IBM stated it is concerned about finding people with critical skills. There was a time when IBM was a leader and job seekers would line up to be hired. Now, IBM is satisfied to be just like any other company. A long time ago, IBM had a management team that maintained full employment during the Depression. It seems to have lost the management skill in today's environment. It has turned to a management style willing to break any promise so as to get to the bottom line.
Linda Guyer, Endicott-based president of the Alliance, offered a reason for the lack of detail from IBM on the job cuts. "IBM is very, very quiet about any of its job cuts nowadays. They don't want attention brought to their continued shift of work away from US and Europe over to India and eastern European countries," she said.
Durham is competing with New York and Colorado for the data center. The project would convert warehouse space on IBM's campus into a customer briefing center with other support services. The facility could receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation, an important quality for both parties because LEED features mean the building would use less energy. ...
An IBM project that includes 600 jobs was recently announced in Charlotte. Those jobs involve a company division that does back-office work for mortgage lenders. The state awarded the project as much as $9.78 million in incentives over 10 years. IBM has about 1,750 employees in Charlotte.
Earl Mongeon has worked on the microchip manufacturing line in Essex Junction for about three decades. He’s seen the production lines slow. “We were going gangbusters there at the beginning of the year. We have noticed a slowdown because of the economy. ... Things can change real fast in our business,” said Mongeon, who also serves as vice president of Alliance@IBM, a group that advocates for the computer company’s workers.
The new retirement landscape requires us to take on a job once handled by professionals. We now play a larger role ourselves ensuring that we will have adequate resources. That means saving and investing, often on our own, and trying to protect against such unknowables as how long we may live and what financial markets will be like in the future.
I've learned a lot in the past two years, and since today's column will be my last for The Washington Post, I would like to emphasize the most important lessons.
You may want to reconsider. You've set yourself an extraordinarily difficult goal. Before we get to rules-of-thumb to calculate how much you'd need to carry out your plan, let's explain some of its drawbacks. The cost of living in retirement depends on variables that range from where and how long you'll live (and how healthy you are) to future inflation and tax rates. But for anybody, retiring at 56 is a very expensive proposition. ...
So how much do you need to save for a 30-year retirement? Take the percentage of your current salary you want your nest egg to replace, and divide that number by four, Fahlund said. Let's say you want your annual withdrawal to replace 50 percent of your current salary (plus 3 percent a year for inflation). Divide 50 percent by four. The answer: 12.5. At retirement, you need a nest egg that's 12.5 times your current salary. So if you now earn $100,000, and want a nest egg that can produce a constant $50,000 a year for 30 years, better plan to retire with $1.25 million ($100,000 times 12.5).
But look more closely, and it is far from obvious that there is a serious and generalized problem with personal pension savings. It's hard to say for sure partly because the future is unknown and partly because it's difficult to determine exactly how much money should be in a sensibly funded pension. For example, if someone is making $100,000 a year, what pension income would count as sensible? $125,000 would probably be excessive—but what about medical and long-term care costs? $45,000 a year seems low, but many people get by happily on less. ...
Yet economists have been gamely making the effort; they look for "consumption smoothing" as a sign of sensible saving. In practice, that means that aiming to consume about as much after retirement as before. But even that simple comparison can be misleading. The economist Erik Hurst has recently calculated (PDF) that while most American households do cut back on spending after retiring, that does not literally mean tightening their belts: The cutbacks mean spending less on commuting and work clothes. Spending on food also falls, but the retirees eat just as well: They simply spend more of their plentiful leisure time cooking at home. Spending on entertainment and donations to charity increase. No sign there of a penurious dotage.
A recent study of 1 million 401(k) accounts by pension investment advisers Financial Engines shows Americans are betraying their futures in two ways: many aren't saving enough, but the majority is doing such a poor job of investing they aren't giving their hard-earned savings a chance to bulk up. In fact, with a little more investing savvy, the people in the study would be on course to have about 28 percent more wealth at retirement than they are now likely to have, if they have 20 years of investing to go. ...
Among all income groups, people were committing two major mistakes with risk. Many were taking on so little risk with their investments that they won't accumulate the money they will need to pay for basic retirement living expenses. Others are taking on needless risk that is likely to undermine their savings at some point—even if their investments look healthy now.
Hundreds of United employees, including pilots, flight attendants and machinists, rallied last week in Southern California to protest the management's decision to set aside stock worth about $130 million to fund a new incentive plan for executives while the company plans to cut routes and lay off up to 1,600 employees.
The facility will be partially powered by alternative energy sources, including more than one million kilowatt hours per year of wind-powered electricity purchased by IBM. This will result in a planned reduction of approximately two million pounds of carbon dioxide produced per year. Given Boulder's geographic location and existing infrastructure reliability, the site is an optimal location to leverage energy efficiency. When exterior temperature and humidity levels are favorable, the new data center's technology switches to free-cooling mode -- utilizing a water economizer to dramatically reduce energy consumption.
For more Americans, the dream of a comfortable retirement is fading. The trend marks one of the great social transformations of the postwar era. For four decades following World War II, an increasingly affluent society afforded a growing number of older people the chance to leave their jobs and enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security, private pensions and, beginning in the 1960s, Medicare allowed tens of millions of seniors to live decent lives without punching the clock.
About a generation ago, the tide began to turn. Guaranteed monthly pensions gave way to 401(k)s that handed workers rather than employers the lion's share of responsibility for funding retirement. And health care costs began eating up ever-larger portions of seniors' income. ...
Employers love 401(k)s because workers shoulder the primary responsibility for funding them. By the middle of this decade, 73 percent of private sector workers were covered by defined-contribution plans, while 37 percent had traditional "defined-benefit" plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The rise of 401(k)s set up what amounted to a class system, with workers assuming the risk of funding their retirement, experts say. Employees who put lots of money into their plans and made wise investment choices ended up in great shape. Those who didn't fund their plans adequately or whose investments did poorly were stuck. ...
At the same time, rapidly rising health care costs prompted employers to cut back or eliminate retiree medical benefits, even as the gaps in Medicare coverage widened. Among private employers with 200 or more workers, 33 percent offered some kind of health benefits to retired employees in 2006, down from 66 percent in 1988, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Editor's note: According to a chart accompanying this article, CEO Sam Palmisano has the 14th highest "accumulated pension plan balance" of the Fortune 1000 companies. Mr. Palmisano's "accumulated pension" is shown to be $36.3 Million. His "deferred compensation" is shown to be $39.3 Million.
The program consists of project teams staffed with three technical team members and one MBA student per project. IBM is sponsoring an average of 50 projects, six at each U.S. lab and the rest spread across labs in Canada, Europe, China, India and Brazil. ...
Ryan Holt, a computer science major at the University of Colorado, is designing the user interface for a green project called Energy Scale. It allows users to do server-level power management of the computer in their data center, giving them the ability to optimize the power on their servers. "A lot of what they teach you in school is technical skills, such as using certain methods to solve problems. But I'm learning a lot of people skills here. We're not starting from scratch, but working on an existing IBM project, so I'm learning how to ask for help so I can find the resources I need to complete my work," Holt said. The IBM program puts a big emphasis on being able to hone the elevator pitch, he added.
Retirement saving is one of the twin pillars, along with homeownership, of household wealth and security. With home equity declining - for the first time ever Americans' equity in their houses has fallen below 50 percent - money tucked away in pensions, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts has become, in aggregate, the largest item on household balance sheets. The retirement savings system works reasonably well for well-paid workers and large businesses. They are likely to have the best pensions, and they receive most of the $100 billion in annual tax subsidies for retirement saving. But for workers in the bottom half, many of them working for small businesses that offer no retirement plan, the news is bleak. Under the current system, more than one-third of the young Americans will reach old age with no retirement savings at all, the Government Accountability Office projects. And because retirement savings also serve households as fail-safe protection against emergencies such as illness, disability, and death, the inability of many workers to save through their jobs leaves them vulnerable throughout their lives.
In the case on Thursday, Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, No. 06-1505, the employer was faced with laying off some employees after a voluntary buyout failed to produce the desired staff reduction. Managers were instructed to rate employees for how “flexible” and “retrainable” they were. Of the 31 who were eventually laid off, 30 were at least 40 years old.
The Supreme Court issued its 6-to-3 ruling in favor of Wanda Glenn, an Ohio woman who worked for 14 years as a supervisor in the women’s department of a Sears store. She suffered from heart disease and took a leave of absence in 2000, providing extensive documentation from her doctor that she could not return to work. Sears offered employees long-term disability insurance as a benefit, but the plan administrator, MetLife, said Ms. Glenn did not qualify. She sued, and the trial court rejected her complaint because she had not shown that MetLife behaved arbitrarily. ...
The conflict the Supreme Court observed in MetLife’s role is one that employers, employees and insurance companies have been struggling with ever since Congress enacted a landmark employee benefits law in 1974. The law requires the officials who make decisions about employee benefits, known as plan administrators, to act solely in the interest of workers, yet they are usually hired by the company that pays for the benefits, and thus share the employer’s interest in keeping costs down.
According to a recent report from the Mountain States Employers Council, small-group premiums rose 18 percent from 2004 to 2008. Emanuelson said many employers have kept rates down by negotiating for higher deductibles and less coverage.
Now the radiation from a single chest CT is equivalent to about 500 chest x-rays, which carries a real risk of causing cancer down the road. And there’s virtually no evidence that a CT would help a patient like mine. But it would certainly benefit the radiologist. He and his colleagues are paid as piece workers — they get an additional fee for each scan they interpret. Radiologists have gotten rich (they average over $400,000 annually) by buying CT scanners, MRI machines and other high tech gadgets, and prodding other doctors to order these expensive tests. And each test breeds more tests. A tiny abnormality on one CT (and most of us have something that looks a little funny if you look hard enough), means a radiologist’s report recommending “follow-up CT in 6 months to assess progression.”
It’s not just the radiologists who work this scam. Perhaps half of the stents that cardiologists put in do patients no good at all; oncologists inflict lucrative chemotherapy on many patients who gain nothing but suffering from these potions; and orthopedists often needlessly scope knees and operate on backs. And hospitals are willing partners to these rip-offs. The useless and harmful procedures keep ORs humming and beds full of high-paying patients. It’s gadgets and procedures that bring in the big bucks.
They are fiddling with the books and dancing like Nero with Rome burning and Fort Knox going bankrupt. The immoral and illogical actions and decisions they are making now are only the last desperate signs of a financially richer; but lower moral class of individuals and legalized bullies trying to recover from decades of Harvard business school led abysmal and immoral mismanagement. There is no moral leadership in American business. It's all been destroyed and replaced with "management" that doesn't know anything, but how to react like a dying trapped animal, destroying even itself in a futile and illogical attempt to selfishly save its own skin.
The union concept is not about lifetime employment. It's about fairness in employment. True, unionism has been infected with scandal and many times it has been confused or abused by some to try to achieve lifetime employment or personal power, but that's not the objective of true unionism. The objective of unionism is to provide a balance via unified labor against improper acting management. I believe unionism will be increasingly viewed as the only chance for survival for western civilization and business.
Many western Europeans are blessed with the fairness of unions, although some have abused it. On the other hand, the majority of the middle east has still to emerge from the slumber of business slavery prevalent in the middle ages and enter into the 20th century. Indentured servitude and legal abuse with class stratification via economic slavery isn't the future, Carlos, it's the past.
Unionism, like liberty and democracy, isn't perfect, but it's the light at the end of the tunnel for these violent and adverse times which will turn out to be a new step forward in the political and business evolution of humanity. -A-
IBM has broken that virtual contract. Doing less than the best is major culture shift for IBM employees, but putting out the bare minimum across the board is what needs to be done, since that's exactly what IBM executive management is giving us - the minimum they can get away with. What can they do, layoff all of us? (which they're going to do eventually anyway once the GRs can handle the work). Of course, the executives aren't sharing in the misery of virtually frozen pay for several years. There were some conversations about the potential for disgruntled workers to deliberately sabotage things. Not a smart thing to do, since that will get you fired on the spot. In a word - don't. -Frank-
.Anyone in STG read Rod Adkins' (RODCOMM) Q&A email where someone stated that the big reason for the poor morale (i.e. climate) was the low salaries? His answer completely dodged the question and he basically said if we focus on improving manufacturing efficiency that our climate will improve. Riiiight.... So we basically have to work harder, with the same low pay, to feel happier.
Meanwhile, it doesn't matter if microelectronics does well or not, if the mainframe guys aren't selling, they drag down all of us. Fortunately, the execs have rolled out meeting efficiency guidelines as a way to improve climate! Great way to motivate us. (STG has the lowest climate ratings in the company by the way. Hard to imagine why). I never believed in unions in the past but I don't see any other way to turn things around at IBM. Sadly, I don't see many other SRDC folks (mostly Ph.D.'s) interested in unionizing. -Sam PompousAssano-
Churn the workforce thru off shoring, and H1-b labor. Hell the number of college educated graduates in India and China exceeds the total population of the USA why stop. It's a winning formula. Oh yeah, sure, you'll get some whining and some employees will moan and vent on some of the internet bulletin boards but so what they are not going to do anything it's the same stuff every year so why change?
Why change if you're the company, there's no consequences no pain that they are incurring with the current plan. I don't know boys. You guys are cutting not only your own throat, but everyone else around you. Every IBM contract win to help offshore work keeps you employed MAYBE in the short term but each and every day that goes by you are devastating your own job market and your future... don't you guys get it, don't you guys see it. You are helping to destroy your own future not secure it. Now go help some more companies move offshore we'll see ya'll at the wal-mart collecting shopping carts working part time soon if you don't wake up! -Big Al-
Read the boards and see that even those who achieved the ever elusive ONE rating did not all get raises. It DOES NOT MATTER how hard you work or how many hours you give the company to appease a boss who just laughs at you behind your back.You will not get ahead of anyone else in the long run. You may as well give up on the phony merit raises and pay for performance bullshit IBM has fed you all these years and understand you will be better off with a union.
An across the board raise is better then no raise at all. Who gives a shit that Smythe or Jones gets the same raise as you and may not deserve it as long as you get one it will be better then it is now. Get a say in your working conditions. Force proper staffing . You're LOSING money year after year as the cost of living and inflation outpace your meager increases and bonuses. Live Better. Work Union. -Exodus 2007-
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:
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.