About a dozen IBM retirees and union members picketed outside the shareholder meeting to point out IBM's offshoring practices and its recent cuts in base pay for some U.S. technical employees. ...
Inside, shareholders passed one proposal the company had opposed. The measure, which got 57 percent support, would let investors call special meetings in between these annual gatherings. Advocates said the rule would help shareholders hold management more accountable. ...
AP Photo: Shareholder and IBM retiree Mike Saville of Salt Lake City, Utah, right, walks a picket...
"While IBM employees face a decline in their standard of living and retirees see pension checks evaporate due to the lack of cost-of- living adjustments coupled with increases in medical retirement co- pay, our executives live the life of luxury. Executive greed and bloated compensation needs to be challenged," said IBM employee and Alliance Vice President Earl Mongeon. Mongeon submitted Proposal No. 4 on Executive Compensation that asks the board of directors to determine that pension income from any defined benefit plan will not be used as a factor in setting executive compensation.
Lee Conrad, National Coordinator of Alliance@IBM CWA, is calling on IBM to stop shifting U.S. jobs to low cost countries. "At a time when the US economy is in recession and unemployment is rising, it is unconscionable for companies like IBM to continue to move work offshore. The Alliance is urging elected officials, community leaders and citizens to call on IBM to halt this destruction of U.S. jobs."
"The Alliance@IBM CWA strongly encourages IBM to be fully transparent in the number of jobs being sent off shore and to detail how many U.S. jobs are lost because of IBM's shifting this work to low cost countries," said Linda Guyer, president of the Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701.
Picket line at Charlotte Convention Center at 8:30 am, Tuesday, Apr. 29 Rally at close of IBM annual meeting, 12:30 pm.
The company will supplement incomes for about 42,000 retirees and their spouses who retired prior to 1997, said Doug Shelton, a spokesman at IBM's headquarters in Armonk. Employee and retiree advocates have called for years for increases. This is the second once since 2000 and the third since 1990, Shelton said.
"We tried to aid the retirees who were retired the longest," Shelton said. These are people who did not have the opportunity to earn retirement benefits through both the traditional pension plan and the newer 401(k) plan, he said.
Those who qualify will see an increase of as much as 21 percent, which could come to $180 per month beginning Sept. 1. "Our ability to do this is based on IBM's strong financial position," Shelton said. The pension fund ended 2007 with a $10.9 billion surplus in its $57.2 billion in assets. There are about 123,000 U.S. retirees. (Editor's note: At the IBM stockholder's meeting, Mr. Palmisano stated that the average increase would be 6 percent.)
Looks like the executives (about 3,000) are getting annually about 6.5% of the profit from EPS. I looked at the EPS of the entire pension plan, and lo and behold, the EPS impact of the pension plan for the 125,000 retirees is the same, 39 cents of EPS. Coincidence?
Not sure if the 3,000 IBM executives are really "retired on the job?". Maybe getting ready for retirement.
This was the first time, where IBM and the SEC disclosed how much of the IBM profit annually, in this case 2005, was being paid to the IBM executives in stock options/awards. I wonder how much EPS is being paid in salary and bonuses? Seems to be missing in the IBM annual report except Sam made $25 million last year and with three different retirement accounts, Sam is estimated to receive $29 million annually when he retires.
Here are the links: SEC says IBM misled investors on expenses.
Here is the link to how much the total pension plan costs. See Institutional investor FAQ. Excerpt: "On your fourth quarter earnings call you mentioned an impact of a billion dollars from pension expense; is that year-to-year or the 2005 expense?" EPS Impact $0.39.
The employees will be paid an average of $59,000 per year, not including benefits. That exceeds the Mecklenburg County average of $48,724. ...
The state will give IBM a job-development investment grant as part of the deal. If the company creates all of the jobs called for in the agreement and maintains them for a decade, IBM could receive as much as $9.78 million in tax benefits, the governor's office says.
Last year, payouts hit record highs despite efforts by corporate directors to put the brakes on perks such as overly generous signing bonuses and exit packages. According to the Congressional Research Service, the average pay for CEOs was more than 180 times average worker pay, up from a multiple of 90 in 1994. Total direct compensation for CEOs was a median $8.8 million, counting salaries, bonuses and other incentives, as well as the value of restricted stock, stock options and other long-term incentive awards at the time they were granted, according to a survey by the Hay Group of 200 major U.S. companies.
"If you're a plant manager and you have a good year, you can take a vacation, but if you're a CEO with options, you can cash out in a good year and then you and your children are set for life," says Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School. "What angers employees the most is knowing that the top boss has this plus a whole lot of other perks they won't ever have, like a plusher health-care plan and a company car and driver." ...
"When executives talk about a talent shortage in their ranks, they're really talking about a commitment shortage," which stems partly from pay inequality, says Rakesh Khurana, an associate professor at Harvard Business School. "The greater the inequality, the less willing employees are to learn specific company ways of doing things that aren't going to be useful to their next employer."
Weren’t fail-safe devices in place to guard against risk? Weren’t government watchdogs there to make sure that catastrophes could not happen? Weren’t ratings agencies on the job to police what was going on in the canyons of Lower Manhattan?
To paraphrase Dr. Evil in the “Austin Powers” movies: “How about ‘no,’ Scott?” ...
First, Maestro Einhorn points out that the fellows who run big investment banks have a strong incentive to maximize their assets and leverage themselves into deep trouble because their pay is a function of how much debt they can pile on. If they can use relatively low-interest debt to generate slightly higher returns, the firm earns more revenue and executive pay increases. Often, an astonishing 50 percent of total revenue goes to employee compensation at Wall Street firms. ...
In a word, Mr. Einhorn says, the S.E.C. told Wall Street to police itself to save on regulatory costs, while not bothering to “discuss the cost to society of increasing the probability that a large broker-dealer could go bust.”
A result of all this, he says, was as follows: “The owners, employees and creditors of these institutions are rewarded when they succeed, but it is all of us, the taxpayers, who are left on the hook if they fail. This is called private profits and socialized risk. Heads, I win. Tails you lose. It is a reverse-Robin Hood system.” ...
It looks to me as if the inmates are running the asylum. One truth, that deregulation is sometimes a good thing, has been followed down so long and winding a road that it has led to an immense lie: that deregulation carried to an extreme will not lead to calamity. To think that people of this mind-set are in charge of the finances of the nation that is the cornerstone of world freedom is terrifying.
Shirley Giarde of Walla Walla, Wash., was not prepared when her husband, Raymond, suddenly developed congestive heart failure last year and needed a pacemaker and defibrillator. Because his job did not provide health benefits, she has covered them both through a policy for the self-employed, which she obtained as the proprietor of a bridal and formal-wear store, the Purple Parasol.
But when Raymond had his medical problems, Ms. Giarde discovered that her insurance would cover only $22,000, leaving them with about $100,000 in unpaid hospital bills. ...
Experts say that too often for the underinsured, coverage can seem like health insurance in name only — adequate only as long as they have no medical problems. “There’s a real shift in the burden of health care to people who happen to be sick,” said Paul B. Ginsburg, the president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a research group in Washington. ...
After Brian Falacienski of Milton, Fla., was laid off last year from his job as a surveyor for a construction company, he found another position. But the cost of his new health plan — $800 a month for coverage with a $1,000 annual deductible — was beyond the means of Mr. Falacienski, 38, who is married and has a 2-year-old daughter.
His wife, Marianne, started researching individual insurance policies and was able to find policies for her husband and daughter offering basic, if minimal, coverage, costing $161 a month for father and daughter. But Ms. Falacienski, 32, who has arthritis and the severe digestive disorder Crohn’s disease, is now uninsured. Because of her conditions, she said, four major insurers rejected her.
The drug companies charge much more for the drugs used under Medicare D than they do for the same drugs bought by Medicaid. The law forbids Medicare to negotiate prices of Medicare D drugs with the pharmaceuticals. Medicaid bargains a 30 percent discount on drugs while the insurers running Medicare D bargain only a 5 to 10 percent discount. Medicare C’s Advantage Plan turns over managed care to private insurers, paying them 10 to 12 percent more than Medicare pays for seniors in its regular program.
Suppose one of those presidential aspirants wins. What would the subsidies they want cost? They want subsidies to help at least the poorest two-thirds of the 47 million uninsured buy insurance. The insurers would be in for a windfall injection — from the government and low-income individuals — of about $150 billion each year. Any industry would love this. But would it serve the public interest?
But with employer-based health insurance averaging $12,000 for family coverage and $4,500 for individuals, the public concern with costs is understandable. Nearly a fourth of Americans said they had decided to keep or change jobs in the last year because of health insurance. What surprised researchers was that such costs had become a factor in marriage decisions. "We should have asked about divorce," said Altman, joking.
The number of uninsured Americans has grown relentlessly in good times and bad this decade, and now stands at 47 million, or 16 percent of the population. Mr. Holahan said the increase projected by his team would be in addition to the growth normally expected from rising insurance costs and the erosion of employer-sponsored coverage. ...
The study projected that each rise in unemployment of one percentage point would also add 600,000 children and 400,000 adults to the two primary state and federal health insurance programs for the low-income uninsured. That would require an additional $3.4 billion for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, with $1.4 billion of it from the states. ...
The downturn is already having an impact on the economics of health care. The Kaiser foundation found in a poll this month that nearly 3 in 10 of those surveyed said they or their families had a serious problem paying for health care because of the economy. The frustration was evident at all levels, with 28 percent of middle-income respondents saying health costs had become a serious problem.
In the poll of 2,003 adults, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 42 percent of respondents said that in the past year they or a household member had forgone some kind of medical care because of cost. Twenty-four percent said they had skipped a recommended test or treatment, up from 17 percent in 2005.
McCain's proposal is similar to one that Bush put forth in his 2007 State of the Union address. That plan, which would have replaced employer tax breaks for health insurance with a $15,000 tax deduction for married couples, flopped in Congress, failing to get even a committee hearing. McCain's plan is aimed primarily at giving individuals the power to make health-care decisions by granting the same tax breaks for insurance whether workers get a policy from an employer or on their own. Aides call it a "radical" rethinking of health care that would drive costs down and give people more choice.
But it also leaves McCain open to criticism that he is not doing enough for the poor and sick, who could face steep premiums and limited choices as they search for an insurance company willing to cover them. Critics of McCain's plan said it would do little to help people already struggling with health-care costs. Unlike his Democratic opponents, for instance, McCain would not mandate coverage for people with preexisting conditions who have not already been covered by a company health insurance plan. Critics say that would leave millions of people without coverage.
Mr. McCain’s health care plan would shift the emphasis from insurance provided by employers to insurance bought by individuals, to foster competition and drive down prices. To do so he is calling for eliminating the tax breaks that currently encourage employers to provide health insurance for their workers, and replacing them with $5,000 tax credits for families to buy their own insurance. ...
Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Senator John Edwards, recently pointed out that both she and Mr. McCain could be left uncovered by Mr. McCain’s plan because she has cancer and he has had melanoma. Stung by such criticism, Mr. McCain is trying to develop a way to cover people with health problems while still taking a generally market-based approach to solving the health care crisis. ...
For people who currently get health insurance through their jobs, Mr. McCain’s plan would give them a tax credit that they could put toward buying a different, and potentially less expensive, health insurance plan tailored to their needs — and allow them to keep that health plan, and their doctors, even if they switch or lose their jobs. But Democrats and some experts said the proposal might lead some employers to stop offering health insurance, and questioned whether the tax credit would cover the cost of private insurance.
Unlike Mr. McCain, of Arizona, Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would make it illegal for health insurance companies to deny an applicant because of health status. They argue that such regulation is needed to end discrimination against those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Mr. McCain’s speech here implicitly acknowledged some of the shortcomings of his free-market approach. But rather than force insurers to stop cherry-picking the healthiest — and least expensive — patients, Mr. McCain proposed that the federal government work with states to cover those who cannot find insurance on the open market. With federal financial assistance, his plan would encourage states to create high-risk pools that would contract with insurers to cover consumers who have been rejected on the open market. ...
Some health care experts question whether those tax credits would offer enough money to pay for new health insurance plans. The average cost of an employer-funded insurance plan is $12,106 for a family, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy group. Paul B. Ginsburg, the president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research organization financed by foundations and government agencies, said, “For a lot of people, the tax credits he’s talking about would not be enough to afford coverage.”
A report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found that HSA users were much wealthier than people covered by other types of plans, based on 2005 tax data. "HSAs clearly are attractive to higher-income people who are looking for tax shelters. But they aren't the answer for providing adequate health-insurance coverage for the average American," says Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), one of the congressmen who requested the report. ...
Self-employed attorney Jonathan Stein, 34, of Elk Grove, Calif., got an HSA in 2005. Because he is responsible for paying the entire bill, he didn't go to the doctor for a recent bout of flu and doesn't get annual physicals despite a family history of heart disease and cancer. "My doctor and I fight about that when I do see her because she wants me to come in every year," Mr. Stein says. "If it was covered by insurance I'd probably go." ...
Bill Greene, 61, a retired surgeon in Myrtle Beach, S.C., looked into opening an HSA at a full-service brokerage, but he says the fees were too high, including $50 transaction fees per trade, and fund choices were limited. Dr. Greene searched online and decided to open an account at Sovereign Bancorp Inc. because it charged lower fees and offered some no-load mutual funds. A Merrill Lynch spokesman says the brokerage currently is waiving its maintenance fee of $50 to $100 for new HSAs. As for transaction fees, he says, "as a full-service provider, we feel that fees are commensurate with services."
"Health care is very complicated in our country, and the process of accessing it is very complicated," David Stefan, executive director of J.D. Power's health-care practice, said in an interview. "When you get materials from a plan, they're written to be complete and, in some cases, almost legal-like agreements, and they can be very hard for members to understand."
Leading Republicans propose tax incentives to encourage the uninsured to buy coverage, but these subsidies fall far short of the cost of adequate insurance. For cost control, they suggest high co-payments and deductibles. Yet these selectively burden the sick and poor, discourage preventive and primary care, and have little effect on costs, since seriously ill patients - who account for most health spending - quickly exceed their deductibles and are in no position to forego expensive care.
Most leading Democrats offer a mandate model for reform. Under this model, the government would require people (or their employers) to buy private coverage, while offering an expanded Medicaid-like program for the poor and near-poor. ...
Mandates and tax incentives can add coverage only by increasing costs. They augment the role (and profits) of private insurers, whose overhead is four times Medicare's, and whose efforts to avoid payment impose a costly paperwork burden on doctors and hospitals. The cost cutting measures often appended to such reforms - computerization, care management and medical prevention - have repeatedly failed to yield savings.
In contrast, single payer reform could realize administrative savings of more than $300 billion annually - enough to cover the uninsured, and to eliminate co-payments and deductibles for all Americans. It would also slow cost increases by fostering coordination and planning.
Political calculus favors mandates or tax incentives, which accommodate insurers, drug firms and other medical entrepreneurs. But such reforms are economically wasteful and medically dangerous. The incremental changes suggested by most Democrats cannot solve our problems; further pursuit of market-based strategies, as advocated by Republicans, will exacerbate them. What needs to be changed is the system itself.
We urge our political leaders to stand up for the health of the American people and implement a non-profit, single payer national health insurance system.
What would the McCain plan do for them? First, it would destroy the employer-based system by eliminating tax breaks for companies that offer health care. As a result, nobody would have employer coverage anymore. Since businesses are paying far more in premiums than they're been getting in tax breaks, they'll save an enormous amount of money. But unlike Sen. Ron Wyden's plan, for example, the McCain plan would not require these employers to give this sudden windfall back to their employees as salary increases. America's businesses would enjoy a huge reduction in expense without being asked to give anything back.
In return, individuals and families would be given tax breaks to go out and buy their own health coverage, but without the buying power of larger employers. So here's what's likely to happen in the real world under the McCain plan, based on what we've learned so far:
The end result? More out-of-pocket expenses for individuals, terrible difficulties obtaining coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, and an enormous financial break for larger American businesses.
The Alliance has been losing members due to retirement, job loss and employee financial difficulties. This web site receives an average of 40,000 visitors a month.
Tough economic times are obvious; however, we simply can not go on or take employee advocacy to higher levels if we don't build our dues paying membership. It is not just this web site: It is an office and an organization that is at stake. Our staff of 1 full time, 1 part time and volunteers/members are dedicated to building this organization; but it is up to YOU to see that we are able to keep the office open and the organization financially viable. We need to become financially independent--We can not continue to rely on being financed by non-IBM CWA members. IBM employees need to support their own organization!
Frankly if IBM employees do not see the value of this employee organization then the future of our work is in jeopardy.
Please consider joining the Alliance@IBM as a member for only $10 a month--the cost of a few Starbuck's coffees. Your dues and involvement help the Alliance with the following:
We also have the expense of keeping an office up and running: Rent, Office supplies, fax, phones internet access and mailings of organizing materials; such as newsletters, flyers and brochures.
We believe Alliance@IBM has, by its very existence; given IBM Corporate Mgmt pause, during their anti-employee actions.
The bottom line is that if we are NOT here, then IBM Corporate Management has the field. There will be some who say that employees do not want representation through an employee organization or a union. Now is the time: Prove them wrong or prove them right.
I just want to leave the company (I have another source of income). I certainly don't want to leave without getting a package (I've been at IBM long enough that we're talking about 26 weeks of pay which would be given up if I simply resigned). I definitely don't want to be given a new role within IBM which my manager has recently implied she will seek out for each of us. How should I proceed?
Can IBM indeed stick me with a position for which I no longer can work from home with zero travel - to get me to resign? Can my IBM manager force me to take another position within the company at all? The whole situation just stinks as I truly sense the division leaders are going to try to stick it to me rather than just provide a package. Are they bluffing? Any advice? -wantapackage-
Alliance reply: Are you a member of the Alliance? Why should we continue to post these questions and answers from IBM employees who don't even support the organization that hosts this web site? To all posters: Times are changing for this web site. We have encouraged you all to join and the vast majority of you haven't. We are considering having these comment sections for the use of our members only.
I have a friend in the same situation whom I have persuaded to look at the Alliance. This week. He's been in the company 33-34 years, a Band 10 seller in GTS Americas services sales. He was advised by his manager that he was getting a 90 day performance package because he hadn't made his numbers in 4Q and 1Q. He stated this verbally, and the employee acknowledged it and told the manager he'd retire. They even agreed on a date, the first of May.
The first of May came, and the package notice did not appear and worse yet, the manager didn't even show up on two conference calls that day with my friend that the manager had required he attend. My friend has decided that if they won't pay him severance to leave, he won't leave no matter what they throw at him. If he leaves without severance, he won't sign anything so he can walk over to a competitor the next day, who have already given him some offers.
I don't understand the management of IBM anymore. They are out to screw any employee or customer that stands in their way and bend any laws or accounting rules they can get away with to fool the investors. No severance, no signatures and walk to your competitor for a job the next day. -Fooled and Misled-
Now, with a two day- week day leave of absence, you are getting paid for 48 hours. A numbers game!! Everyone in our group is outraged! We were also told by our manager that he has spoken to HR and his tactic was perfectly legal .. While Sam can spend his weekend with his family and get a 11 million dollar incentive ... -pay cuts-
Alliance Reply: Basically, as we have said many many many times; IBM can do just about anything they want with your work schedule because you are an "At Will Employee". You don't have any written agreement with IBM regarding this situation or any other for that matter. Sad to say that IBM has more 'games' to play against the employees than Alliance@IBM has members. If only employees would organize and turn those numbers around in their own favor. A contract is the only way to defeat all of these IBM "At Will Employee" abuses.
Alliance reply: You have more to fear from IBM firing you during a resource action or your job gets offshored even without joining the Alliance. Our President Linda Guyer is an IBM employee. Also our Vice president Earl Mongeon and our treasurer Jim Mangi. They have been active and public in the Alliance since 1999. At the recent stockholder meeting 2 chapter reps and current employees were also there. These employees have chosen to be public in their activities. There are others around the country as well. You do not have to be a public member if you choose not to. Your name as a member is held in confidence. IBM will not get it.
We obviously encourage employees to be public because that is how we prove that IBM employees are fed up with the situation inside IBM. IBM will claim there is no problem because IBM employees don't speak out.
IBM wants you to be afraid. It is the perfect means of control; but remember, it is your legal right to be a member of the Alliance and to help us organize. It is time to shed the fear and join with others that have. In addition we need to tell all of you that if we don't build membership and gain more dues this organization will fade away and then there will be no organization to speak and organize on behalf of IBM employees.
IMHO, those folks who got settlement checks from the Rosenburg vs. IBM case made it real easy for IBM management to fill out the job scope worksheets to screw the employee. IBM did not do damage control due to the settlement: IBM took retribution out on those employees to say IBM complies with the FLSA by instituting the 15% base pay cut. If IBM didn't take retribution with the "pay remix" then they would have not considered a 15% base pay cut to those targeted.
1st QTR 2008 IBM again reported RECORD IBM PROFITS yet IBM says they CAN\'T AFFORD to not do the base pay cut to only 7600 or so employees in totally unconscionable. IBM also wanted to recover as much as they could from the $65M settlement as well by the 15% base pay cut. ASK IBM upper management and executives about this and see if you get this as the honest answer.
So if you think any of the IBM management involved in your position change will be forthcoming to let you know they know if you took an I/T Specialist band 08 job from a band 08 Project Manager job that you might be affected by something like this means you will probably get the typical IBM non-response from management since they have been instructed by IBM HR to keep their ears and mouths shut.
Basically without a contract you are now screwed. Join the Alliance if you haven't already to stop the injustices happening as we speak in IBM and all future injustices we haven't experienced yet but could surely be coming our way soon! -Anonymous-
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Some sample posts follow:
The company I'm currently working for has offshored work to India in the past, and due to less than satisfying results(surprise, surprise), are starting to shop around. Can anyone share their experiences on working with offshore companies from other countries? Specifically, Vietnam, China and the Philippines?
In the past, I have briefly worked on a project involving setting up a call-centre in the Philippines. I found the workers to be courteous, hard-working and communicated in English very well. Customers loved them. However, the only issue was that they could be too accommodating sometimes. Many training sessions involved trying to get across the concept of "scope creep" and which customer demands need to be escalated to change requests that require careful impact analysis. Promising customers the universe then being unable to deliver and/or causing further system instability = BAD! Overall, my experience with them was good and I have put them forward as a possible contender. Do any of you have any pros & cons regarding offshoring software development & support to the Philippines?
As for India, my experience with them both in Big Blue and outside of it has consisted a lot of the following:
I have suggested taking on and training college grads, but as a previous thread in this board has mentioned already, many grads these days don't seem bright and/or motivated enough to tie their own shoelaces! I have pointed out that one of the star employees here is a grad that they hired 2 years ago, and who is motivated to stay with the company as this is his preferred city to live in. But people like him are getting quite rare. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
By the way, the business my wife is in hired two Filipino staff members - they literally sponsored their immigration and they have worked out just great.
Now, as for China and Vietnam and any other rapidly developing nation, the issue of keeping good workers will be a problem as long as demand overwhelms the supply of talent. And not only is this a retention issue, it's also a cost issue - if you want to keep the best, you'll have to keep the pay competitive.
Second, I think you'll see a lot of the same issues with India in terms of a very thin pool of great talent and large pool of inexperienced or otherwise unprepared persons.
Last, a) there is no free lunch, b) you get what you pay for and c) you only scream once when you buy quality.
On a related point, I've heard rumblings that Strategic Outsourcing is having a real tough time convincing folks that have been outsourced on a deal to come over to the blue pig to get screwed some more before being let go as skills garbage. This is a real problem, because the pricing on an outsource is highly sensitive to having at least a good percentage of the outsourced client environment skilled personnel coming over to the blue pig as continuing slave labor for a little while during the transition part of the outsource contract.
The problem appears to be that the blue pig doesn't seem to be able to prove convincingly that the majority of those folk that come over during transition get new careers in the pig and are happy to have been outsourced!
It's probably not a surprise to anyone on this forum that SO has run into problems. The "raison d'etre" in SO has always been COST CUTTING. Charge exorbitantly high fees to the clients, yet run the business as cheaply as possible.
The cost-cutting mentality has infected the entire business. Every day, I deal with managers whose major (probably only) concern is that they don't get stuck with the bill. I'll bet everyone on this forum who works (or has worked) for IBM has dealt with them.
This mentality has certainly affected customer relations. Employees working for customers don't want to work for IBM, because they know what's coming. The customers also know what's coming, because they bring in lots of lawyers, outsourcing consultants, etc. before signing any deal. The chickens are coming home to roost, indeed.
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