Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links

“News and links for IBM employees, retirees, ex-employees, and persons interested in pension, retirement, off-shoring and corporate governance issues”—The news you won't see on W3!

Our Friends:

Watching IBM Watching IBM Facebook

Quick Links:

Get involved! Insider trading After IBM Lenovo Employee Discount

Previous highlights:

April 2, 2016 March 26, 2016 March 12, 2016 March 5, 2016 February 27, 2016 February 20, 2016 February 13, 2016 February 6, 2016 January 30, 2016 January 16, 2016 December 26, 2015 December 19, 2015 December 12, 2015 December 5, 2015 November 28, 2015 November 21, 2015 November 14, 2015 November 7, 2015 October 31, 2015 October 24, 2015 October 17, 2015 October 10, 2015 October 3, 2015 September 26, 2015 September 19, 2015 September 12, 2015 August 29, 2015 August 22, 2015 August 15, 2015 August 8, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 18, 2015 July 4, 2015 June 27, 2015 June 20, 2015 June 13, 2015 June 6, 2015 May 30, 2015 May 23, 2015 May 16, 2015 May 9, 2015 May 2, 2015 April 25, 2015 April 18, 2015 April 11, 2015 April 4, 2015 March 28, 2015 March 21, 2015 March 14, 2015 March 7, 2015 February 28, 2015 February 21, 2015 February 14, 2015 February 7, 2015 January 31, 2015 January 24, 2015 January 17, 2015 January 10, 2015 January 3, 2015 December 27, 2014 December 20, 2014 December 13, 2014 December 6, 2014 November 29, 2014 November 22, 2014 November 15, 2014 November 8, 2014 November 1, 2014 October 25, 2014 October 18, 2014 October 11, 2014 October 4, 2014 September 27, 2014 September 13, 2014 September 6, 2014 August 30, 2014 August 23, 2014 August 16, 2014 August 9, 2014 August 2, 2014 July 26, 2014 July 19, 2014 July 12, 2014 July 5, 2014 June 28, 2014 June 21, 2014 June 14, 2014 June 7, 2014 May 31, 2014 May 24, 2014 May 17, 2014 May 10, 2014 May 3, 2014 April 26, 2014 April 19, 2014 April 12, 2014 April 5, 2014 March 29, 2014 March 22, 2014 March 15, 2014 March 8, 2014 March 1, 2014 February 22, 2014 February 15, 2014 February 8, 2014 February 1, 2014 January 25, 2014 January 18, 2014 January 11, 2014 January 4, 2014 December 28, 2013 December 21, 2013 December 14, 2013 December 7, 2013 November 30, 2013 November 23, 2013 November 16, 2013 November 9, 2013 November 2, 2013 October 26, 2013 October 19, 2013 October 12, 2013 October 5, 2013 September 28, 2013 September 21, 2013 September 14, 2013 September 7, 2013 August 31, 2013 August 24, 2013 August 17, 2013 August 10, 2013 August 3, 2013 July 27, 2013 July 20, 2013 July 13, 2013 July 6, 2013 June 29, 2013 June 22, 2013 June 15, 2013 June 8, 2013 June 1, 2013 May 25, 2013 May 18, 2013 May 11, 2013 May 4, 2013 April 27, 2013 April 20, 2013 April 13, 2013 April 6, 2013 March 30, 2013 March 23, 2013 March 16, 2013 March 9, 2013 March 2, 2013 February 23, 2013 February 16, 2013 February 9, 2013 February 2, 2013 January 26, 2013 January 19, 2013 January 12, 2013 January 5, 2013 December 29, 2012 December 22, 2012 December 15, 2012 December 8, 2012 December 1, 2012 November 24, 2012 November 17, 2012 November 10, 2012 November 3, 2012 October 27, 2012 October 20, 2012 October 13, 2012 October 6, 2012 September 29, 2012 September 22, 2012 September 15, 2012 September 8, 2012 September 1, 2012 August 25, 2012 August 18, 2012 August 11, 2012 August 4, 2012 July 28, 2012 July 21, 2012 July 14, 2012 July 7, 2012 June 30, 2012 June 23, 2012 June 16, 2012 June 9, 2012 June 2, 2012 May 26, 2012 May 19, 2012 May 12, 2012 May 5, 2012 April 28, 2012 April 21, 2012 April 14, 2012 April 7, 2012 March 31, 2012 March 24, 2012 March 17, 2012 March 10, 2012 March 3, 2012 February 25, 2012 February 18, 2012 February 11, 2012 February 4, 2012 January 28, 2012 January 21, 2012 January 14, 2012 January 7, 2012 December 31, 2011 December 24, 2011 December 17, 2011 December 10, 2011 December 3, 2011 November 26, 2011 November 19, 2011 November 12, 2011 November 5, 2011 October 29, 2011 October 22, 2011 October 15, 2011 October 8, 2011 October 1, 2011 September 24, 2011 September 17, 2011 September 10, 2011 September 3, 2011 August 27, 2011 August 20, 2011 August 13, 2011 August 6, 2011 July 30, 2011 July 23, 2011 July 16, 2011 July 9, 2011 July 2, 2011 June 25, 2011 June 18, 2011 June 11, 2011 June 4, 2011 May 28, 2011 May 21, 2011 May 14, 2011 May 7, 2011 April 30, 2011 April 23, 2011 April 16, 2011 April 9, 2011 April 2, 2011 March 26, 2011 March 19, 2011 March 12, 2011 March 5, 2011 February 26, 2011 February 19, 2011 February 12, 2011 February 5, 2011 January 29, 2011 January 22, 2011 January 15, 2011 January 8, 2011 January 1, 2011 December 25, 2010 December 18, 2010 December 11, 2010 December 4, 2010 November 27, 2010 November 20, 2010 November 13, 2010 November 6, 2010 October 30, 2010 October 23, 2010 October 16, 2010 October 9, 2010 October 2, 2010 September 25, 2010 September 18, 2010 September 11, 2010 September 4, 2010 August 28, 2010 August 21, 2010 August 14, 2010 August 7, 2010 July 31, 2010 July 24, 2010 July 17, 2010 July 10, 2010 July 3, 2010 June 26, 2010 June 19, 2010 June 12, 2010 June 5, 2010 May 29, 2010 May 22, 2010 May 15, 2010 May 8, 2010 May 1, 2010 April 24, 2010 April 17, 2010 April 10, 2010 April 3, 2010 March 27, 2010 March 20, 2010 March 13, 2010 March 6, 2010 February 27, 2010 February 20, 2010 February 13, 2010 February 6, 2010 January 30, 2010 January 23, 2010 January 16, 2010 January 9, 2010 January 2, 2010 December 26, 2009 December 19, 2009 December 12, 2009 December 5, 2009 November 28, 2009 November 21, 2009 November 14, 2009 November 7, 2009 October 31, 2009 October 24, 2009 October 17, 2009 October 10, 2009 October 3, 2009 September 26, 2009 September 19, 2009 September 12, 2009 September 5, 2009 August 29, 2009 August 22, 2009 August 15, 2009 August 8, 2009 August 1, 2009 July 25, 2009 July 18, 2009 July 11, 2009 July 4, 2009 June 27, 2009 June 20, 2009 June 13, 2009 June 6, 2009 May 30, 2009 May 23, 2009 May 16, 2009 May 9, 2009 May 2, 2009 April 25, 2009 April 18, 2009 April 11, 2009 April 4, 2009 March 28, 2009 March 21, 2009 March 14, 2009 March 7, 2009 February 28, 2009 February 21, 2009 February 14, 2009 February 7, 2009 January 31, 2009 January 24, 2009 January 17, 2009 January 10, 2009 January 03, 2009 December 27, 2008 December 20, 2008 December 13, 2008 December 6, 2008 November 29, 2008 November 22, 2008 November 15, 2008 November 8, 2008 November 1, 2008 October 25, 2008 October 18, 2008 October 11, 2008 October 4, 2008 September 27, 2008 September 20, 2008 September 13, 2008 September 6, 2008 August 30, 2008 August 23, 2008 August 16, 2008 August 9, 2008 August 2, 2008 July 26, 2008 July 19, 2008 July 12, 2008 July 5, 2008 June 28, 2008 June 21, 2008 June 14, 2008 June 7, 2008 May 31, 2008 May 24, 2008 May 17, 2008 May 10, 2008 2008 Stock Meeting April 26, 2008 April 19, 2008 April 12, 2008 April 5, 2008 March 29, 2008 March 22, 2008 March 15, 2008 March 8, 2008 March 1, 2008 February 16, 2008 February 9, 2008 February 2, 2008 January 26, 2008 January 19, 2008 January 12, 2008 January 5, 2008 December 29, 2007 December 22, 2007 December 15, 2007 December 8, 2007 December 1, 2007 November 24, 2007 November 17, 2007 November 10, 2007 November 3, 2007 October 27, 2007 October 20, 2007 October 13, 2007 October 6, 2007 September 29, 2007 September 22, 2007 September 15, 2007 September 8, 2007 September 1, 2007 August 25, 2007 August 18, 2007 August 11, 2007 August 4, 2007 July 28, 2007 July 21, 2007 July 14, 2007 July 7, 2007 June 30, 2007 June 23, 2007 June 16, 2007 June 9, 2007 June 2, 2007 May 26, 2007 May 19, 2007 May 12, 2007 May 5, 2007 2007 Stock Meeting April 21, 2007 April 14, 2007 April 7, 2007 March 31, 2007 March 24, 2007 March 17, 2007 March 10, 2007 March 3, 2007 February 24, 2007 February 17, 2007 February 10, 2007 February 3, 2007 January 27, 2007 January 20, 2007 January 13, 2007 January 6, 2007 December 30, 2006 December 23, 2006 December 16, 2006 December 9, 2006 December 2, 2006 November 25, 2006 November 18, 2006 November 11, 2006 November 4, 2006 October 28, 2006 October 21, 2006 October 14, 2006 October 7, 2006 September 30, 2006 September 23, 2006 September 16, 2006 September 9, 2006 September 2, 2006 August 26, 2006 August 19, 2006 August 12, 2006 August 5, 2006 July 29, 2006 July 22, 2006 July 15, 2006 July 8, 2006 July 1, 2006 June 24, 2006 June 17, 2006 June 10, 2006 June 3, 2006 May 27, 2006 May 20, 2006 May 13, 2006 May 6, 2006 2006 Stock Meeting April 22, 2006 April 15, 2006 April 8, 2006 April 1, 2006 March 25, 2006 March 18, 2006 March 11, 2006 March 4, 2006 February 25, 2006 February 18, 2006 February 11, 2006 February 4, 2006 January 28, 2006 January 21, 2006 January 14, 2006 January 7, 2006 December 31, 2005 December 24, 2005 December 17, 2005 December 10, 2005 December 03, 2005 November 26, 2005 November 19, 2005 November 12, 2005 November 5, 2005 October 29, 2005 October 22, 2005 October 15, 2005 October 8, 2005 October 1, 2005 September 24, 2005 September 17, 2005 September 10, 2005 September 3, 2005 August 27, 2005 August 20, 2005 August 13, 2005 August 6, 2005 July 30, 2005 July 23, 2005 July 16, 2005 July 9, 2005 July 2, 2005 June 25, 2005 June 18, 2005 June 11, 2005 June 4, 2005 May 28, 2005 May 21, 2005 May 14, 2005 May 7, 2005 April 30, 2005 April 23, 2005 April 16, 2005 April 9, 2005 April 2, 2005 March 26, 2005 March 19, 2005 March 12, 2005 March 5, 2005 February 26, 2005 February 19, 2005 February 12, 2005 February 5, 2005 January 29, 2005 January 22, 2005 January 15, 2005 January 8, 2005 January 1, 2005 December 25, 2004 December 18, 2004 December 11, 2004 December 4, 2004 November 27, 2004 November 20, 2004 November 13, 2004 November 6, 2004 October 30, 2004 October 23, 2004 October 16, 2004 October 9, 2004 October 2, 2004 September 25, 2004 September 18, 2004 September 11, 2004 September 4, 2004 August 28, 2004 August 21, 2004 August 14, 2004 August 7, 2004 July 31, 2004 July 24, 2004 July 17, 2004 July 10, 2004 July 3, 2004 June 26, 2004 June 19, 2004 June 5, 2004 May 29, 2004 May 22, 2004 May 15, 2004 May 8, 2004 2004 Stock Meeting April 24, 2004 April 10, 2004 April 3, 2004 March 27, 2004 March 20, 2004 March 13, 2004 March 6, 2004 February 28, 2004 February 21, 2004 February 14, 2004 February 7, 2004 February 1, 2004 January 18, 2004 December 27, 2003 December 20, 2003 December 13, 2003 December 6, 2003 November 29, 2003 November 22, 2003 November 15, 2003 November 8, 2003 November 1, 2003 October 25, 2003 October 18, 2003 October 11, 2003 October 4, 2003 September 27, 2003 September 20, 2003 September 13, 2003 September 6, 2003 August 30, 2003 August 23, 2003 August 16, 2003 August 9, 2003 Pension Lawsuit Win July 26, 2003 July 19, 2003 July 12, 2003 July 5, 2003 June 28, 2003 June 21, 2003 June 14, 2003 June 7, 2003 May 31, 2003 May 24, 2003 May 17, 2003 May 10, 2003 2003 Stock Meeting April 26, 2003 April 19, 2003 April 12, 2003 April 5, 2003 March 29, 2003 March 22, 2003 March 15, 2003 March 8, 2003 March 1, 2003 February 22, 2003 February 15, 2003 February 8, 2003 February 1, 2003 January 25, 2003 January 18, 2003 January 11, 2003 January 4, 2003 December 28, 2002 December 21, 2002 December 14, 2002 December 7, 2002 November 30, 2002 November 23, 2002 November 16, 2002 November 9, 2002 November 2, 2002 October 26, 2002 October 19, 2002 October 12, 2002 October 5, 2002 September 28, 2002 September 21, 2002 September 14, 2002 September 7, 2002 August 31, 2002 August 24, 2002 August 17, 2002 August 10, 2002 August 3, 2002 July 27, 2002 July 20, 2002 July 13, 2002 July 6, 2002 June 29, 2002 June 22, 2002 June 15, 2002 June 8, 2002 June 1, 2002 May 25, 2002 May 18, 2002 May 11, 2002 2002 Stock Meeting April 27, 2002 April 20, 2002 April 13, 2002 April 6, 2002 March 30, 2002 March 23, 2002 March 16, 2002 March 9, 2002 March 2, 2002 February 23, 2002 February 16, 2002 February 9, 2002 February 2, 2002 January 26, 2002 January 19, 2002 January 12, 2002 January 5, 2002 December 29, 2001 December 22, 2001 December 15, 2001 December 8, 2001 December 1, 2001 November 24, 2001 November 17, 2001 November 10, 2001 November 3, 2001 October 27, 2001 October 20, 2001 October 13, 2001 October 6, 2001 September 29, 2001 September 22, 2001 September 15, 2001 September 8, 2001 September 1, 2001 August 25, 2001 August 18, 2001 August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—January 10, 2009

  • Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record: IBM Notebook: Rumors fly about IBM layoffs in January. By Christine Young. Excerpt: An unofficial online employee Web site, IBMemployee.com, says massive layoffs are coming to Big Blue later this month. While IBM spokesman Fred McNeese says the company "does not comment on rumors or speculation," there's plenty of both on the site. "All divisions in IBM will be affected," says one entry, adding the majority of those cuts will be announced Jan. 23.
  • Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record Business Forum: Reader comments concerning the above article. Some sample comments follow:
    • On Jan 5, 2009 at 07:04 AM, TerriEdwards said: Are you kidding me?????? AGAIN??? Maybe the upper mgt should forgo their year end bonuses and let the little people keep their jobs! So much for my children going to college after my husband gets a big fat lay off this year! Like the 5% PAYCUT and AWS was taken away wasn't enough? IBM SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!!!! Those who take from the poor workers who made them all that money will get theirs. Like Enron, car makers and the big bank failures...you're next! You take money out of my pocket? May the government realize what thieves you really are!!!!!!! Maybe an investigation should be initiated...
    • On Jan 5, 2009 at 01:35 PM, USA845 said: These rumors have been flying around for awhile now and I'm beginning to realize their most likely true. Responsibilities have been taken away, comments have been made by 1st lines to take care of health issues while benefits are still available, managers are found in Conference rooms with paper covering the glass windows, PBC evaluations were done last minute if they've been done yet at all, and to me it seems like many people around here just slowed down. It's quieter...we're all waiting for the bad news I guess. But Hey, some doors close so better one's can open. "Itty Bitty Money" isn't so great anyways. Raises & Bonus's suck along with bad attitudes and terrible humor. I feel sorry for those who need this miserable place.
    • On Jan 5, 2009 at 02:56 PM, rocki said: Working at this company has been bad for many years. Manager are very incompetent. Very low raises even in the best of times. No promotions. Each year health benefits decrease. People put on cash balance pension plans. Performance ratings are meaningless. Workers don't know where they stand. Hard work doesn't get recognize. A lot of calls on weekends and in the middle of nights. Workers are told to train offshore employees and then laid off. Harassment in the workforce is rampant. Employees are afraid to speak out. IBM Managers do not care about employee welfare. They are driven by their own objectives and greed. Morale is awful despite workers putting on a good face. Companies that do business with IBM should know that they are not getting the best of service and are dealing with a company with questionable business practices.
    • On Jan 6, 2009 at 05:12 PM, TommyA said: My next door neighbor retired from IBM - could not take the grief and pressure anymore. A friend of mine has a son working for IBM. His job: Teaching some others from the country of India, what his job is. According to him, it will take some time due to the Indian people that he's attempting to teach, are pretty "thick" if you know what I mean. He's supposed to get a "lateral move" when they finally learn his job. Uh huh! Hope her son has some bucks hidden away. Meanwhile, "Big Blue" gets tax breaks from NY State while giving it's workers the shaft. And of course, our lovely politicians, with their hands held out, let "Big Blue" get away with it. I'd say get "Big Blue" out of the country if they want to outsource so much.
    • On Jan 7, 2009 at 12:44 PM, BountyHunter said: Yes my fellow IBM'ers, after 27 years here and one who signed the contract back in 82 have watched this once great company crumble. Mr Watson would sure be rolling in his grave watching our CEO's in their infinite wisdom send our jobs to China, India, Argentina, Brazil and who knows where else. One of the Key IBM Core Values was Respect for the Individual. Kiss that Goodbye. No raises, longer hours and an expectation of 24x7 coverage. People are having working vacations. Yes last time it was LEAN, Resource action, Ha You have been Laid Off for some overseas Pin head. I am no longer a Proud IBMer, Just Milking this cow till it runs dry. My former office mate was just laid off, Expect more to come. Time to get rid of the deadbeat First Line Puppets and the dummies that can/t produce the contracts.
    • On Jan 8, 2009 at 02:22 AM, Exaussie said: Well we had this all in Australia years ago and yes IBM has definitely changed from the company my husband and I worked for many years, It was a family orientated company that always put its employees first. My husband worked for them for 25 years and was made redundant by some new young boss who thought he knew it all After a short time my husbands job was then being done by THREE employees instead of one.

      My husband never got over the change in the company ethics and the loss of his job. I came home one day and found my husband shot dead. He had taken his own life and had left a suicide note stating that IBM had ruined his life. He had been unable to obtain a new position as he was 50 years old and had worked for IBM for 25 years. He had always been a one in all of his appraisals over the years and had been given many awards for his work.

      I am now left to try and pick up the pieces of my life and have to try and be there for my two children and my three grandchildren who will never get to know their granddad. YES IBM HAS CHANGED and not for the best

    • On Jan 8, 2009 at 06:16 PM, RRB1 said: exaussie, sorry to read about the loss of your husband. I'm positive that there are many other sad stories such as yours. To clarify on the NY tax deductions and IBM: Yes, it was designed to KEEP jobs in NY for those already employed and to promote new positions. However, as of Jan 1st, 2009, this agreement is void, hence, layoffs.

      I hope someone in NY politics is realizing that giving IBM tax deductions yields nothing for the state. It's only screwing the state and employees. If NY should decide to do this again, then they should make them agree to a layoff freeze for at least 2 years or longer. IBM is f'ing the state at every turn.

  • Channel Register (United Kingdom): IBMers hear sound of axe being sharpened. Up to 16,000 jobs could go. By Timothy Prickett Morgan. Excerpts: The rumor mill, being stoked by IBM employees talking on a pro-union web site, has it that Big Blue is getting ready to lay off up to 16,000 employees, or about four per cent of its 400,000-strong global workforce, thanks to the slowing of the economies in the United States and Western Europe. As usual, the Alliance@IBM, which is where the one and only IBM employees' union in the United States communicates with members, who are part of the Communications Workers of America union, is where people are talking about the rumors they are hearing about layoffs. (You can read through the postings here.)

    The IBMese for a layoff these days is a "resource action," and it has been IBM's practice in the past several years to do layoffs by the handful in various divisions and product lines and geographies to keep the aggregate numbers low enough to not trigger a reporting requirement to the Securities and Exchange Commission. There's nothing illegal about this, presumably.

    There is a fair amount of churn among the employee base within a $100bn-plus corporation, and IBM has learned to use attrition and laser-focused layoffs in a way that it never did back in the 1990s, when it had massive layoffs. That churn means people are always jumpy, and there are constant whispers about job losses. ...

    Apparently, managers are being told to tell employees they have "no specific information" on layoffs - presumably, if the mutterings turn out to be true, to allow IBM to make a formal announcement inside and outside the company at the same time. But IBMers started getting laid off in December in small numbers already, and the cat is out of the bag. Even if there is not a massive cull, with the surgical employee firing practices Big Blue uses, the number of job losses could be nonetheless large across the entire company.

  • MarketWatch: The Growing Trend Of Profitable Firms Firing Peiple (AA) (IBM). It would be hard to miss the headline that Alcoa (AA) fired 15,000 people yesterday. The actions of big companies are probably a much better indicator for what is ahead for the economy that forecasts from business professors. The fascinating and troubling aspect of the Alcoa cuts is that the company made $470 million in the last reported quarter and Wall St. estimates have it making a very modest amount of money next year. Dow Chemical (DOW), which recently let thousands of people go is also a money maker. One of the most successful corporations in the US, IBM (IBM) is rumored to be a week away from cutting over 10,000 people. IBM may have as good a balance sheet and earnings stream as any America public company.

    While it would be a mistake to take too much from CEO forecasts and predictions, obviously executives at companies which span almost every major industry are cutting costs and personnel. No one needs to show that it is a vicious circle for the broader economy. A man without a jobs is a man who spends nothing. The same is true of a business that folds.

    Wall St. analysts are still posting earnings forecasts that show many large companies making a lot of money next year. Expectations are that IBM's earnings per share will rise from $8.71 in 2008 to $8.99 this year. If someone could make it through security at the company's headquarters and get the straight dope from the tech company's CEO Samuel J. Palmisano, he would certainly say that anyone who believes those forecasts belongs in a state mental institution.

    By most measures, the American economy lost between 2 million and 2.5 million jobs last year. As that number rises sharply this year, the IBMs cut as many people as the GMs. That says more about what the second half of the year looks like than any other set of numbers laying around.

  • Channel Register: IBM approves Obama's IT stimulus package. $30bn will create 900,000 jobs, healthy IBM. By Timothy Prickett Morgan. Excerpts: If you were the incoming president of the United States, and you wanted to gauge the effect of an economic stimulus package geared to information technology as a means to create jobs, who would you ask for advice? The economists at the Labor Department? The hot shots at IDC and Gartner? Or maybe the economists at MIT, the University of Chicago, or Stanford University? Nah. Forget that. President-elect Obama's transition team went right to the source: Sam Palmisano, chairman and chief executive officer at IBM. ...

    IBM recommended boosting broadband Internet access in the country, further computerizing healthcare record-keeping, and installing so-called "smart grid" technology in the electric distribution system in America to allow consumers to better regulate their electric use (and cut their bills by avoiding peak usage times).

    Asking IBM if $30bn in IT investments could stimulate jobs is a bit like asking a four-year-old not only if they want a lollipop, but if they want to eat a whole bag of pops. What kind of answer do you expect from IBM? "Not many jobs, Mr. President-elect?" Not in this reality.

    As many of us know full well, IT helps companies get rid of jobs, and a lot of IT jobs have taken flight overseas where labor costs are lower than in the Western economies. And IBM is one of the biggest outsourcers and offshorers in the world.

    So not only is IBM's contention that a $30bn investment in these three areas (and presumably others) create 900,000 jobs in America suspect, it is laughable. What such a stimulus package might do is cushion the blow of a bad economy to server, storage, and networking equipment makers looking for some big projects to bid on. But that is a short-term phenomenon, and once the gear is bought and the implementation is done, the jobs are over.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: 09 US Outlook for IBM - one retiree's opinion. Full excerpt: In my view, 09 looks pretty grim for Big Blue here in the States. Global Services, the revenue flagship, is in deep doo doo here in Texas. After Global Services bid approx $850M for a job that should have been bid at about twice that figure, IBM is now getting bad press all over Texas and every State agency in 49 other states knows all the details. Recently the State sent a warning letter to IBM that could lead to cancellation of the contract and fined IBM $2M for non-performance. I would guess that HP/EDS are chomping at the bit to take advantage of IBM's blunders. In addition to the drastic bid error, IBM is fighting State employees that do not want the contract to succeed and we are using band 4/5 employees for much of the work. It doesn't look good for IBM. This is the biggest mess with a customer I have seen in my 45 years of IBM experience.

    On the margin side, as you know IBM Software/Middleware contributes about 1/3 of IBMs' total gross margin dollars. Mills has been buying other software companies at an aggressive rate to make it appear that IBM's software is growing at a steady clip. Lotus has very little upside left, but Tivoli is adding some real growth to IBM software with smart new products. WebSphere is doing well but with declining host sales, operating system revenue doesn't appear to have much to grow on. I fail to see how "smoke and mirrors" numbers can make software targets for too much longer.

    All in all it looks like tough sledding to me for 09 for Big Blue here in the States. As a stockholder and pensioner it doesn't look good to me. I can only hope my outlook is wrong.

  • Wales Online (United Kingdom): Friends staff in transfer to IBM. Excerpt: FRIENDS PROVIDENT yesterday said 200 staff will transfer to IBM and its partners as part of a 10-year IT and infrastructure outsourcing deal. The life and pension firm expects the move will generate initial cost savings of £6m a year as it looks for group savings of £40m by the end of 2009. In January, Friends announced plans for 600 job losses.
  • Forbes Commentary: Nurturing IT. By Mike Schaffner. Excerpts: "People, Process and Technology" is the cliché about what you have to manage to be successful in information technology. We often focus mainly on these in the reverse of the order listed because it is easier. Technology is cleaner, it's factual, it's quantifiable and it's not personal. Dealing with people involves all the things technology isn't. It's messier and much more difficult. However, People are what will make Process and Technology work. Unfortunately, the recession is going to highlight our People issues and make our jobs more challenging in oh so many ways. As CIOs, you have a number of specialists you heavily rely on because of their technical expertise and institutional knowledge. ...

    Staff Retention: First, let's put aside the knee-jerk reaction of, "In times like these they should be thankful they even have a job." It really isn't very helpful. If you've had to make staff cuts, the people you have left are the best and most valuable, and you probably have had to sacrifice bench strength. In this situation you really can't afford to have a key person leave. ...

    Training: Training budgets are usually the first thing to be cut when times get tough. Yet at the same time, training can be critically important during these times. People are handling multiple responsibilities, many of which they had to assume quickly due to staff cuts after receiving little or no training.

  • U.S. Department of Labor: Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning. This online version of Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning includes interactive worksheets that you complete as you read each chapter. You can download the fully illustrated 62-page Adobe PDF narrative or call toll free 1.866.444.EBSA (3272) to order copies.
  • SeniorJournal.com provides "today's news & information for senior citizens & baby boomers."
  • The Register: Lenovo 'planning' to slash 200 jobs. Management reshuffle expected. By Kelly Fiveash. Excerpts: Chinese computer maker Lenovo looks set to axe 200 jobs at the firm’s headquarters in Beijing. According to Reuters, which quoted state reports in China on Wednesday, the vendor has cited tough economic conditions for the decision to slash jobs. Caijing magazine, which cited anonymous company sources, reported that only about ten of those redundancies will affect senior execs at Lenovo.

    The mag said that Lenovo, which acquired IBM’s struggling PC unit for $1.25bn – as well as an assumption of debt – in 2005, plans to announce a major restructuring plan on 8 January that will include a management reshuffle. Big Blue’s decision to sell its PC unit saw Lenovo take on a business that had suffered nearly $1bn in losses in the three years leading up to the acquisition. More recently IBM, which still has shares in the unit, has continued to retreat from Lenovo following a series of stake sell-offs over the past year.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: China's Lenovo to cut 11 percent of workforce. By Joe McDonald. Excerpt: Shares of Lenovo Group tumbled Thursday after the world's fourth-largest computer maker warned it expects a loss for its latest quarter and will lay off 11 percent of its workforce and cut executive pay. Lenovo said it will eliminate about 2,500 jobs worldwide, including some management positions. It said executive compensation would be cut by 30 to 50 percent.
  • Channel Register: Satyam chairman quits, admits faking accounts. Coughs to years of profit puffing at Indian outsourcer. By John Oates. Excerpts: The founder and chairman of Indian outsourcer Satyam Mr B Ramalinga Raju has resigned and admitted fiddling the company's accounts for years in order to inflate profits. The company has had a torrid few weeks - the board admitted the company founders had hocked their shares to guarantee loans and that those shares may have been sold, it has been excluded from World Bank contracts because of bribery claims, and investors revolted over an attempt to buy a building firm owned by relatives of Ramalinga Raju. And now comes a frankly extraordinary letter, where B Ramalinga Raju admits years of falsely inflating profits. ...

    Oh, and well done to Forrester Research. Satyam on Monday issued a press release citing a Forrester report praising Satyam for its "bottom up innovation" strategy and calling on other organisations to "emulate Satyam by unleashing and harnessing their firms' grassroots creative energy". Just don't copy the creative accounting which was going on at the top of the firm.

  • Washington Post: Indian Outsourcing Giant Admits Fraud. Company Reported 'Fictitious Assets' for Years. By Rama Lakshmi. Excerpts: The leader of one of India's largest technology outsourcing companies, Satyam Computer Services, on Wednesday admitted cooking its books and committing other grave financial wrongdoing to inflate profits over several years. The revelation shook India's stock market and sent shockwaves across the country's booming software industry, while television commentators quickly dubbed Satyam "India's Enron."

    The company, India's fourth-largest information technology firm, with more than 53,000 employees, services several Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, General Electric and IBM. The range of services includes application software development, engineering design solutions and back-office customer services. The investment firm DSP Merrill Lynch immediately informed the Indian stock exchange that it has terminated its engagement with the software giant, which is also registered on the New York Stock Exchange. ...

    Financial observers expressed fears that other Indian technology companies might be hiding accounting skeletons similar to those of Satyam, casting doubt on the celebrated outsourcing industry and oversight of its companies. Observers worried that the scandal could erode the confidence of overseas clients. ...

    Ironically, Raju received the "entrepreneur of the year" award in 2007 from the consulting firm Ernst & Young. The council of the Institute of Directors said it will be withdrawing the Golden Peacock Global award for best corporate governance that it gave Satyam in 2008.

  • ZD-Net: Offshore outsourcers turn cautious. By Larry Dignan. Excerpts: The three primary publicly traded offshore outsourcing companies have turned cautious about the future even as their financial results remain strong. Among the worries–a weak dollar that’s hurting revenue and margins, economic uncertainty, murky IT budgets and a concentration of financial services and retail customers. Meanwhile, CIOs are antsy, commanding better pricing and there’s a connection between outsourcing and poor customer service. Add it up and offshore outsourcing isn’t the slam dunk it used to be.
  • Washington Post: Regulators Begin Probe of Indian Tech Giant. By Rama Lakshmi. Excerpts: A day after one of India's largest technology outsourcing firms confessed to financial fraud, the new chief of beleaguered Satyam Computers said the company faces a serious cash crunch but denied any prior knowledge of the fraud that went on for years. In a 90-minute press conference, Ram Mynampati, the interim chief executive officer, said the company was verifying the startling revelations about financial bungling and inflation of profits made by the chairman on Wednesday. A team of officials from India's market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, also began a probe at the company headquarters in the southern city of Hyderabad. ...

    An editorial in Thursday's English daily Hindustan Times said: "Much more than the fate of one company and its investors is at stake here, the scandal could taint the entire edifice of outsourcing." It said that the industry was changing the rules of modern economics and had posted $40 billion in software and information technology-related exports last year, and was growing at 35 percent annually.

  • BusinessWeek: India's Madoff? Satyam Scandal Rocks Outsourcing Industry. The info tech outsourcer shocks investors with a letter outlining balance-sheet misdeeds. Rival firms may benefit if customers still trust them. By Manjeet Kripalani. Excerpts: As executives at other Indian outsourcing companies nervously assess what impact the scandal will have on them, many industry observers now argue that the Satyam case will damage India's reputation as a reliable provider of IT services. Because of the Satyam scandal, they say, Indian rivals will come under greater scrutiny by regulators, investors, and customers. "The bubble is going to burst in terms of trust," says a fund manager in Hong Kong who has followed Satyam closely. Doubts about the reliability of Indian outsourcers are especially important, since customers often allow the Indian companies access to sensitive systems. "This industry doesn't just make widgets," the manager explains. "It's an intimate relationship." Certainly, says Gartner (IT) analyst Diptarup Chakraborti, "there will be caution in the short term, skepticism, and questioning." After all, "no one wants to do business with a known fraudster." ...

    Still, investors and clients are going to want answers. For instance, they're demanding to know how Satyam's auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, endorsed the company's accounts. "Auditors' complicity in what seems to be a multiyear misstatement of financials will also be explored," said CLSA's Vajpayee in his Jan. 7 report. Already, India's Registrar of Companies had begun a probe into a failed acquisition last month by Satyam of companies run by Raju's two sons. Now the country's securities regulator will add its weight by investigating the PwC audit. PwC issued a statement saying it was examining the issue.

  • Capital Directions: 12/31/2008: Who "Mad(e)-off" With My 401(k)? By Scott Pritchard. Excerpts: Its 10:30 pm…do you know where your 401(k) assets are? Unfortunately, the plan sponsors who had their assets invested with Bernard Madoff didn’t. And the resulting losses have been devastating to their unknowing participants. Madoff’s operations lacked any sort of transparency. His clients, including a number of large 401(k) plans, simply didn’t know where their assets were or how they were invested.

    Madoff’s operations lacked any sort of transparency. His clients, including a number of large 401(k) plans, simply didn’t know where their assets were or how they were invested. If your plans, or the plans of your clients, utilize Collective Trusts, Collective Funds, Unit Investment Trusts, or other tools with similar names, you face a similar lack of transparency.

  • YouTube: Sponsor an Executive (video). (very humorous!)
  • US News & World Report: Over 1000 Companies Have Recently Eliminated Employee Pensions. By Emily Brandon. Excerpts: It's not surprising that financially distressed companies often cut retirement benefits. But many employers are eliminating pensions for workers, even when they have the money to pay out benefits. In fiscal year 2007, 1,225 employers voluntarily ended their pension plans with assets sufficient to disburse all benefits earned to workers, according to data released this week by the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), a government agency that insures private-sector pension plans. ...

    Fewer than half of these terminated pensions were replaced by another retirement plan. Active participants in only 585 of the 1,216 eliminated plans have access to a successor retirement plan - typically a 401(k) plan (360 plans). The next most common replacement offered was a profit sharing plan (115 plans).

  • New York Times: Bill Easing Unionizing Is Under Heavy Attack. By Steven Greenhouse. Excerpts: Intent on blocking organized labor’s top legislative goal, corporations are quietly contributing to lobbying groups with appealing names like the Workforce Fairness Institute and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace. These groups are planning a multimillion-dollar campaign in the hope of killing legislation that would give unions the right to win recognition at a workplace once a majority of employees sign cards saying they want a union. Business groups fear the bill will enable unions to quickly add millions of workers and drive up labor costs. ...

    Whether it is Wal-Mart or the National Restaurant Association, many companies and corporate groups financing the opposition fear that their companies and industries will be among labor’s earliest organizing targets should the bill become law. Labor leaders say they are setting their sights on several industries, like banks and big-box retailers like Wal-Mart or Target, where unions have had virtually no success.

    “We’re going to organize in the basic industries of our unions: construction, hospitality, health care, retail, food production and manufacturing,” said Tom Woodruff, director of strategic organizing for Change to Win, a federation of seven unions that includes the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers. “Those are jobs that are going to stay in the country. The question is whether those jobs are going to be decent middle-class jobs.” ...

    Labor leaders say they do not oppose secret-ballot elections, but rather the bitter two-month management-versus-union campaigns that often precede elections. Union leaders say those campaigns are usually unfair because corporations often fire union supporters and press their anti-union views day and night in one-on-one sessions and large meetings while union organizers are prohibited from company property.

  • Orland Press-Register: America’s retirees working to protect health care benefits they earned. Excerpts: Retirees and baby boomers throughout the nation are wondering with great trepidation, what would happen to them if their health care coverage were simply taken away? Many fear that the current economic crisis in America will speed up that process. It has already occurred with retirees of some of America’s largest corporations, and municipalities are threatening to follow suit. According to Paul Miller, executive director of the national retiree advocacy group, ProtectSeniors.Org, the situation is as dire as the bailout was for the auto industry, Wall Street and America’s major banks.

    “There are currently an estimated 18.5 million American retirees and baby boomers in the United States with health benefits being significantly threatened,” Miller says. “If cancelled by the corporations they once worked for, most would be dumped into the federal and state healthcare systems. In effect, this means their former employers would be getting an additional back-door federal bailout at the expense of the taxpayer.”

    The health care coverage Miller is referring to is earned retiree benefits that tens of millions of Americans earned and paid for during their working years. He says that for whatever reason, many corporations never actually set that money aside and are using the current financial turmoil to threaten the cancellation and further reduction of these benefits. ...

    Behind its efforts, ProtectSeniors.org has harnessed the support of retirees from 285 companies, 36 unions, 76 municipal, state and federal retiree groups, in addition to 14 retiree associations. “Lately, economists, talk show hosts, journalists and even politicians have been blaming America’s retirees and union workers for the economic downturn, calling our earned retirement health coverage legacy costs and burdensome,” says C. William Jones, a retiree from Verizon Communications and president of the 100,000-member Association of BellTel Retirees. “I, and tens of millions of retirees like me, worked decades to earn those benefits, taking less pay and forgoing days off to fund them. For companies to now imply that retirees are a liability to them and America is morally offensive and absolutely inaccurate.”

    Advocates of the legislation argue that over many years, companies used the promise of post-employment health care coverage to induce employees to stay with that employer or, in some cases, to take early retirement. Companies did not agree to pay retiree benefits out of the goodness of their hearts or social well-being; there were significant financial benefits and tax breaks for them. They further explain that employers benefited financially by not having to pay Social Security and payroll taxes on these benefits.

    “Funding these benefits could be deferred by companies in years when earnings were low, unlike payroll that must be paid on time,” Jones says. “Since pensions are based on a percentage of wages, companies also saved on long-term pension costs.” ...

    “America’s retirees are not here asking for a handout or a bailout,” Miller says. “We merely want companies to live up to the promises they made. Give us the health benefits we earned and paid for over decades of loyal service.”

    Editor's note: IBM was on the forefront of American corporations' reneging on decades-long promises to its employees of lifetime retiree medical coverage, reducing and later eliminating retiree health care benefits, announced in 1999 along with with its disastrous (for employees, not for the company) cash balance pension plan in 1999.

  • Wall Street Journal: Big Slide in 401(k)s Spurs Calls for Change. By Eleanor Laise. Excerpts: The stock-market rout has ignited a crisis of confidence for millions of Americans who manage their own retirement savings through 401(k) plans. After watching her account drop 44% last year, Kristine Gardner, a 35-year-old information-technology project manager in Longview, Wash., feels no sense of security. "There's just no guarantee that when you're ready to retire you're going to have the money," she says. "You either put it in a money market which pays 1%, which isn't enough to retire, or you expose yourself to huge market risk and you can lose half your retirement in one year."

    Many retirement experts have come to a similar conclusion: The 401(k) system, which has turned countless amateurs like Ms. Gardner into their own pension-fund managers, has serious shortcomings.

    "This is the biggest test that the 401(k) plan has seen to date, and it has failed," says Robyn Credico, head of defined-contribution consulting at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, noting that many baby boomers are ready to retire. "We've put people close to retirement in a very challenging position."

    The most obvious pitfall is that 401(k) plans shift all retirement-planning risks -- not saving enough, making poor investment choices, outliving savings -- to untrained individuals, who often don't have the time, inclination or know-how to manage them. But even when workers make good choices, a market meltdown near the end of their working careers can still blow their savings to smithereens. "That seems like such a fundamental flaw," says Alicia Munnell, director of Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. "It's so crazy to have a system where people can lose half their assets right before they retire." ...

    Part of the problem, critics say, is that the 401(k) is trying to fill a role it was never designed to play. The plans were born with little fanfare in 1978 when Congress added section 401(k) to the Internal Revenue Code. Initially, many employers saw them as a supplement to company-funded defined-benefit plans and Social Security -- and a way for executives to stash some of their compensation in tax-deferred accounts.

    But the legislation marked the beginning of the end of professionally managed pensions that provided guaranteed benefits to retirees. As big employers recognized that 401(k)s are substantially cheaper than defined-benefit plans, the employee-managed accounts moved from supporting role to center stage. Many workers didn't even participate in the voluntary plans, which meant that employers didn't have to make matching contributions. What's more, employers aren't required to contribute to the plans at all.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • Wall Street Journal: Massachusetts Probes High Insurance Payments to Favored Hospitals. By Jacob Goldstein. Excerpt: The governor of Massachusetts is convening a bunch of top state officials to look into why a powerful hospital group has been able to charge more than its competitors. The Boston Globe has the story. The Globe recently reported that Partners HealthCare — which includes the prestigious Mass. General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals — cut a deal a few years ago with the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield, leading to the higher prices.
  • New York Times: Mr. Bush’s Health Care Legacy. Excerpt: This page has criticized the Bush administration’s weak performance on many important health care matters: its failure to address the problem of millions of uninsured Americans or stem the rising costs of health care, its refusal to expand eligibility for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, its devious maneuvers to cut Medicaid spending, its support of unjustified subsidies for private health plans, to name a few.

    It is only fair to note that President Bush can also lay claim to some signal achievements in health care — achievements that we urge President-elect Barack Obama to continue and develop further.

  • New York Times: Spending Rise for Health Care and Prescription Drugs Slows. By Robert Pear. Excerpt: National health spending grew in 2007 at the lowest rate in nine years, mainly because prescription drug spending increased at the slowest pace since 1963, the government reported Monday. But other types of health spending rose at a brisk pace, pushing the total to $2.2 trillion, or 16.2 percent of the gross domestic product, a record. Spending averaged $7,421 for each person. Total health spending rose 6.1 percent, compared with a 6.7 percent increase in 2006.
  • BlueCross BlueShield Association: New Model of Care Is Needed, Experts Say. By Jane Brody. Excerpt: While current insurance systems pay many thousands of dollars for hospital-based care, they cover only a fraction of the far less expensive care delivered by doctors and nurses that can keep patients out of the hospital. "We're still working within an old model of care," said Dr. Sean Morrison, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. "In the past, a medical problem was either fixed or you died. That's no longer the case. Now we treat you and you live with the condition for many years. "The system needs to be restructured to meet the needs of people with chronic illness, and this can't be done without addressing the social needs of older adults. If we fail to do this, we will be facing a bankrupt Medicare system."
  • CWA's Health Care Campaign: Members tell Obama: Don’t just tinker with a broken health system. By Bill Salganik. Excerpt: A number of CWA members have accepted the invitation of the Obama health team to express their ideas and concerns about health reform. We urge you to keep speaking up, either sending a message using our form or signing up for a houseparty. And let us know when you respond. We'll be printing some of the responses here.
  • New York Times: Behind the Health Spending Data. Excerpt: Spending on health care in the United States grew in 2007 at the lowest rate in nine years, according to government analysts — a sliver of good news for those worried about the relentless rise in health care costs. But buried within the overall statistics was sobering evidence that health costs continue to be a pressing concern that can only be remedied through deep-seated reform in the delivery of health services.
  • Yahoo! News: Obama Plan for Government Health Insurance Draws GOP Criticism. By Aliza Marcus. Excerpts: President-elect Barack Obama’s plan for expanding government health insurance to compete with private coverage drew fire from a leading Senate Republican during a nomination hearing for former U.S. Senator Thomas A. Daschle to run the Health and Human Services Department. “Any new insurance coverage must be delivered through private insurance plans,” said Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming and his party’s ranking member on the Health committee, in prepared comments for the panel’s first session of the of the year.
  • New York Times: Obama Promises Bid to Overhaul Retiree Spending. By Jeff Zeleny and John Harwood.. Excerpt: President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be “a central part” of his administration’s efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs. ...

    Speaking at a news conference in Washington, he provided no details of his approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare, which are projected to consume a growing share of government spending as the baby boom generation ages into retirement over the next two decades. But he said he would have more to say about the issue when he unveiled a budget next month.

  • New York Times: Daschle Lays Out a Plan to Overhaul Health Care. By Robert Pear. Excerpt: Tom Daschle formally began the incoming administration’s arduous quest to overhaul the nation’s health care system on Thursday, telling former Senate colleagues that the task had become more urgent because many people were losing health insurance, along with their jobs, in the recession.

    Mr. Daschle spoke with passion about the hardship he had witnessed among people without insurance, who he said faced “total economic destruction” if they became ill. “The stories of personal bankruptcy are the ones that come back to me so frequently,” he said. He predicted that “as we face a harsh and deep recession, the problem of the uninsured is likely to grow.” Mr. Obama has promised to offer affordable coverage to the more than 45 million people who are uninsured.

  • New York Times editorial: Cuddly Welcome for Mr. Daschle. Excerpts: The main thing we learned from Tom Daschle’s confirmation hearing in the Senate on Thursday was that President-elect Barack Obama sure picked the right man to stage manage his health care reforms as secretary of health and human services and as health czar at the White House. The hearing before a Senate health committee was mostly a love-fest as senators from both parties expressed admiration for their former Senate colleague and signaled a willingness to work collaboratively with him on the daunting task of improving the costly, dysfunctional health care system.

    Unfortunately, the hearing did not tell us much at all about how the incoming Obama administration intends to pay for its emerging health care programs or how, for all of his smoothness at the hearing, Mr. Daschle will deal with the very real and very big differences his team has with Republicans on this and other vital issues.

  • Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report: PBS 'NewsHour With Jim Lehrer' Series Examines Health Care Challenges for Obama, Congress. PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" recently aired a three-part series on the health care challenges that face President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress. Summaries of the three segments of the series appear below.
    • "Even Insured Patients Struggle as Health Care Costs Rise": The first segment of the series examined how the current economic recession has affected health care decisions for U.S. residents with health insurance. According to the segment, annual health insurance premium and deductible increases in recent years have exceeded average wage increases, a trend that has prompted more residents to delay preventive care. The segment includes comments from David Osborn, a health policy analyst at Vanderbilt University; Leah Patton of the Nashville Medical Group; St. Thomas Heart Baptist Hospital CEO Charlie Powell; and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Bowser, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 1/5).
    • "States Face Shortages of Primary Care Doctors": The second segment of the series examined how large medical school debts, low compensation and long hours have prompted fewer medical students to seek careers in primary care, a trend that has led to a shortage of primary care physicians. According to the segment, nations with strong primary care networks have some of the longest life expectancy rates, lowest infant mortality rates and highest levels of chronic disease management. The segment includes comments from Bruce Auerbach, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society (Bowser, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 1/6).
    • "As Costs Rise, Businesses Struggle To Provide Worker Health Insurance": The third segment examined how the recession has limited the ability of small businesses to offer health insurance to employees and prompted more businesses to switch to high-deductible health plans. The segment includes comments from Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman (Bowser, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 1/7).
  • ProtectSeniors.org: January 6, 2009, Press Release: "Congress Needs to Act Now to Prevent a Health Care Disaster". Excerpt: Lately economists, talk show hosts, journalists and even politicians are blaming America’s retirees and union workers for the economic downturn, labeling their earned retirement health coverage as “legacy costs” and calling them too burdensome. “I and tens of millions of retirees like me worked decades to earn those benefits,” said C. William Jones, a retiree from Verizon Communications and President of the 100,000 member Association of BellTel Retirees. “For companies to now imply that retirees are a liability to them and America is morally offensive and absolutely inaccurate."

    Mr. Jones is just one of the retirees calling on the 111th Congress to act immediately towards passage of a bipartisan bill, titled The Emergency Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act (in the 110th Congress), which would prohibit employers from making post-retirement cancellations or reductions of health benefits that retirees were entitled to, without placing mandates on the employers as to what health plans they provide or monetary ceilings on the amount of health benefits.

News and Opinion Concerning the U.S. Financial Crisis
Minimize "It is a restatement of laissez-faire-let things take their natural course without government interference. If people manage to become prosperous, good. If they starve, or have no place to live, or no money to pay medical bills, they have only themselves to blame; it is not the responsibility of society. We mustn't make people dependent on government- it is bad for them, the argument goes. Better hunger than dependency, better sickness than dependency."

"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.

  • New York Times: The End of the Financial World as We Know It. By Michael Lewis and David Einhorn. Excerpts: Americans enter the New Year in a strange new role: financial lunatics. We’ve been viewed by the wider world with mistrust and suspicion on other matters, but on the subject of money even our harshest critics have been inclined to believe that we knew what we were doing. They watched our investment bankers and emulated them: for a long time now half the planet’s college graduates seemed to want nothing more out of life than a job on Wall Street.

    This is one reason the collapse of our financial system has inspired not merely a national but a global crisis of confidence. Good God, the world seems to be saying, if they don’t know what they are doing with money, who does?

    Incredibly, intelligent people the world over remain willing to lend us money and even listen to our advice; they appear not to have realized the full extent of our madness. We have at least a brief chance to cure ourselves. But first we need to ask: of what?

    To that end consider the strange story of Harry Markopolos. Mr. Markopolos is the former investment officer with Rampart Investment Management in Boston who, for nine years, tried to explain to the Securities and Exchange Commission that Bernard L. Madoff couldn’t be anything other than a fraud. Mr. Madoff’s investment performance, given his stated strategy, was not merely improbable but mathematically impossible. And so, Mr. Markopolos reasoned, Bernard Madoff must be doing something other than what he said he was doing.

    In his devastatingly persuasive 17-page letter to the S.E.C., Mr. Markopolos saw two possible scenarios. In the “Unlikely” scenario: Mr. Madoff, who acted as a broker as well as an investor, was “front-running” his brokerage customers. A customer might submit an order to Madoff Securities to buy shares in I.B.M. at a certain price, for example, and Madoff Securities instantly would buy I.B.M. shares for its own portfolio ahead of the customer order. If I.B.M.’s shares rose, Mr. Madoff kept them; if they fell he fobbed them off onto the poor customer.

    In the “Highly Likely” scenario, wrote Mr. Markopolos, “Madoff Securities is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme.” Which, as we now know, it was.

    Harry Markopolos sent his report to the S.E.C. on Nov. 7, 2005 — more than three years before Mr. Madoff was finally exposed — but he had been trying to explain the fraud to them since 1999. He had no direct financial interest in exposing Mr. Madoff — he wasn’t an unhappy investor or a disgruntled employee. There was no way to short shares in Madoff Securities, and so Mr. Markopolos could not have made money directly from Mr. Madoff’s failure. To judge from his letter, Harry Markopolos anticipated mainly downsides for himself: he declined to put his name on it for fear of what might happen to him and his family if anyone found out he had written it. And yet the S.E.C.’s cursory investigation of Mr. Madoff pronounced him free of fraud.

  • Rutland (Vermont) Herald, courtesy of Senator Bernie Sanders: Editorial: Delegation poised to help reform nation. Excerpts: Now is the season of Sanders. That's Bernie Sanders, Vermont's iconoclastic U.S. senator, who for decades has been a voice in the wilderness concerning the excesses of capitalism. Now the wilderness of economic collapse has surrounded all of us. At recent public forums, Sanders has been received by Vermonters like a rock star. Large crowds have turned out to voice their views and to hear from the senator who has been warning for decades about the way the government was allowing large corporate interests to imperil the well-being of ordinary Americans. ...

    The greed of corporate America is a fundamental premise of Sanders' view, and now we have witnessed the way that a hunger for riches can warp the view of otherwise bright people and create perverse incentives for abandoning common sense. Those inclined to refrain from the harsh tone of Sanders' rhetoric may quarrel about whether people on Wall Street were motivated by greed or were acting in good faith on information distorted by wishful thinking. What it comes down to is that when a system governed by the profit motive fails to hold in check the worst tendencies of those seeking profits, the whole country suffers.

    Now the country has come to Sanders. He has been urging laws to hold banks and other institutions of capitalism accountable, to end corporate welfare and to enact tax policies fairer to ordinary Americans. That is likely to happen. He has been urging a system of health care for all, and we are heading in that direction.

    Editor's note: Senator Sanders has always been a dependable ally in IBMers' struggles against their company's pension and retirement medical cuts. I remember well how CEO Lou Gerstner arrogantly refused to take a question from Bernie at the IBM Stockholders' meeting in Cleveland. Thank you, Bernie, for being the peoples' Senator, unlike most of Congress which is beholden only to corporate America.

  • Families USA: Squeezed! Caught Between Unemployment Benefits and Health Care Costs. Excerpts: The current recession is having a devastating impact on working American families. By November 2008, more than 2.7 million people had joined the ranks of the unemployed since the recession began in 2007, and 10.3 million people were unemployed. Many of those people (and their families) lost their health coverage when they lost their jobs. Researchers estimate that, for every one percentage point increase in unemployment, the number of uninsured people increases by 1.1 percent. Some workers who had insurance through their former employers may be able to continue to purchase the same coverage—but they must pay the full cost out of their own pockets. This continuation coverage, called “COBRA” (from the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986), could provide a vital health care lifeline for many families. Unfortunately, for most individuals and families, the cost of this coverage is prohibitively high, especially when compared to average unemployment benefits.

    This report shows that, to maintain their employer-based health coverage under COBRA, most unemployed people would have to devote an unrealistically high proportion of their incomes to health insurance. For many, it would take their entire unemployment check and more to continue coverage for themselves and their families. However, if laid-off workers do not continue their employer-based coverage by electing COBRA and instead seek coverage in the individual health insurance market, those with health problems are likely to find that no insurer will sell them a policy that will cover their pre-existing conditions at any price. Thus, many American workers find themselves in a catch-22.

  • Reuters, courtesy of the New York Times: Health Care Overhaul Needn't Break Bank: Study. Excerpts: An analysis of proposals to overhaul U.S. health care by President-elect Barack Obama and members of Congress suggests it is possible to insure all Americans without significantly raising total health spending. Some 46 million Americans, or about 15 percent of the population, have no health insurance. While Americans pay more per person for care than any other industrialized country, many studies show they have poorer health, suffer more medical mistakes and are generally less happy with their medical care.

    The report, released on Friday by the Commonwealth Fund, suggests plans outlined by Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus could cover almost all Americans. But to hit that mark, they would need to require all Americans to obtain coverage and include efforts to cut administrative costs and boost purchasing efficiencies.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
Minimize
  • Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 1/03/09: wow: -anonymous- comments at 1/3/08 are spot on. great summary. may i add a couple of points: i believe the reason we have so many foreign nationals is that they are just about the only people IBM attracts anymore. Any new hire out of college only lasts a year a two and then resigns. anyone in an administrative position has a huge target on their back - just waiting to be laid off and outsourced out of the US. I'd say that most of the US based admin that is left is very hard working and keeps the machine running smoothly. they are a group of ibm employees that are completely under-appreciated and treated like sh**. example: outsourcing the ESC (first level support) has been a HUGE mistake. they can't answer a simple question and half the time give u WRONG info. how'd we get so bad? -Anon-
    • Comment 1/03/09: Forget Jan 23rd, some changes all ready happening in BTV. Some facilities persons being told effective Jan 5th they are being re-assigned and to 'go with the flow.' Does anyone know if BTV will no longer support certain technologies or do you know if cuts are throughout the site or mostly mfg? -BTV'er-
    • Comment 1/03/09: This is just pitiful. The fact that the IBMers all have to live in the culture of "justify your job" at all costs. And yes, it does create a culture where folks are only covering their behinds and competing with the guy in the cubie next to them - withholding information, groveling to the boss, earning brownie points just to keep their jobs. True - how much does that say for this thing called TEAMWORK? Nothing. -HappyNewYear-
    • Comment 1/04/09: Long term supplemental being replaced by contractors in Dallas since upper management thinks they can get the same work for a lot less pay (I guess after the big 14-15% pay cut they gave to contractors a month or two back). Sadly reminds me of a manager in Colorado a few years ago that made the comment, "Why should I hire a full time employee when I can get a shopping cart full of contractors for the same price?" Hopefully someday soon they see people as people and not just as a unit of work. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/04/09: Lots of comments about BTV. What is BTV? I've never heard that acronym used. -BOHICA- Alliance Reply: It refers to Burlington, VT. The acronym finder defines it as: BTV Burlington, VT, USA - Burlington International Airport (Airport Code). It may be an IBM acronym as well....I just can't think of it offhand.
    • Comment 1/04/09: all temps will gone by the end of the week in BTV mfg, everyone is on pins and needles rumors are flying, 1st line managers know zero, moral is at a all time low people are scared. Vt has little to offer workers and vt has the highest taxes around we are doomed here. best of luck to all -btver-
    • Comment 1/05/09: In the event a regular employee gets laid off in 2009, shouldn't they still be eligible to receive their variable pay (or whatever IBM is calling it these days). The variable pay you are supposedly to receive in 2009 is reflective of your work / performance / PBC rating for 2008, right? So why shouldn't you get it? Does anybody know IBM's justification for NOT giving the pay to employees who worked in 2008 and were (are going to be) laid off in 2009? Just doesn't seem fair (but what does these days). -waiting_for_the_axe-
    • Comment 1/05/09: Another RESOURCE ACTION in January, 2008? You bet. Let's get with the program and just say you are fired! Your job just does not go away; one's skills do not go down the toilet overnight. Everything is about greed and money. The next in line for "hand-outs" from the U.S. Government (taxpayers) will be Corporations. Wake up America! What is happening to the middle-class???? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/05/09: My last day at IBM was 1/31/08... I also just received my 10 years of service gift. This departure has been bittersweet. I was given the official notice on 12/1/08, but knew this was coming for a long time (almost a year). My group has embraced the offshore model to be used in project management services... so this is not just affecting technical and mfg professionals.

      This round of layoffs was a done completely under-the-table. The next round is going to be make a bigger impact, once they fine tune their offshore staff. My biggest regret this year has been working during the vacation time I scheduled when my daughter was born over the summer!!!! I actually thought that it would make a difference if I close my projects under budget and ahead of schedule. My management team does not care one way or another, in the end they are looking at the final numbers... what is the net profit this employee has brought to the table.

      The fact is, I should have left a long time ago... I just got too comfortable in an environment that wasn't really fostering professional growth. This RA has motivated me to start my own consulting firm. I pulled together a nice team of developers (in the US, India, and Ukraine), and have solidified 4 contracts with mid-sized corps. Hopefully this will get me where I want to be, if not, I guess I can always go out and find a job.

      A little advice if you get RA'ed: Negotiate your severance package... I got 9 months pay with 12 months of insurance. It doesn't hurt to ask. Take advantage of the retraining dollars. IBM will pay up to $3000 towards any education. I'm using mine toward SAP training. Independent SAP project managers make anywhere from $75 to 150/hr... IBM also competes for SAP contracts, but they don't have enough SAP resources. So I can probably come back as a contractor on a project to project basis in GBS... if not, there's a TON of SAP projects I can bid on! -10_year_IBMer-

    • Comment 1/05/09: 10_year_IBMer - Why would you ever work through important events in your life? Its people who do these things that drive me nuts. Did you see how it turned out? I got a engineer coworker (I am an engineer too) that bangs out 16 hour days because he feels it is going to keep him safe. It is time to stop with the corporate overloading of your time and start enjoying your life. On the job cuts: I work in BTV, rumors have been flying. Radio says cuts are coming tomorrow, other say end of the month. I am just sitting and waiting. Doing what little work I can manage under the stress. It's not even worth it anymore really. -10 Year Vet-
    • Comment 1/05/09: I was laid off from Burlington in August of 2003. I have many friends who have continued working. I wish you all well. I do want to say something about the after math of a layoff. There is life after IBM. You will survive, you will find a job if you want one. I will say that it may not be in Vermont, but you will find one. Just a quick note about IBM management: I was a manager for 18 years. I did not know a manager that liked or enjoyed resource actions; layoffs. Managers are people too, most managers that I know realize that layoffs are expensive to all. And worse than that, they keep the recession going. In closing I wish you all well -willi-
    • Comment 1/05/09: The layoffs have started. We know of a few technical folks in IGS who were told they are to be layed off if they don't find something by January 31st. -dun-4-
    • Comment 1/05/09: Upper mgmt is keeping this very quiet. The first lines haven't had the meeting yet where they are asked to select the people for the layoffs. It's coming though. Just a matter of time. -Ziggy Stardust-
    • Comment 1/06/09: Our team has been told changes will occur 1/19/08. This is when all employees within 50 miles must report to the new "global delivery center" in Boulder, Colorado. Everyone outside 50 miles is "encouraged" to move to Boulder; with no moving expenses paid. Those opting not to work onsite in Boulder (when we all work at home from 10 different states) have been given different vague answers. Job cuts at then end of January are not hard to imagine for those who do not "opt" to go to the new GDC. -IBMer...for now-
    • Comment 1/06/09: Just a thought: What if remote employees were "encouraged" to move to Boulder without M&L, but then laid off later? Such employees would have eaten the costs of relocation (selling the old house, moving expenses, buying a new house, possible loss of a spouse's job, disruption of kids in school, etc) and would then find themselves in a new city, perhaps away from family support systems . . . and UNEMPLOYED! Oh, and if they crossed state lines, the unemployment compensation rules would be different. IBM wouldn't let that happen, would they? -Broken Crock-
    • Comment 1/06/09: I always say the best company I worked for was IBM and the WORSE was IBM. My first few years at IBM were wonderful, then once Sam came in all went downhill, it almost became a secretive organization with mgmt, they were always in hiding and avoiding us due to guilt of knowledge of what was coming. My mgr would even tell me to get out while you can cuz we got a new org of "Blood Suckers" in mgmt Those of you on the fence unfortunately right now is bad economy, but there is a life outside of IBM. My blood pressure and health has improved tremendously since I left as well as my stress level. I now work for a company that values me as an employee and human and not just a money making headcount they can shove out the door once company got its use from you. So to all, in closing there is life outside of IBM, you don't have to work in those stressful conditions where you can walk on water and not be appreciated unless you got connections with mgmt -Happy Ex-IBMer-
    • Comment 1/06/09: "IBMer...for now" wrote about a "forced relocation" to Boulder. If you live 40-50 miles away from Boulder (e.g., many parts of south Denver where IBM has a large facility at the tech center are 40-50 miles away) your daily commute to Boulder in rush hour traffic will be a minimum of 4 hours per day (if there are no accidents or bad weather). You have to drive through cross town rush hour traffic in two cities: Denver and Boulder.

      So it seems that working 12-14 hour days, nights and weekends isn't enough for IBM, now we have to add a 4+ hour daily commute to the mix. Seems to me, the purpose of this "Global Delivery Center" idea is to get as many employees as they can to quit so IBM can save money on paying out a severance package. For those who are RA'ed because you live more than 50 miles away and don't relocate, you are the lucky ones. At least you can get a severance package and be eligible for unemployment benefits. Those who will have to work in Boulder and subject themselves to a dangerous and exhausting daily commute (we can call it the IBM death march) will be denied the ability to get a severance package and access to unemployment benefits. How low can IBM management go? stay tuned... -married_to_ibm_but_a_divorce_is_in_progress-

    • Comment 1/06/09: As you visit this comment section and the front page of the Alliance web site consider this: What if this site wasn't here? What if there was no organization that speaks to the concerns of IBM employees? That could happen if the Alliance does not grow its membership and finances. This organization is more than just this web site. We need your help and financial contribution. Please join as a member for $10 a month or associate member for $5 a month. The survival of the Alliance depends on it. join here: https://secure.ga3.org/08/join Names are confidential. -Alliance-
    • Comment 1/06/09: to Broken Crock: In all reality, I would tend to think a relocation to a GDF is relatively safe. It lets IBM be able to claim various accounts are supported in the US, and to some extent claim they are supported by US citizens (this IS important to some accounts). Who in there right mind would try to sell a house PLUS buy a new one in this economy though.

      Even if you keep your job, paying 2 mortgages with the stress of relocating simply isn't worth it. IBM knows how to play the game to their advantage, and they're doing it. If you're offered a GDF position and decline it, you get no severance once your 30 days is up - IBM knows this, so they make it hard for the people over 50 miles from the GDF to relocate to avoid paying a severance.

      All we can hope for is to wait for the GDFs to fail miserably at customer sat. IBM will be paying more than they have before for missed SLAs, and I would bet 2009/2010 will show IBM losing more accounts to competition. The key question is, does IBM care? If they plan on selling, hell no they don't care. -waiting_for_the_axe-

    • Comment 1/06/09: RE: the "forced relocation to Boulder" - Does anyone know the laws that apply? If you work in a home office and are being required to work in an office just under 50 miles to keep your job can IBM require that you have to drive that distance (assuming 4+ hours daily travel time)? Can you demand to use public transportation (which will severely limit your working hours because the buses only run at peak rush hour times)? Can you require compensation for the travel expense and/or other accommodations? Similarly, for those that are beyond the 50 mile limit? What are the laws that apply given that IBM has set you up in a remote home office without a "real" physical work location? Can they really "force" you to relocate without covering your moving expenses? Any legal experts out there who can answer these timely questions? TIA for any advice or pointers. -married_to_ibm_but_a_divorce_is_in_progress-

      Alliance Reply: Okay, let's review: You are an 'At Will Employee'. You have no contract or written agreement with IBM, as an individual or a collective group. IBM can impose just about any requirement on you, that they want. "At Will Employment" is a double edged sword. It allows you to quit anytime for any reason or no reason. Same as IBM's options: Fire you for any reason or no reason. Labor laws vary from state to state; however, most labor laws are skewed in favor of business, NOT labor. So, to answer your question bluntly: You're pretty much out of luck legally. It isn't even really worth it to hire an attorney to see if you have a case. What IS worth the effort is organizing your co-workers and fighting for a contract and a seat at the bargaining table for ALL non-management IBM employees. The Trick is to start that before you get to this point...Something we've been telling everyone here since 1999-2000. We're truly sorry to hear about your situation. We hope it works out for you.

    • Comment 1/06/09: I have worked at IBM Boulder in the capacity of a contractor in the past and work in central Boulder now. I commuted first from Englewood, then from East Aurora. If the roads are clear and there is NO traffic, you could do it in an hour one way. Of course, those "ifs" have happened to me maybe three times in 15 years. Usually there are multiple places of gridlock. When the weather is bad, it has taken me as much as six hours to get home. On the night of one blizzard, it took me two hours just to get out of the Boulder area -Barb-
    • Comment 1/06/09: A bunch of our contractors were just let go. There are 4 that I know about. I work in IGS. They were told their projects were cancelled. Hand over your laptop, you're done for the day. They barely had time to send out an email to us to say goodbye before the laptops were ripped from their hands. This is going to get ugly. -tai mai shue-
    • Comment 1/06/09: Hello again all, I do remember posting things that have now come to pass since stating them 3 mos ago. The rumors are more than true and the second line mgrs (SDMs and above have been told as of Monday), there is a large plan for re org and these cuts in January and more planned for June time frame as well. I am out and leaving in Feb, already took a new offer - just had to wait for the background to go through. Prepare as I mentioned long ago for across the board cuts, contractors are going to get the hardest in the companies I mentioned before - focal budgets are laid out for the reporting already to make the stock price look better right now.
    • Comment 1/07/09: I am from Bangalore, India location, I want to know how many job cuts are going to happen in the coming days. -Jack- Alliance Reply: No one knows the numbers until after the cuts happen. There are several reliable rumors on these comments sections and in our archives that have proven to be true, in the past. The latest rumor doesn't speak about job loss in Bangalore, India.
    • Comment 1/07/09: cuts happened today in canada and will continue this week. -unluckygrl-
    • Comment 1/07/09: TO -waiting_for_the_axe- The 50 Mile figure is the distance to a new reporting point without having to pay Moving and Living Expense. -Exodus2007-
    • Comment 1/07/09: Hello. I'm a reporter in Rochester, MN. If you're an employee who works in Rochester MN for IBM (either directly or as a contract worker through Manpower or some other agency) AND you're willing to go on-camera to talk about what's going on, please email me at: drowles@kaaltv.com with your phone number. Thanks much. -Donny Rowles- Alliance Reply: Donny, please call our office in Johnson City, NY (see our front page under Contact Information) if you want any further information, if you haven't already done so.
    • Comment 1/07/09: All this discussion about the Boulder GDF and whether one lives 51+ miles away or less than 50 miles away is pretty moot since IBM is not paying for relocation costs anyway. We need to understand the reasoning behind this action. I strongly believe it is an attempt to shake out as many employees as they can (by stimulating them to quit) so there is no need to provide severance (in lieu of a threatened lawsuit or bad publicity).

      Let's look at the backward logic of what they are doing: They propose to take people who are working out of home offices, who are available 24x7 and who generally work 12-14 hour days because they can rationalize this amount of effort with the ability to work in a home office. IBM management now wants to throw all of this workplace efficiency away to force people to report to cubicles in a distant office after an exhausting commute and *supposedly* work an 8 hour day. All of this to gain some kind of efficiency! I think not! The only efficiency that is made here is to replace the higher paid US workers with foreign nationals who will work in India and have a phone extension in Boulder (just for show to keep any curious government or media types from asking too many questions).

      This is clearly an intent to stimulate a large amount of resignations without the cost of severance. Some IBM HR team probably came up with this idea and will be well compensated for their brilliance! I am confident that if everyone moves en masse ' to the Boulder GDC they won 't be there for more than a couple of weeks before they are let go for a different reason! [Does anyone know if the Boulder location has the cubicle space for all of these folks?]

      The alliance 's reply to my previous "whining post " is right on! We should have organized a long time ago to fight this kind of thing. Let 's all get organized now! Perhaps as a group we can force some kind of class action lawsuit. We may not be able to save the jobs, but we may be able to get some severance and "laid off " status so that we can qualify for unemployment benefits. That 's better than nothing for our careers and hard work, which it seems is just what IBM management is offering us. Let 's stop bitching and start organizing. NOW! -married_to_ibm_but_I_dont_know_about_the_future-

    • Comment 1/07/09: To Exodus But IBM's not paying M&L for those over 50mi and have been asked to relocate. You made it sound like if IBM asks you to relocate, and you're over 50mi, they will pay M&L - this is not the case. -waiting_for_the_axe-
    • Comment 1/07/09: -unluckygrl- Where in Canada, which depts and how many? I am hearing Sue Tang's division will cut a shit load by end of Q1. -DM-
    • Comment 1/07/09: to married-to-ibm-but..... My understanding there is very little cubical space in the Boulder GDF, but rather, 'teams' are being placed into a large open space to 'encourage teaming and open communication' . Great, I like being on the phone with a customer and having so much background noise nobody can hear you talk. I think the GDFs will be a huge failure, BUT, GDF management will be trained on how to make it look like a success, so stock holders and executives are happy with the GDF direction. I envision complete chaos in the GDFs, especially during Sev 1s. I challenge any executive to live the life of one of the technical support staff at IBM for one week to get a real feel for how things REALLY operate. -waiting_for_the_axe-
    • Comment 1/07/09: Geodis !!?? I'm part of the AP SPO Organisation and was speaking to my manager who said he'd be happy to go to Geodis due to their investment in growth, and that between 'him and me' he wouldn't want to be in IBM in 2009.. I was wondering "huh ??" but he didn't / couldn't elaborate, but after reading the news in the last few days, I think I know what he meant. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/07/09: To married_to_ibm_but_I_dont_know_about_the_future: Yes, Boulder does have the cubicle space for the GDF. They have gutted the 3rd and 4th floors of building 10 for the GDF and are in the process of putting in all of the cubicles. From what I hear, it is supposed to hold something like 500 people. I\'ll probably be joining you there, at least until I land a new job outside of IBM. To me, this sounds like it is going to be a complete disaster. Trying to talk non-technical hands & eyes people through doing technical work is always much slower and more difficult than just doing it yourself. It is interesting that in all of the documentation about this new GDF that I have seen, customer satisfaction doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere. But this structure sure does make for pretty slides and graphs in a presentation! -Lowly_SA-
    • Comment 1/07/09: I know of some that were told this today.. You can move to FISHKILL within 50 miles and you are guaranteed a job for at least a whole YEAR!!!! Then who knows .. NO M&L.. if you decline this offer, you must send a note to you must send a note to your first and second lines stating this .. I am thinking that this means once the transition of their job is over for these people that decline , IBM will say You resigned.. No severance.. no unemployment. I have never heard anything so LOW in my life.. I just cannot believe this would happen ..Something needs to be done.. I just understand how these people sleep at night.. -CrockofCrap-
    • Comment 1/07/09: For the GDF, there is NO 50-mile rule, as such. Here's how it works. If your job is moved to the GDF, there's two possibilities. #1: if your commute to the GDF site would be 50+ miles AND your commute to the GDF would be increased 20+ miles from your CURRENT commute, then your JOB moves to the GDF but you "don't have to." You have to train someone in the GDF to do your job and you "may" be receive a new job supporting another account from your current manager, or you can look for another job in IBM. You also have the option of keeping your current job if you agree to the daily commute to the GDF (whatever the length).

      #2: if your commute to the GDF site is less than 50 miles from where you live, OR if your commute to the GDF site is 20 miles or less longer than your current commute, your JOB moves to the GDF and you are required to. You have the option of keeping your job at its new location, or if you don't show up, you're considered to have turned down a "comparable job offer" and therefore voluntarily resign from IBM. In other words, if your current commute is 49 miles, and your commute to the GDF would be 69 miles, then you'll be required to take the job at the GDF site or you resign. There is NO M&L for anyone whose job moves to the GDF. This has all been approved by IBM HR and IBM legal. -Intheknow-

    • Comment 1/07/09: I was given my date to report to the GDF today since I live within 50 miles. Was also told if i choose not go to GDF it counts a voluntary resignation -Fred-
    • Comment 1/07/09: All IBMers....good luck! I had 23+ yrs and left IBM Oct 2007 on my own accord. It was a difficult to make the choice, but I am soo happy I did. I now have a great job that pays more then I would have ever thought about making with IBM ( mind you I am working more hrs). The point I want to make here is that outside IBM, businesses respect the skills you have. IBM management wants you to believe you can't get a job anywhere else, BOOHA.....brush up your resume . L2, L3 support the outside world need your skills....don't be afraid....I was making the move but I am soo glad I did....I am rewarded now for hard work and finally am happy once again to wake and go to work!Good Luck to all and God Bless! -Steve Dunn-
    • Comment 1/07/09: We're now hearing rumors that IGS techies will be moved to a co-location center in Boulder, CO by year's end. (Apparently, the East Fishkill site has been filled and is no longer being considered). Everyone will have the opportunity to move to their job at the new center. (No M&L from IBM). If you decide not to move, you'll be put on a list and they may or may not try to find you a job. If they can't find anything for you, IBM considers you to have willfully resigned, and you get no separation pkg. (And you thought it couldn't get any worse!!). -Dun-4-
    • Comment 1/07/09: -married_to_ibm_but_I_dont_know_about_the_future- Boulder has plenty of extra space. The hallways are empty and the cafeteria is only maybe 20% full at the busiest time of the day. Partly because of RA's, partly because many people work from home; partly because of offshoring.... there used to be several leased buildings in the late '70's thru the '90's .-anonymous-
    • Comment 1/08/09: I work as a contractor for IBM at large insurance company. They are planning to move all Data Center operations to Boulder. Our work load has been significantly reduced recently with very little information actually coming to us directly. Projects that where suppose to started last month have been put on hold. We have heard very little about the situation here from any managers. It doesn't take a Genius to see something is going down here soon. As a contractor I will get nothing when it does. I'm glad I've been taking steps perpair of what's coming. -Can see the writing on the wall-
    • Comment 1/08/09: The IBM Boulder Facility will seat around 6000 employees. Most are cubicle areas, however there are also hundreds of individual offices as well. There is also the Denver Tech center of which is quite a large scale building, but I am not sure how many employees that facility will seat. I don't believe that we are doomed because of the impending layoffs. On the other hand however, I don't think there is enough push to organize before the end of January '09. It is going to take a lot more complaints and unemployment numbers and housing foreclosures before people get sick and tired enough to stand up for what they want in this country. The economy will bounce back and with IBM pulling the plug on us, we should look for opportunities to compete on a smaller scale. -We will survive-
    • Comment 1/08/09: So now IBM is keeping us from viewing the Alliance web page. What a company! Of course we can view other web sites so what is IBM trying to censor? -worker bee- Alliance Reply: IBM has been blocking access to the Alliance site for years, for obvious reasons. They started blocking emails from going out from their server, and continued to find ways to block any other communication. The best approach is to communicate with us from your personal email or server, when you are on your own time and property. IBM will have reason/cause to fire you if you are caught using IBM assets to view or communicate with our web site...so don't do it. You CAN communicate with your co-workers on your breaks or lunch period, during working hours and talk union until the proverbial bell rings. We highly recommend that.
    • Comment 1/08/09: I am in SWG. I was inadvertently cc'd on an email between senior managers about a "Resource Action". Not many details (since that wasn't the main subject of the note), but from reading between the lines I am sure this will happen in the first quarter. No mention of how many will be laid off in SWG, though. So this is one more thing to buttress the rumor of a significant layoff soon. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/08/09: Janet Kings organization had a load dumped on our heads this morning. The Big GDF plan was announced. The privileged few have been “invited” to work at the Fishkill and (coming soon although no date has been committed) Boulder GDFs. If you live under 50 miles away from the GDF and you say ‘no’ you have also said “I resign”. If you live over 50 miles from the GDF and you say “no” your manager will do everything in his power to find you additional work which has not been moved to GDF or Brazil. Good Luck on that. IBM wants 1 years worth of work from you after the move. They do not need to give you M&L money. If you cannot afford 2 mortgages you never should have joined IBM. They also do not need to give you severance pay in the event of an amiable separation. If your family cannot live on pet food you never should have joined IBM. Happy New Year. -BeamMeUpScotty..no intelligence down here-
    • Comment 1/08/09: Has anybody heard anything *new* on the rumor of IBM selling Services? The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. 1) consolidating support to single facilities - VERY few companies allow full time work from home so it would make much easier to sell 2) reducing the amount of US labor clearly lowers overhead cost, which makes it an attractive buy. If IBM plans to be nearly 100% GDF by the end of 2009, I'm guessing a sale may come in 2010? -waiting_for_the_axe-
    • Comment 1/08/09: Remember folks. IBM will do anything to keep old sites like Boulder operational. The ground is so contaminated it would become a toxic supersite if it ever closed. They used to manufacture 3800 drums among other things so arsenic levels are through the roof. As long as it never closes and they can keep environmentalists off the property they will be safe. The fines and cleanup would bankrupt IBM. I thought Infoprint Solutions was making it their Headquarters. Maybe that idea fell through. -Exodus2007-
    • Comment 1/08/09: I am a Contractor or Supplemental employee (SSR) in Atlanta and my job ends tomorrow, we have lost several major accounts this year and the call volumes have dropped significantly, I'm talking maybe 1 service call a day if that lately comparable to an average of 4 to 7 per day over the past three years. Hopefully the skills I have acquired from IBM will help me find employment with better incentives elsewhere. At least I had 30 day notice that my job would be ending; I feel a little prepared to deal with the reality of being jobless in these tough economic times. God bless everyone and whatever situations you are facing. THIS TOO SHALL PASS! -justamiracle-
    • Comment 1/08/09: Folks, grim news for the Burlington, VT plant. The rumor circulating is at least 1000 people will be let go this month. The site manufacturing wafer starts is running at only 10-20% capacity. Manufacturing jobs will be hardest hit. Good Luck to all. -Grim Reaper-
    • Comment 1/08/09: lead generation reps - LGR's in toronto markham location lost 40 of approx 110. all sups - no regs - reason given was GB general business pulled 2009 funding. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/09/09: Remember moving your job to a new location is a tried and true method for IBM to reduce the work force by "voluntary" resignations. If that was not their plan they would just make all the workers work from home. It is pretty much a given these days having people sitting in an office is not cost effective. Hence the push at IBM and others to encourage people to work from home the last few years.

      If we had more managers that can do more than take attendance we (computer / phone operators) could all be working from home. If they are telling you to come back in then they are just trying to get you to quit. Remember you are just a cog to management. Experience means nothing to them. I once saw a whole department in Austin let go to be replaced by foreign contractors on site the next week. No knowledge transfer at all. The contractors just kind of stood around till they shut the project down.

      Another interesting development. When Tivoli was acquired by IBM they promised to not change the culture. This week the last vestige of the Tivoli culture, free drinks, was removed. It will be the last straw to some. Of course the major miscalculation in all this is right now there are not many openings out there so they are unlikely to get the "voluntary" numbers they are looking for. So after the big move(s) I'd expect more layoffs. -IBM=IveBeenMoved-

    • Comment 1/09/09: Working on an IGA Project in GBS. Finishing a phase of it with no funding in sight right now for the follow-on functionality. They are putting about half the project team on the bench at the end of the month. SPM can't tell us what direction they are going in (not sure if this true for most of the IGA Projects). Definitely the communications from management has come to a halt. Either there is no funding or everyone is worrying about the RA in GBS (I haven't heard of anything concrete but we did have layoffs in November). It is difficult to focus in this environment. Not sure what management expects other than managing by fear. PBC process is joke since there will not be any raises/bonus in the current environment. No motivation just a check right now (looking for something better elsewhere). -UnMotivated in GBS AS
    • Comment 1/09/09: Does IBM deny unemployment requests for all RA'd associates? I thought that companies typically fight it when it's a dismissal for cause, not a layoff. Or was that post only directed to those that live near a site and don't agree to work there? Thanks. -no unemployment?-
    • Comment 1/09/09: To <No Unemployment> "Does IBM deny unemployment requests for all RA'd associates?": Yes, IBM denies all unemployment requests as an act of policy, but you can still collect unemployment from the state you live in as long as you were not fired for cause (like theft or drug use) or quit the job on your own. Your state unemployment officer will call IBM and confirm that you were released from the company and validate your ability to collect unemployment. <Laidoff in September 2008>
    • Comment 1/09/09: If you are forced to move to the Boulder area, consider Firestone, Frederick or Dacono. 19 mile commute to IBM in 25 minutes. On the occasional snow days the commute is only around 45 minutes. 2,000 Sq ft house with 2 car garage and 1,000 sq ft basement built new or since 2000 starts at just over 200k. Quality of life is great. The three towns combined has a population of just over 20,000. Great place to raise a family with multiple public schools and 2 charter schools to choose from. And when its hot in late July, the mountains are 20 minutes away. Moving might not be what you wanted but Frederick, Firestone and Dacono aren't bad places to move to. Moving south to Denver or Aurora is just not smart if you work at IBM Boulder. -Harvey Wallbanger-
    • Comment 1/09/09: I was outsourced to IBM from ATT in December of 07. Now I am on the bench and my job is in India. -given2fly-
    • Comment 1/09/09: "Remember folks. IBM will do anything to keep old sites like Boulder operational." Sorry but nothing could be further from the truth. Owego, Endicott, and Manssas just a few of the former IBM sites that have groundwater problems. IBM no longer owns the sites but they sure do own the pollution problem. I heard IBM got rid of it's Environmental Field services and the Fishkill Lab. All contracted to LOW bid. Yeah, start bringing bottled water to work !! -Enviroman-
    • Comment 1/09/09: In regards to offshoring US jobs, all I know is work is definitely going to Brazil. There is a new global workflow getting ready to start in this first quarter...and Brazil is where the work is being sent. We have been told it will not affect us...but if development is being moved, I do not see us getting paid to stare at the walls. -Worried In January-
    • Comment 1/10/09: I was laid off in November 2008 as a result of a resource action. Nobody can tell me that age is not a factor in IBM's decision in who to lay off. They are required to list the jobs and ages of employees affected by the layoffs. At least 95% of those on the list were over 50 years old. The median age was approximately 53-55 years of age. IBM is flying below the radar when it comes to age discrimination. My experience with IBM has been nothing but one of disgust. I have no respect for this company. They have absolutely NO REGARD for the people who make them successful. They manage by fear and expect nothing but complete withdrawal from one's life. IBM wants 24x7 support regardless of family consideration. It is the worst company in America. They need to be exposed like the Wall Street whores that have driven this country into the current economic crisis that we are all living. -Glad I'm Outta there-
    • Comment 1/10/09: If a mobile employee in the Global Technology Services division is laid off what is the process? Does the employee need to travel to an IBM office and hand over the laptop? Or is the laptop just locked up and written off as lost? Thank you for the help. -gts employee- Alliance reply: Since it is considered IBM property; they will probably contact you, in some way, to either request that you return it, or they will deduct the cost of the laptop from any money they may owe you. Please look through this comment section and all the comments section archives for comments from other employees who have given advice on this situation.
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 01/04/09: What can be done to get a better IBM? People (and corporations) don't change until they are on the edge of the abyss. The best thing for people to do, for there to be a better IBM... is to leave it. Sounds crazy doesn't it? IBM's upper management and major stock holders won't take notice that there is a problem until people it would rather not lose to the competition... leave the company. Until there isn’t enough people to do the work, or poor worker moral finally takes it’s toll… or until there a general global work stoppage (strike), such that IBM starts to lose it’s credibility in the market place and draws the attention of the general main stream media… IBM will not change. While IBM can afford to continue rolling layoffs as a means to oppress it’s work force into a state of mind where folks “should feel lucky” to have an IBM job at all… it can’t afford to lose it’s ENTIRE work force all at once. Alternatively, people at IBM can choose to do nothing at all… and allow circumstances and the market to eventually correct the problem on its’ own. The auto industry and customers' general disdain for american automobile products is a prime example of this. In any event, sadly enough, change won’t come to IBM through subtle actions. -Happily Out...-
    • Comment 01/06/09: For all of you wondering if the grass is greener on the other side, it is! I left Big Blue about a year ago and still have a bunch of friends there who just plain miserable. I joined IBM in 2000, pretty much straight out of school. When I arrived, I had that attitude of "damn the man!" and that I wouldn't conform. Over time, they break you down, give you little morsels of recognition, and you start to sip the Kool-Aid. After a few years, I would say I was proud to be part of the company, and would tell anyone outside why it was such a great place to work.

      But then the company started stacking the deck against us (no PBC bonus, unachievable goals, moving critical resources offshore, etc). My colleagues and I would start to voice our concerns in the hopes we would be heard and something would change....nothing changed, it just got worse. And the whole time this is going on, they are telling you "you should be lucky to have a job" and "the grass isn’t greener on the other side".

      The effect of this was an erosion of confidence in my abilities and skills, and that I wouldn't be able to find employment outside IBM. Well to all those who have wondered whether it would be better outside Big Blue, I would say it is and I couldn’t be happier….no regrets. I hope you all get that same feeling wherever you work! -gladtobegone-

    • Comment 01/07/09: You guys have it wrong. There is no pipeline, no more work. IBM has resourced itself out of the market. -anonymous-
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 01/06/09: Salary = 135000; Band Level = 10; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 100; Message = akjfd -Bobbi-
    • Comment 01/06/09: Salary = 73500; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 3.5; Hours/Week = varies; Div Name = GBS; Location = SouthEast; Message = Not including bonus -IBM Employee-
    • Comment 01/09/09: Salary = 115000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 48.5; Div Name = 6C; Location = Work from Home; Message = Everyone is fearing RA this month. I work on an IGA Project. Funding ends at the end of the month even though there is plenty of work to do. No answers from the SPM. It's a joke right now. -SysEngineer-
    • Comment 01/09/09: Salary = 113000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Sr IT Specialist; Years Service = 15.3; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = GBS; Location = CA; Message = Recently laid off. Raise were next to nil for the last few years and the years when there were raises, it was because my manager was in a good mood during my performance review. GBS has lost its good old IBM blue a long time ago and thanks to Sam Palmisano, the rest of the company will soon too. What kind of company/management would ask its workers who were just handed a lay-off notice to increase their utilization to 45hr/wk (no extra pay)? -ExIBMer-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 01/06/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = ?; Message = anyone have their pbc meeting yet? I'm guessing there is a lot more '2' performers. Heard the performance bonus will be really poor and maybe gone all together -anon- Alliance reply: Gee..ya think?
    • Comment 01/07/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = ?; Message = No one on my team has had the PBC 1-1 yet despite the constant reminders to get them done on time, which we did. I have the distinct impression our mgr is avoiding us altogether which is just driving the paranoia factor through the roof. Any info from the rumor-mill about PBC reviews being pushed back until after results are announced and RAs are announced and Boulder GDF is live? -DidMyPBC-
    • Comment 01/08/09: Had a chat with manager today and was given my PBC result. -Don-
    • Comment 01/08/09: Got strong feeling PBC results will be announced to those groups being affected by a "resource action" (really the definition is a firing) after the firings. So then if you only got a PBC "2" your manager can say you are lucky to still have a job. Gotta luv this $#@%ing BIG BLEW. -PBCthis-
    • Comment 01/09/09: We were forced to turn around the PBC inputs in early in December. I think the whole process is meaningless since it has no impacts on raises. I work in GBS and it very difficult to know how you compare against your peers in the Practice Group. Every project I have worked on has unrealistic deadlines and understaffed. I think everything is on hold until the RA occurs regarding the PBC 1-1. -flounderinginSEA&T-
    • Comment 01/09/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 1; This Yr Bonus = 0; Prior Yr Bonus = 9%; Message = Almost every year during PBC1x1, I always hear 'there is only 1 or 2 1s'. If PBC ratings are not done to fit within a 'bell curve', I don't know what is. I delivered the same performance in 2008 and 2007 but my ratings are drastically different. Why? I believe there are managers who use this opportunity to demonstrate their personal "authority". -mychubbchubbs-
    • Comment 01/10/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = 600; Prior Yr Bonus = 0; Message = Last year my manager promised me to give me a 2+ or again a 2 if my performance is on the same level. Ironically my performance is better than last year, but the pbc is sinking due to forced distribution. My manager said, they had to distribute 3 and so I was the designated one since I am a workstudent. I am very glad I leave IBM. This company is not meant for young motivated people. IBM always talks about performance oriented work etc. but is not willing to pay for good achievement. I am disappointed about this enterprise and I will never return again, no matter the salary or opportunity I get. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 01/09/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+ This Yr PBC = ? This Yr Bonus = ? Prior Yr Bonus = 0 Message = Are there any consequences for refusing to electronically sign or otherwise return a PBC appraisal? -Tortured@IBM-
    • Comment 01/09/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr Bonus = ha; Message = those of you that still think PBC ratings and 'bonus/variable pay' is still that.. think about it.. it's NONE of that. The program was dreamt up by bean counters. You're being paid on a 13 month pay cycle. Period. You're in competition with your peers to obtain that 'elusive "1" rating' but to keep you from killing your peers for it - "teaming" is a "core value". You're told your TOTAL COMPENSATION is compatible with national averages and that INCLUDES your variable pay. Think about it, ever wonder why your bonus check - regardless of rating is very close to a normal paycheck? because it is. its you're 13th check - one they sat on for 3 extra months and collect the interest on that cash till they pay it out in March. wake up - the entire PBC rating system is a ruse to keep you doing more each year to catch the track rabbit. -anon-
  • International Comments
    • Comment 01/09/09: Country = Ireland; Union Affiliate = U.S. ; Job Title = Proc. eng; IBM Division = server; Message = We hear that 180-185 jobs to go in Dublin. Any info please reply. -Gal-
Vault Message Board Posts
Minimize

Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A few sample posts follow:

  • "IBM Hirings" by "TrooMe". Full excerpt: IBM has several entry level jobs posted for all their offices. Do they ever staff these positions or are they for show? What type of operations do they have in Miami?
  • "Still around" by "Peroxide Queen". Full excerpt: Hello Frank. Yes, I am still around and doing quite well. Thanks for asking about me. In case you did not know this, I moved to position number 14 on CNN's money.com list of 50 Most Powerful Women. I am one reason that IBM's stock is outpacing the market. My $18 billion division, which automates complex services for clients in areas from HR to insurance-claim processing, has posted year-over-year profit increases for ten straight quarters. It is a safe bet that this track record will continue under my leadership. I prefer not to say too much about the members of this message board who were very vocal in their attempts to get me fired. Needless to say, they were not successful. I know they were jealous of my success.
  • "Actually," by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: I'm in awe of your ability to con the markets and management within IBM - though I'm certainly not jealous of it as I consider the ability to prevent a false front a negative. There is a proverb which reads that you are better to have little gained honestly than much riches acquired through unrighteous means.
  • "What I am in awe of though..." by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: Is your current photo on the IBM web pages. Do you do the air-brushing yourself, and if so, why do you maintain the rugged good looks of a mafia don?
  • "My appearance" by "Peroxide Queen". Full excerpt: If I recall correctly, the photo of me that was posted on ibm.com was made about 3 years ago. A current photo would look pretty much the same. Why the obsession with my appearance? Most of the men and women I work with are unaffected by my good looks. All of the people I work with know me to be a strong and capable executive. They also know that I do not suffer fools.
  • "Don't go away mad, just go away" by "Frank_Reality". Excerpts: The IBM strategy is to make life so hellish for their USA employees that they'll leave. Throw in the 16K US employees to get axed in January to strike fear in the workforce and drive the job demands higher for the survivors.

    The latest directive is taking the IT services people who are scattered all over the nation and force them to relocate to a single location - this includes remote employees. The modus operandi is that the employee will be told their job effective Monday will be onsite at the new location permanently. Moving and transfer costs will NOT be paid by the company and choosing to not do the forced move will be considered a resignation, meaning no unemployment benefits and probably a minimal severance package. If you do accept the move, IBM only commits to keep the employee a year.

    IBM's overall goal here is to have a minimal contractor workforce in the USA except for executives and their direct staff. Everyone else will be contractors or non-USA resources. It takes very special immoral, unethical, little Satans to come up with a strategy this evil. Burn and rot boys and girls!

  • "Now now Frank" by "Peroxide Queen". Full excerpt: Now now Frank, you should know better than to put such a negative spin on IBM's resource management techniques. We do not want all USA employees to leave, but anyone that is not happy with how we run things is free to leave anytime they wish. Our business model is working well, and it will continue to work well in this difficult economy. We are not in the business of trying to keep employees happy. That ship left port a long time ago. We are in the business of keeping our stockholders happy. Our stockholders are delighted to see us continue to grow our profit and couldn't care less how we treat our employees
  • "Are these messages real?" by "ConsultGal_85". Full excerpt: Something is seriously wrong at IBM or these message boards are fake. I cannot believe that senior exec's like Peroxide and Frank would leave unwarranted public messages here for all to see.
  • "Are you serious consultant_gal?" by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: I've worked for a number of companies in my time (including 3 consultancies -IBM being one of them). It does take indeed an unconscionable person to manage people IBM's way. Though Frank's message is said with the full force of his emotion, what he says is true. Peroxide glows with the gleam of an angel, but her actions betray a heart blackened by greed for her own career and wealth and a conscience long since seared as with a hot iron. This board tells things as they are at IBM. I've never had a problem telling people good things about good employers - alas, IBM is not one of them.
  • "Perspective" by "Employee97". Full excerpt: Come on...58.6% of $76.6B revenue through Q3 2008 was from Global Services...if you don't have people chargeable and billing the client then you don't have revenue. So are massive layoffs in GS likely...no...are some people going to get cut including myself in the shifting sands...possibly...but that has always been the situation in the lurching dynamic tumultuous boom / bust, hyper, never been seen before cycle times associated with the technology services world of the last 20+ years. Get used to it.
  • "Senior Exec?" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: I'm pleased that you think I'm a senior exec, but not being a certified psychopath I can't walk in their dark and evil path. I'm connected with a loosely coupled group of reformers in multiple divisions at multiple locations of the corp. I'm convinced if IBM continues in its current path it will die a very slow and painful death, taking a lot of innocents with it. My mission is to save the IBM company from its executive class that is abusing employees and raping the stockholders. Good luck to us all.
  • "Peroxide Queen - r u serious?" by "thinker123". Full excerpt: As someone residing in your trenches, I cannot help but draw similarities to your statements about "our business model working" and the statements I read online about 2 years ago that the US economy was just fine and in fact was doing very well. From the executive suite do things really appear all hunky-dory?

    I can tell you that within the L&K Division of GBS things are an absolute mess. I am surrounded by more demotivated IBM employees and management than ever before and the GBS consultants out in the field feel that the business model is failing in most respects.

    With unhappy employees comes unhappy clients. With unhappy clients comes a lousy reputation. Eventually profits will fall and yes, your delighted stockholders will not be quite as delighted as they may seem right now. You have to remember that IBM's reputation as a blue chip is holding its stock up right now... people are in panic mode about the economy and of course "blue chips" seem to make good investment sense. Once news of the layoffs and massive IBM employee offshoring movement hits the international airwaves, I would bet that perceptions will change.

  • "Having worked for IBM Australia..." by "civilliberty". Full excerpt: My advice - keep your eyes open - don't be conned or fooled by management on anything. I also ran into an old colleague still working there about 2 weeks before christmas - he felt his career was in limbo - he certainly wasn't getting the opportunities to progress his career he felt he should get (and realistic would get in a proper functioning organisation). Offshoring unfortunately is devaluing the whole IT effort in the mind of IBM , and clients alike. This ex-colleague said that the consulting is just being packaged as an incentive by IBM to selling hardware and software - that is, it is not strategic to the enterprise but rather an avenue by which to build rapport with the client and then sell their traditional fare.
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.