrics to impress. The customer has no idea “what’s under the hood” until several months after the deal. Then all the problems arise. SLA’s get breached. Calls don’t get routed properly. Skilled techs are not available when needed because they were fired, or laid off, or are not allowed to work OT anymore. IBM is great at abusing it’s resources….err people. Comment by Burned again... - January 23, 2008 at 6:48 pm
    • Typical and not surprising. I worked for IBM as an outsource (not my decision) employee back in the early/mid 90s. I left within 2 years due to poor management and leadership. My pet dog would have been a better manager than the ones I reported to. As the old saying goes, “treat your employees well and they’ll treat you well.” Treat them like %^&*……… Need I say more? Comment by BinkysDad - January 23, 2008 at 8:31 pm
    • The cuts/restructure isn’t just affecting IT workers at IBM. About 40 administrative workers in my group today got changed from salary to hourly and got the 15% cut. These are people with college degrees and YEARS of business experience. The press isn’t picking up on the fact that this is affecting many more employees than just the IT workers involved in the lawsuit. Comment by Am Also IBMer - January 23, 2008 at 11:28 pm
    • Working for IBM is like being in a bad marriage. I joined in the early 80’s when “respect for the individual” still had meaning. I left in 2000 right after the pension change - I was one year of age shy of qualifying. A previous poster mentions ‘resources’… yes - when ‘individuals’ got transformed into ‘resources’ the marriage was over! Good luck IBM’ers. Comment by BeenGone8yrs - January 24, 2008 at 8:03 am
    • The cuts are indicative of IBM spiraling downhill with service and product reliability. IBM does not care due to it’s size what it offers customers or employees. How can the economy recover? When major corporations like IBM prefer to hire less skilled less experienced and less knowledgeable people to do the work. Comment by current IBM'r - January 24, 2008 at 8:06 am
    • IBM has not been a great place to work for a long while. I just left at the end of 2007 due to a resource action after 10+ years with the company. I did try to find another position within the company, but they sure made it difficult. Open positions would suddenly vaporize or get frozen, etc…. Not a good environment to be in.

      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.

    • It’s not just bad symbolism, it’s a sign of how out of touch company management is with reality. I voted with my feet and left IBM within the past year. To call the commenters a “vocal minority” is to casually dismiss the massive discontent within the IBM Global Services division. Comment by Timotheus - January 24, 2008 at 5:03 pm
    • Left Big Blue after years of 60+ work weeks, benefit take away and even threatened with a demotion after a work related injury !! IBM deserves ALL the bad press it can get after this move. Comment by Former Big Blue Accountant - January 24, 2008 at 8:27 pm
    • So overtime is going to make up for the pay cut? Right-seen this before. Keep your eyes and ears open, guys, because somewhere down the line in 2008, overtime will be so severely restricted only the saviest and most persistent few will ever be able to claim any. Ask the Band 6 folks if you dare. Comment by Mercury-Current Band 7 IBMer - January 25, 2008 at 1:57 am
    • Another example of what was once a great company, who focused on its’ customer, and attracted the best talent.. now only focused on earnings. IBM has completely lost sight of its employees and its customers. These workers are the ones that take care of customers, and this is how IBM treats them? I spent 14 years at IBM and left after watching them, time and time again over the last couple years, make decisions in favor of quarterly earnings, at the detriment of their lifeblood, the customers.. not to mention continuing to screw their employees.. Very sad big blue. At some point, they’ll run out of ways to cut and your continued loss of market share and diminishing customer satisfaction will catch up with earnings.. what then? Comment by Frank Baldino - January 25, 2008 at 9:39 am
    • Just my observation from what is going on but if I were one of IBM’s direct competitors I would think that now is a good time to pick up some great IBM employees and some new business by hiring some of the upset 7600 away from them. The impact to the company would be huge since the tech support roles have been LEANed and these people have a role in IBM’s critical business. In my opinion IBM is ripe for the picking and this could surge a competitor into the fore-front. It would be nice to see the IBM execs. crushed by there own greed and stupidity. Comment by Outside observer - January 25, 2008 at 9:50 am
    • Make it up with overtime. What a joke. What about the loss in company match to 401(k) based on base pay not base with OT. What about bonus’ if paid this year based on a % of base pay. What about all the others based on base pay. From now on IBM will get 85% effort. Comment by Another Current IBMer - January 25, 2008 at 11:03 am
    • This 15% pay cut has been height of all weirdest stuff going on within IBM for last few yrs. Had seen many players leave IBM in the last year, and just wondering if IBM main goal is get rid off as many players possible with these torturing measures. Just hope the folks at TOP know what they are doing before the whole company gets grounded. My feelings go for all those thousands of employees ( including me ) who have to bear this cruel treatment. Comment by Shocked IBMer - January 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm
    • It’s hard to know where to begin with this. I’m an employee affected by this cut, and I didn’t know that I had it in me to be this angry. The outrage expressed in this blog and other places is anything but a “vocal minority”. Make no mistake… the anger and discontent within IBM is stunningly broad and deep, and it’s not limited to those impacted by this latest indignity. This move is the latest–and most egregious,in my mind– in a long series of demoralizing moves…layoffs, job reclassifications, band reductions, benefit cuts, etc. I’m a free-market economist and I realize that I don’t own my job, but sound management and common decency should prohibit the scandalous treatment of employees by upper management that we have been witnessing over the last few years.

      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

    • I was shocked to know that big business IBM would retaliate on its employees in this way for exercising their legal rights with the class action suit.. Once again the little man is paying the bigger price while their execs continue to make money hand over fists with their big bonuses. Big Business thrives as the families that are the back bone of big business suffers.. I really shouldn't be shocked or appalled.. That's the American way if you have George W Bush tell it. Comment by SHOCKED & APPALLED - January 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm
    • Granted IBM may have had some employees incorrectly coded as exempt, but now it seems like IBM is going to be incorrectly coding exempt employees as non-exempt! Is IBM making good business decisions? What are the IBM executives and upper management thinking of anymore? IBM has created a company that no longer pulls together as a team, a company that now has an “Us against Them” (i.e.: employees vs. management) mentality. 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-moral death spiral, and recreate the IBM team mentality that made IBM what it once was. Comment by wakeUP - January 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm
    • Mr. Robert worked for IBM for about 15 years. One day Mr. Manager assigned Mr. India to be “trained” by Mr. Robert. After about 9 months, Mr. Manager called Mr. Robert to his office and notified him that his services were “no longer needed here” and that he was being laid off because his job was “moving to India.” Mr. Robert was offered another job at another IBM site after a demotion in both grade and pay. That lasted about one year whereupon Mr. Robert left the company. IBM stands for: Idiots Become Managers. Mr. Robert is now working for a large aerospace company as a development manager, and has authored or co-authored 5 patents. Life is good. Mr. Roberts advice? GET OUT! LEAVE IBM! Comment by Mr. Robert - January 25, 2008 at 2:55 pm
    • I was purchased by IBM during an outsourcing contract. Once the contract went steady state, 4 of my counterparts where let go. I was stuck supporting multiple sites working 24/7 with no other resources. I worked hard and did my job. At the end of the first year I was told that I could not be given a raise due to being at the top of my band. My manager would not re-band me. I supported that contract alone for 18 months and finally got transferred to a work from home contract which was nice but still no increase. When that contract went south I transferred to what I though would be a more secure position. I was told that re-banding me was being worked on but that is now impossible. I have worked for IBM for over 4 years with no increase in pay and health care coverage that has increased on average of 30% a year. This is pathetic. I did participate in the lawsuit and I have no regrets. I do take offense that the participants are looked down upon like we did something wrong. It wasn’t us that did wrong. It was IBM and their cowboy management style of riding a horse until it’s dead. Everyone that has not been treated fairly by IBM should join the union…. Comment by Enough is enough... - January 25, 2008 at 4:27 pm
    • Being a current IBM employee of 7 years with a 2+ PBC, I can vouch for most of what has been said here about the trials and tribulations imposed by management at IBM. I won’t go into the boring details of how I, and others, have been wronged. But, suffice it to say, I would not ever recommend employment with IBM to anyone for any reason. Now, to quote Ace Ventura, “Hey guys, I’ve gotta go. I have a date with your mothers.” Comment by I'm Laughing All The Way To A Severance Package - January 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    • Well, I recently received an advanced degree and am now making less than when I started with the company due to the 15% pay cut. Lucky me —where is the trust and responsibility in all relationships value that IBM preaches! Comment by Current IBMer - January 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm
    • I see that no one has mentioned that if you work over 10% OT, you have to get it approved by upper management. That means, that if you lost 15%, you are more than likely not going to be able to make it up with the OT hours because upper management will deny it. Personally, I think everyone that works for IBM should start refusing OT. Work 40 hours and let the customers just sit. What do we care anyway? We work ourselves into the ground and at every turn get slapped down with RA’s, pay cuts, no education, higher health costs, etc.. We have NO incentive whatsoever. So, let’s all go on an OT strike. I call for all IBMers to stop working any and all OT. If we all do it, it would send a message to the bastards at the top. And they ARE bastards. They increase their bonuses and raises, and we that actually do the work get nothing but threats, RA’s, and pay cuts. This whole thing has made me look at running from tech as fast as I can. And I used to really love it. Now that I have written the above, I realize that no one will have the guts to actually refuse to do OT.. I, for one, will not be working over 40 hours. Do you all have the stones to follow my example? I bet not. PROVE ME WRONG!!! Comment by Current IBMer - January 25, 2008 at 5:13 pm
    • Did not take part in law suit, and got screwed by IBM. little or no pay increases, work 60 hrs + per week for no pay and don't complain, do as a loyal IBM’er, bonuses go down, insurance costs go up, co-workers get fired and replaced by off shore employees, PBC ratings me nothing, get a great review and get a 15% pay cut , get poor review and get fired. Sam, I would love to know how you sleep at night, shame on you, take a good look at yourself, what goes around, comes around. If not in this life but the next, don't think you will be able to fool the maker when your time is up. One way ticket to the hot spot for you.. Comment by Blood not blue anymore - January 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm
    • So glad I left Blue last year. If I’d stayed I reckoned the peanuts they gave as raises would have taken me 7-10 years to get to the salary I’m on at my new company. This cut would have meant working another 10 years on top of that….It was hard enough finding an accurate way to document 40 hours of work - and management insisted you show 40 hours. Now those extra overtime hours will simply get charged to the customer. Biggest problem will be for those employees who work efficiently and finish their work in 40 hours. Since they don’t waste time and show 50+ hours on the books, will IBM create a ‘creative timekeeping- screw the customer’ activity in their time keeping application? Comment by Lucky me! - January 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm
    • There is more news coming folks. IBM is doing this pay cut to more than just I/T folks. Rumors are they want to eventually cut up to 25% of salaries. It will continue. It’s just the next in the series of steps to force US workers to quit. Cut pension, no raises in years, reducing variable pay, reducing benefits. They want to move all work overseas. Easier than layoffs and having to pay severance. They don’t care about US , just the stock price. Nice timing too, with us suffering as it is with the economy. All other workers beware, there is nothing stopping other corporations from pulling same stunt. Wait and see. Comment by Soon to be ex-ibmer - January 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm
    • Mr. Worthen, I would love to see your paper or any new media challenge Sam and the boys to field questions on this matter. Better yet how about a off site, town hall meeting with a panel of IBMer, ex-IBMers, customers, lawyers, federal labor reps, the works. I personally would love to challenge Sam to show good faith by cutting the top 20 IBM executes salary for 1-2 yrs as a “good gesture” to their employees. I know that this is a lala-land dream, but still someone needs to challenge the powers or maybe us IBMers should all do a BLUE-FLU week. Just to make a point. Please respond to this note, thanks Ben! Comment by Zuki750 - January 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm
    • “Shadowing this trend , IBM recently conducted a worldwide conference call in which senior executives stressed accelerating the transfer of white-collar, often high-paying jobs overseas, even if it means a backlash from U.S. politicians and its own employees. During the call, which was recorded by a participant and sent to The New York Times, the employee relations executives 3 million service jobs were expected to move abroad by 2015 and that IBM would move software design from North America to such countries as India and China.” PM Network | December 2003 | www.pmi.org Was in a town hall shortly after this story broke. VP, SSO Americas, in a less than composed manner, indicated that the person who leaked the story should be run out on a rail. Your IBM. Comment by me2 - January 25, 2008 at 7:36 pm
    • Has anyone stopped to think what it will do to retirement if you are eligible under the old plan? My understanding is the retirement is figured on the last five years’ pay you earned. Hmmm, let’s see, didn’t they just cut retirement pay too? By the way for those of you who don’t know, IBM no longer has a retirement plan - only the 401K.

      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

    • This latest pay cut shows a brazen disregard for employees and the arbitrary way this cut is being implemented is idiotic. The current leadership is almost completely cost driven. American workers are being phased out in favor long term supplemental, contractors and Global Resource. Even some of the global resource are contractors. I am looking forward to leaving this company shortly. I would not recommend it to anyone with its current leadership. As a first job you might stay two years to get experience but if you stay longer than that you most likely will be wasting your time. Comment by dead end job - January 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm
    • Well, the company shills came up with yet another brilliant idea. “Lets send a message to all those who dare challenge IBM”. Great idea—piss off 1000s of people who didn’t sue you and didn’t want any overtime. You want to turn all these people into hourly emps? Watch and see what happens. In this day and age, salaried people are working from home, tied to cell phones, email, instant messaging, etc. You never really seem to be able to get away from your job. But, most salaried people will just take that as part of the job. Well, that was true before you cut their salary and make them hourly employees. Hey, IBM–guess what happens now? All those “freebies”–being called from work in the middle of the night, while out with your family seeing a movie–skipping lunch to attend a meeting, coming in early, staying late, working lots of weekends and holidays and even pulling all-nighters. Now, that's all finished. Now you are going to discover how much of their time your employees have been giving you for free–without complaints, without lawsuits. BRILLIANT!!! Comment by joebob - January 25, 2008 at 9:44 pm
    • I left about 14 months ago and my old group (IT security advocates and internal controls testers) is impacted by this ridiculous action by IBM management. I am talking about competent, LOYAL, hard working people! SMART people! This is totally outrageous. I really can’t believe it. My heart goes out to everyone! Lots of jobs for folks with your skills at better pay on the outside! Comment by Another former IBMer - January 25, 2008 at 9:53 pm
    • How can we be talking about sending $600 dollars to people as a wonderful salve for the middle class’ economic woes while allowing IBM to arbitrarily reduce these same people’s salaries while posting record profits from off-shore. Investigate IBM’s claim that they pay market rates - promise its not true - solving this would be a REAL answer for the middle class. Comment by former IBM'er - January 25, 2008 at 10:37 pm
    • If you work in the Global Services where they just cut 1000’s by 15%, also understand that the exempt employees still have to work enough overtime to be 100% billable. 100% billable means 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year. What that means, if you are out on the “paid” Holidays, if you take your earned vacation, you have to work enough overtime to pay that back to IBM. So as an exempt employee you have to work the overtime to pay back the benefit of 12 holidays (where’s the benefit), and if you get vacation, anywhere from two weeks to 5 weeks, then you have to work that many weeks in overtime to pay back that great vacation non-benefit IBM gave you. In hours they say you should work 2100 hours a year. If you worked 52 weeks (every week of the year) 40 hours a week that totals 2080 hours. Guess what that means no paid holidays, no paid vacation. For those with the 15% pay cut. You can be sure that in three months, when this pay leveling of overtime is over (5 hours per week to help make up the lost wages there will be reduced overtime for those who’s pay was cut, but even more overtime will be put on the exempts. So those of you who think IBM is such a great place to work, I’d like to know if other companies require you to pay back your benefit of vacation and paid holidays. Comment by No Benefits - January 25, 2008 at 10:38 pm
    • As a middle line manager at IBM, I must say I, as well as my management peers are embarrassed to say we even work for such a company. A company who cares nothing for their employees. Take it from me…I live this horror show every day.. Comment by Mad as Hell - January 25, 2008 at 11:00 pm
  • InformationWeek: IBM Responds To Overtime Lawsuits With 15% Salary Cuts. Company will make affected workers eligible for overtime, but employees say they'll earn less. By Paul McDougall. Excerpts: IBM in recent months has been hit with lawsuits filed on behalf of thousands of U.S. employees who claim the company illegally classified them as exempt from federal and state overtime statutes in order to avoid paying them extra whenever they worked more than 40 hours per week.

    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."

  • The following are comments posted on InformationWeek's Web site commenting on the article:
    • They won't save any money by doing this??? They will save millions due to reduced coverage in life insurance benefits, reduced 401k costs, reduced profit sharing, reduced sick time pay, reduced vacation pay, and reductions in everything else that is based on base salary. Then around 3rd or 4th quarter, when IBM wants to make their numbers look better, they will send out an announcement to management that overtime needs to be cut. What happens to our ability to make up the pay cut through overtime then?
    • As one of the affected workers, it was all I could do to hold my tongue as our manager told us of this in a meeting this afternoon. You could have heard a pin drop in the room after this announcement. We were all stunned. We were part of an outsourcing a year and a half ago & had already taken pay cuts at the company we were outsourced from. Most of us haven't received anything additional in compensation in that time period & so were already below market for our positions; then this comes along??? ANOTHER 15% on top of already low pay? It's disheartening to say the least. This comes at a time when they just announced better than expected numbers for last year too. I'm sorry, but when did the price of my consumables go down 15% recently??? I guess I'm going to have to start hooking to make up the difference!
    • As one of the affected myself, I've got to say that while it's not a straight up 15% cut in all practicality, the OT offered will not make up for it completely and the OT is NOT guaranteed. I've not heard that employees should be tight lipped about it. I don't know how they can expect them to be? I think the above mentioned manager just doesn't want the headache.
  • CNN/Money: IBM Riles Employees With Base Pay Cuts. IBM's Response to Overtime Lawsuit Has Some Employees Fretting and Fuming Over Base-Pay Cut. By Brian Bergstein. Excerpts: Even as IBM Corp. reports record profits, thousands of its U.S. employees are staring at pay cuts. It's the result of IBM's response to a lawsuit in which the company was accused of illegally withholding overtime pay from some technical employees. IBM settled the case for $65 million in 2006 and has now decided that it needs to reclassify 7,600 technical-support workers as eligible for overtime. But their underlying salary, the base pay they earn for their first 40 hours of work each week , will be cut 15 percent to compensate. ...

    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 Register (United Kingdom): IBM hits back against over-timers with pay cut. 'These people' get what they deserve. By Austin Modine. Excerpts: IBM's technical support grunts may have won the battle for overtime pay, but the company has cooked a major catch to its peace agreement. Big Blue is now conceding that about 7,600 IT specialists and tech support workers (about 6 per cent of its US workforce) need to be reclassified as being eligible for overtime wages. But the company is simultaneously slashing the base pay of those employees by 15 per cent to compensate. ...

    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.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Union creating action plan in response to IBM pay scale change. By Craig Wolf. Excerpts: In the next few days the Alliance@IBM, a local of Communications Workers of America, will release a plan of action following the company's decision to change its pay scale, Linda Guyer, president of Alliance@IBM, announced on its Web site.
  • Comments from readers on the Poughkeepsie Journal article. The following are a few selected comments:
    • If they are taking 15% off of the base pay, then that is a pay cut. They are saying that in order to make what use to be a regular salary without OT, you now must work OT. I am sure that not "everyone" who works for IBM worked overtime. The union is correct about this and once again IBM only cares about their huge bottom line. Not to mention they have contaminated every neighborhood they ever set up shop in and do not want to take full responsibility for it.
    • IBM employees have been getting it good since the 90's. They better wake up and really organize a strong union or they will be gone in 10 years. Just like their country club and the summer fairs and rides they used to have., their decent jobs are next. I know it is hard to undo the anti-union brainwashing they got for years but unilateral cuts like this can't happen in a collective bargaining setting. Right now, they have collective begging, and their big daddy is shafting them. ( again)
    • IBM's treatment of wage earners is typical of most business models today. The abuse of the core workforce by managers, directors and board members to further their own careers or satisfy increasingly greedy share holders has gotten so bad the within the next 30 years I wouldn't be surprised if employees weren't "indentured" to companies. This is the path we seem to be on. Politicians at all levels are completely beholden to wealthy contributors and have little or no regard for America or it's people I wouldn't count much on the government for help. Unions have become so politicalized that their effectiveness in representing workers has become a glorious, well financed sham. I wish I had a solution to offer but like many working men I've become so distracted with just feeding and keeping my family warm, safe and insured that I don't have much time for creative thought anymore. Sounds like the plan doesn't it?
    • Even after a record revenue year, ibm’s Armonk gang of pension thieves, who’ll be getting record bonuses feel the need to cut the salaries of thousands of employees that they already cheated out of hundreds of hours of overtime. It’s not enough that they turn their back on America, exporting thousands of jobs, it’s not enough that they rob widows of their retirement, it’s not enough to have stolen billions of pension dollars from tens of thousands of their workers, now they add massive pay cuts as icing on the cake.

      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.

    • As long as the bulk of an executives pay comes from non salary ways then they'll continue to make decisions based on performance of the stock. Long range plans are next quarter to satisfy Wall Street. If we ran our corporations yesterday the way we do today, S360 would never have happened. That's why most of the innovation today comes from small startups and not the large companies. Their stock is pretty much worthless so they don't risk much where as an IBM executive can lose a lot if the stocks loses just a little bit of value. Blame the entire system, government(taxes), Investment community and the companies for what is
    • The fact that the pay cut comes only months after the lawsuit for cheating its workers is a sure sign that this is revenge. IBM was proven wrong in a civil court of law for denying employees their rightful overtime. The company can easily afford the lawsuit since it makes Billions in profits and spends Billions on stock buybacks. IBM is acting immorally again by collectively punishing an entire job class of workers who benefited from the lawsuit. If reclassifying workers is “cost neutral”, why bother doing it? Plus OT will be at the whim of the master. Regardless of its wrongful actions, IBM will continue to wage war on its workers unless the workers push back. IBMers have only 2 choices - silently support executive management by doing nothing, or take action by joining http://allianceibm.org/ and organizing your fellow workers. Which side are you on?!
    • After 20 years of service, working as hard as I can and always being a top performer, IBM has now presented me with a $10,000 pay cut. But - I can make it up with overtime! That's great, really. Except I don't get overtime for my 20 vacation days, or days I'm working off site for the company, or when one of my kids is ill and has to stay home (so I can't work beyond my regular scheduled hours), or when I'm sick at home from contact with the dirty keyboards and other surfaces at the offices of those I work for, or if there are no overtime hours available.
    • In the very same sentence which proclaimed our 15% "pay adjustment" our manager reminded us (while reading from the prepared charts) that employees should never count on overtime as part of their compensation, and overtime will be available as business needs dictate. In IBM, "business needs" means "we can say no whenever we want and you have no choice" - just as with the training we can't go to because "the business needs you where we are right now" and vacations and holidays we give up because "the business really needs you here in support of your team". Dollars to whatever pastry you enjoy, in 4 to 6 months there will be a hold on overtime due to "budget constraints" - as there has been repeatedly in the past for those previously eligible for overtime. Well, I'm off to call daycare to see if they will let me send my two children there for 85% of the regular cost. I'm sure they'll understand. Besides, they can make it up by working some overtime.
    • Ahh, the typical IBM numbers game, cutting pay while raking in millions. This is so typical of IBM, not only will contractors get their pay cut (hourly ones) but the Salaried ones will too, not to mention the 'Real' IBMers... IMHO this is so pathetically IBM.
    • That the article doesn't tell you is that all over time for the week needs to be approved PRIOR to that week (unless it is business need, like responding to on call pages or emergencies). I was told that for work that is not critical my time would be flexed so as to fit the 40 hour week. Basically, unless I get all sorts of emergencies or am on call permanently I have a 15% pay cut. With this new cut, I will be making LESS than when I started with IBM! I for one am going to leave as soon as possible.
    • I just joined IBM last year and moved to a different state to take the job. I work in the public sector and I can't work more than 40 hours a week, ever, because the government limits our overtime. I never wanted any extra money from anyone, I have never been in a union. I just received a gigantic pay cut and now I have to find a new job just to pay the high rent in this ridiculously expensive area. I just want my old paycheck back. I can't believe this is happening.
    • I made the mistake of signing with IBM when Global Services purchased technologies from my company of 7 years. It was the worst decision of my life. After three years working as a Corporate whore for IBM I walked out. This the best decision of my life. I joined the Overtime lawsuit and accepted the settlement with glee. I have one thing to say to the remaining IBM cattle, UNION STRIKE!!!!!
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: Re: Conversion of IGS family 24A band 6 7 8 employees to hourly / non-exempt? by "mrnobody008". Full excerpt: And don't forget if you take vacation, you lose out on that OT unless you can be creative and make it up. And I just found out, to all you poor folks that setup a healthcare spending account, it's not considered a "life changing event" so if you need that money now you're screwed. And all the rebanding, your "career" is basically over.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "More on the pay cuts" by Lee Conrad, president, Alliance@IBM. Full excerpt: To our co-workers, The recent announcement of pay cuts and re-classification from exempt to non-exempt has sparked outrage and anger among a large section of the IBM employee population.

    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.

  • Gannett News Service, courtesy of the Burlington Free Press: Pension freeze brings uncertainty to IBM employees' retirements. By Julie Moran Alterio. Excerpts: IBM, a large and profitable American company whose reputation for providing blue-chip benefits was once legend, froze its pension plans on Jan. 1, saying the change would save the company $3 billion by 2010. Benefits accrued by Dec. 31, 2007, won't be touched, but the 107,000 U.S. workers enrolled in one of IBM's pension plans won't garner any more years of service toward their final benefit even if they spend another 20 years inventing microchips or selling services.

    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."

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Burlington Free Press: Pension freeze brings uncertainty to IBM employees' retirements" by "bits_bytes_and_bugs". Full excerpt: Let's look at the math of the freeze. The article claims 107,000 employees are in the plan, IBM claims it will save 3 billion by 2010 (that's two years).

    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.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Pension freeze brings uncertainty to IBM employees" by "collbbfan". Full excerpt: No matter how you do the math, or who does the math, the bottom line is that IBM has screwed us. Yes, other companies may have done it, and others will follow. This sort of thing should not be allowed to happen, especially after Enron, While the executives get away with stealing, and the profits of companies goes up, I and 1000's more will suffer on the bread lines. After IBM let me go, I cannot make ends meet without many sacrifices (cannot get my pension until I turn 55 in 2010, all because of 30 days. While I enjoy reading these forums, I am very nauseous about the future, and feel I cannot keep reading.
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Pension freeze brings uncertainty to IBM employees" by "aranala". Full excerpt: Don't you all realize that the problem is much, much deeper than IBM cutting off pensions?. What has happened is that every major industrial and technological company has transferred its production and development abroad so today and in the future there will be not enough US employees to contribute to either Social Security or the pension plans. IBM has now 73,000 employees in India alone.

    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.

  • BusinessWeek: International Isn't Just IBM's First Name. Big Blue has built a global network for client services and in the past three years has hired 90,000 people in low-cost countries. By Steve Hamm. Excerpts: When Rogerio Oliveira strolls through the vast IBM service delivery center in Hortolandia, Brazil, the contrast between the old and new IBM is stark. What was once a factory for mainframes is now crowded with hundreds of Brazilians on a different sort of assembly line. Their output is information, and they sit in rows of cubicles that stretch the length of a football field under a soaring, metal-trussed roof. A few years ago, the factory work performed here was just for Brazilian customers. Today, 100 clients for the facility's services, which range from software programming to financial accounting, come from 40 countries, including Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the U.S. ...

    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.

  • CNN/Money: IBM Senior Vice President William M. Zeitler Exercises Options for 34,200 Shares. Excerpt: The senior vice president of software and technology services company IBM Corp. exercised options for 34,200 shares of common stock, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings Wednesday. In two Form 4s filed with the SEC, William M. Zeitler reported he exercised options for the shares Tuesday for $51.16 apiece and then sold all of them the same day for $102.46 to $103.03 apiece.
  • New York Times: Good Jobs Are Where the Money Is. By Bob Herbert. Excerpts: I think of the people running this country as the mad-dashers, a largely confused and inconsistent group lurching ineffectively from one enormous problem to another. They’ve made a hash of a war that never should have been launched. They can’t find bin Laden. They’ve been shocked by the subprime debacle. They’re lost in a maze on health care. Now, like children who have eaten too much sugar, they are frantically trying to figure out how to put a few dollars into the hands of working people to stimulate an enfeebled economy.

    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.

  • CNN/Money: Made in IBM Labs: First IBM Software Development Lab in Malaysia. IBM Draws on Skilled Workforce to Fuel Tivoli Software Development. Excerpt: "This knowledge-driven investment by IBM is significant for Malaysia," said Dato' Badlisham Ghazali, CEO of Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC). "The benefits are tremendous in terms of the sophisticated software technology that will be developed locally, the skilled positions that will be created and the endorsement by an industry leader that Malaysia is providing the requirements for IBM's future in research and development."
  • CCH Internet Research Network: Most Employers Will Maintain Executive Retirement Plans. Excerpts: An overwhelming majority of employers have no intention of terminating their nonqualified executive retirement plans as a result of final 2007 regulations under IRC Sec. 409A. This finding is among the results of a survey released by Buck Consultants. Buck’s study, 2007 Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Survey, was conducted after the Internal Revenue Service issued its final rules in 2007. The survey found that 95% of respondents will retain their executive defined contribution plans and 89% will continue their executive defined benefit plans.
  • Financial Week: Even with tax changes, businesses still offering DB, DC plans for execs. By Mark Bruno. Excerpts: Don’t expect to see corporations shedding executive retirement plans any time soon. Even though the IRS last year changed the way non-qualified deferred compensation plans are governed, an overwhelming majority of companies will continue to offer such retirement benefits to their top executives. In fact, 95% of employers recently polled by Buck Consultants said that they intend to retain their executive defined-contribution plans. And 89% said that they would continue offering executive defined-benefit plans as well.
  • Human Resource Executive: As GM Goes... Workers and employers can gain some insight from the settlement between GM and UAW -- mainly that the days of yore are gone. Forget retiring with a gold watch and a pension. It's every man, and woman, for him- or herself. By Dallas Salisbury. Excerpts: While defined-benefit retirement programs were always the exception for most workers, they were the rule for almost all large employers in the '60s and '70s, when those born prior to about 1930 exited the private workforce for retirement.

    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.

  • The Register (United Kingdom): IBM snubs OS/2 open source plea. A Warped view of history. By Joe Fay. Excerpts: IBM has dashed the hopes of a bunch of software nostalgics by refusing to open source its coulda, woulda, shoulda OS/2 platform. Online OS/2 community OS/2 World.com first petitioned IBM to throw open the OS back in 2005, when the firm stopped selling the product. It gained just over 11,600 signatories. It followed up last November, with a letter reminding the firm that there were still OS/2 diehards out there who wanted to continue using the operating system for legacy applications (and presumably playing chess).

    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.”

  • insurance news net: Two-Level Benefit Rule Won't Be Last Word On Retiree Health Benefits. By Brent Hunsberger. Excerpts: Most retirees won't notice much impact from this week's federal rule effectively creating two classes of employer health benefits, for early retirees and all others, experts agree. That's because most don't receive them, and those who do have seen benefits erode for at least two decades. ...

    ...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.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • New York Times: Emergency Room Delays. Excerpts: The nation’s failure to provide health insurance for all Americans seems to be harming even many of those who do have good health coverage. That is one very plausible interpretation of a disturbing increase in waiting times at emergency rooms that are often clogged with uninsured patients seeking routine charity care.

    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.

  • The Century Foundation: The Snapshot: Americans Agree, Time for Action on Health Care. By Ruy Teixeira. Excerpts: President Bush’s forthcoming State of the Union address will most likely offer no practical solutions to address America’s burgeoning health care woes. That’s too bad because the public is definitely ready for action on this front. Consider these recent data from Gallup. A mid-November Gallup poll found that the public is more dissatisfied than ever with out-of-control health care costs. An overwhelming 81 percent said they are dissatisfied with the cost of health care in this country, the highest figure recorded on this question since Gallup first started asking it in 2001.

    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.

  • BlueCross BlueShield Association: Medicare as a healthcare model. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. Excerpt: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have been sniping at each other for months over healthcare, but there's one thing the top Democratic presidential candidates agree on: Americans of all ages should have the choice of buying a government-run plan modeled on Medicare. The idea, which would set up a competition between a new government plan and private insurance programs, has been overshadowed by the political horse race. But it's one of the most far-reaching and controversial proposals for making health insurance more affordable and more widely available.
New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
Minimize
  • Alert: Be aware that IBM is blocking e-mail from the endicottalliance address to IBM internal e-mail and filtering from employee to employee with the term Alliance@IBM
  • Spotlight: IBM to cut pay and reband job family 24A! Are you next? Join the fight back! Send us your name, home e-mail and location to: endicottalliance@stny.rr.com. Be sure to Join The Alliance! Say NO to pay cuts and job cuts!
  • Sign the Petition to IBM Management NO PAY CUTs!
  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 1/19/08: Sam promised wall street a good 2008, that will come at the expense of more US workers. Wake up folks. Network sold to AT&T, rebanding of 24A, desktop support changes and a brand new global center in Vietnam. It wont be long now.... Get your resumes updated. For the IBM employees going to AT&T, IBM wont even pay them their vacation or PC holidays when they leave 1/31, they wont be paid until sometime later in February. IBM HR SUCKS! -IBM h8tr-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Essex Junction plant beating up employees again. Management ranking employees and teeing up the bottom performers to get whacked with a layoff. The IBM company really sucks. -Beat Up IBMer-
    • Comment 1/22/08: My mgr talked to me about the re-banding of the 24a job family. According to legal, The managers are NOT supposed to hold dept meetings to announce this change. It is to be done on an individual basis. He also said this is a DIRECT result of the overtime lawsuit. It is the law and IBM must follow it. Then it sounded like he read from a paper that mentioned how ibm upholds the law and does what the law requires. It looks like folks band 8 and up will not be affected by this change. Bands 7 and below will be hit. The cut of 15% is the extra money that ibm supposedly gives employees when they ask them to work the 'unwritten' 46 - 48 hour work week. The folks being re-banded will work 40 hour weeks. Their overtime will be watched carefully so that they do not work too many hours. You can bet that IBM will ensure that the overtime is kept to a bare minimum. -Re-banded Fool-
    • Comment 1/22/08: It's not just 24A...06A (IT Architect/IT Specialist) will also be affected. If you are curious about your job family/code, you can find out on the W3 site. Select the "Career and Life" tab, and under the"Your life and health" heading on the left navigation pane, choose"About you - personal". If you select the compensation link from the page, it will give all the relevant info. Good luck guys and gals. -IveBeenIBMed-
    • Comment 1/22/08: BadNews is right. This is also affecting 06A I/T Specialist and have been told it's going to affect even more soon. I will have a 15% "salary adjustment" effective Feb 1 and any overtime will have to be approved affecting band 7 & 8 -WakeUpCall-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Ok, here's some info I confirmed.. Any positions that are Technical Services or IT specialists position code 499A or 594J. It can include more but so far, this is what I've seen get the 15% salary cut, hourly wage, and requires preapproved OT from your manager -Confirmed-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Just had a group meeting today and I will have a 1-on-1 with my manager tomorrow. In one swoop everything I've worked for the last 7 years is gone. All the extra time and hours worked and great PBC reviews have done nothing but give me a 15% pay cut putting me below my original salary. Way to go Big Blue life wrecking machine. How can IBM say this is to keep employees competitive salary wise when the OT that will be needed to keep you afloat is at manager approval only. -jump back 7 years-
    • Comment 1/22/08: What are the rules for posting pro-union messages/banners at at site entrances? Messages such as "Stop Offshoring. Join the Union" or "Stop pay cuts. Join the Union." I'm particularly interested in Lexington Kentucky. -Anonymous- Alliance reply: First of all any activities must be on your own time and in non-work areas. You can hand out flyers or hold a sign as an employee in front of the building or plant gate. You can hand out flyers in the cafeteria or break room on your own time. We strongly encourage anyone who wants to do this to have signed up with the Alliance first. You will be challenged by security and asked for your badge. You tell them politely that you are a union member and employee and have a right to be there. If you have any problems contact us at 607 658 9285
    • Comment 1/22/08: I suppose that the 15% pay cut is also a windfall for IBM when they eventually LEAN you out. The amount of your severance package will be 15% less. I bet some executive got a nice bonus for coming up with this cost saving plan! Way to go IBM!!! -married_to_ibm-
    • Comment 1/23/08: The link to the article (a CNN article written by Lou Dobbs) that was referenced by ANONTOO should be read by all U.S. citizens. With the small rate of people signed up for the Alliance, I'm beginning to think that most are not totally aware of the problems that our government--and IBM and other 'global' companies, have caused for this country. We'll be paying it back for years to come and so will our children and grandchildren--if the country doesn't collapse into 3rd world status before then. Unless the people take back this country--and unions are one way to do so, the outlook for our futures is pretty dreary. -Anon-
    • Comment 1/24/08: If anyone thinks there will be OT available to make up for the lost 15%, think again. Here's what going to happen: Your second or third line manager will get an OT budget for the year. They\'ll also be told if they can manage that budget so that no more than half of it is used, they will get a bonus! So naturally, YOU wont be approved to work OT as the second line will need to show his boss that he/she met the target and collect THEIR bonus. And make no mistake about this too: IBM was NOT worried about the negative impact of the pay cut in terms of causing more people to join the Alliance. If they were, they wouldn't have approved it. No way Sam would allow it if he thought it would be the straw that broke the camel\'s back! They are just waiting for the flap to blow over. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/08: division 07, 15% cut in pay, I imagine it will eventually affect tens of thousands of US IBM workforce, if it hasn't already. -nonymouse-
  • General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 1/18/08: The rebanding will happen. 15% reduction is if you are lucky. The real targets are up to 30% This is to get compliant as was as the important factor of demoralization of the ranks. I ask each and anyone who has multiple years on the blue pig, has the team moral ever been this low? Years ago, management would strive .. yes STRIVE to get the rumors crushed and teams informed. They would also do things like a decent market adjustment. The past 4 years has been just the opposite. The blue pig is forcing folks out by creating a hostile work environment.

      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-

    • Comment 1/19/08: I understand that IBM will soon be issuing cell phones and will discontinue reimbursement for our existing service. At that time, the IBM cell phone will be business use only, no personal calls allowed. Imagine how fast my home phone goes to personal use only, no business use allowed..... -gadfly-
    • Comment 1/20/08: Don't forget, everyone, that a pay cut is MORE than just the pay cut. It lowers the percentage that IBM will contribute to your 401K; it lowers the amount of your annual bonus, which is based on your salary; and it lowers the amount of any disability payments, should you ever need that. This is not one screw job but multiple screw jobs. -Mrs. Adm-
    • Comment 1/21/08: Can someone discuss the legalities associated with rebanding and wage cuts? Can any employer just randomly cut someone's job classification and pay, in any state? I'd imagine this is less likely, perhaps even illegal, in European countries.... -Curious- Alliance reply: Yes IBM can cut wages and reband at will. There is no union contract. IBM does not have to negotiate or consult with employees at all in the US. There is no legal requirement. We have been saying this for years ever since the Pension theft. In Europe IBM must negotiate with the IBM unions and consult with Works Councils.
    • Comment 1/21/08: 1) 401K is based off of base salary and OT - so if they approve OT at 5 hours a week - same 401K; 2) life insurance will be lower - that goes to base salary; 3) when u go to look for another job - you will be based on your base salary which is much lower now. Very upset Lead in IGS. Time to look elsewhere and most of my team will be. -bandcut-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Re: pay cuts and re-banding. My friend, a Verizon line-man in NY, laughs at us IBMer’s. He says that until IBMer’s get the nerve to get organized, we will continue to have our benefits eroded. Sad statement, but he is right. My friend and I both graduated from college around the same time, he joined Verizon as a line-man and I joined IBM as a programmer. Today he makes more than me and he has not lost a large chunk of his pension like I did with IBM. IBM says this is not a pay cut, because if you work 6% or so in overtime you will make the same pay. But beware; IBM will let this new plan take hold for a year or so. And then during a financial down turn, IBM will put a temporary hold on all overtime! Or what if there is not enough work to warrant over time, such as during CHANGE freezes which occur 4 times a year. -feedup-

      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.

    • Comment 1/22/08: Just when you think IBM wouldn't sink any lower, the bottom falls out. I'm stuck here for another 16 months while I work off my tuition payments. I can't wait to get the hell out of here. -Po'd in Pok-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Any work I would normally do during business hours will now be done during change windows. The clueless management doesn't know what needs to be done during change windows. I will be stacking up overtime before they freeze it, and doing absolutely nothing except organizing my fellow ibmers during business hours...of course under the guise of work. -Lots of free time now-
    • Comment 1/23/08: An additional way to look at the 15% pay cuts is it equivocally compares to that of a Resource Action terminating 1140 IBMers (formula 7600 x .15). I fear the larger damaging result will be a large number of IBM's best technical delivery resources start leaving the company. Sam P, Mark L, Randy M, Moffat, and the rank and file junior executives in IGS, ITD, GTS take note: There is a growing level of anger brewing internally, not just with the 7600 that ya' ll are bending over the table. -another IBM serial#-
    • Comment 1/23/08: If IBM really felt deep down that the Rosenburg vs. IBM class action suit had "no merit" as they initially said (actually ANY litigation case brought against them they always feel and state HAS NO MERIT!) then why did they agree to settle? They knew they could lose the case. Now they are being their usual corporate bully and seeking"vindication" and inflicting punishment by lowering base pay of those folks in 24A and 06A being moved to hourly non-exempt.

      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-

    • Comment 1/25/08: Keep in mind that there is a push to get MORE than 25% Management has been targeted to get pay reduced across all of the currently named job families. The next push will be COTS in the 08A and 09A families. sam promised better profits in 08.. how does ibm do that now and the past few years? RA's - Pay Cuts - Forced Attrition. Look for that private meeting invite with management soon...be sure to get the free sample of astrolube BEFORE the meeting. -inside-
    • Comment 1/25/08: Next time you get a call from your manager that you aren't making your 'utilization' targets (a.k.a., you are not working enough overtime), ask them to send you the request in writing!! I think its obvious now what they were all about. Obviously it doesn't matter what you get on your PBC anymore. I'm not worrying about my utilization targets anymore!! Let management miss their utilization targets and their bonuses for meeting them !! This applies to everyone whether you are getting affected by pay cut or not. Eventually we will all be targeted. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/25/08: Message = I was recently re-classified to non-exempt, but when I take the test shown in this gov doc titled; “Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Regulations - CHECKLIST # 4 – SALARY AND DUTIES TESTS FOR COMPUTER PROFESSIONAL EXEMPTION FROM OVERTIME” found at: http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/ocpsp/flsaot/checklists/computerprof.pdf the result is that I should be in fact classified as exempt. Granted IBM may have had some employees incorrectly coded as exempt, but now it seems like IBM is going to be incorrectly coding exempt employees as non-exempt! Is IBM making good business decisions? What are the IBM executives and upper management thinking of anymore? IBM has created a company that no longer pulls together as a team, a company that now has an “Us against Them” (i.e.: employees vs. management) mentality.

      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-

    • Comment 1/25/08: x-ibmer... "Even with a 15% reduction of your salary, wouldn’t working that 80-160 hrs of OT each month more than make up for the loss?" The problem, of course, is the capricious nature of the overtime. Sure, if I could count on the overtime each week, I wouldn't have such a problem with it. But past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, so we all know where this is headed... we might get the overtime for a while, but then the screws will tighten, and those 5 or 10 or 15 hours of overtime will be no more.

      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-

    • Comment 1/25/08: What has destroyed IBM? One word ... A-R-R-O-G-A-N-C-E. Sam Palmisano is an arrogant jerk. Join the Alliance and get rid of this arrogant jerk and take our company back. Sam is an ass. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/26/08: Another thought comes to mind about the recent 15% pay cut. There has been rumours about WIPRO taking over some of the divisions, is it not possible for the IBM execs to go to WIPRO guys and say, hey guys we have already saved you 15% by our pay cut, as most of the support staff has been affected by this cut.. just thinking....-Anon-
    • Comment 1/26/08: You know what? Maybe I could stomach this pay cut if they gave me more than two weeks to prepare financially for it.

      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-

  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 1/21/08: Not only 24A but I also hear job family 06A (I/T Specialists) too are going to non-exempt and hourly with the 15% pay cut as well. So much for learning skills about computer hardware, software, middleware, etc. which supposedly is IBM's core business. It's clear in IBM the core business is not that anymore. It's better to learn BS and CYA skills than anything else! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/08: Salary = 72,000; Band Level = 5; Job Title = Sys Mgmt Adv; Years Service = came from AT&T in 99 - 25 yrs; Hours/Week = 60+; Div Name = 07; Message = This entire company is full of crap. They have no values at all, just the BUCK. Every year they concoct another way of not giving raises. A couple of years ago they changed the scale to include 2.5, last year it was the market based analyst. COL goes up every year, we get nothing!!! I joined the Class Action suit and got 8700.00 after taxes! but for 9 years, I've worked minimum 50+ hrs per week.. And you listen to the applause at these town meetings and state of the business meetings; It makes me sick to my stomach, hearing folks kiss up like that. They should be ashamed of themselves.. It's always the same message about how well we're doing, but they can't reward you for making it so.. We did the work for them to acquire those industry accolades, they did CRAP!!!! I'm getting more ticked off...Bye -Ramjet...Mad-
    • Comment 1/21/08: My husband works in Southbury, CT. He was told today, Jan 21, 2008, that he is getting a 15% pay cut. IBM told him it was IBM had to do to recoup their losses from some of the IBM employees suing IBM for overtime pay. I know there are many other IBM'ers having their pay cut today. I found out the phone # for the IBM head of compensation. Please call Lisa Mihalik at 914-765-4310 if you'd like to ask her why this is happening. -Anonymous- Alliance reply: Does your husband know the name of the person that told him this? If this person is an IBM manager, then IBM may have violated the terms of the settlement. Find out.
    • Comment 1/21/08: So employees sue IBM because the company ripped them off for being misclassified and not paying OT. Employees in suit get some money back. Then IBM "recognizes" the fact that people were misclassified and then reclassify them but there is a hitch. You get to become non-exempt with a PAYCUT! are you kidding me Sam! If we don't join this union, expect the beatings to continue. No pay cuts! -screwed again-
    • Comment 1/21/08: Salary = 90000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Senior IT Specialist; Years Service = 29 years 9 months; Hours/Week = 40+ 10-25hrs.week OT; Div Name = IGS; Location = Poughkeepsie; Message = I was told today that as of 2/1/2008 ny pay was being cut by 15%. Change from exempt to nonexempt status. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/08: We got the news today. Something that's bugging me about this is the 2nd line iterated more than once that the news was not to be relayed to anyone on the conference call nor to anyone outside our division. If this is public knowledge, and fact (which it is), why would relaying this information be kept "hush-hush"? Something smells fishy... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/08: Salary = 71,000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT specialist; Years Service = 18; Hours/Week = 60; Div Name = 23; Location = Piswataway, NJ; Message = I was told by my manager today that starting Feb I will be getting 15% pay cut. -Anonymous1-
    • Comment 1/21/08: Base= 64000; Band=7; location=Midwest; Title=Technical Services Prof - ADV; Years=6; hours/wk=48-50 -foolmeonce-
    • Comment 1/22/08: I am one of the 24A's that just had my pay cut 15%. I joined the Alliance this morning. I will be calling ALL of my co-workers today to talk to them about joining as well. IBM may be able to "discourage" us from sending company emails about joining the Alliance, but they can not stop the phone calls. Don't you think its about time we stood up for ourselves? Our "loving and caring" managers knew about this re-classification and pay cut possibly as far back as JUNE 07, but only gave us 10 days to prepare for a 15% reduction. I call BS! -Screwed Hard!-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 85,000; Band Level = Band 7; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 60; Div Name = ur23; Location = sterling forest Message = SEPT 2007: Yes, I'll accept a new position with a promotion to BAND 8. DEC 15 : "WELCOME" to the new group and you have been promoted to Band 8 with salary increase. DEC 31 pay check : no sign of it JAN 15 pay check: no sign of it JAN21: oops, we're sorry but we have to let you go (Division wide lay off). I went from being rated a "1" in a good position to trying to up my career and trying to get a Band Level increase to now not having a job -FakeName-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 80,000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = System Int Prof; Years Service = 8; Hours/Week = 45; Message = -twist-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = reduced by 15%; Message = I would like to know how this "re-classification" of job families with the15% reduction in base pay does completely violate the intent of the original lawsuit? How can the upper level executives be so obtuse and greedy as to not see the tremendous harm this will do to IBM in the longer term? I want to join, but do you (Alliance) have a plan of action to deal with this? -Bend_over_n_take_one_for_IBM-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = $46K; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Oracle DBA; Years Service = 8; Hours/Week = 45+; Div Name = 07; Location = Lexington, KY; Message = As you can see, I'm already below market value. So a pay cut would really kill me... -just_keeps_coming-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 49k Band Level = 6 Job Title = meaningless Years Service = 2 Hours/Week = 40 only Div Name = IMBPD Location = Tulsa Message = Ramjet....mad - you said that you've been working 50 - 60 hours a week for 9 years, why? You're salaried right? Why give IBM free hours if they're so screwed up? My first year here I was working 50-70 hours a week but after they screwed me over I said "No" to any more overtime. I have held my ILC to strictly 40 hours every single week. If there is too much on my desk to be accomplished in a 40 hour week, I just tell my manager that he needs to find additional people to take the extra load until it gets back to 40 hours of work. The first time I did that, I was subtly threatened with adverse action but he was only bluffing. No problem at all. Same PBC rating as the prior year when I was doing all the extra hours. - Tulsa-member -
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 57K (before my cut); Band Level = 6; Job Title = same as always; Years Service = 8; Hours/Week = 44; Div Name = 07; Location = boulder; Message = So now I make 3K more than I did when I started!?!?!....guess who's gonna be a work hoarder now. I guess that unspoken rule of 10-15% OT that my mgrs forced me to claim has bitten my butt in the end. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 85000; Band Level = 08Q; Job Title = TECHNICAL SERVICES PROF - SR; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 47 ; Message = Regarding the lawsuit, the employee won the battle. But, we all lose the war. IBM is not what it is cracked up to be. If they would get rid of the overhead of work that is not value added, i.e. LEAN and too many chiefs-to-indians ratio, we would not be going through this. IBM is worse than the fed when it comes to red tape and layers of organization. My full report chain is 9-levels. I did not have that many when I was in the military. Senior management does not seem to care about the folks that make them billions which gives them their millions in bonus, and then we have to settle for a few bucks. Time to find another company or go 1099 consulting. With 1099 work, at least you know where you stand. -Disappointed in IBM-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Disappointed in IBM: How detached and nonsupporting of yourself and your co-workers can you get??? How about using that military training to be unified, and fight back as a group? How about joining this union and actually DOING something instead of sounding like you were commenting on a newspaper article about IBM in the news ("oh gosh, this company is so disappointing, I just don't know... hmmm I wonder how the Giants did yesterday?") and then turn the page... -supportattached-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 93k; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Sr Systems Architect; Years Service = 12; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = IGS; Location = Boulder; Message = I got laid off last year and I have to say that there are much better places to work. I hate seeing things like this because I was once proud to work there. -Tossed out like garbage-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 69000 (before cut); Band Level = 7; Job Title = Systems Analyst; Years Service = 1; Hours/Week = 43; Div Name = SPWG; Location = DC metro area; Message = I passed up on a Lockheed offer for 64K for a non-exempt overtime paying position so if my exemption is reclassified, I will most definitely be reclassifying my own job status here with IBM. -RR-
    • Comment 1/22/08: This 15% cut is affecting bands 6, 7, and 8. Both 24a and 06a. I think the article in the pok paper is off by a few thousand..... -NOT JUST 24a!-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 75,000 (before 15% pay cut); Band Level = 8; Job Title = IT Spec/Tech Support Specialist; Years Service = 11; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = 07 ITD SSO; Location = Lower Hudson Valley, NY; Message = I finally joined the Alliance today after YEARS of monitoring this site and reading the various comments. Should have joined years ago. Whether you are in IGS, STG, IMD, S&D, Research, or SWG, you should strongly consider joining. ALL of our jobs are in jeopardy and we need to stand up and be counted. Global Free Trade has FAILED the US citizens. Our government is bought and paid for by corporate entities. Regardless of your political leanings I implore you to stop acting like SHEEP. -Shafted-
    • Comment 1/22/08: Salary = 59k (50 after the cut); Band Level = 6; Job Title = IT Slave; Years Service = 0; Hours/Week = 44; Div Name = 16; Location = DC; Message = I was already leaving but I was unsure if I was making the right choice, then this thing comes down and I was like, wow, great timing. Particularly in div 16 public sector this is going to lose them a lot of people since we often work on projects where overtime is severely limited and mgmt will probably refuse to give us codes for overhead/travel/PBC time as that is where most of our overtime will be. I could not have picked a better time to leave. The SAM's are trying to convince people to stay but this area is recession proof and if we wanted a job with mediocre pay, there are plenty of less stressful ones out there as well as plenty of other consulting companies who are hiring. -good timing-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Message = I think it's time we workers unite to say enough. One of IBM's basic beliefs instituted by our founder, Thomas J. Watson , was "Respect for the Individual". Whether you are affected by the recent changes within IBM or not, I believe we need to stand up and let our voice be heard. Let's start an e-protest!! I propose we change our Lotus Notes signature line. Go to your Lotus Notes, click on Tools-Preferences-Signature and add **R-RFTI** to the bottom of your signature line. When someone asks you what does that acronym mean say "Resurrect Respect For The Individual". Let our voices be heard clear up to our IBM management and executive teams. Apprehensive about participating in this protest? THINK about this quote which came from Thomas J. Watson ... "If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." -Much Respect-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 114,000/yr; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Sr. I/T Specialist; Years Service = 7+ retirement & 18+ vacation/vesting (rehired Loral); Hours/Week = 42; Div Name = 16 Location = DC Metro Message = If ever there was a time for increasing your membership, this is it. A lot of us are very displeased with the latest action taken buy IBM to cut pay and reduce our bands. Feel free to send me info at above email. I will pass along to others. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 80000; Band Level = 08; Job Title = Architect; Years Service = 27; Hours/Week = 50-60; Div Name = Global Services; Message = I have gone several consecutive years without pay increases via artificially manipulated performance ratings. When a pay increase is given, bonuses are adjusted downward to "balance" the earnings. Gross salary has remained virtually static over the past 9 years... which is, in essence, a pay decrease due to inflation. -SAMIAMNOT-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 95000; Band Level = 08; Job Title = IT Architect; Years Service = 9; Hours/Week = 55; Div Name = 07 - doomed; Location = Boulder; Message = I already got laid off for being a repeating 1 or 2+ employee, so I'm sure if I'd not been let go under last years cost takeout action, I'd have been hit by this. IBM is looking to piss off its US workforce enough that they can sit back and watch the attrition rates take care of all those pesky overpaid employees that they want to offshore and thusly avoid dealing with costly separation packages. People like Joanne Collins-Smee who have zero regard for the business or quality of service the org offers, instead obsessed only with trimming all expenses at -any- cost will be the end of IBM. oh btw, when the next RA action comes and they tell you you've got 30 days to find another position within the company, don't waste your time, people like Collins-Smee will reject your transfer even if other groups desperately need your skills. -ex-ibmer-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = low enough to leave; Job Title = Staff Eng; Years Service = 18; Hours/Week = 50-60; Div Name = PC's then Servers; Location = Boca Raton , RTP; Message = I left long ago for all the same sort of stuff. I've worked for several companies since then and they all have a surprising large number of X-ibmers. It's like a re-union without the hassle. Get a job while you have a job and get what you want. Get a job without a job and get what they hand you. Remember, your retirement is portable, and earns more elsewhere. -longgone-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = $41k; Band Level = 06; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 8; Hours/Week = 50+; Div Name = SWG; Message = I was told on Tuesday. My management found out the week prior, apparently. At the end of the talking points I was asked if I was upset. Fighting back a few tears I said "A little bit". I should've said more. So many things are affected now. I very much feel like I was demoted. Loyalty has gone out the window for me. -
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = lower Band Level = 6; Job Title = tech services spec; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = uctb; Location = denver; Message = Now we are being told that all overtime hrs have to be preapproved by second and third line managment...they don't even know our names let alone what we do to make them look good -this blew-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Band Level = 06; Job Title = analyst; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = 07; Location = Chicago; Message = As part of initial transition, employees were herded into a room like cattle to divulge how great IBM is to its employees and the opportunities that await us. Now 3 years later attempts to move within IBM are blocked, get education funding is denied, overtime is not to be "claimed", no raises for the past 3 years, and to top it off we will all be let go once the acct. is over. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: To Anonymous who stated: "overtime is not to be "claimed" This is 100% AGAINST IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. You MUST CLAIM all hours worked! If you are being told NOT to CLAIM your O/T, get in touch with IBM Legal! -IBM_POK_GAL-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Message = Effectively work 15% less people! Sit on your arse for 15% of the work week. If they withhold overtime work another 15% less effectively. Sit on your arse for the OT they are denying you to "catch up" to what you had previously in salary/pay. IBM can do anything to you anyway without a union, so start fighting back NOW! -sit_on_it_big blew-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = Pre-cut 54K; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Tech Specialist; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45 if I can help it; Div Name = 07; Location = CT; Message = I was told by my manager Jan 21, 2008 that I would be getting a pay cut and after doing the math I realized that I will be making LESS than I did when I joined IBM. We've also been told to be on our "A game" for our customer due to some issues. I laughed very hard when I heard that (with mute on of course). I have absolutely NO motivation to give any extra effort to this company what so ever. I used to speak to my managers to see what opportunities I could get in to, possibly get a PBC rating of 1 again. No more. I know some feel we should stay and fight but I for one and leaving as soon as I can. I have no more loyalty left, which is sad because I used to tell people I worked for IBM with a little pride. Now that's been replaced with derision. I've been trying to get to band 7 for five years now and I have been over looked each time, even though I received a 1's in my PBC. This company cares nothing for me or any one. They would let me go in a heart beat, just like they let go a few friends of mine that had been with IBM over 25 years!. Yes, I'm bitter. But I don't think I'm alone and I feel IBM has wronged us gravely. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Message = There goes the house payment, will soon be looking for a double wide -Insert Sigh Here-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = from 76285 to 64848; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Advisory IT Specialist; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 36 and 48; Div Name = AIS; Location = Springfield, VA Message = IBM has not been upright or honest. The way in which we were told is deplorable. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 64,500; Band Level = 7; Job Title = SMIP; Years Service = 60; Hours/Week = 40+; Location = SLC; Message = I'm part of the 15% compensation "remix" (didn't know I worked for a music producer). After not opting into the o/t lawsuit last year because I felt I managed my work time effectively and was not owed anything for previous o/t worked I'm now being punished with a DEMOTION!? That's what this effectively is, a demotion. There are further reaching affects than just the paycheck, as bad as that one is already! I've put in 20 years in this business and am receiving a 1 rating for last year and the reward is about a $10000 cut in annual pay. (guess I can't say salary anymore) How does IBM expect this to NOT result in another lawsuit? -Reginald-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 120000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = tech; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = igs; Location = usa; Message = msg -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = $80,000; Message = Once again IBM is breaking it on the backs of the employees. At IBM our most valuable asset is our employees, so lets sell them or at least don't bother to pay them what they are worth. This time however the management got caught. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: We are all mad. I got mad enough to join the Alliance. If you want to make a difference, join the Alliance so that we can fight IBM together. As individuals our management can ignore our voices. As an organized group in the Alliance we can make our voices be heard. As a group we can put these unethical practices into the spot light. IBM hates bad press. Speak up for your rights, JOIN THE ALLIANCE. Don't just wait around to see what happens. If everyone did that nothing will happen. Together we can make it happen! Please JOIN THE ALLIANCE today! -Sick and Tired-
    • Comment 1/23/08: So here I am, 4 yrs from retirement and they base your retirement on your last 5 yrs. 4 of those last 5 will now be at 15% pay cut. We were told for the last 10 yrs that you need 10-12% OT - but now that IBM has to pay OT, it has dried up. My mgr basically said find a way to do it in the 40 hr week. What a wonderful company. Armonk monkeys on down need to take 15% cut...all for one, one for all. -close.to.retirement-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 70,000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT specialist; Years Service = 25+; Hours/Week = 56; Message = We were told after a year of working for IBM by our manager to claim a minimum of 14% overtime per week, it's part of the job, though no one would send it out in the form of a written communication. In the past employees were "adjusted" to lower bands without any pay cuts. Wouldn't that be a precedence. It would appear that IBM has lost their focus of doing the right thing. Bottom line today is, it's all about the bottom dollar, with little concern or rewards of who participated in making it. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Location = Boulder; Message = While this site is nice for venting, I'd like some assistance in how to seek legal action against IBM for this pay cut. They claim I can make-up the 15% with an extra 5 hours a week, but what if your contract does allow that. What if your limited to 40 hours a week as some of us are. What if you're exempt by definition, but you're reclassified none-the-less. Instead of just telling us to join and collecting our dues, how about some action (like a lawyer's office to call) so we can file a class action? -Anonymous-

      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!

    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 65,000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Finance; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = Federal; Location = DC; Message = With all the recent news about the OT lawsuit/settlement in 2006 makes me wonder how this affects current employees. Will all non-managers get back pay for OT hours? Will we start getting paid OT for future work? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 76L; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Adv Tech Prof; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45-50; Div Name = IGS; Location = Fla; Message = Yep, this was the last straw for me; I joined today :) and I am going to work to get others I know to join as well; just because some dodged the bullet this time; it doesn't mean they won't every time and IBM has made it clear this will be the new status quo. I used to be proud that I work for this CO, but now a days I cannot stomach the mention of the name. Maybe we should all walk :) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Read this about PBC ratings that is posted on W3 -- if you believe this I have bridge to sell you: "The cornerstone of how IBM manages performance is the IBM value of trust and personal responsibility. Although distribution guidance exists, at IBM, there is no forced distribution of ratings. Under the PBC program, employees can trust that the ratings they receive are an accurate reflection of their contributions for the year, compared to their peer group."-working_single_mom-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Message = Let's have a sick out on Feb. 1st. Let's all get the "Big Blew Flu" for a day. For those affected by the cuts and for all the others in solidarity who are not affected (you will probably be affected eventually and the next job family to get a pay cut might be yours and you might not be eligible for any OT and still be salaried :o( ..this is merely an educated guess on my part with this Big Blew) Let's show IBM, they can't cut employee base pay. For those scared about participating in a sick out, then take a personal choice holiday, take a vacation day, or even a 1/2 day PM vacation day on Feb. 1st. With loss of productivity and response time on Feb. 1st maybe IBM will wake up and treat us all fairly and reverse their hideous decision to cut base pay 15% to those in jobs families 06A and 24A." -big_blew_flu-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = ?; Band Level = ?; Job Title = Technical Services Prof; Years Service = 1.5; Hours/Week = 40+; Div Name = GTS; Location = ?; Message = We got the news this afternoon from our manager in a conference call about the across the board 15% pay cuts & needless to say, you could have heard a pin drop after that announcement. We are part of an outsourcing from another troubled company that had already cut our pay& benefits over 30% in the past two years we worked there, so I can barely keep my head above water. I'm preaching to the choir here, but it slays me that they somehow think that their workers are just going to roll over & take it, with no recourse. Any suggestions? I have a few..... -Kathy-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 54K; pre cut Band Level = 6; Job Title = Systems Int. Specialist; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = 7; Location = CT; Message = I don't blame the plaintiffs, I blame IBM. They weren't paying overtime to begin with. I was "encouraged" when I started with IBM that I should work a minimum of 12% OT. That was the unspoken rule. So now that I did what they asked, it's being held against me. I want to give my two weeks very badly. I joined the alliance today as well.. --Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: It appears that the folks who instituted the law suit have made out and caused this change of policy. I am surprised that all that is needed is 5 hours a week to keep the salary level the same. For most exempt folks 12 hrs is consider a normal day. So an hour a day is not a big deal. I suspect people waste more time during lunch . I guess if the law suit was never filed there would have never been a need to change the pay scale. Seems funny to me that these folks went along with being in the exempt classification but now consider themselves to be less skilled. Confusing and now they will be demoted. Darned if you do and darned if you don't.. -John-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Location = Phoenix Message = Losing 15% of base pay is only the icing, I have been told by my manager 2007 bonus' will now be based on the lower base pay, also any week that I take a holiday, vacation or sickness day means o/t will be excluded. As that will only go towards the missing hours. I was also advised other benefits will be impacted. I can see folk coming to work forfeiting odd day vacation or coming to work sick infecting us all in order not to lose money for the week. How can this be right !.. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 100k; Band Level = 8; Job Title = I/T Specialist; Years Service = 17+; Hours/Week = 45; Message = I've been 100% loyal to the company since the day I started. This week is the first time I feel cheated. Even when management asked me to forfeit my parental leave to complete a critical project years ago, I agreed. Now IBM repays loyalty by cutting my salary. Thank You. -very upset-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 74k before cut Band Level = 6 was 7 then 4 then back to 6 they keep changing Job Title = System Integration Years Service = 28 Hours/Week = 45-50 Div Name = ITD (igs) Location = Westchester Message = This is the last straw. I'm joining and encouraging all my co-workers to do the same. Several years ago I was hurt by this thing the first time and was slashed from a band 7 to band 4. At that time they paid us for one year of back OT at the rate of 1/2 time. At least for the time we could prove. How many of you EXEMPTS track your hours? DO IT. Since then, since my salary has not moved until this week when they removed 15% of it. IBM and IGS bought this suit on themselves.

      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-

    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 78500 down to 66700; Band Level = 8; Job Title = 06A IT Specialist; Years Service = 9; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = IGS; Location = Remote; Message = I didn't join the lawsuit because I didn't think it was right. I was told I was exempt when I started and never expected to be paid overtime. I didn't allow IBM to work me more hours than reasonable, so had no reason to expect more than my base salary. I'm very disappointed by the 15% pay cut. Overtime freezes happen every year, this is NOT cost neutral. I no longer feel any need to be loyal to IBM, as they have unilaterally reclassified my role and broken the agreement that was made when I joined the company (when hired as an exempt professional). This action has instantly changed this once satisfied employee into a disgruntled employee actively looking for outside opportunities. Let the exodus begin.. -no-longer-loyal-
    • Comment 1/23/08: My wife's job is a union shop, and they never have to worry about layoffs, pay cuts, and fair pay. Can we say the same at IBM? How many people do you know at IBM that has taken a promotion without pay? How many people do you know that were RAd, and were/are hard workers? Finally, how many of you feel your loyalty and hard work matters?. -willing to help-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Maybe they should consider cutting the salaries of the management staff and their big bonuses.. -Heather-
    • Comment 1/23/08: I was affected by the pay cut and I'm not amused (aka Royally Pissed Off). for those of you who have never been non-exempt, I suggest you get to know someone who was. They can help you MAXIMIZE the overtime pay which you will now be paid. Sundays pay double time (always travel to your customer engagements on Sunday :o). Working on a Holiday used to pay double time and 1/2 :o)). If you work 6 days in a row (remember you just fly to a customer account on the weekend) you will be entitled to a rotational premium:o). If you work second shift You'll be paid a shift premium:o) work third shift, an even larger shift premium:o).. Any hours more than 40 in a work week you'll get time and a half.... I say load up on Sunday and holiday work especially if it's sitting on an airplane:o). -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/23/08: Salary = 114000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Sr. IT Specialist; Years Service = 8yrs; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = AOD - Applications on Demand; Location = North San Jose; Message = If they would have left my salary as is, and had told me that I can't work overtime (past 40 hrs), but converted me to hourly I wouldn't have minded. Now I HAVE to work 45 hrs a week... just to make what I WAS making. If there comes a law/rule down the pipe that I can't work overtime except on 'special' occasions or with management approval - then I'm totally SCREWED! Not to mention what this does to my 401k and ESPP.. -DCMacGeek-
    • Comment 1/24/08: This makes me very sad. Do you realize the time value of money and what actually has happened here. Do the math people, ( like if you go from 100k to 85k) It's a 15% decrease but you need a 17.65% increase to get back to where you started from, not just 15%. Plug in the cost of living and you would have to get a 6% or better raise over the next three years to get back to ground zero. If you thought that maybe you would just work harder and try to get a promotion..well good luck with that. However, it's more than just money isn't it. What amazes me is that watching this all go down is like watching one of those terrorist hijacked airplanes go down in NY. back on 9/11 It's like the hijack has been announced and everyone sits there and looks at each other saying somebody should do something. It's like the only questions left to be answered watching this is, are there any Todd Beamers on board ...are we gonna hear "Okay, let's roll" I'm not speaking about doing anything violent or illegal of course. Just speaking metaphorically that's all. John Cougar Mellencamp once sung " you got to stand for something, or you're gonna fall for anything " Good luck to all the bm'ers.... -oz-
    • Comment 1/24/08: In reply to: the STG Advisor Software Engineer You are more than delusional if you think you are safe just because you are an advisory software engineer making 108K yearly...IBM isn't finished, rather I suspect this is just the beginning. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/08: "Message = A lower base also means a lower layoff package.... -chicken_little-" A lower base salary also means your vacation days are worth less, your imputed GLI (IBM Group Life Insurance) will give a lower payout. So this is not a COMPENSATION CUT IBM?????? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Regarding the "unspoken" rule expecting a certain level of overtime. I was told by a manager that you were expected to work as much overtime as you had vacation time. So it turned out, you really didn't receive a vacation from IBM, you just received some comp time. NOW you'll be seeing them giving vacation time and probably requiring it and then severely limiting the opportunities for any overtime. I was taken out by IBM during one of the last resource actions and I can honestly say that life is better since then. Good Riddance to them. -HappyToBeFormerIBMer-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 80K; Band Level = 07; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45+; Div Name = 24A; Location = NJ; Message = We need to focus our energy on lowering the IBM stock price and playing the same game that IBM has been playing.They have not forthcoming to us why should we be any different. Because were better than that? In the end what do we get nada.... the public and the shareholders will pay attention more to the issues at hand if the IBM stock price tanks... it worked at Home depot. -~janed IBMer-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 98,000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Tech Services Prof; Years Service = 12; Hours/Week = 55 - 60; Location = SLC; Message = Thank you to IBM for helping me to awaken to the greediness of the corporate world. McNeese says we will not see a reduction in out wallet, this is more lies to the workers. Having been here many years, we will see the OT freeze at the final quarter of the year. At first I did not want to believe that the company I work hard for was driving me out, but it becomes more obvious as time goes on. This is complete retaliation taken out on the employees. Cross your fingers for Customer Satisfaction. Or do the execs driving the business not care about Customer Satisfaction either? -Naive-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 68000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 46; Div Name = 07; Location = boulder; Message = When IBM re-banded several employees 4 years ago from exempt to hourly, they did not cut their base pay. This appears to open IBM up on several fronts: 1) possible discrimination, 2) they established historical and legal precedence, and violated such precedence, 3) malicious retribution aimed specifically at the recipients of the $65 mil lawsuit settlement. All of our benefits are based upon base salary. One of the biggest hits we now face is insurance. With our plan, you can buy protection for up to 5 years of base pay in the event of the employees death. If you make $80k now, you will be cut to $68k. This means if the employee should die, their spouse and kids will receive $60k less in benefits. If you have one of the higher insurance plans (PPO), you are still having your insurance premium deducted at your base salary rate of $80k. Adding more insult to injury, IBM has stated that this change is not significant enough to allow employees to go in and change their insurance benefit coverage options. We just came off of a banner year, in which the company made record revenue and profits, in spite of the $65 million settlement that IBM lost. In that settlement, I know a lot of people who didn't sign on out of loyalty to the company. Never give your loyalty to a company, a company will screw the employee every chance it gets. IBM is no exception. -MajorHavoc-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 15% Less; Band Level = 7; Job Title = ITSEC; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = IGS; Location = CO; Message = I agree with the last post. I was rebanded years ago to be nonexempt - but they left our salaries alone and told us not to work OT. This is completely different. This affects things. Now when I go to apply for a loan (which I *was* actually planning to do later this year for a house) my income is 15% lower. It doesn't matter if I work the OT to make up the difference. It also affects other things like life insurance, future raises, etc. This is a pay cut plain and simple. Even without the other repercussions we all know what management is going to tell us about OT in the near future - NO! This is absolutely unacceptable. I didn't join the class-action, I've worked years (with the exception of those few when I was nonexempt) of OT and didn't make a peep. I work very hard and my management knows it. This is how I'm repaid? Can anyone speculate on the repercussions of signing these petitions and attempting a union? I read that when people tried to create a butcher's union at Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart immediately removed all butcher shops from their stores effectively laying off every one of the butchers. I'm all for banding together to get our point across, but I do have my doubts. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 62217 down from 73196; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 10; Hours/Week = 40-46; Div Name = IGS; Location = Phoenix; Message = This is clearly a gigantic finger from IBM to its technical employees. It is a message that they don't want us. They can replace us with cheaper alternatives overseas and are glad to continue driving their reputation and quality into the ground doing it. This is my repayment for not joining the lawsuit. This is my repayment for staying, supporting, and rebuilding from the first time I got rebanded from 7 to 4 (and took a paycut). Screw you, IBM. This is the last slap in the face and I'm on the first train out. -Couldn'tCareLess-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Location = Raleigh Message = Why should I have to work 5 more hours to make my normal salary? If they want overtime hours fine, classify anything over 45 hours as overtime, leave exempt employees alone up to 45 hours in a week. I was told this is not a paycut, but if I only work the required 40 hours a week it is a 15% reduction. Where I am from that is a cut. When I take vacation it is at a lower rate and heaven forbid if I am out sick. Last I checked 40 hours was a full time job, not 45 hours. Hearing my manager repeatedly say "It is not a paycut" felt like I was being spit on. After 3 years of hearing I was at the upper portion of my band and couldn't get a pay increase despite awesome reviews, no way to move up in band without being hired in a new department (they are full). No increases only a decrease, good-bye IBM. -Pushed Too Far-
    • Comment 1/24/08: I've been with IBM for just two months and they've already cut my pay, so I'll probably be leaving. I just finished a pretty intensive job search, so I still have some contacts and probably won't have too much trouble finding another job. If you are a developer, tech support, whatever, shoot me an email at vcubikes@yahoo.com and I may be able to help you get placed. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 75K; Band Level = 07Q; Job Title = IT Spec; Years Service = 12; Hours/Week = 45+; Div Name = 7G / ps code 594J; Location = at home; Message = This is truly unbelievable. I also opt out of the action for overtime from my 96 - 99 service for I believed in IBM. It was my dream in highschool to work for this prestigious organization and with a blessing from above I was able to acquire a job out of college. As we are faced with one of the worst economies US as seen in years, this symbolic American company has cut our base pay by 15% without question. This accounts for my last six years of increases and hard work. Last I checked, gas and even milk is nowhere near what it was 6 years ago. Even the option to simply offer to opt out of recording our overtime and keeping our base pay scheme was never an option.... why? A company I have truly dedicated my heart and soul to has changed face into what I feared most. As I sit here in my home which I was force to work out of last year and now may lose, the statement of opportunities in others misfortune rings clear. This is in many forms cost saving for IBM and you can bet this will cascade across ALL IT companies to follow....Ready to stand. -Keystone_IBMer-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 56000 before; Band Level = 6; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 42; Div Name = ?; Location = Arizona; Message = First I get hit with IBM taking away my yearly bonus, I take it and stay, I can deal with the loss of 2k (that i just counted as extra towards retirement anyway) Now I'm hit with this crap, I dont work enough hours a week to make up for the loss (because I'm told I cant I didn't care anyway i knew i was EXEMPT when hired). Loyalty is out the window Im gone and im willing to bet so are all the people i work with, sorry company i Actually work for everyone who knows anything about your environment is gone, have fun training people with no one to train them. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/24/08: fyi - To all of those who did not take the money from the settlement - now you have a 15% and no settlement money. the fact of the matter is the $65M money was already set aside by IBM before you had the opportunity to sign the notice to participate. so the money was divided up to those who signed on before the deadline. IBM wanted you to sign that letter! I was expecting to get pizza money. IBM was going to retaliate all along. The recent pay reclassifaction action should not be a surprise to anyone who works for this sleazy outfit. -Sam_should_be_slammed-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = about before cut 85k; Band Level = 8; Job Title = I/T speicalist; Years Service = 12; Hours/Week = 45-47; Message = When tickle down economics first was preached I thought it sounded good - now I see the real effect - screw those on the bottom. It is time that corporate big wigs (high salaries) - start to give back - they think they can just take take take - but maybe not - Maybe we should have laws (taxes) that encourage top management to share the wealth - not HOG it. Do Top managers really Need 6+ million or in other terms 100 TIMES what the lowest make? sounds like robbery to me - I am thinking - where do I sign up for a Union to protect me.... 20 years ago I never would have thought I would support unions - now - I see why they are required in the good old USA...... - former conservative-

      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).

    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 54K pre-cut; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Systems Integration Specialist; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = 7; Location = CT; Message = I found this in an article from InformationWeek by Paul McDougall (Jan 23, 2008): "Indeed, IBM's internal documents show that one third of the employees who will see their pay cut aren't currently working overtime. "Managers will be asked to distribute overtime equitably across their teams to the extent possible and practical," the documents state." "

      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-

    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 87000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = 16; Location = US; Message = Irony is IBM paid only 65 million on find..but its taking away 20 times that money from employees. Its not faid. The Government should look into this matter and hold IBM responsible for employees welfare. They are hiring cheap labours from oversease and filling US positions. Its rude and affecting the competitive advantages of USA. -Uddin-
    • Comment 1/24/08: Salary = 57000 - Post salary cut; Band Level = 07; Job Title = IT specialist; Years Service = 4; Hours/Week = 45-55; Div Name = IGS; Location = Indianapolis; Message = I am affected by the salary cut as well. I do not expect too much OT pay although I have historically worked 5-15 hours extra every week. I work on an account that has been offshored, I'm sure any OT work needed to support that account will go directly to the team in Argentina. As for my work on other accounts, it is compliancy work. I wonder if all the OT I spend in audits is going to be considered "in support of the business". The only way this could not be called a salary cut would be to cut salaries across the board. Hell yes it's a salary cut. It's all part of their effort to get all US tech support to leave the company voluntarily so they won't have to pay us severance after the next RA. -ATEDAT-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 1/12/08: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = 0; Prior Yr Bonus = 0; Message = 2% salary increase last yr. Dead Man walking in 2008.. -Dead Man walking-
    • Comment 1/13/08: Dead Man walking: What a despicable appraisal you got from your manager! If I was you I would make sure I have all my documentation in order and fire an Open Door against your manager and second line regarding your recent PBC. What do you have to lose now? You were a 2+ in 2006 and dropped to a 3? Did your manager give you any warning or a midterm grade and hints on what improvement is necessary? At the very least your manager failed miserably in people management here and should be taken to task because of it. Your manager should be the "3" or "4". I guess it just goes to prove to all you PBC "2+" performers this year out there you are not safe either! I wouldn't doubt PBC "1" are that much safe either. -opendoorthis-
    • Comment 1/14/08: Prior Yr PBC = N/A; This Yr PBC = 2; Message = What is the average PBC ranking a new hire can expect to receive? I've been with the company for less than a year, was told that I should be happy that I got a 2 instead of a 3. -Anon- Alliance reply: What you were told is probably accurate. Read all of the comments on this page and the archives. You will soon understand that you have no bargaining power and should not expect a fair PBC or evaluation. The thing to do is to organize and fight for a union contract; that could be constructed with a better performance evaluation system. One that is agreed to by all the union members.
    • Comment 1/18/08: This is how I am going to comment on my PBC when I get it for my review and "signature" if I receive at least a PBC "2" appraisal and when I find out I am affected by the exempt to non-exempt reclassify action: "I do not agree that IBM through it's PBC or appraisal process differentiates pay correctly or fairly as they state in IBM Human Resources documentation based on job classification. If IBM differentiate fairly then why I am moving closer to my band's minpoint (lowest pay for band) due to a -15% yearly pay adjustment by acknowledging this appraisal". I advise all IBMers regardless or whether they are in the Alliance to strongly consider adding this reply to their upcoming appraisal before 1/31/2007. -anonymous-
  • International Comments
Vault Message Board Posts:
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Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.

  • "Borrowing staff from SO (Strategic Outsourcing)", by "phooey69". Full excerpt: As I've mentioned before at various times, I work in the SO branch of IGS (Longseth organization). In general, people in SO work on outsourcing and e-business hosting deals...planning, implementation, etc. However, we're now seeing requests from ITS for basic assistance...short-term AIX system administration engagements at customer sites, for example. Now, staff sharing between SO and other groups is nothing new...the management has always wanted to share skills and experience, and rightly so. But seeing these sorts of requests is something new. It not only implies that SO is short on work (so it has staff to spare), but it also implies that ITS is short on really basic skills.
  • "You're partly right - but it depends on the engagement" by "ExpBlueLead". Full excerpt: In the past year, I've borrowed from both SO and STG. The engagements were commitments critical to IBM's continued compliance with US law. The project end date was set in stone, because of the date the law will go into effect.

    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?

  • "So let me understand this" by "Frank Cary". Full excerpt: you're saying that because the end date was fixed and the consequences of not being up and running were horrid, you were allowed to hire only bona fide talent on these shores? Did you have to pad the payroll with enough phony GR people to meet your Sr Management's GR quota anyway?

    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?

  • "Disconcerting News" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: I have heard similar stories. The problem is compounded by the bad rep of treating older technical professional hires not in management positions poorly with no movement upward in the collapsing US organization. This means only inexperienced hires which dumbs down the skills mix base.

    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?

  • "IGS Job Code 06A and 24A Pay Cuts" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: I've been reading on other sites that there is a program underway to convert Band 6-8 (and soon B9) IT Specialists and IT Architects throughout IGS to non-exempt hourly status as a results of IBM losing an overtime lawsuit. This "re-banding" effort will allegedly effectively reduce total pay by at least 15% and ripples into medical, retirement savings, vacation and other benefits. It is possible that the problems of skills availability described here may be related to this management directed HR program.

    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!

  • "It's true" by "phooey69". Full excerpt: This little program has definitely affected SO...bands 6-8, job families 06A (IT Specialist) and 24A (Technical Services). I haven't heard of IT Architects being affected (job family 06D)...knock on wood. It's pretty nasty...formerly exempt employees became non-exempt (hourly), and their base pay was reduced 15%. The party line is that employees can "make up the loss in overtime"...but I've never known IBM to pay overtime to hourly employees.

    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.

  • "Some More Data" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: After I read your reply and found an article on this topic in several newspapers today. I approached some of my old colleagues about this situation and found out some more about it.

    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.

  • "The conceit of HR Global Supply Chain" by "phooey69". Full excerpt: I've seen such charts shown before. The basic idea is that they want to get away from customer dependence on "heroes" (their word for first-rate individual employees), and focus instead on "IBM" as the service provider. Among other things, this is one reason why there is a focus on intellectual property, reuse, etc...in this company, they REALLY DO think of people as just "cogs in the machine".

    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.

  • "IBM hasn't been creative for years" by "bluedngone". Full excerpt: IBM doesn't want the creative employee. I came to IBM from a creative company and I was suprised that it existed the way it did. IBM trashes the creative thinker and stuffs them as a proverbial square peg into a round hole. My experience was in software developement and what I saw were good people getting worked to death. They didn't want those who thought outside the box. Projects were stopped because people didn't want to take risks or invest in tools.

    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.

  • "HR is probably losing a bit of sleep" by "kindaoldibmer". Full excerpt: At least one can hope :-) Imagine the size of overtime salary liability tail they are looking at. I personally know some band 9s that have been putting in 20+% overtime on a consistent basis for more than the last 5 years. In an amazing coincidence, I noticed that my Job Family classification changed on 01/01/2008.
  • "We have some customers in OZ who HATE that model" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: They are now hiring their own technical resources due to the incomptence of the off-shore ones. One client insisted that NO ERP work be done on their system by off-shore resources - wonder if IBM listened to that?.
  • "Increasing Staff - Ha Ha" by "bluedngone". Full excerpt: IBM is laying permanent personel off and bringing them back as contractors. Since I've been independent of IBM, I am getting deludged with calls to work for IBM as a contract employee. I still talk to people in my old job. What has happened is all the people RA'd were either brought back as contractors or replaced by contractors. There are now more contractors on the team than permanent.
  • "Is this typical?" by "kellerdog". Full excerpt: Does IBM put a lot of their IBM India resources in the US? Just curious...I got an offer from GBS but when I interviewed with IBM few weeks back, all of the 3 people who interviewed me are all Indians - and I think the other two that didn't interview me are also Indians. Is that the typical resources mix nowadays in IBM? Is it because IBM put a lot of their IBM India resources in the US? I interviewed with the other major IT consulting companies, but that was a unique experience for me, and no, I didn't interview for a job in India but in the US.
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.

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