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Highlights—January 31, 2009

  • National Public Radio (NPR): IBM CEO: Raises, Bonuses Ahead. Full excerpt: As layoffs continue at IBM, a Planet Money listener and IBM worker forwards this letter sent by CEO Sam Palmisano on Tuesday. An IBM spokesperson confirms that it's from Palmisano. Full text after the jump. The letter reads, in part:
    I am pleased to announce that we will not only be paying bonuses to IBMers worldwide, based on individual performance, but that they'll be funded from a pool of money nearly the same size as last year's. That's significant in this economy -- and especially so, given the size of the 2007 pool. Further, our salary increase plan will continue, covering about 60 percent of our workforce. As always, increases will go to our highest performers and contributors. We should all feel good about the company's ability to invest in people in these very concrete ways.

    The IBM spokesperson won't says how many layoffs are coming: "We are not communicating that information." Full text of Palmisano's letter:

    Dear IBMer:

    We have just issued our financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2008. You can read them on w3.

    Under extremely challenging economic circumstances, we had a strong fourth quarter and a great 2008. I want to thank you for everything you have done to help achieve this impressive performance.

    Our 2008 results set several records: record revenue of $103.6 billion -- the first time IBM has passed the $100 billion mark; record pre-tax earnings of $16.7 billion, up 15 percent from 2007; record earnings per share of $8.93; and record free cash flow of $14.3 billion.

    These results are testament to superior execution by almost 400,000 IBMers and to the strategic transformation of our company over the past several years -- our shift to higher-value businesses, our investment in growth markets, our integrated solutions that address clients' needs and our improved efficiency -- all of which generate higher profit margins.

    With our strong financial position, solid recurring revenue, profit streams and global reach, we are confident about 2009 and are well positioned to achieve our 2010 earnings-per-share goals. We entered this difficult environment strong, and we expect to exit it stronger.

    In the fourth quarter we had particularly strong contributions from our services and software businesses and from growth markets. Our two Global Services segments together delivered pre-tax profit growth of 32 percent and margin growth of 4 points on lower revenues compared to 2007. We signed 24 deals larger than $100 million -- the highest we've seen in quite some time. Software revenue was up 9 percent at constant currency, driven by growth in mission-critical production software. And although growth in emerging markets has slowed, it continues to be very attractive relative to the rest of the world. These markets comprised 18 percent of IBM's geographic revenue in the quarter and the year.

    As always, some parts of the business did not perform as well. Systems & Technology revenue declined 16 percent at constant currency this quarter with shortfalls in our x86 and storage products offsetting gains in high-end servers. In part, this was due to clients being focused on reducing the cost of running their existing IT infrastructure. But it also reflected execution issues that we must acknowledge and address. The current global economy clearly presents a challenge. But even more, for those with vision and boldness, it represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And it is one uniquely suited to IBM's capabilities, legacy and way of thinking.

    Those capabilities and that thinking have taken new form in our Smarter Planet strategy. It is resonating with people and businesses around the world who are ready and eager for fundamental change. It has already captured the interest of numerous governments actively planning to stimulate their economies. They are looking not just to repair what's broken, but to prepare for a new century. More than $2 trillion in proposed investments have been announced to transform national infrastructures. If we hadn't already been developing the Smarter Planet strategy -- which is in many ways the culmination of everything we have done over the past decade in technology, business and global integration -- we would probably be creating something very much like it right now, in order to capture this enormous opportunity.

    I will discuss Smarter Planet, our results for the quarter and the full year and our plans for 2009 in my broadcast on w3 tomorrow. I urge you to listen in.

    Let me close with a word about IBM's basic approach to the complex, difficult and exciting era in which we find ourselves. As we know, many companies today are curtailing or drastically cutting spending and investment, even in areas that are important to their future. We are taking a different approach, not only because we have the financial strength to do so, but because we choose to manage IBM for long-term success. Of course, we must continue to improve our competitiveness, drive productivity, replenish skills and eliminate redundancies where they exist. At the same time, we will continue to invest -- in R&D, strategic acquisitions, growth initiatives and in taking our Smarter Planet initiative to the world.

    Most importantly, we will invest in our people through our continued support for learning and skill development, through programs like the Global Citizen's Portfolio and through competitive salary and incentive programs

    In that connection, I am pleased to announce that we will not only be paying bonuses to IBMers worldwide, based on individual performance, but that they'll be funded from a pool of money nearly the same size as last year's. That's significant in this economy -- and especially so, given the size of the 2007 pool. Further, our salary increase plan will continue, covering about 60 percent of our workforce. As always, increases will go to our highest performers and contributors. We should all feel good about the company's ability to invest in people in these very concrete ways.

    We stand at a unique moment in the course of modern history, and in the nearly 100-year story of IBM. More than at any time since I joined the company 35 years ago, I see the chance to align those two trajectories in powerful ways. I hope and trust that you share my sense of this moment. I believe it is a call for greatness, and I believe IBMers are ready to answer that call.

    This promises to be an exciting and important year.

    Sam Palmisano Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

  • National Public Radio: The following are selected reader comments concerning the above article:
    • IBM is no longer an American company. It is quietly firing Americans as fast as it can. 10-16,000 in January alone. While it had maintained a workforce of 250-380,000 employee's for many, many years with 150-200,000 being in this country, they have been aggressively changing this and will likely have much than 100,000 by year end. The company's goal is to have 5% of the IBM company's workforce be American. The IBM goals are: Target Ratio: 80-90% in GDC (offshore countries), 20-10% onshore (in US) (BUT the 20% onshore is 5% Americans and 15% contractors or foreigners on H-1B and other visas). Very sad and it is destroying many American lives. The ironic thing is IBM executives are now trying to get money from our new president for "job creation initiatives". If IBM's request is granted it will PROVE the emperor (US government) has no clothes. If I was President Obama I would look to ELIMINATE any tax advantages given to IBM immediately.
    • Last week, my husband's IBM job was eliminated. He has 30 days to accept a position within IBM or he will be laid off. Most of IBM's open jobs are offshore in developing countries. I have a career, two school age kids and aging parents HERE in the USA. We really can't leave everything and move abroad. This "Resource Action" is a secret layoff. Beerzie Boy is right. The jobs are not coming back. In the past, corporate foreign service programs had an implied ticket back to the USA. This is a one-way ticket.

      The secrecy of the offshoring is the most surprising aspect. There's nothing in the news; it's as if it hasn't happened. I suppose they can't announce the offshoring when they're taking hand-outs from the tax payors. Planet Money - THANK YOU for reporting on this. I for one, would like to know how many US positions were cut, how many were opened abroad and how many US employees have agreed to move abroad.

    • What really kills me is when Palmasiano tries to align himself with Obama's techonolgy initiatives. Obama needs to do something about the liars IBM are to give the fake front of being such a great company when they treat their people like cattle headcount and reward only the executives. "In November, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano called for an economic stimulus plan that would include major spending initiatives on technology. Palmisano also advised President Barack Obama's transition team." Go straight to hell!
    • Also...there is a lot of action on the global markets and economies that is not being reported on NPR. Summits, conventions, workshops, agreements, names & players, large business development ventures, all kinds of stuff out there. If you look at these things and gather the info from them, it is evident that America's "Corporation Land" is not really operating in America's best interests.
    • I am with Jill an Beerzie...laying off Americans and sending jobs overseas doesn't help the American economy and only benefits the CEO's and stockholders. I would be more impressed if the big shots had foregone the big payoffs and retained the laid off people and been loyal to America. If strong companies are supposed to be an advantage for America they should stay here.
    • My sister is in system sales to local governments at IBM. She's held a wide variety of positions, received amazing raises and praise, and got laid off yesterday. She and the rest of the 80 people in her department represent a huge resource of knowledge that won't easily translate offshore. I hope IBM just tanks straight to hell.
    • Erik, thanks for the Supply-Side baloney. There are several problems with your thinking. The primary one is that IBM is sending a large share of its work overseas, never to return. (Thinking those layoffs are "temporary" is a delusion. Jobs are going overseas, never to return.) This is not about producing more, but producing with less and with cheaper foreign workers. This is great news for stockholders (including Palmisano, who has 500K shares of IBM) and perhaps even the remaining employees, but a strong IBM does not help the U.S. unless they invest in (and not cherry-pick from) our economy.
    • Am I missing something? What is the thinking behind a letter like this followed by layoffs - all the energy of the letter is about reassurance and confidence - it feels so dissonant now that the other - still not public - shoe has dropped
  • Fortune: IBM Layoff Count: At Least 2,800 In Sales And Software. By Eric Krangel. Excerpts: All last week, IBM refused to comment on reports of job cuts all over the Internet, and when SAI contacted the company about layoff reports IBM spokespeople told this reporter they wouldn't comment on "speculation." Then over the weekend someone at IBM Canada confirmed the obvious: Yes, of course layoffs are underway. Now we get more details from this morning's WSJ. IBM still isn't saying how deep the cuts are, but the Journal has confirmed 2,850 after getting their hands on leaked IBM documents. ...

    Why the secrecy? One bitter IBM employee tells SAI:

    The next bag of tricks up IBM's sleeve is to make offers to some current employees to move to newly-formed Global Delivery Centers (Boulder, Colorado, Fishkill, NY and soon to be Dubuque, IA in the US). This is in stark contrast to IBM's liberal work from home policy. The rub is, IBM is not offering any kind of relocation package. If you want to move, it's on your dime, but no guarantees of a job in writing, but yet they are asking you to stay for a minimum of one year. And if you don't want to move, you train your replacement, but they are considering it a voluntary quit, so no severance to be paid. People have kids in school, houses that they can't sell, spouses that are employed and can't relocate, etc, etc and IBM is using this as an excuse to strongarm folks into "quitting" so they don't have to pay them any severance.
  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM slashes up to 900 jobs. Big Blue declines to release numbers. By Craig Wolfe. Excerpts: Up to 900 people may have lost their jobs at the two IBM Corp. plants in Dutchess County Tuesday, part of a nationwide cut of about 1,200 people in the company's Systems and Technology group. The exact local number could not be learned for sure, because IBM isn't telling - a sharp departure from the practice of past years when job cuts, large and small, were confirmed by the company after the affected employees were told. ...

    Though IBM's official spokesmen would only confirm a "resource action" in the group, they weren't revealing numbers or locations. A cut of more than 500 would apparently have triggered a notice under the WARN Act, for federal Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification, which requires a company the size of IBM that cuts 500 or more jobs at a site during a 30-day period must give notice. IBM hasn't given any notice, according to the New York state Department of Labor, which receives federal WARN notices. ...

    New York is also interested because it made a deal in July to give IBM $140 million in return for IBM's investment of $1.5 billion in three New York state projects, one of which involves $65 million to improve the East Fishkill operation. Gov. David Paterson and state legislators got a pledge from IBM to not lay off anyone at East Fishkill during 2008 and to keep at least 1,400 semiconductor jobs there for the duration of the deal through Dec. 31, 2011. The total jobs at the site was 6,569 at the end of 2007, according to the state's Empire State Development Corp. incentive proposal document. ...

    Doug Shelton, director of media relations for IBM, wouldn't comment on numbers, sites or locations. "We just decided because it is an ongoing part of our business that it is not something we've chosen to release," he said Tuesday. "We notified some last week on the 21st and notified some more today. I can't speculate on what the future will hold." ...

    While most companies like IBM reveal the number of jobs cut, IBM has changed and isn't being specific. It says it doesn't have to. IBM told The Associated Press the rules of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission require companies to disclose only "material" events. IBM considers its job cuts a regular part of the company's business model, since thousands of jobs are cut every year but are usually added back in other places. Because of that, IBM contends it doesn't have to break out its layoffs in regulatory filings unless it suddenly changes course and makes substantially more or fewer job cuts.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Comments for IBM slashes up to 900 jobs. Selected comments follow:
    • Unfortunately, IBM is just one of the many players in corporate America that has lost its moral compass and social conscience. It isn't that IBM is unprofitable, it's just that they want to maximize their profits. The stockholders aren't losing money, it's just that by cutting US positions, where the salaries are higher, they will stand to make more profit. So you take every governmental bennie that you can, and get as much profit as you can, regardless of the impact on the people who made you a viable entity. There is a scene in the movie "You've Got Mail" where Tom Hanks says to Meg Ryan that "It's not personal, it's just business." Well, if you are one of those loyal, hard working types who have been working diligently for IBM over the years and is now being laid off --- Newsflash!!! IT IS Personal!!! And, oh by the way, it is not good business.
    • Yes IBM is a private company trying to make a buck but Palmisano has lost sight of what made IBM what it is today. The american workers who dedicated their professional lives to see IBM rise to the top of the technological world. The CEO asserts that these are not layoffs, thereby evading the WARN requirements, but rather a response to a rebalance needed skills. In other words move your jobs to India and China where they're only distinguishable skill is to work for less wages. Its not so much that they move these jobs offshore, its the bold-faced lies IBM execs spin to its employees, local, state and federal governments that make them look like a bunch of aholes.
    • The IBM I joined in 1961 could and did boast that the only lay off in all their history was of six or eight people around 1940. After a week or so, the story went, they reconsidered and hired those people back. It would appear that times have changed... Robert Dunscomb
    • How much more taxpayer funded corporate welfare are we going to give this company. WE pay for these tax breaks to insure jobs stay here. This is corporate extorsion. IBM doesn't feel it should tell us the amount of families that will be hurt by their callous move to drive profits? But it takes our money through tax breaks and incentives. I wish those laid off the best.
    • Hmm.. lets see NY agreed to give IBM $140 million dollars, in return IBM "pledged" to not layoff anyone in E. Fishkill during 2008 and to keep at least 1,400 semiconductor jobs thru 2011. So basically IBM waited less than 30 days after the 2008 agreement and in all fairness we don't know if the semiconductors jobs have dipped below 1,400. However; the nerve of IBM to ignore WARN with a statement "we've chosen not to release" How bout this statement. " you took nys tax money in the amount of $140 million and now you are required to at least comply with WARN let alone explain your actions"........This is the statement the Governor need to make to IBM. And what the heck does "pleadged" mean ? You got my word....Thats some business practice on the part of NYS
    • IBM has shown its true colors and its not big blue. By deceptive and unethical practices its been able to sidestep WARN and bilk NY state tax payers out of millions of dollars but any IBM employee can tell you thats the norm since Palmisano became CEO.
    • For a Company that preaches ethics and values, it is so hypocritical, reprehensible and dishonest not to come clean & release the "numbers" to the public.
    • How do you define sleeze. IBM. I have to laugh at the "restructuring" excuse over and over. Call a spade a spade, it is shifting manufacturing overseas. I looked in Websters, Outsourcing is not the same as restructuring. As far as WARN, IBM never follwed the law, they can take the tax break money we the taxpayers gave them and pay fines, its cheaper. I bet the bonusus for the Top got bigger.
    • WOW!! That's it??!! If it's true that they're laying off 900 people locally out of 1200 total, it doesn't sound like a "national" issue at all...sounds like they were biding their time until the clock struck 2009 so they could axe these people. This behavior is outrageous! I can't believe they are getting $140 million of our taxpayer money...
    • The State of New York should immediately eliminate all tax breaks given to I.B.M., especially considering the fact that I.B.M. doesn’t wish to reveal the true number of employees that were laid off... As taxpayers, we need to insist on truthful and full disclosure in return for state issued tax breaks...
  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM files notice of job cuts in April at East Fishkill. Semiconductor site continues layoffs today. Excerpts: IBM Corp. filed a notice today it will cut 274 positions here at the Hudson Valley Research Park as of April 27, the state Department of Labor has confirmed. An IBM spokesman said those are not additional, but part of the resource action that began Tuesday. The company filed a notice under New York state's new law requiring layoff notices, said Francina Hill, a spokeswoman at the department. ...

    The state's new law sets tighter standards than a similar, existing federal law called the WARN Act, for Worker Adjustment , Retraining And Notification. One provision is that 90 days' notice must be given if applicable. It's 90 days until April 27. New York's law takes effect Feb. 1, but the state is encouraging employers with layoffs in the works to implement it early. ...

    Job cuts continue Up to 900 people may have lost their jobs at the two IBM Corp. plants in Dutchess County Tuesday, part of a nationwide cut of about 1,200 people in the company's Systems and Technology group. The exact local number could not be learned for sure, because IBM was not releasing numbers.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Comments for IBM files notice of job cuts in April at East Fishkill. Selected comments follow
    • #1 If you are under 40, it is easier to get a job. When you are getting close to retirement, it is difficult if not impossible to get a job. You have loss the pension, end up spending your savings. When I was the victim of a resource action, at least 4 people that I know of had greater then 22 years at IBM. The job I ended up taking paid me about 40% of my previous salary. I had been locked into a job because I was good at it. My area of expertise was going away, I was not allowed to move on. I sent out 250 resumes and got 2 face to face interviews.

      #2 Finding a job in IBM - there were virtually none when I was looking, I was not allowed to apply for a job that was not 'permanent'. Out of a spreadsheet I received with 6000 jobs on it, < 250 were permanent, the nearest one was in Nashville. I hear the job databases were locked up this week, so people looking for jobs had nowhere to go.

      1st line managers do not want to do layoffs, upper management sees numbers not people.

    • I have very little sympathy to IBM. They take a great deal of money and than outsource jobs. I never thought that I would have negative feelings toward IBM. My dad worked for them as did uncles and several of my cousins. We moved as a family with them twice.I made my son buy an IBM computer as his first one. My husband was laid off just 30 days shy of bridging toward retirement aftre almost 29 years and this was done as we preped one of our children for major surgery forcing us into very expensive COBRA. And yes my husbands manager knew. Today I either throw out or sell anything left of IBM in my house.
  • Burlington Free-Press: IBM workers group seeks changes. By Dan McClean. Excerpts: IBM's refusal to disclose the number of layoffs this week -- including apparent deep cuts at the Essex Junction microelectronics plant -- has prompted a group working to unionize IBM employees to explore a change in the law.

    IBM Corp. said it doesn't have to reveal the number of jobs it is cutting, since the Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies to disclose only "material" events. And IBM considers its job cuts a regular part of the company's business model, since thousands of jobs are cut every year but are usually added back in other places, The Associated Press reported. Consequently, IBM believes it isn't required to list layoffs in regulatory filings unless it suddenly changes course and makes substantially more or fewer job cuts.

    "They say it's part of doing their regular business," Lee Conrad, the national coordinator of the Alliance@IBM, said of the layoffs. "Try telling that to the employees who just lost their jobs. ...

    Conrad contacted Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday and plans to contact Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., among other elected officials. "We are trying to find out how IBM is using the SEC to keep IBM job cuts a secret," Conrad said. Jeff Lieberson, Hinchey's spokesman, confirmed the congressman's office is exploring the matter. "We got a call and are looking into why IBM is not publicly stating all of these cuts," he said.

    IBM spokesman Doug Shelton said on Tuesday, "it just doesn't lend itself to always make an announcement about it."...

    IBM's silence comes as other tech companies such as Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Texas Instruments Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Google Inc. have publicly disclosed job cuts. More than 20,000 jobs will be lost from those companies, according to an AP tally. Hewlett-Packard Co. is also laying off 24,600 people, nearly 8 percent of its 320,000-employee work force, after acquiring Electronic Data Systems Corp.

  • National Public Radio (NPR): 'Resource Actioned' Lately? Excerpts: U.S. companies today announced 43,000 layoffs in the works today. President Barack Obama used the news to pitch a quick economic stimulus package again. It's definitely starting to feel like Layoff Land out there, with e-mails from newly canned folks piling up. I'll drop one from an IBM family after the jump. Note: IBM calls its layoffs a "Resource Action." ... Selectect comments follow:
    • IBM doesn't report mass firings to anyone in the press/government. IBM has quietly been moving jobs to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as fast as it can for at least 5 years now. IBM does this in stealth mode so the investors don't realize that the "firings" (they are not layoffs as once you leave IBM you are NEVER called back because all new hires are off shore, cheap contractors or college students) are the source of the increasing profits and not products or innovation which they no longer develop due to job cuts and no spending on skills/education for employees.

      IBM just buys small companies (several 100 companies the last few years) to gain the companies products so IBM can market and sell them while IBM slashes development staffs so they can barely provide adequate product support. IBM milks these products until they become obsolete then dumps them and replace them with products from newly acquired companies.

      Pre-2002 IBM had 200-250,000 USA employee's of the 350-400,000 total world wide. IBM will have much less than 100,000 US folks by year end with a goal to reduce US population to 20,000 ASAP.

    • All large corporations dehumanize the employees they want to get rid of. At my former employer, they invented a new euphemism for the process with every round of layoffs.
    • To loosely paraphrase Orwell: "In our time, corporate speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible."
    • I don't know which is more disgusting -- the way IBM dehumanizes its employees with this new lingo, or the way the company is "forced" into such actions by unreasonable and unsustainable expectations of growth by the investing public. IBM is an extremely large, extremely profitable company. It cannot grow 10% this year and then 15% next year and then 20% the year after that.
    • Just another way to race to the bottom - now we're outsourcing US employees to third world countries?
  • WRAL-TV (Raleigh): IBMers speak out – Layoffs leave them ‘scared’ or ‘screwed’. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: "Rick, IBM is firing people at RTP today … fact.” “Look at the allianceibm.org Web site. Notifications have been going on all day. Started less than 24 hours after those glorious results were posted publicly. …” “You got this story all wrong, Rick, sheeezzz. Check allianceibm please.” ...

    IBM acknowledged Wednesday that a “resource action” – RA, read "find a new job within IBM or be terminated" – was under way in its North America operations. The Skinny, noting that Big Blue made no announcement about layoffs in its earnings call on Tuesday, said it appeared that perhaps a reprieve was at hand – even if temporarily.

    As the day passed Wednesday, the e-mail starting coming to WRAL.com and Local Tech Wire about the layoffs. Many notices also began showing up on the Alliance@IBM union Web site, with the Software Group (SWG) suffering the most damage.

  • WRAL-TV: IBM begins layoffs, won't say how many. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: Less than 24 hours after IBM reported profits that far exceeded Wall Street expectations, Big Blue began a series of layoffs across the company in North America on Wednesday. ...

    There have been rumors of layoffs hitting as many as 16,000 – a number predicted by one Wall Street analyst, the union and some IBM employees – but John Buscemi of IBM corporate media relations said that number was much too high. “IBM manages its workload and its talent on a global basis,” Buscemi said. “However, today's announcement affects North America.” ...

    Alliance@IBM, the union that is seeking to represent IBM workers, said 1,400 or more people were affected by the resource action in the software group alone. The cuts aren’t over, warned IBM Alliance Coordinator Lee Conrad. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Global Services was affected,” Conrad said. “We hear that on the 27th, the technology group will be hit.” ...

    Buscemi linked the resource action to an IBM earnings conference call with financial analysts on Wednesday. Mark Loughridge, IBM’s chief financial officer, was asked about work force reductions. Loughridge said IBM planned “some acceleration” in what he called “work force rebalancing” in 2009. By rebalancing, Loughridge referred to IBM’s practice of reassigning workers or hiring workers in other locations, such as overseas, while displacing current employees.

  • KAAL-TV (Rochester, MN): IBM Employees Fear Layoffs. By Donny Rowles. Excerpts: Software giant IBM may be on the verge of cutting hundreds of jobs. And some may be lost right here in southeast Minnesota. This bad news comes, despite a record setting earnings report for the fourth quarter. Rumors are swirling about possible layoffs at IBM, including the Rochester location. ...

    IBM Spokesman Doug Shelton says IBM is notifying employees who are being laid off. He says, "we have notified some employees in the U.S. that this process is happening." Shelton says laying off workers is something IBM has to do adapt their staffing to adjust on the fly to what their clients need. He says that flexibility is even more important in today's economy.

  • eWeek: Excerpts: IBM Employees Sound Off on Job Cuts. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpts: IBM employees report significant job cuts in the IBM Software Group and IBM Sales and Distribution arms, despite the IT infrastructure and software company's recent strong fourth-quarter earnings. Layoffs appear to be in the areas of software development and marketing, among others. ...

    IBM current and former employees posting to a Web site called Alliance@IBM have sounded off about a recent round of layoffs that hit primarily on Jan. 21, but do not appear to be over. The divisions most affected, according to the posts, have been IBM Software Group and IBM Sales and Distribution. But it is possible job cuts could soon hit other parts of the company, according to posts on the Alliance@IBM site.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: Vermont: Fewer than 500 layoffs at IBM plant. By Dave Gram. Excerpts: With IBM Corp. remaining tight lipped about layoffs at its Essex Junction plant, Vermont's labor commissioner said the total number would be fewer than 500 in a new round of cuts driven by market conditions. The layoffs were taking place nationally and were not specific to Vermont, said Labor Commissioner Patricia Moulton Powden, who was notified by the technology company Tuesday morning. ...

    "The only ones that know (the exact number of layoffs) are the executives," said Earl Mongeon, vice president of Alliance@IBM, a group affiliated with the Communication Workers of America union. "Good luck trying to get that information. I wish they were more transparent. They should be more up-front. Other companies are." Mongeon, a manufacturing employee in the company's Systems and Technology Group, said he had worked the overnight shift that ended Tuesday morning, and had witnessed some of the layoffs. He said employees began getting the word at about 4 a.m. "You get called into the manager's office. ... They were given their packages and escorted to the door." Mongeon said individual employees were not told how many of their colleagues were affected by the job cuts. ...

    The company recently had employed 5,300 at its plant in Essex Junction, down from 8,500 in 2001.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: IBM quietly cuts thousands of jobs. By Jordan Robertson. Excerpts: The Armonk, N.Y.-based company has cut thousands of jobs over the past week, including positions in sales and the software and hardware divisions. IBM) says the cuts are simply part of its ongoing efforts to watch costs, and the company won't release specific numbers, even as reports of firings stream in from IBM facilities across the country. ...

    IBM says it doesn't have to reveal the number of jobs it is cutting, since the Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies to disclose only "material" events. And IBM considers its job cuts a regular part of the company's business model, since thousands of jobs are cut every year but are usually added back in other places. Because of that, IBM contends it doesn't have to break out its layoffs in regulatory filings unless it suddenly changes course and makes substantially more or fewer job cuts. ...

    IBM's ongoing labor adjustments have led the company to add bodies in cheaper and higher-growth parts of the world, like India.

    In 2007, the last full year for which detailed employment numbers are available, 121,000 of IBM's 387,000 workers were in the U.S., down slightly from the year before. Meanwhile, staffing in India has jumped from just 9,000 workers in 2003 to 74,000 workers in 2007.

  • Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record: Employees: IBM layoffs to happen in three-day wave. By Christine Young. Excerpts: An IBM East Fishkill employee said some workers have already been let go after receiving unsatisfactory performance appraisals. Many workers believe IBM wants to make the cuts before Feb. 1, when a new state law goes into effect requiring companies to give 90 days notice of mass layoffs. “I heard five people were asked to leave on Sunday,” the employee said. “Normally, the manager has until the end of January to do the appraisals, but this year they had to be done by the first two weeks of January.”

    “They’re using MIS – managment-initiated separations – where they lower people’s work evaluations to force them out the door,” Conrad said. “That’s not the same as resource action. There’s less severance, less notice, and it’s not reported like a resource action.” ...

    Yet another worker said that while IBM shows stunning profits, “none of that money trickles down to the employees.” IBM spokesmen have said the company will not comment on rumors or speculation. “That’s how IBM does it,” Conrad said. “They don’t announce it. They just start cutting and let everyone scramble and guess how many are cut and where.”

  • Austin American-Statesman: IBM begins layoffs; Austin impact unclear. Excerpts: IBM has about 6,200 employees in Austin, including people who work in systems software development and its Tivoli Software division, which manages and controls big computer networks. On Tuesday, IBM reported a 12 percent increase in fourth quarter profits and forecast profits of $9.20 a share this year, considerably higher than analysts had expected.
  • Austin American-Statesman: Selected reader comments concerning the above article:
    • IBM is getting rid of workers who are vested in the defined benefit pension package prior to their reaching full retirement as well as workers who have pretty good health care benefits - long term. The workers are fired regardless of their performance,no annual bonus money is paid out (not even pro-rated) and the staff that is left now has to work 15-18 hour days. The final straw is the record profits that were announced for Q4…. and Sam trying to not pay the pension obligation…..
    • How can you not find it appalling that Sam Palmisano stood by Obama and talked about how tragic it is that US workers are losing jobs, all but begging for federal money, while at the same time authorizing a US job to move offshore, to save a few dollars per hour, and in turn contributing to this “crisis”?
    • I survivied the IBM layoff in this round. There are more coming. What flies in the face of the employees is that while we were being called and told of our fate, our CEO was standing in front of President Obama talking about job creation in America, the importance of shoring up the American economy, and American workers. A total slap in the face to those who are seeing much needed co-workers given the axe because of their age, cost of benefits (present and future), and current salaries.
    • Job cuts started in Oct & Nov. - who is IBM trying to kid…Not releasing the numbers because they are HUGE…I personally know people all over the country not just here in Austin that have been laid off.. On Tuesday, IBM reported a 12 percent increase in fourth quarter profits..without saying because they laid off 12-15% of the resources in the US in 4th quarter…Come on IBM get real with America and stop out sourcing and keep the American worker employed….
    • IBM’s idea of “choice” is a severance package in a down market or a job somewhere in one of 3 cities like Dubuque (where the avg salary is $45k, which means pay cuts - yes, it’s already been announced), not to mention that there’s no guarantee that a position is available. What a choice - to “try” and sell a house, leaving friends, family, doctor, dentist and car mechanic behind, and move to a job you don’t have any idea will be there.

      The issue is what is fairplay? There was a time when companies took pride in that they never laid off any employees because they planned for downturns.

      IBM senior management has been doing this only for the past 7 years. It’s shortsighted and will be reflected when not only investors, but in the end - customers - finally catch on. IBM is a gerbil running in a wheel.

      I’d like to see a company like IBM succeed, but not when the stock price is being propped up at the cost of employees to feed a CEO’s bonus. When a CEO makes more than my family and I will ever see in a lifetime, and I see my friends and former customers losing their jobs, yeah, I have a problem.

    • IBM is in the ‘middle’ of a long-term plan to reduce costs and raise the stock price, and many executive bonuses are tied to the targets. It includes cutting labor costs every quarter, and buying back stocks. This has nothing to do with picking on old IBMers, or strategically positioning products. It is simply the execution of a plan to send American and European jobs to the BRICs, including eventually many executive jobs (although they go when they retire). Last week, and this week, the waves will continue. They will also continue every quarter for the foreseeable future in small waves. It’s the plan for many areas - all divisions. The only thing that slows it down is when an account is obviously broken, and the US/EMEA skills need to be brought back to save it. It is a terrible place to work the last few years (I have 28 years and I have seen the real IBM die a slow death by the late 90’s. What we have now should be renamed. It is not IBM).
    • My IBM Software Group team here in Austin lost 20% of our staff this week. The build-up was agonizing, and although we knew it was coming, none of us could reliably guess who the cuts would be, because everyone on this team works harder and produces more than ANYONE on similar teams I’ve been on over the last ten years at IBM. There was no fat to trim, so these resource actions cut away vibrant, high-contributing meat cogs. I guess we can no longer make snide, arrogant comments about what a sweat-shop Dell is. Morale is abysmal.
    • Cobra…there was a time when companies cared about employees and would reduce headcount as a last resort, not as a caluclated business practice. There are other ways to trim costs in tought economic times. It is interesting that all these cuts fall on the average worker, yet the CEO and his reports continue to experience great increases in pay and no consequences from these tough times. SO I think what upsets and disillusions some is that it is very transparent if you look at Hoovers or other CEO pay sites how those keep going up at the cost of others. Greedy people are running the show and they will find their due judgement some day.
    • This has nothing to do with the skill or performance of the workers involved. Some of them are top skilled coworkers of mine and some are average. It has to do with replacing US works with off-shore workers in the BRIC countries(mostly in India). And the equation appears to be 1 US worker for every 2.5 off-shore workers. (since 2002 IBM has decreased US workforce by about 32,000 while increasing off-shore workforce by about 80,000) I can tell you from projects I have worked on, it takes about 3 to 4 off-shore workers to replace the skill, experience and most importantly, productivity of US workers. Projects we would have used 4 or 5 US workers on take 13 or 14 off-shore workers. Makes you wonder why they would go to the effort, if it weren’t for the ability to hide profits offshore.
    • If the layoffs represent obsolete skills, under performing workers, closed revenue markets, etc. then this is to be expected and is not shocking. If the layoffs represent what large companies call “rebalancing” (translation: balancing 1 US workers salary to 5 Indian salaries), then it is disgusting and the kind of move that will come back to haunt IBM in the not so distant future.
    • There are many things I would like IBM to be known for, but no matter how big we become, I want this company to be known as the company which has the greatest respect for the individual. -Thomas J. Watson Jr. (1957) Watson who ? Respect for what ? - Sam Palmisano (2009)
    • Yes…layoffs are expected in an economy like ours. The problem with IBM is its’ stealthy resource action. Why not be truthful of the magnitude of the layoff? There is nothing usual about a possilbe 5% reduction in work force, especially one without notification. Double speak is the norm at IBM, not outright lies just not the truth. Why would anyone want to work for IBM?
    • IBM makes plenty of money, it is a matter of keeping it that way. Lay off the 40-50 somethings, hire the college grads as business/tech analysts at 40k per year, cull the non-performers out within 6 months. Then you work the 25-40 age group to the bone while the knowledge walks out the door with their severance and the new people take some time to get up to speed. Five years from now the late 30 somethings will be shown the door.

      Age discrimination laws have been ignored by the Dept. of Labor over the last 8 years, it is something that needs to be looked at again.

      You want to know why we have housing defaults in nice areas?

      Cannot fault IBM, if their competitors are allowed to do it, then they must compete. As for the India part of the equaision, yopu get what you paid for. The top Indians are over here, I am not impressed with the quality lately, they have no loyalty and chase the dollar or rupie like everyone else (“software engineer“‘s seems to think we owe something to employers). However the pool over there has been drained, the quality is low and they do not try to see the big picture, they do exactly as told, no more.

      The great Indian workers are the ones who came to the US in the 90’s before the boom.

  • IT World Canada: IBM layoffs hit Toronto software lab: reports. By Jeff Jedras. Excerpts: Despite releasing stronger than expected earnings on Tuesday and at the time expressing optimism for 2009, it appears a round of job cuts is underway at IBM Corp. and it looks like Big Blue’s Canadian operations have not been spared. The week has already seen heavy layoffs in the IT sector, including 5000 at Microsoft and another 5000 to 6000 at Intel. Thus far, while IBM has yet to comment publicly on any layoffs or specific numbers, the Internet is rife with reports from allegedly laid-off IBMers. ...

    If you have any information to share or have been impacted by these cuts yourself, please leave a comment or send an e-mail to jjedras at itworldcanada.com. Confidentiality will be respected.

  • Yahoo! RAed2009 message board: "Alliance Website Blocked" by "ocj81". Full excerpt: Funny how after the mention of job cuts on the Alliance wesite last week that IBM Ireland have blocked that website on campus.
  • Yahoo! RAed2009 message board: "Re: Alliance Website Blocked" by "teamb562". Full excerpt: It seems blocked at ALL ibm sites. This is the first time this has occurred and in itself, seems significant.
  • Yahoo! RAed2009 message board: "Re: Alliance Website Blocked" by "bonbon6_98". Full excerpt: It's been blocked from all IBM Canada sites too. I think it's obvious, they would like to keep us all in the dark as much as possible. Are they that stupid that they don't realize that employees are going to talk one way or another?
  • Yahoo! RAed2009 message board: "IBM Hiring while Firing!! FREEKIN UNBELIEVABLE !!!" by "johnblizzard102". Full excerpt: Just unbeliebable, got this email YESTERDAY !!!!!
    IBM Global Business Services — Hiring Alert!

    Dear Candidate,

    IBM has been at the forefront of business consulting services for decades. IBM Public Sector is a provider of innovative solutions and we never rest. Join us as we help Federal/State and Local agencies accomplish their missions.

    IBM Global Business Services, Public Sector, ERP, will be holding a PeopleSoft Interview Invitational to be held on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM in Albany, New York. The goal of the Invitational is to screen candidates that fit our advertised needs, build a pipeline of PeopleSoft professionals and hold an informational/networking event. Qualified candidates will meet with project leads, proceed with interviews and learn about upcoming PeopleSoft opportunities.

    · This event will be held by invitation only · Local candidates desired, travel expenses will not be available · Please follow the directions below

    Apply on-line at http://www-03.ibm.com/employment. You can search for these positions using the requisition numbers, GBS-0140404 and GBS-0188857. You can also send your resume directly to us at ibmhire@....

  • Yahoo! RAed2009 message board: "Re: PBC's are a joke.....always have been" by "phrl2009". Full excerpt: Here's my story: I used to be a manager, in the mid-90s. When IBM started the practice of ranking employees, I was told by my 3rd-line to rank one of the folks in my dept a "4-check", which was the kiss of death at that time (the old-timers, who joined before Gerstner took over, will understand). The guy had 30 years with the company and did NOT deserve a low ranking. So I refused to do it. And I resigned.

    I came back to IBM a few years later. This time alas, I am on the other side of the table: I refused to give out an unfair appraisal, but my current boss doesn't have the same scruples. So I am on the RA list. That's ok, karma will take care of things.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board post: "Re: todays job cuts" by Kathi Cooper. Full excerpt: Thanks to the Alliance for the media coverage. If we had left it up to IBM, they would never tell anyone. The world needs to know what IBM is doing. If you are one of the unfortunate to lose your job with IBM, please know that there are hundreds of thousands of us out there that will always consider you an 'IBM'r', no matter what. We know you are the best at what you do or you would not have been hired by IBM in the first place. We know you don't deserve to lose your job. Stick together, through thick and thin. Kathi Cooper, Retired, Class of 2005.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board post: "Re: todays job cuts" by Bob Sutton. Full excerpt: Thank you Lee for the service you and the Alliance is providing information on how IBM treats its employees and by inference its long range HR plans.

    Their behavior is somewhat analogous to some kind of secret police forces of past history but I don't want to exaggerate either but it is a perfect example of "divide and conquer" striking fear in the survivors to spur then on to further effort and sacrifices as they cower in the cubicles "thinking it will be the other guy".

    We all understand IBM does not want the general population of employees (especially the US ones) to know what their strategic HR plans are but by implementing it this way in they are actually attracting more attention than if they simply stated them in public.

    It is equally obvious that one of those goals is arbitraging cheap labor employees at the expense of higher wage workers. At one time IBM had over 250,000 US employees (peak global employment of 412,000 in the late 1980s); after this last round of layoffs it will soon cross the 100,000 mark.

    At the same time they have now hired over 80,000 in India; most since 2001 and therefore its logical to expect its headcount to cross the US by 2010. At the same time revenues from US operations are 1/3 of the IBM total yet IBM India is only a small fraction of the global total.

    Because IBM is at the cutting edge of globalism (a code word for bypassing global labor and environmental standards) the Alliance is also thrown into that role from a labor standpoint.

    Transnational corporations like IBM are now in many ways more powerful than many countries instead of being the creation of the state they control the laws and policies of the state and play one country against the other just like they did with states in the USA.

    I would suggest that this trend is a key one relative to the future of America and many other EU countries as this process reaches its logical conclusion with only a skeleton crew of face to face sales and service employees remaining in high wage countries.

    I would also suggest that one way to view this in a balanced and equitably way is that corporations like IBM owe the countries they do business in a reciprocal investment of jobs and capital investments in proportions to the country's contribution to IBM revenue and profits for only this will allow the citizens of that country to maintain their purchases of IBM goods and services over the long term.

    From this viewpoint IBM has long ago reduced its jobs and investments in the US under its relative global contribution to IBM's economic success.

    By advocating (and influencing the political system) such national solutions the Alliance can finally gain critical mass in its efforts to recruit IBM employees and gain support of the political system which is has and will remain critical to labor movement.

  • eWeek: Layoffs to Continue at IBM, Sources Say. Excerpts: According to an organization called Alliance@IBM, IBM has laid off at least 1,419 workers in its Software Group and another 1,449 in Sales and Distribution. Lee Conrad, national coordinator of Alliance@IBM, said the numbers come from documents his organization obtained from laid-off workers. The documents, basically separation agreements, indicate how many people have been affected by what IBM calls a "resource action."

    Moreover, in an interview with eWEEK on Jan. 27, Conrad said his organization had heard from employees in IBM's Systems and Technology Group—which manufactures the company's hardware systems—that they had been laid off. Conrad said people from IBM's STG facilities in Burlington, Vt.; Rochester, Minn.; East Fishkill, N.Y.; and Research Triangle Park, N.C., contacted Alliance@IBM. Alliance@IBM, which is working to organize IBM employees into a union, expects at least "400 to 500" jobs to be eliminated at each of the four STG sites listed, he said.

    "We expect further cuts over the next couple of days in other IBM divisions,” Conrad said. “We expect this to keep going right through the month. It's really unacceptable to us that IBM is not releasing the numbers or locations on these cuts. ... It's up to IBM to come clean on this." ...

    However, an executive at a software company that competes with IBM told eWEEK that he recently hired what he referred to as "one of the IBM layoff-ees." The executive, who asked not to be identified, added that although the economy is reeling, now is a time for software companies like his to find some seasoned talent with experience working on and selling big projects—like the folks at IBM.

  • CNET News: Layoff news won't deter techs on H-1B. By Charles Cooper. Excerpts: The Black Monday announcement of more than 71,000 jobs lost is a stunner. Today it was Texas Instruments and Sprint Nextel adding their names to the listof tech companies handing out pink slips. Tomorrow? Anybody's guess. In uncertain times, the only sure bet is that Congress is going to come under renewed pressure to revisit its practice of granting temporary visas to foreign workers. Already, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is pressing Microsoft to give Americans priority over foreigners working in this country with H-1Bs.

    "My point is that during a layoff, companies should not be retaining H-1B or other work visa program employees over qualified American workers," Grassley wrote on Friday after Microsoft announced its first across-the-board layoffs. "Our immigration policy is not intended to harm the American work force. I encourage Microsoft to ensure that Americans are given priority in job retention. Microsoft has a moral obligation to protect these American workers by putting them first during these difficult economic times."

    Microsoft said Monday it had no plans to change its position on H-1Bs. ...

    Among the charges is the claim that technology companies are less keen on hiring hard-to-fill spots than on creating a cyber lumpenproletariat willing to work for cheaper wages. The critics have also seized on instances where U.S. firms fired Americans while continuing to employ foreigners who held H-1B visas.

    With the new political constellation in Washington, it's unclear what, if anything, will happen to the program. But Les French, the director of the tech labor group WashTech, said he hoped Grassley's move was a harbinger. "We can only hope the general public is outraged that companies continue to apply for visas while Americans get laid off," said French. "We're going to try and get a grassroots effort going on our part to target senators who haven't been friendly on this question to step up and correct the problem. It's not only Microsoft. It's a growing list. My guess is that it's going to be business as usual and that the visas will be gone in the first few months of the fiscal year."

  • The Economic Times (India): Foreign software majors step up hiring in India. Excerpts: At a time when top Indian tech firms including TCS, Infosys and Wipro plan to slow down their linear growth by hiring less number of people, multinational software companies such as IBM, Accenture and Cap Gemini continue to hire more software professionals in order to expand their offshore capabilities. Despite lower growth in revenues from top markets such as the US and Europe, Indian offshore vendors are seeing an attrition rate of 11-13%. ...

    Captive organisations of large enterprises in the US and the UK are seeking to increase their offshore teams in order to lower their operational costs. Tesco, the world’s second-biggest retailer, plans to add a few hundreds more professionals to its existing team of around 3,000 employees at the Bangalore centre.

  • New York Times editorial: From Here to Retirement. Excerpts: If you have a 401(k) retirement plan at work, you don’t need us to tell you that you’ve taken a hit in the past year. The really bad news is that the damage to your retirement security is likely worse than what the numbers say on your statement. ...

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Over the last several decades, businesses and government used matching contributions and tax breaks to encourage the proliferation of 401(k)’s. They lauded them as a way to harness the market to create wealth and increasingly viewed them as replacements for traditional corporate pensions.

    In 1983, 62 percent of workers with retirement coverage had a traditional pension only, while a mere 12 percent had 401(k)’s. Today, approximately 20 percent have a traditional pension and about two-thirds have only 401(k)’s. The shift to 401(k)’s also shifted investing risks and responsibilities from employers to employees, but as long as participants generally made money and recovered losses quickly, the risks seemed reasonable. Now many Americans are inevitably having second thoughts.

    So far, the cumulative wipe-out of household retirement savings totals about $2 trillion, and no one believes that the downturn is anywhere near over. As a result, participants in 401(k)’s are in greater danger than ever of coming up short in retirement. ...

    The wipeout in 401(k)’s has made it clear that it is not enough to get more people to save more. There needs to be a better way to reasonably ensure that a lifetime of savings can’t be undone by forces beyond one’s control. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, a leader in retirement policy, is advocating a new savings account — in addition to Social Security and 401(k)’s — that would enable risks to be shared among workers, retirees and the government. After decades of promoting and improving 401(k)’s, in which employees bear substantial risk, that’s a new and difficult reality for policy makers to grapple with. The sooner Mr. Obama puts his team on the issue — his budget director, Peter Orszag, is one of the nation’s top retirement experts — the better.

  • New York Times: The Horror of Examining a 401(k) Balance. By Phyllis Korkki. Excerpt: In recent months, one particular event has instilled fear and even panic in households across the nation: the arrival of the 401(k) statement. Those who can bring themselves to open the envelope or click on the e-mail version are often stricken by columns of minus signs and descending numbers. What is worse, the people with the largest account balances have experienced the most severe losses. Many of these people are older and have the fewest years until retirement to make up the difference.
  • Workforce Management: Senate Approves Pay Discrimination Measure. Excerpts: The Senate approved a measure Thursday, January 22, that would make it easier for workers to sue for pay discrimination. It will now likely be among the first that President Barack Obama signs into law. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which passed 61-36, would restart the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit each time an employee receives a paycheck that has been diminished by discrimination. It was part of a larger pay discrimination package that the House approved January 9. ...

    Ledbetter, a former supervisor at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Alabama, sued the company for paying her less than her male counterparts for 20 years. The Supreme Court held, 5-4, that Ledbetter should have filed her claim within 180 days of the initial discriminatory decision rather than nearly two decades later. She said she didn’t realize the pay discrepancy existed until a colleague placed an anonymous note in her mailbox many years later.

  • Wall Street Journal: Toll on 401(k) Savings Adds Years More of Toil. By Nancy Trejos. Excerpt: Millions of Americans lost more than a quarter of their 401(k) retirement savings in 2008 because of the stock market's collapse, a setback that could force them to work longer or severely curtail their spending as they grow older. In an analysis of their participants' accounts, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard and T. Rowe Price -- three of the nation's largest 401(k) plan providers -- also found that some employees were further eroding their savings by taking hardship withdrawals to pay for current financial needs.
  • TheStreet: Linda Sanford Sells $2.68 Million of IBM.
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • Wall Street Journal: Jobless Can't Afford to Extend Health Coverage. By M.P. McQueen. Excerpts: Fewer than one in 10 jobless workers extends their former employer's medical coverage, a new study has found. An analysis by the Commonwealth Fund finds that while two-thirds of working adults would qualify to extend health-insurance coverage under a federal law after losing a job, only 9% of the unemployed do so.

    Workers are guaranteed the right to extend their medical benefits for a limited period under a federal law called Cobra, short for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The law generally covers group health plans of private and government employers with 20 or more workers, according to the Labor Department.

    The Commonwealth Fund analysis, based on 2007 health-insurance survey data, found that most workers can't afford to pay for Cobra coverage. It costs an average $13,000 a year for a family, compared with the average annual worker contribution of $3,200 for family coverage while employed.

  • Consumer Reports Health: Give change a chance! Excerpts: The giant insurance companies already are taking aim at President Obama’s plan to get us more affordable, dependable health coverage. They don’t like the idea of giving you the right to pick coverage that may be cheaper and better than what they offer. We won’t get real change if we let the big insurers - the ones who deny us for pre-existing conditions while raking in fat profits - be the only voices heard in Washington on health reform. We have momentum right now! Tell Congress to give us real health care choices!

    Insurers want to run the show: Charge what they want, avoid covering key services, change plans and prices every year. Health reformers, including President Obama, want to also offer a public plan that people can count on to cover what they need, when they need it, at more affordable rates. The insurance giants fear competition. They want to be in charge while blocking options to give us better choices. Let’s give change a chance. Tell Congress and the President you elected them to support real health care choices. Sent this message...

  • Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report: House Democrats Introduce Legislation That Would Allow Medicare To Offer Prescription Drug Plans That Compete With Private Plans. Excerpts: Congressional Democrats on Tuesday introduced legislation (HR 684, S 330) that would allow traditional Medicare to establish one or more plans to compete with private plans under the prescription drug benefit, CQ HealthBeat reports. In addition, the legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Reps. Marion Berry (D-Ark.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), would strengthen the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to appeal denials of coverage for medically necessary medications under all Medicare Part D plans. The legislation also would require the HHS secretary to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for the prices of medications under Part D.

    Schakowsky said, "Under our bill, seniors and people with disabilities would finally be able to select a Medicare-operated drug plan that provides a guaranteed benefit without having to worry that their premiums will drastically increase or their access to needed drugs will drastically decrease each year." According to Berry, the plans established by Medicare would have the ability to obtain discounts on medications that private plans could not match. "If this works as we think it will, most of the private plans would drop out" of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, he said. Supporters of the bill include the American Public Health Association, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Medicare Rights Center.

  • New York Times Op-Ed: Health Care Now. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: The whole world is in recession. But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe — in which millions of people will lose their health insurance along with their jobs, and therefore lose access to essential care. Which raises a question: Why has the Obama administration been silent, at least so far, about one of President Obama’s key promises during last year’s campaign — the promise of guaranteed health care for all Americans?
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.

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer: FBI saw mortgage fraud early. By Paul Shukovsky. Excerpts: The FBI was aware for years of "pervasive and growing" fraud in the mortgage industry that eventually contributed to America's financial meltdown, but did not take definitive action to stop it. "It is clear that we had good intelligence on the mortgage-fraud schemes, the corrupt attorneys, the corrupt appraisers, the insider schemes," said a recently retired, high FBI official. Another retired top FBI official confirmed that such intelligence went back to 2002.

    The problem, according to the two FBI retirees and several other current and former bureau colleagues, is that the bureau was stretched so thin that no one noticed when those lenders began packaging bad mortgages into bad securities ."We knew that the mortgage-brokerage industry was corrupt," the first of the retired FBI officials told the Seattle P-I. "Where we would have gotten a sense of what was really going on was the point where the mortgage was sold knowing that it was a piece of dung and it would be turned into a security. But the agents with the expertise had been diverted to counterterrorism." ...

    And Falvey said that financial executives who deliberately chose not to learn the facts about dicey mortgage-lending practices in their companies -- who chose to be "willfully blind" to such practices and the subsequent securitization of those mortgages -- could be vulnerable to prosecution for securities fraud.

    Both retired FBI officials asserted that the Bush administration was thoroughly briefed on the mortgage fraud crisis and its potential to cascade out of control with devastating financial consequences, but made the decision not to give back to the FBI the agents it needed to address the problem. After the terrorist attacks of 2001, about 2,400 agents were reassigned to counterterrorism duties.

  • New York Times opinion: Money for Nothing. By Dave Krasne. MERRILL LYNCH lost $27 billion last year, and yet still managed to rush through $4 billion worth of year-end bonuses in the days before it was taken over by Bank of America. Because both companies have been the beneficiaries of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, news of these bonuses was met with predictable uproar: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of New York threatened to investigate; any elected official with access to a microphone joined in a chorus of “shame on you”; and around every water cooler and on every cable channel, pundits offered up scathing commentaries of Wall Street greed.

    Merrill Lynch is not the only irresponsible institution out there. Despite a year of record losses, despite all the taxpayer money being injected into our financial institutions, bonuses for 2008 were, in some cases, down less than 50 percent from those the previous year.

    This is shocking, of course, but what’s been missed in these discussions is how completely the culture of executive compensation has permeated the financial industry. One need not even be an executive to receive a bonus far in excess of the yearly salary of people in most other professions. Bonuses, which typically consist of some multiple of an employee’s base salary, are doled out to everyone from the 22-year-olds just out of college (these are called analysts) to managing directors (banker parlance for the most senior rank attainable).

    But we’ve come to the end of outsized paper profits generated from proprietary trading operations and 30-to-1 leverage. So too has the war for talent waned. Firms are disappearing or laying off thousands. In this environment of bleak job prospects, investment bankers who got a smaller bonus in 2008 than they did in 2007 won’t be running for the exits and the greener pastures of Lehman or Bear Stearns.

    Yet some institutions that begged for taxpayer aid to stave off bankruptcy — simply to stay alive — made 2008 compensation packages their first order of business after receiving their bailouts. This speaks to how completely foolhardy behavior has overtaken our industry. It certainly defies logic and sensible business practice. After all, it’s one thing to reap great rewards when creditors are being repaid and shareholders are earning a return; it’s quite another to reward failure almost as well.

  • New York Times Op-Ed: Wall Street’s Socialist Jet-Setters. By Maureen Dowd. Excerpts: As President Obama spreads his New Testament balm over the capital, I’m longing for a bit of Old Testament wrath. Couldn’t he throw down his BlackBerry tablet and smash it in anger over the feckless financiers, the gods of gold and their idols — in this case not a gilt calf but an $87,000 area rug, a cache of diamond Tiffany and Cartier watches and a French-made luxury corporate jet?

    Now that we’re nationalizing, couldn’t we fire any obtuse bankers and auto executives who cling to perks and bonuses even as the economy is following John Thain down his antique commode?

    How could Citigroup be so dumb as to go ahead with plans to get a new $50 million corporate jet, the exclusive Dassault Falcon 7X seating 12, after losing $28.5 billion in the past 15 months and receiving $345 billion in government investments and guarantees? ...

    The former masters of the universe don’t seem to fully comprehend that their universe has crumbled and, thanks to them, so has ours. Real people are losing real jobs at Caterpillar, Home Depot and Sprint Nextel; these and other companies announced on Monday that they would cut more than 75,000 jobs in the U.S. and around the world, as consumer confidence and home prices swan-dived. ...

    Senator Levin said that the financiers will not be able to change their warped mentality, but will have to be reined in by Geithner’s new leashes. “I have no confidence that they intend or desire to change,” Levin told me. “These bankers got away with murder, and it’s obscene that close to nothing is being asked of financial institutions. I get incensed at the thought that a bank that’s getting billions of dollars in taxpayer money is out there buying fancy new airplanes.” ...

    In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC, Thain used the specious, contemptible reasoning that other executives use to rationalize why they’re keeping their bonuses as profits are plunging. “If you don’t pay your best people, you will destroy your franchise” and they’ll go elsewhere, he said. Hello? They destroyed the franchise. Let’s call their bluff. Let’s see what a great job market it is for the geniuses of capitalism who lost $15 billion in three months and helped usher in socialism.

    Bartiromo also asked Thain to explain, when jobs and salaries were being cut at his firm, how he could justify spending $1 million to renovate his office. As The Daily Beast and CNBC reported, big-ticket items included curtains for $28,000, a pair of chairs for $87,000, fabric for a “Roman Shade” for $11,000, Regency chairs for $24,000, six wall sconces for $2,700, a $13,000 chandelier in the private dining room and six dining chairs for $37,000, a “custom coffee table” for $16,000, an antique commode “on legs” for $35,000, and a $1,400 “parchment waste can.”

  • New York Times: What Red Ink? Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses. By Ben White. Excerpts: By almost any measure, 2008 was a complete disaster for Wall Street — except, that is, when the bonuses arrived. Despite crippling losses, multibillion-dollar bailouts and the passing of some of the most prominent names in the business, employees at financial companies in New York, the now-diminished world capital of capital, collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year.

    That was the sixth-largest haul on record, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York State comptroller.

    While the payouts paled next to the riches of recent years, Wall Street workers still took home about as much as they did in 2004, when the Dow Jones industrial average was flying above 10,000, on its way to a record high. ...

    Lucian A. Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law School and expert on executive compensation, called the 2008 bonus figure “disconcerting.” Bonuses, he said, are meant to reward good performance and retain employees. But Wall Street disbursed billions despite staggering losses and a shrinking job market. “This was neither the sixth-best year in terms of aggregate profits, nor was it the sixth-most-difficult year in terms of retaining employees,” Professor Bebchuk said.

  • The Consumerist: Lehman Brothers CEO "Sold" $14 Million House To His Wife For $100. By Meg Marco. Excerpt: Dick Fuld is in the news again — this time for selling a $14 million Florida house to his wife for $100. No one is quite sure why he felt he needed to do this, but some are speculating that he may be trying to hide assets from Lehman Brothers shareholders in case they are getting ready to sue to him.
  • New York Times: Obama Calls Wall Street Bonuses ‘Shameful’. By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Stephen Labaton. Excerpt: President Obama branded Wall Street bankers “shameful” on Thursday for giving themselves nearly $20 billion in bonuses as the economy was deteriorating and the government was spending billions to bail out some of the nation’s most prominent financial institutions. “There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses,” Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. “Now’s not that time. And that’s a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them.”
  • BBC News: Huge crowds join French strikes. Excerpts: Huge crowds have taken to the streets in France to protest over the handling of the economic crisis, causing disruption to rail and air services. Unions said 2.5m workers had rallied to demand action to protect wages and jobs. Police put the total at 1m. President Nicolas Sarkozy said concerns over the crisis were legitimate and the government had to listen and act. He will meet union and business leaders next month to discuss what programme of reforms to follow this year, he said. ...

    The protests are against the worsening economic climate in France and at what people believe to be the government's poor handling of the crisis. Opposition Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry said people were out in the streets "to express what worries them: the fact that they work and yet cannot make ends meet, retired people who just can't make it [financially], the fear of redundancies, and a president of the Republic and a government that just don't want to change policy". ...

    Many people are furious that Mr Sarkozy said there was no money left to raise wages and consumer spending power, but nonetheless managed to find billions of euros to bail out floundering French banks, says the BBC's Emma-Jane Kirby in Paris.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
  • Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 press release. Full excerpt: Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 Presses IBM to Save Jobs and Stop Off- shoring of US Jobs. IBM Corp. employees nationwide are anxiously waiting for the company to publicly announce the number of job cuts likely to take place in the United States. "The Alliance is strongly urging IBM not to go forward with a new round of job cuts and to stop the off-shoring of U.S. workers' jobs," said Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance.

    Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 outlined several steps IBM should take to maintain quality jobs and service and address the company's financial picture:

    • IBM must make every effort to save jobs.
    • If cost cutting is needed, IBM should suspend its stock buyback program – the company has spent $26 billion since 2007 -- instead of terminating workers.
    • If job cuts occur, IBM must divulge the number of job cuts, where they are taking place and whether any of these affected jobs are being shifted offshore.
    • Executive positions should be eliminated in divisions where job cuts occur.
    • Pay, bonuses and perquisites for executives should be slashed.
    • Work cannot be shifted from IBM workers in the United States to offshore locations.
    • Full disclosure of why individual jobs are being eliminated is essential.
    • Before any new hires are added to the payroll, IBM must recall and rehire employees terminated in past resource actions.

    "There is a growing concern among employees that IBM will accelerate the off-shoring of our jobs. To offshore U.S. jobs in the middle of an economic crisis and rising unemployment is simply unacceptable," said Tom Midgley, Alliance president. "We will work with our elected representatives to push for legislation that protects U.S. jobs and calls for the full disclosure of IBM's offshoring and outsourcing of American jobs."

    To help break the secrecy of the IBM job cuts, the Alliance has a section on its web page called Job Cut Comments. Go to http://www.allianceibm.org/jobcutstatusandcomments.php for news, information and stories from IBM employees swept up in job cuts.

  • Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 1/26/09: been analyzing comments. people stating years and pbc ratings, but rarely seen what Band Level you are at. Have friends in most of the groups, and my opinion PBC doesn't mean jack. Some managers in some departments are using that as an excuse. From my chit-chats, seems that management is keeping the ones who are the grunt workers and work the long hours and weekends without claiming OT etc. Seem friends with band 7's and PBC ratings of 2+ with university degrees, but their team mates with a lower band, lower pbc rating and only a high school diploma (if that) stays put. Only difference.. Does all the grunt work nobody else wants to do, including their manager. JMO... -I-m--B-y--M--yself--
    • Comment 1/26/09: heavy contractor hiring ongoing in brazil this week -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/26/09: wow, public job cut announcements by Sprint and Home Depot. IBM is playing this cat and mouse game with the SEC and media about job cuts. I hope they get their ass in a ringer over it, but then again, they'll just take it out on the employees again. "Lost another lawsuit, we're docking everybody's pay by 10%" -ashamed_to_work_for_ibm-
    • Comment 1/26/09: Couple things, 1) couple folks in HR at IBM Canada hadquarters 3600 GBS say that they expect to be next on the block ... GBS either this week or "next wave" whether that is next month or the also now rumoured June. 2) You ARE eligible for bonus if you had decent PBC rating because it's based on 2008. BUT DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH ... I got RA'd from Toronto Lab & my 1st told me SP is full of it. He saw the $$$ figures he gets to distribute to his dept this year and it's nowhere close to last year. He has to tell a LOT of employees they will get ziltch. IBM is lying internally and externally. Just have the &(*^% to admit what you're doing instead of the black market bull. -WhatACrockOfS-
    • Comment 1/26/09: For all of you who are being RA'd from IBM. I feel for you all, I have been there twice with the company. I was let go in 1993 and came back to work for the IBM again in 2001 and let go again in 2006. I have found a job at a small company of 6 people where the pay is higher and they cover 100% of my Health Insurance. Things will turn around with the economy and there is Life after IBM. A much happier one. May God be with you all!! -lisa-
    • Comment 1/26/09: They have blocked access to allianceibm.org here at BTV. I've always been able to get around it by going to hidemyass.com (doing so now). -ZMoney-
    • Comment 1/26/09: -DEB- They will only pay for your earned vacations days not taken before your last employment day. For instance, say you get 10 days paid vacation and get RA'ed on June 30th. If you have taken two days vacation IBM will additionally pay you in severance for the other three days. But this is not in WRITING! Also, if you take, say, 8 days by June 30th IBM will deduct three days pay from your severance since those three days you took are not yet earned. I believe this is in WRITING. DEB- Be sure to take all your personal choice holidays before you are RA'ed and leave IBM. They are not earned vacation days. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/26/09: To answer two questions posted here, 1. You only get accrued vacation up to the month you're sacked. 2. You don't get bonus money if you have been RA'd. In fact what IBM typically does in move back the bonus pay date until they've finished with the resource action. I was RA's in 2005, and that's how it worked. Also I couldn't agree more with the union statement. It's the one thing IBMers have seemingly been afraid to do. You can stick you head in the sand but you know what's left exposed. -JimEd-
    • Comment 1/26/09: SWG RA done on 1/21. GTS RA to happen this week. These are phased and planned to stay away from any legal requirement to WARN. -TiredofIBMEthics-
    • Comment 1/26/09: I'm in STG and just got a 15-minute meeting invite from my manager for tomorrow (1/27/09). I don't imagine he wants to discuss the weather! -STG-no-more-
    • Comment 1/26/09: 800-1000 pink slips came in at 12 noon today in btv. I witnessed this myself. Job cuts Tuesday the 27th. Verified also by 2nd level. Good luck to all. -btv4001-
    • Comment 1/26/09: Don't believe that "HR" is the end all, be all of the decisions. Some HR employees are also getting RA'd in the following days. All depts have a hiring freeze, so where are you to go within 30 days? Exactly.... no where within Big Blue. -Anon-
    • Comment 1/26/09: If you want to see which executives have profited at your expense, check this out: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=IBM So what is your favorite part of Sammy's earnings message to employees. Here is mine: "As we know, many companies today are curtailing or drastically cutting spending and investment, even in areas that are important to their future. We are taking a different approach, not only because we have the financial strength to do so, but because we choose to manage IBM for long-term success." -Embarrassing2BeAnIBMer-
    • Comment 1/26/09: Vacation for RA is based on accrued vaction...just because you have 10 years does not mean on Jan1 you have 20 days. Look at the ABOUT YOU SECTION on w3.ibm.com/hr/us. If your last day is say Feb 20 u probably have 2 earned vacation days for the year. Take the personal choice holidays for your division or area but not if you live in California; residents of CA get paid for those. FYI MIddleware from EBIZ got hit with say goodbye to wfh...go to Iowa including mgmt Sad to say I remember this happening in Endicott when we closed Oswego; you had to go to Poughkeepsie if you wanted to stay employeed. But those days we were always bringing new business in and people got placed or retired. Same when we brought ebiz from Tampa to Raleigh but again we had lots of work. PS yes everyone u are still employeed til the last day so there is no layoff yet -queenofthedamned-
    • Comment 1/26/09: One-on-one with my manager set up for Tuesday morning.....I'm 58 with 35 years service....Probably get a nice fruit basket! -CU_STG_RTP-
    • Comment 1/26/09: I have been notified that my job will be moving to the new GDF center in Dubuque IA. All teams impacted were asked if they would consider relocating but we were told by management that it was not a "serious" list as they were not requesting our IBM serial numbers. Management has also stated that only 10% of the current workforce will be transitioned to Dubuque and the rest of us will be "given the opportunity" to find other work within IBM.

      If we can't find other work we will be let go in such a way as to ensure we can't file unemployement and we won't be given anys severance packages. Others on sister teams have already been told if they want to keep their jobs they have to move to the GDF in Boulder and report to work by March 9th. They are getting no packages to help them move. Also, they are being told that the positions in Boulder are Bands 4 & 5 which would be almost a 50% paycut for most of these people. They are being told if they go to Boulder, they can't look for other jobs within IBM for 12 months. However, they are not being guaranteed 12 months of employment after they move.

      They could be "let go" in as little as 3 or 4 months. I am over 40 and it sounds very much like I will be replaced by college students. I know several others on my team that are over 40 as well. I have checked the IBM job ads for Dubuque and all are listed as low level with minimal (as little as 6 months experience) required. Is there anything already been set into motion on this such as some kind of class action lawsuit? Is there anything I can do other than keep copies of emails and ST chats? In today's economy, even if I could move, I can't sell my house and relocate in 30 days which is all they have given my sister team. -InTrouble-

    • Comment 1/26/09: Program leader in GBS admitted today that "no one" is getting a strong PBC review for last year. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/26/09: Now here comes a memo that GBS is being "realigned" - wtf? Has GBS been up on the chopping block yet this go around? There's a posting here about GBS Canada but there doesn't seem to be much about job cuts in US. Are those happening this week, or was that last week and the numbers weren't huge? The pipeline for projects is down to a trickle and everyone's freaked. When will I know if I've survived this round? I know there another one supposed to be coming in June so there's no such thing as "safe" any more. Already had PBC, got a 2, no other comments from the manager, no weird meeting requests except for group meeting at end of the week. -UhOh-
    • Comment 1/26/09: It is my belief that the fact that ibm has taken the unprecedented step of cutting off access to allianceibm at ALL ibm sites is nothing short of outrageous. They refuse to communicate with their employees other then the "number" that we are. They refuse to treat us as assets and valuable/contributing peers. Furthermore, they have the gall to attempt to block our communication and/or censor an issue while we are completely blinded , WTF!!! Did they forget they: 1) hired the best and brightest? 2) that we are techies? 3) that there are near limitless alternatives? 4) that most employees have home pc's? In my view, this amounts to nothing short of a white-collar war between labor and management. Choose your weapon carefully, but choose. -InTimeOfWar-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I received the layoff notice on Jan. 23. I worked for the S&D organization -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Everyone at IBM who doesn’t get ra’d is scared anyhow. It’s not fun working there always wondering if you’re next. They see their friends who have devoted years to the company get ra’d, they wonder “why them and not me?” They see top performers who have been there years longer get ra’d and they wonder again, “why them and not me and I've only been here one year?” I'll tell you why, because the older ones know the dirty secrets, the younger ones don't yet and that's what IBM likes. On top of that, the ones that remain are reminded that they can also just as easily get ra’d and their work load and pressure is doubled. The young ones will get older and they will get ra'd too. I would rather collect unemployment and use their education money to find a better career or enhance my current one than work there making little money compared to other companies in the industry, working 12 hour days, sacrificing relationships for my extensive workload only to get ra’d. Raises were not given for two years in a row and each year, bonuses get cut. No thanks, I will pass on IBM. -idontcareforibm-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Just got word that the bloodletting has started at the IBM Burlington, VT site. Production workers are included in this round as well. Good luck to everyone. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: ibm's blocking the allianceibm.org web site shows desperation and fear from the blue pigs executive management team. We have the upper hand in regards to telling the world the truth. -BluePigsDie-
    • Comment 1/27/09: The Obama election forced ibm into a hasty esculation of job cuts, offshoring and consolidation before the new administration can contain the carnage and before the new WARN act takes affect. We should all be ashamed to be working for such an unethical employer. -shamedBYibm-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Its not your PBC that matters, its your LBR (Life Boat Rating). This is an across-the-board RA. Every area is expected to give up some percentage of headcount, so what happens is the managers have to decide who to toss overboard. Where you end up on the list is determined by management's assessment of the amount of pain (or relief) your absence will cause. -flatlinecat-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Good - We all are in the same pathetic situation. Bad- My entire team got RA'ed. Ugly- My manager knew about it way back in November, secured himself a good postion within IBM and made sure the team had no hint of it even when we had status meetings and forced to work during the holiday season as we were supposed to have a "deadline". He looks good and we all are a bunch of losers. By the way we are not supposed to give any details about our team, product to any one. -Anony-
    • Comment 1/27/09: flatlinecat you hit the nail on the head. the 1st lines and 2nd lines do the LB exersize to determine who stays and who goes. usually above the 2nd line people are just numbers so the decision lies with the 1st line. so people i can't say it enough ,if you want to stay in ibm you need to get political (asskisser) . if you don't want to play the game i would consider finding a new job. i have seen this for more then 30 years and it will not change. good luck -retired-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Research is feeling the knife today, with roughly 200 positions being eliminated. For those of you worried because your manager set up a 15-minute meeting with you, managers are expected to meet one-on-one with both selected and not-selected employees, so the mere scheduling of a meeting is not indicative that you are being laid off. -research_wiz-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Many DBDC (mainframe) support people being notified they have to relocate to Boulder. I will probably be told soon. Apparently to refuse means you are out of a job. Any way you can look into the legality of this ??? Thanks -Anonymous- Alliance Reply: Sorry to hear about these cuts. IBM has every leagl right to do what they are doing, based on their "At Will Employment" policies. Labor Laws do not favor the worker, they favor the employer. Union contracts favor the worker.
    • Comment 1/27/09: I got the call this morning. I am not affected but my group is, mgr would not say how many but if you are in STG today is the day. Expect the call Of course now morale will be horrible. IBM needs to try something besides layoffs every 4 to 6 months. An across the board pay cut would, in my opinion, be better but of course then the execs would be affected. Anyone on the list above first line manager? I would be surprised.. -safefornow-
    • Comment 1/27/09: To PleaseTellUs, According to IBM management via a very nasty email "Disclosure of IBM confidential information is a violation of your confidentiality agreement and the BCG and has severe penalties. It could mean immediate termination and the loss of the severance package" -Anon- Alliance Reply: IBM will not know who you are from this web site or from your membership, if you join Alliance. We do NOT disvclose this information; unless you authorize it.
    • Comment 1/27/09: The Lotus organization within SWG is being notified today, so Software Group cuts are not done. -ToiletMorale-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I was affected by today's "resource action" at the plant in Essex JCT. Vermont. I work in manufacturing and was told 10% would be cut across all amnufacturing departments - along with middle management. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: For those at the sites where ibm has blocked you. Go to hidemypath.info and get to this site that way. If you use that site there is NO way they can track you. After you've visited this site, clear your browser cache and close your browser. -Getting around IBM-mgmt-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I was given 30 days notice today. I'm with STG in Tucson. There will be others let go in my dept, so I was told to be discreet, but my mgr would not tell me how many. I feel like I'm going to die, and don't know how I'm going to pay my bills. I was told I have 45 days to sign the pkg, otherwise I won't get severence. 1 week per every 6 months, and I think that means I'll get 24 weeks. It comes in a lump sum after 2/27. I'm band 7, always a '2'. -Losing It-
    • Comment 1/27/09: WRAL-TV has trucks & cameras setup outside the front entrance of the RTP Raleigh site right now! -RTPworker-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Please be careful posting on external message boards. Yahoo groups will show your email address, and your identity may be determined from that. (Although it's possible to set up a special email address to use with these groups). I also noticed that someone has posted to the new yahoo group yet ANOTHER message board to use, and this one seems to be hosted privately. All kinds of information can be collected there without your knowledge. Also, do not use IBM equipment to read and post to this web site or any other external sites. Use a bit of care in your communications or you may find you're a known union sympathizer in IBM management circles. We don't need to split ourselves into many little discussion groups - IBM Employee issues (yahoo group), and IBM Pension (also yahoo) have been around a long time and are widely used, as the Alliance site. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: least one person per area in MFG, EF STG. Also, ibm hit a new low, folks scheduled to work tomorrow, D2, are being called at home and laid off over the phone, a new low even by ibm standards. route build team hit hard -a new low
    • Comment 1/27/09: Managers in STG scheduled a meeting with everyone for 15 minutes, so that way no one knows who is staying and who is not. Some are being called into the office, others with meeting notices, others by phone. Basically, everyone is feeling the knife one way or the other. They want to make sure every employee get stress out no matter what. -InsideSTG-
    • Comment 1/27/09: STG in NC was hit today, I was identified as a "surplus employee" and fired. -127 cut-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Read on the local paper website that someone stated their manager called and said " a resource action is being performed today, you are not effected" (btv) must be a cookie cutter response from all managers, because; 1) i was told the exact same verbiage 2) is "resource action" supposed to sound less threatening? -....-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Spent 10 years at IBM when I first found this board and read a lot of the comments here ( There is life outside of IBM) etc. it was hard to believe. But I left early last year before the market crashed and found a great position at an energy company. So, now I can say "there is life outside IBM". Best move I've ever made. Don't miss working there one bit. -Rob-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I was part of WebSphere at IBM, 10years service, patents, technically a leader while they kept losers and played nepitism - tossed like a recent MBA grad that went to wrong college. -LifeDestroyed-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I was let go from IBM November 30, 2008 after 28 years 11 months of service. I'm located in Lexington, KY; but I was working on a contract with the State of Indiana in Indianapolis at the time. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: To 'ANewLow'..I got my RA over the phone also. Manager didn't have the decency to even say why I was chosen and get this, I had 32 years and he tried to tell me I couldn't have a retirement dinner because I was RA'd. HR had a different story and I got it, but it shows how low IBM will go to try to save a buck. -GladImGone-
    • Comment 1/27/09: If you want to post to message boards, just get a generic yahoo, hotmail or gmail ID that you use *exclusively* for that purpose. That's what I did. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/27/09: There are definite RAs going on in Austin. I just heard from a grad student new hire with only 1.5 years (two 2 ratings)...he's got 30days. That's simply not right at all. -2008-escapee-
    • Comment 1/27/09: 11 years at IBM and a 2+ performer with STG in EFK and today I was RA'ed !! Nobody is safe. I have counted the total number in STG and the Resource Action includes 1218 individuals (by my first pass count). I am simply speechless. -RA'd in EFK-
    • Comment 1/27/09: RA happening in Lotus WPLC / Sametime - Lexington KY. 1 confirmed RA - management made it sound like more. 30 days to find another job. 1 week severance for every 6 months worked at IBM / max 26 weeks. Some extension of health benefits / life insurance. All employees are being contacted and notified today (whether RAed or not) -lexky-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I'm surprised that no one has yet posted that there are massive layoffs (oh... sorry... "resource actions") in Westford, MA affecting WPLC. Estimates for one group is 20% of the Domino Server and IDE group are being cut. I was not affected, but some critical people who have very unique and irreplaceable knowledge have been lost -WeepingInWestford-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Got the call from my manager today, was a 2 rating every year at IBM.. Severance package: 1 week pay for every 6 months of service, with retraining money of $2500 for who knows what. Was given 30 days to find a new position within the "opportunity" jobs database. Goodbye IBM... I can double my pay outside of the company, way overskilled and underpaid, not even looking at IBM trash.. Deleted all my Notes, AFS data, deleted all documents, doing a destructive wipe of all unused space on my hard drive and returning it with no passwords to ensure my severance package is delivered. Kiss my ass IBM, you always sucked and I'm happy this morning I was notified, an awesome wave of relief washed over me when I heard the news... Good luck suffering it out at this place, so many other jobs are out there that are better paying, why waste your time at IBM. -ex STG-
    • Comment 1/27/09: GBS - leader admitted that even though great results from last year, business has to move forward regardless of past performance. -anon-
    • Comment 1/27/09: Directed in response to Gone in 96. Moves like these layoffs (er, RAs) are a risk a company takes in hopes of continuing to please Wall Street. Risk here, cut costs by determining a redundancy or offshoring the skills. In prior years this has worked and the stocks have soared as a result. I think this tactic is becoming a bit tired though, as evidenced through the article you link to. Since we are now in a full blown recession, investors are not just looking at the cost savings, but at the long term picture of what is going to happen when things pick up, and will IBM be ready with these reductions? It is also becoming more apparant that offshoring hurts client satisfaction ratings and since the people making the financial decisions are more or less removed from day to day happenings with the average client, the may be lacking some critical business intelligence and making decisions based on the "old world' ideology of the bust of 2001-2002. Also, to nunya, posting on these boards is generating interest and helping bring in the press coverage. It is not a worthless endeavor, no matter what you think. -hmmmm-
    • Comment 1/27/09: 3 of 12 in my group in STG - not sure if that is average or not but works out to 25% by my math. People are scattered across several loctions -couldhavebeenme-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I have noticed that IBM have now blocked allianceibm.org through all the internet proxy servers from within the company. I have not entered my name or email address to guarantee anonymity. -John Smith-
    • Comment 1/27/09: at least 15 people (could be much more) RA'd in IMC corporate marketing today. -anon-
    • Comment 1/27/09: just got the axe. 2 pbc... swg finance. 1/2 the team has been cut. awesome. -struggle-
    • Comment 1/27/09: I'm in STG and consistently rated a 2. I was told today that I've been declared "surplus." I get 1 week of severance for each full 6 months I've worked. I can try to find a another job in IBM, but transfers are frozen. -stg-no-more-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I was RA'd yesterday in STG System x. Almost half my department was let go. Not a good feeling. I will get 6 months severance in a market where unemployment is reaching 9%. -RA'd in STG-
    • Comment 1/28/09: STGers in Beaverton, OR also RA'd today. Some in Storage. Some in LTC. Only spoke to 2 that I know of for sure, but the grapevine says 18 heads chopped. -bvr survivor-
    • Comment 1/28/09: To UhOh - where did you see a note that GBS is getting realigned? What did it say? structure/dates/timeframe -non-
    • Comment 1/28/09: This is my 2cd time at this. Nothing on job bank. Got a 2+ ranking and a $19K commission check and told my job was going away. IBM's loss, maybe HP will take me back :-) 1 week for every 6 months...that seems to be the standard. Oh, maybe I should move to India or Vietnam! -second time-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Just found out that the RA caught 2 employees - Husband and Wife. Worked for different divisions. Is this legal? Certainly immoral. -IBMValues-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Was notified 1/27 RA'd ..last day 2/26/09. Was told 30% affected in SWG WPLC..worked in the PHX lab location. Our group had 11 individuals, 5 of us let go. The other group in our lab was hit even harder, all of them except 2 were let go. I had a feeling it was coming, but still very shocked. I am sure I will be ok, but still quite nervous in this state of the economy. -shocked-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Thank you Alliance for being there and scheduling an upgrade to your servers. TO THE READERS of this site, please join the Alliance. If you choose not to join, please consider sending them something. Maybe a $1, or whatever you can give. If everyone does this they will be able to get the word out better. Alliance - where can we send donations? -give-back- Alliance Reply: Thank you for the kind words and support. Go to this link to join or make a donation: Join The Alliance! (check or money order form & donations)
    • Comment 1/28/09: More layoffs are scheduled for June. The divisions that weren't hit with this round are scheduled to be affected in June. Dont just sit there. Please do something and join the union before its too late. -dun-4- Alliance Reply: If there was ever a time to get busy organizing IBMers that kept their jobs; NOW is the time. To paraphrase from the movie "Shawshank Redemption" ..."Get busy protecting your job or get busy losing it"......
    • Comment 1/28/09: Our 2nd line group of sytem-x development for AMM lost 30%, most of whom were in RTP. We even lost a manager! -Stunned-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Yesterday was a crazy and sad day in Somers NY as well. 2 co-workers who are also my friends got the pink slips. Another lady who I used to work with is also let go. I was told I'm safe at this moment. -IBMer from Accounting Area-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I am planning to challenge every H-1 , green card filed by IBM at the Labor department by applying for the position. I would like the help of fellow Alliancers on the same. No way IBM can get away by bringing more people from low cost countries and firing qualified US workers. -Ex-IBMer-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I find hard to believe that WARN, 60-days notice of massive layoffs does not apply to RTP, NC. To qualify for WARN, 60-days notice not 30 days that we have right now, 500 people have to lose job from RTP. How do we get that information? In this economy one more extra salary can stretch a long way. -TickTock-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Been an IBMer for 6 years.Got a call yesterday from a recruiter looking to fill a PM contract position for IBM. Told her I was already a PM for IBM. Having seen how IBM treats contractors the last thing I'd do is take that job. But please keep me in mind for any other "non-ibm" positions. Managed to be passed over for this round of RAs but I know my turn will come and have been actively seeking employment since the paycuts last year. Joined the Union then too. To all of you who have lost your jobs, I'm terribly sorry and wish you much luck. Try to keep your spirits up and hopefully this will be a good thing for you all. -Paleeze-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Well, didn't get the fruit basket....just the banana! Notice the pages and pages of directors and VPs who were not 'selected'? There's your problem...too many layers of highly paid middle managers who add no value ..just engage in constant turf wars......Bottom two layers make things happen,,,,top two layers run the enterprise strategy.....middle five layers are high-priced fat......lose that fat and watch this company soar...... -CU_STG_RTP-
    • Comment 1/28/09: re: the Peoplesoft event in Albany. This is an invitation only event, and I was rejected an invite with the reason being "not a match at this time." Also, after speaking with the headhunter who alerted me to this, this events main task is to build a stable of contract peoplesoft workers. intent is not to be hiring fulltime IBM employees -let-go
    • Comment 1/28/09: As an ex IBM'er (10 yrs)as of last year and glad I am no longer part of the sad state of this company. I always thought there was no life outside the company but alas there is a very good life outside the company and I do feel for all of you that are being affected now. Stay positive and work hard on getting a new job and you will be rewarded like I was and on a side note a friend of mine insde of SWG indicated to me that his whole group had to take a 17.5% reduction in salary. My guess is that affected a few hundred people. Good luck and be well. -Rob-ex IBM'er and loving it.-
    • Comment 1/28/09: 29 1/2 YEARS in East Fiskill. 58 yrs old, SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY GROUP. Too young to collect SSI and 401K, pension is enough for rent and food. Can I tell you how awful it is when the company posts a big profit in this economy. Couldn't they use that profit to keep the employess for better times like they had in the past. Do they realize how many lives are ruined and hope is gone because of them -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: My husband was let go yesterday after a decade of hard work and dedication. He was a Lotus guy, a software developer who worked from home (but the office was in Westford, MA). He just got a great review, yet he's still blaming himself- I told him it's not his fault and not to undermine his talents because so many good people are being let go, not just him. I know we'll get through this, and it's all about picking back up, staying positive and pushing forward- if IBM gave him anything, it's solid skills that other companies need and will appreciate. Stay positive folks- everything happens for a reason, and I know down the road my husband will be happier. -SadformyHusband-
    • Comment 1/28/09: So sorry to hear about the layoffs. I worked at IBM for 11 years, and it was always my dream job to work there. I left IBM 1.5 years ago, after no raises, 2 ratings, and no bonus. After leaving, I have never been happier. I work for a pharma company and I love it. Good luck to everyone who was RA'd. -X-IBM-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I understand that some of the lifers are upset that they are getting laid off. However, if you have 25+ years with the company (or as a previous poster said, someone being 79 years old), shouldn't you be thinking of retiring already so some of the young people in the workforce can get a chance to get a job instead? What deal can be sweeter than getting to retire with a severence package? Noone leaving on their own terms get that! -leftalready-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Was told that areas/divisions that did not meet numbers last year will only get 1 in 6 pay raises and all pbc numbers reduced by 1 rating. If his is true, about 120% of other areas will get raises to meet sammys 60% number. -bob o-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Anonymous mentioned, "Program leader in GBS admitted today that "no one" is getting a strong PBC review for last year." This is not true. The percentage of people who get 1 and 2+ may be very low, but they still give out those ratings. -replytoanonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I've read a lot of comments about PBC ratings and the RA. As others have stated, the PBC has nothing to do with you being RA'd. It does however affect your ability to re-hire in IBM (like you'd want to come back anyway). A PBC of 3 means you won't be hired back (of course there are exceptions but it's a tough road). My team lost 4 people in the RA last November and we lost one more this time (this person transferred out at the last minute). Regardless to say, those of us that are still around are in an environment of BAD morale and many people are looking to leave the company. I'm sure IBM would like that. Good luck all! -SafeForNow-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Just got RA'd today at 10AM from EFK in STG division. I was not escorted out and my badge was not taken. My manager had no reaction and spoke very quietly. I am getting 90 days worth of pay, then after April 28th, I'll receive my severance. March would have marked 12 years with IBM. I can't say that I didn't expect this. I'm in shock, and just wondering where to begin to pick up the pieces. I realize that there is life after IBM, but my God, it doesn't seem that way at the moment I write. I feel a sense of relief and despair at the same time. -RA'd and Lost-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I worked for IBM for 14 years before getting RA'ed in June 2007. I am now a Director of IT for a small company, so there is life after IBM. Having the knowlege of IBM products, I included a number of IBM products in my 2009 Budget, all approved. These included Servers, Lotus Notes/Domino, Sametime, Document Management, Electronic forms etc. However after finding that IBM is still doing the same crap- shafting good employees, I am going to look at other products instead of IBM's, since IBM has not proven to me that they can retain employees who are committed and skilled to meet my (the customer) needs. Sales Team, sorry for your loss of commission as well. -Good Will-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Having already received notice in Nov. 08 that my services would no longer be required after I return from being on disability, the new cuts are no surprise. Someone in India is already doing my job in Global Services division 07 in Denver. Fortunately, I am getting close to my 8 year anniversary date which means I'll pick up another week of severance. LMAO! All the other people I used to work with were all laid off around Dec. 1st, just in time for Xmas. Thanks Sam! I'm glad to see you're trying to cut down on the H1B visas. -Hanging On By Fingertips-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I am based in Atlanta in the Software Group, Rational brand services BMIA, division 7D. There have been at least five or more (I suspect many more) "resource reductions" (aka firings) in various U.S. locations, including Dallas, Raleigh, and Atlanta. Most of what I know of are in division 7D, departments BMIA and BF5A (services and sales) and one in the Lotus brand (division 8M). -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: The truth about the GDF motivations is gradually coming out. I've learned that the role of an experienced IBMer who is forced to relocate to Boulder, Dubuque or Fishkill will be to train low cost interns, college grads, H1B visa holders and visiting staff from India, etc. As soon as they have enough "trained" replacements you will be dismissed. You can expect another 3 to 9 months of employment with IBM in the best scenario. DO NOT relocate to any GDF site with your own money unless you want to move to that location anyway. You will not have a permanent job much longer with IBM. We are all being played for suckers! To say that IBM managers are a bunch of nasty bastards is an insult to all of the nasty bastards in the world. -Im_a_sucker_for_IBM-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Mr. President met with CEOs of Corporate world today including IBM. I wonder if anyone told him that how many IBMers were laid off in last 6 months and how many were American citizens or H1Bs. I am an asian from decent but an american citizen. I am outraged at the fact that American companies are taking jobs away from citizens and giving it away to cheaper labor countries (BRIC). How can we stimulate our economy if citizens of this country have no jobs and no money to spend. -LeftAtMyOwnWill-
    • Comment 1/28/09: This PBC system needs to go away. I am shocked to find out I'm rated not by my performance but closeness with my manager. It also boggles the mind employees that cause trouble aren't cut during layoff's. STG took a pay cut this year, but our execs couldnt? -...-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Kind of disgusting to see Sam palling around with Barack discussing job creation and helping workers. Too bad our President doesn't understand what is going on here. Take a look at: http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1015646224&play=1 -Disappointed-
    • Comment 1/28/09: What IBM is doing here is just crazy. At some point in time you would think even the stock holders are going to ask "Why are you laying off so many people when you just recorded earnings that were better than expected. Reading some of these comments it sounds like it didn't matter how well your group did, you people we're fired. And those of you who think working harder will save your job cause your group does well and you were given a 1 or 2 appraisal are "Damn Fools". I wonder who will wake up first...the employees or the stock holders... My money is on the stock holders. -Canned in 2002-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Expect more job cuts in Rochester Minnesota. IBM announced internally today that IBM i, the operating system developed in Rochester is no longer a strategic product!!!! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: To leftalready - the problem with retiring after 25 years is that you have to bear the incredibly high cost of your health insurance premiums until you turn 65. If you started at IBM in your early 20's, you could be looking at 20 more years until you turn 65. Or does IBM still pay your health insurance? -Gone in 96-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I was RA'd from Tucson STG yesterday. My manager said she couldn't tell me who or how many were let go due to IBM's privacy policy. It sickened me to see Sam P up on stage with Obama today (CNN @ noon)when he doesn't even have the decency to send a letter like Microsoft did to their employees that they let go. He wants the general public to think that we just 'didn't perform'. I sure hope they drop that 'respect for the individual' from all of their PR bs that they feed us. My manager said my package didn't arrive due to weather & had me call HR for any questions. I called and both HR & payroll were in the Phillippines. -Losing it-
    • Comment 1/28/09: WRITE a letter to President OBama at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ at tell him what is going on in IBM. Palmisano is laying to the President promising more jobs and begging for federal money. IBM should not get a dime from taxpayers when he is laying off well paid US employees left and right! -TickTock-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I saw the President with Sam Palmisano touting how they are going to work together and create new jobs. I worked for IBM until the end of last year when my job was outsourced to India. Every manager I talked to when looking for another position said that they were told they have to look in India or South America to fill open requisites. So I am assuming these new jobs created with tax payer stimulus money will be in India or Brazil. Right? Jesus ....., what a sack of dirt...- joe-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I have not been RA'd but I am disgusted that Sam Palmisano is meeting with Obama on job growth as this company is laying off thousands. -Disgusted IBMer-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I got RIFF-ed from Lotus yesterday. According to my packet, a total of 1471 staff from the Software Group (which includes Lotus) were laid-off. -vzezpylh-
    • Comment 1/28/09: To -leftalready-, Your statement to those that have more than 25 years to just go and retire to let someone new in does not deal with the realities of life. It is also a statement made without knowing what the situation is with each individual. First off 25 years is not enough time to retire on. I have almost 30 years and just turned 50. While I will receive a pension I also have to pay for my own medical insurance. I have another 12 years to qualify for early Social Security and 16.8 yrs to qualify for full SSI. I have 15 before I qualify for Medicare. To make it to that point I need to work.

      Even when I start collecting my pension and SSI my income will be significantly lower than my current income. I know of many people in my age group that also have children at home or in college. This all requires a decent job with decent pay. For many of us getting a new job at similar pay would be impossible. In this industry once you have passed 45, give or take, many companies will not hire you.

      As to the remark about the 79 year old who was let go. My father worked until he was pushing 76. He had to retire due to a government mandated retirement of age 75. He passed away a year and a half later. He was healthy and doing well while he worked but went down hill quickly after he retired. I feel the lack of a job was a major contributor as it gave him purpose and a sense of accomplishment. There have also been numerous studies to back this up. To sum things up. None of really know what the situation is with any of the folks being let go or those being left behind. Unless we know this it is best to leave derogatory statements out of the conversation. -Anonymous-

    • Comment 1/28/09: I can sum this up in a few simple statements. Employees don't really matter to IBM management. Almost anyone's job can be replaced. It's not about service, or pride, or loyalty. It is about $$$$ and making all the major stockholders more $$$$. If you are coming out of college, and are eager to make a difference in the world with your career, then DON\'T work for IBM. You are wasting your time. -leftalongtimeago-
    • Comment 1/28/09: IS SAM SERIOUS?!!! It's shocks me to see that Obama is taking advice from Sam when he's about to send many of our lost jobs overseas as well as hiding from the media on the massive layoffs. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/us/politics/29obama.html?ref=us -Ra'ed on the 22nd from STG. Moving on to do something bigger and better. Almost a blessing to be given the RA. I just feel sorry for those who have kids, a wife, and a mortgage to pay while being given the axe. -Sam Sucks Balls-
    • Comment 1/28/09: TickTock & Losing It...your notes gave me the nudge I needed to send a note to the President. Easy enough to do-and with a 500 character limit-just the facts! I doubt he will read it-but I am confident someone will. -kicked 2 the curb after 27yrs-
    • Comment 1/28/09: See the IBM W3 homepage, sickening. Sam talking about "creating" jobs today, while he lays off thousands, last week and continuing this week. Really, my question is: "What color is the sky in his world"? -Disgusted-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Start a union! It works in Europe. Why are you American workers being foolish? Unless you all want jobs working in the unemployment offices, which are being run by Obama. -hr- Alliance Reply: It is started...that's what we're doing here. Obama doesn't run the unemployment offices. BUT..I'm sure he is waiting to hear from the IBMers that were RA'd and are now stuck trying to figure out how they will pay their bills and feed their kids. Yes, SAM has his ear...but Obama has two ears... the workers of IBM better start talking in the other one. Best way to do that, we agree, is to organize. After all, CWA hosted Obama at an event, during his campaign. I think he knows what's going on, while Sam is blowing in his ear...Obama is not stupid.
    • Comment 1/28/09: IBM laid off hundreds yesterday in Westford Ma. and in Cambridge Ma. This is the Lotus Division. The products are profitable and everybody was contributing. They did this solely to offshore jobs and lower labor costs. The company cares nothing about the employees. Management is a bunch of liars. -Disgusted-
    • Comment 1/28/09: While our area has so far been spared, my concern now is that we will not be "RA'd", but will instead be "GDF'd" later this year. When that occurs, there may be no severance package at all. The stress level has been unbelievably high over the last few years, culminating in this sequence of hidden and unpublicized disruptions of employees' lives. Well, there are a lot of IBMers reading these messages that may survive the cuts. However, it is not going to get any better. We should all act as though we have been let go, whether you have received a package or not. Start looking actively for something else right now. After treating its workers in this way, the company deserves to lose all of us. Leave what is left of IBM to the low-paid offshore workers. Their service to the customer has already dropped to a level that will leave them falling behind. Unhitch yourself from a sinking ship that will only drag you down. -1 2 X U-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I (an Amerian of Indian origin) have been RAed in 2003 after 8 years with IBM. My experience at IBM was excellent at that time. At the time of layoff I was very bitter with IBM. Most of the people who stayed with the company were living on a day to day basis. I kept in touch with lot of my ex-colleagues and they were very apprehensive about their future at IBM. Based on my experience and what I am hearing now, I can say confidently “IBM was a great company.” It is definitely not my old IBM. Even when I tried to get back in, they wanted me to work at salaries they are paying the Indian worker bees. Keep in mind, there is life after IBM! You will do well. Initially, you will find that the processes and conveniences in the work environment are not similar. There are wonderful people out there. Keep your family strong and don’t give up your hobbies. Both will help you thru this layoff. -kleanchap-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Austin, TX STG DIV 77 several hundred. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Sammy Palmicrapo meeting with Obama? Sammy, you should be ASHAMED of yourself. Why are you trashing 10's of thousands of employees at a time when we need jobs? You are sucking up to Obama telling him how wonderful you are creating 1400 jobs in Iowa. You make me want to puke. Sammy Pamashito, go to HELL. -IBMer-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Have you heard that not only does IBM want to offshore your job, but now they want to offshore you? Seriously. Some of the laid-off are being given a url on w3 showing how at their own expense they can move to places like Nigeria, South Africa, UAE and India to go and work for IBM there! You resign from IBM in the USA and become an employee of the local country. In other words, IBM wants to move the jobs to low cost countries but they cannot find the skills there to do them. So now they have the gall to try and get you to go there and help them with their problem... -Disgusted By IBM-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Well, Market Intelligence has cut 58 people in the US, including a VP! With regard to the WARN act, how does it take into account the fact that many of us work remotely and don't actually belong to a "location?" Seems like as more people work remotely, the model should be moving to an approach that counts people laid-off company-wide, rather than looking at locations that many of us have never even been to! Finally, I read that FedEx is trying to preserve jobs by applying a 5% pay cut across the board, with some execs taking much bigger cuts. Seems like they've put IBM to shame! -Rat Racer No More-
    • Comment 1/28/09: To -Good Will- Good for you! I am in the same position, and never fail to remember to steer my organization away from purchasing any IBM servicies or equipment. If enough of us do this, they MAY eventually get the message that treating their employees like crap MAY have some real consequences. Then again... -Gone in 96-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Just added my two cents to the White House contact page. Palmisano being on stage with the president talking about job creation was too much for me. I'm starting not to care about not finding anything else in IBM. -quelle_suprise-
    • Comment 1/28/09: at least 15 cut in rtp's reso, real estate site ops team. mgt was cold about it -anon-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Mr. Conrad, This person beat me to it, "Thank you Alliance for being there and scheduling an upgrade to your servers. TO THE READERS of this site, please join the Alliance. If you choose not to join, please consider sending them something. Maybe a $1, or whatever you can give. If everyone does this they will be able to get the word out better. Alliance - where can we send donations? -give-back-" I also wanted to ask that the people who use this information contribute to its future availability. Do it so that we can educate our youth at IBM. Do it in honor of an IBMer that lost their job. Do it because you want to make a difference. I will send another $100 first thing in the morning. I owe it to the folks who cannot afford to send money. I owe it to myself to try to make a difference. -Short-term IBM trash- Alliance Reply: On behalf of our National Coordinator, Lee Conrad, Thank you for your support and continued belief in the mission we continue to claim.
    • Comment 1/28/09: I was RA'd down here in Atlanta in 2007 and am currently very saddened to see many of my friends losing their jobs now. I just went to the whitehouse.gov website and sent a note to President Obama about the "Snakeoil Salesman" , Sammy boy and his current deception which he is perpetrating on this country. I hope you all do the same. -former IBMer too-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I worked in EF for 8 years and left in 1990 to pursue a warmer climate. I have many good friends that still work there, or at least did until yesterday. What a shame and what a sham! IBM was the leader in semiconductor manufacturing, what happened? They are turning into strictly a service based company with no real product to offer, no innovation and no feelings anymore it seems too.

      Since 1990 I've worked for a Fortune 500 company in an I.T. role. In 2004 some outsourcing was done of commodity services: Network, Desktop, DBA and SA tasks. The DBA and SA tasks went to IBM. We used to laugh that the "A" was for Apprentice, because we certainly never had any administrators. We took the DBA work back before the end of the contract and continue to pay IBM for it. That's how poor the service was, we were willing to pay twice for it. The DBA's were mostly foreign with accents so thick it was almost impossible to communicate with them. As well, they were all poorly trained and had no real experience, likely they were fresh out of school working for a minimum I.T. wage. As sad as it was, we had to laugh about it.

      Oh, and then there was the SAP upgrade that was to take a week and actually took over two months to accomplish. No, this is surely not the IBM I knew. The quality is still there in the employee's, but obviously the bean counters run the whole company now. Thomas J. must be rolling in his grave. Good luck to you all, I hope you land on your feet as I suspect you will. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. -WorriedAboutMyFriends-

    • Comment 1/28/09: System x, STG. 11 years of service. Got a 2 PBC rating. Was given 30 days to find another job. 2 kids, wife unemployed. Totally screwed. Separation package 1 week for every 6 months of service. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I was just RA'd today from WW IMC one week after getting a 3 on my PBC. All 2's for the previous 9 years. This was the worst kept secret in my group. I was pulled off projects, left off emails/meetings. I knew something was up and called out my manager on it and he denied he knew anything - lied right to my face

      The PBC process we all know is a scam. This year’s mgr excuse was that "in comparison with my peers, my performance was not taken to the next level". I thought it was funny that a second line mgr, who made this decision, does not see any of the day to day work, but still made this “executive decision”. I must say I lost a lot of respect for the people I worked with and the company as a whole.

      The company has done nothing put taken away from their employees whether it be the pension fiasco, the convoluted yearly bonus process, 2% merit pay, etc, etc. Luckily I read Who Moved my Cheese” 2 years ago and was preparing for this. I will not lose one once of sleep about this. What goes around comes around. To all those who have been RA’d, keep your heads up as the truth will come out about this. -Didnt_Drink_the_Kool_Aid-

    • Comment 1/28/09: For everyone who was RA'd, now is the time to contact President Obama and demand that no tax credits or stimulus be given to companies like IBM that continue to layoff employees while hiring or outsourcing jobs to India and China. Also, if Palmisano is still getting millions of dollars in salary and bonuses at the expense of American workers, no tax credits should be given. The Alliance should be joined because no doubt IBM will continue to find ways to lay off American workers. -BeenThere-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Massive layoffs in Research this week - completely indiscriminate regarding performance. Several likened it to being shot down at random in a shopping mall. Permanents RA'd - supplementals left. Just wait until the next product or manufacturing crisis - who are they going to call? the postdocs/technicians/programmers? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: It's sad to see hardworking, loyal, contributing, high performing people get let go for the sole purpose of profit. IBM's image and reputation is and will be forever tarnished. Who will want to apply or work for a company that doesn't hold true to it's own values and trust? There is no job security, loyalty or grace. By tossing out the hard working employees who helped shape IBM to increase profits will reduce morale, producitivty, and loyalty. When you lay off one of our friends and co workers, you are hurting your brother, mother and father.

      These layoffs are not designed to keep IBM afloat, rather for the sake of earning more profits and pumping up the stock. Whatever happend to thinking big picture and not about the present? Is saving 770million in payroll worth the risk of losing potential employees and customers? Looks like someone failed in the art of Zoo Tycoon or Business 101. If IBM was in the red and about to fold as a company, these layoffs would make sense, but that is far from the truth. Record profits and numbers and you stick it to the hand that feeds you. Shame on you for tossing out loyal, hardworking employees you once called ibmers out in the cold. -shameonyouibm-

    • Comment 1/28/09: I am a dues paying IBM employee with 24 years of service in BVT who survived the latest round of firings. To all you book smart, ball-less IBM'ers out there I recommend that you read and consider the following:
      "When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out."

      Bottom line is that Performane/PBC numbers don't matter anymore. If you don't have a seat when the music stops you are shit out of luck. The Alliance is your ONLY hope if you wish to stay out of the unemployment line. If we don't unionize and stick together we will all be gone, Find your nut sack and $10 and join the Alliance before it's too late... You gotta realize that this isn't your Daddys IBM. -Tom Watson III-

    • Comment 1/28/09: Folks, many of us have used this Alliance site over the years, and especially over the last few days, to get an unvarnished view of what is going on inside IBM. It's time to give something back. To those who, for one reason or another, don't want to join or don't want to send a check in because it'd have your name on it, I propose this: put a $20 bill (or $10, or $50) in an envelope and send it to the Alliance, anonymously. If nothing else, it'll help pay for the cost of the upgraded servers to host this website on. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Hmmm..wonder if Palmissanno took an IBM corporate jet to Washington to suckup to Obama? Maybe(like the auto guys),he should be made to take commercial jets like everyone else,and stick his goofy-looking butt back in the cargo area where he belongs -Gone and Forgotten-
    • Comment 1/28/09: It was very touching to hear Obama say, with Palmisano standing next to him, that it's people like Sam who "create jobs". Did he mean jobs in India? Is our new president really so clueless? -md-
    • Comment 1/28/09: Everyone please contact the White House and let the President know the truth about Sam and IBM. It is sad to see Sam standing there in his $2000 suit and flying in his corporate jet while he throws thousands of Americans to the poor house. What good does adding jobs in Iowa do when he lets several thousand employees go elsewhere. Its time for a change in leadership at IBM. No more US tax dollars to IBM! Just say no to IBM! -Time for a new CEO-
    • Comment 1/28/09: GA (admin) Mgmt told assistant 200 contractors being let go to save the IBM regular assistant jobs HOWEVER nothing was stated about the future only that it all trickles down. I read a post that said next round of layoff will be June - does anyone have a clue if it will include IBM admin?? safe to assume no population to support no job for admins aka secretaries, grunt workers, nobodys pee-ons. Best advice to all IBMers is to get your ducks in order. -Disgusted at IBM-
    • Comment 1/28/09: The Travel/Mobility disbursement areas located in Endicott ,Ny were told that at least 50 of their jobs will be moving to Manila. Nothing in the local press, being kept very secret, They are being forced to train their replacements in Manila. The job layoffs will be complete by June 29th. Of course the gutless management signed non disclosure agreements so they can't tell the employees anything. -pissed in endicott- Alliance reply: Please call the Press & Sun-Bulletin business editor (607-798-1345) and tell her this. You can be anonymous. We need to get this information out.
    • Comment 1/29/09: <<Have you heard that not only does IBM want to offshore your job, but now they want to offshore you? Seriously. Some of the laid-off are being given a url on w3 showing how at their own expense they can move to places like Nigeria, South Africa, UAE and India to go and work for IBM there! You resign from IBM in the USA and become an employee of the local country. In other words, IBM wants to move the jobs to low cost countries but they cannot find the skills there to do them. So now they have the gall to try and get you to go there and help them with their problem... -Disgusted By IBM->> Yes, it is called Project Match. Some "smart guys" up there thought we were as dumb as they are. -take the package for sure-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Make sure you take all of your personal choice holidays before you are gone, they don't count for vacation time used and you won't get any pay deducted from your severance package. Don't take any real vacation days because they will be deducted. FYI, a 30 day notice to look for jobs is like a vacation, you don't have to work and I certainly won't be during the next month. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: By the way, everyone who thinks the company is a "services" based company now is fooled by "senior management". It's a front they put on to make it seem like they are moving towards services and not hardware. In 5-10 years, they won't have anyone worth a damn and the BRIC countries are just a way to meet Wall Street expectations before the losers at the top get out. Good luck keeping any sort of reputation IBM, you've pissed off enough people to ensure they don't work for you... Word on the street: IBM SUCKS. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: 2 RA'd - Burnaby, BC -west coast canada-
    • Comment 1/29/09: FYI, this webside is being filtered internally at IBM, it is made impossible to be opened from with IBM buildings (Brussels BLS)... Makes you wonder..... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Hi, I wanted to share and refer you to consider buying the following book: Surviving a Layoff by Lita Epstein. I am not the publisher nor doing this for publicity, just suggesting you get and follow this week by week guide since I have found out very beneficial just a week after I got my RA notification. Take care of your mental and physical health, don't let IBM hurt you more! -Reliable_Resource-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I am the only "surplus" in hardware design group (STG). Time to leave Rochester after staying here for 3 years. -singleout-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I saw Palmisano's PR stunt with Obama. It was nauseating. Palmisano does not care about his fellow Americans. If he did, he'd ease up on the offshoring during hard economic times instead of accelerating it. I don't believe for a second that he cares. If he cared, he'd come clean about these stealth layoffs instead of making a nervous wreck out of the entire IBM US workforce as rumors abound. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Wow- The SAP letter to employees is very professional and forthright. Im sure morale will take a hit there, but not like at IBM. Its hard to speak with anyone at IBM that trusts anything Sam says. You really blew it IBM. We all know that layoffs will exceed 13,000 but you don't utter a peep to your own employees. Shame on you. As soon as I find something elsewhere, I'm OUT. -Learn your lesson IBM-
    • Comment 1/29/09: One of the two hundred axed from Research, in Yorktown. Amazed at the lack of reporting in the news. Been with IBM almost 20 years. -AxedInResearch-
    • Comment 1/29/09: What seems so obvious now reading through this board is that IBM has gone through two processes. One is a "Life Boat" drill where you are ranked in relation to how they (i.e Management) perceive how critical you are to the business. Then the later, the PBC process. But alot of this information is already decided in Sept/Oct and your just given a number. The whole thing is a sham. The clandestine nature of these layoffs/firings is totally demoralizing. Thanks Alliance for letting IBM'ers shine a light on managements behavior. -SWG - Guy- Alliance Reply: It is IBM's treatment of their workers that inspires the light shining. We hope that once the light turns on, the organizing picks up speed. That's why we're here.
    • Comment 1/29/09: Just to make sure that people understand that the readers of this site are not all talk, I have mailed the $100 called out below. I know I will NOT get the truth from IBM. This is the one place I can get honest information from real people that have no reason to spin the truth. I hope others will donate to keep this site alive. -Short-term IBM trash-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I was laid off in the Marketing group while I was on maternity leave! I am still wondering why IBM is keeping this massive layoff a secret. Speculation has grown over the last few days, drawing much attention to IBM. Their secret will come back to haunt them. I joined IBM because I thought it was a good company to work for. Not being forthcoming with your employees and your investors isn't what I expected from Big Blue. Thanks Alliance for being a place where I can seek the truth from IBM employees. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: allianceibm.org has been of infinite value over these past two terrible, rocky weeks. I am committing to the $10 membership as soon as I get paid again. -John Boy-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I know it may seem minor compared to be laid off, but I was just informed I am not eligible for a retirement luncheon since I am bridging (I have 29 years and 10 months). It's only for active employees. -Insult to Injury-
    • Comment 1/29/09: To 'Insult to Injury'..they (IBM) tried to do that to me and deny the retirement lunch/dinner and I escalated to HR. I got it. Don't let them tell you that you do not qualify for it. If they can bridge you to retirement, they can pay for the dinner..you should also get a catalog from Michael C. Fina to select your retirement gift. Go after what you earned! -gladimgone-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Was laid off on 21st - 30 days to look for another job. Yesterday my manager told me he still expects me to work on my current role for the next 30 days - "as IBM is still paying my pay check". This will make it very hard for me to find another opening within IBM as I won't have sufficient time for my search. He reminded me that if I transfer to another job - in or out of IBM - his comments would still be on my reference letter. -laid-off-and-turned-over-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Open question to many that will no longer be employed as a result of IBM recent Legal job action. I am 4 mths shy of qualifying for retirement benefits. Is there anything I can do? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I have just sent an e-mail to the (only!) US senator from Minnesota, outlining the issues with respect to layoffs and offshoring. Senator Klobuchar should be interested since there is a large group of IBM employees in Rochester MN. Now that I think about it, I'm going to send one to my friendly neighborhood state legislator, who is always interested in shaking my hand during election season. -Annie_1-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Two (2) more IBM employees (RA'ed) from the Bank of America account in Chicago . 1/30/2009 is their last day.Not many left from the original 800 + that were SO'ed in 2005.Severance=1 wk pay /6 months with IBM.No credit for any previous years before the SO. from ABN AMRO/LaSalle Bank. Many were 20+ yr. veterans in IT. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I think its shameful that CNN isn't reporting these layoffs. They've excluded IBM from all their layoff reporting. Maybe because IBM has huge ad banners on their site! How ridiculous is that!!!! -rooopie-
    • Comment 1/29/09: After over 20 years with IBM, I have been selected for layoff. My entire design group were selected. Wrong project. Nothing to do with performance. Shameful. -LaidOffInTucson-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I read somewhere over the last few days that IBM does not think they need to notify officials of layoffs because layoffs are part of the companies normal operations. This should be a big clue to everyone that is left standing at Big Blow. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I left IBM last year and just found out that all the folks who used to work for me have been told that I rated them all for PBC reviews on my departure. Many have been down-rated, some from PBC1 last year to PBC 2 this year. I'm being blamed for the rating and I don't even work at IBM any more. Lots of my former team are really pissed with me and it's not my fault. I am really mad with IBM. This is such a dishonest way to treat loyal employees. -left_last_year-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Sad part of this all is that part of the numbers not being reported are contractors also geting released. I know of at least 10 in tucson that are getting laid off also and I doubt IBM is counting those in thier numbers. My job and responsibilities are getting moved to China, which makes Sal P's little speech with President Obama make him look like a total hypocrite. How are we going to rebuild America when the bosses will pinch pennies to send work to China and India. I know that many of the customers I have serviced over the past year were two minutes of pulling IBM out and going with a competetior, after dealing with China support, IBM will lose hundreds of millions, to save a little now. Too bad, IBM could have been a leader, but here they go and sneak out the back door in the quiet of dark. -Contractor for IBM-
    • Comment 1/29/09: It should be obvious to all that IBM is eliminating all decent paying US technical jobs. The work is being moved to India, Argentina, Ireland....pick a spot. If you are not in this round, you will be in a future round. If you choose to stay, your pay will eventually be cut and you will live with a constant hammer hanging over your head. Your manager's job is simply to keep his own sorry butt safe. He has no concern for your tenure, talent, or situation. Make the conscious choice now to get out.

      Start looking for something else. Please realize that you have no choice. I worked for this sorry outfit for six years after an outsourcing deal and spent the last year looking for a way to get back on with the client. Fortunately for me, I was able to do that. It became clear in 2006 that IBM's direction was to eliminate as many high paying US jobs as possible and move the work to offshore locations. Clients hate it, the resulting work is poor, and the remaining employees have so little motivation that customer sat is not even a consideration anymore. They'll screw you and then expect a thank you.

      Decent technical jobs with any ype of future are no longer possible with IBM if you live in this country. In all probability, even a union will not change this fact. IBM has made the strategic decision to impose a salary scale based upon the type of work that they have classified into some very rigid categories. If you are not willing to work for what they have already decided these positions are worth, then get the hell out. Some dothead will do it somewhere.

      Most accounts have people that cross over into different responsibilites, just because they understand the environment and are able and willing to perform a variety of technical tasks. IBM does not have a job classification that takes into account that people with 20 plus years of experience just might be able to do more than churn out progress reports three times a day. Look in the mirror and remind yoursleves that you are smart motivated people. Make your plans now and follow through. To all of you that have been layed off (I refuse to use acronyms), my heart goes out to you. To those that remain, please admit to yourselves that you no longer have a future with IBM. Take your skills, protect your family, restore your sanity, and find a real job. Start today. Please. -Macabby-

    • Comment 1/29/09: I was told today the the layoff are NOT over for this round. I know that ISC will be hit next Tuesday. I was informed by a manager to get ready to take a commodity next week because the current person was being tapped this comming Tuesday and to keep it hush. YEAH RIGHT, Watch your back. -Tried_of_the_BS-
    • Comment 1/29/09: To Laid-off-and-turned-over, just do a song and dance telling your manager that you are working hard while you are looking for another job. You will not find one internally so look to the out side. Don't worry about a bad reference you can sue if your manager gives a untrue reference and he knows it. Just play the game and don't worry about your project it is just a scare tactic. You are history, just read the rest of the postings. -vinnie-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I was laid off 2 years ago after being on a medical disability. Upon my return back to work after 2 months of absence I was assigned to a new manager who found fault with everything I did which was acceptable/praised work before my disability. I hope those managers rot in hell. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: In just saw in the the Money section of the USATODAY website (http://www.usatoday.com/money/default.htm), the editors are asking for anyone who was laid off and willing to share their story to please send them an email. The link says, "Have you been hit by a layoff? Share your story with our reporter and tell us what you're doing to find another job." They may want to write your story in the paper. -usatoday feedback-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I am a former IBMer RA's in 2007. Was back as a contractor for Lotus in Cambridge. My pay was lowered 14% then 2 weeks later I was cut with 2 days notice 2 weeks before Christmas -been there done that-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I think Project Match (where you resign from IBM USA, pay your own way to go to another country, get paid the salary over there but are still an IBMer ) is one reason why IBM can avoid mentioning specific layoff numbers. There may be a few people who will take that offer so technically, they aren't laid off from IBM. IBM benefits because they continue to get your skills, but at lower wages. -project match-
    • Comment 1/29/09: I encourage all of you to make serious edits to wikipedia.org to express your outrage with Palmisano and his group of jerkoffs at the top.. I made a few edits last night and they went through.. the more negative, the better.. dig up all you can and submit it to wikipedia to hurt this guy even more.. not that he cares, but it will look good when he actually knows how to use a computer and reads it.. a good way to get back at them... IBM has now become my competitor and they taught me to be ruthless. so go to work! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_J._Palmisano -Update Wikipedia-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Not only has IBM moved jobs offshore, now they are offering to move US citizens offshore to where the jobs are. Here is IBM's description of their new Project-Match: "IBM has established Project Match to help IBMers in the U.S. and Canada, who are affected by resource actions in 1Q 2009, locate potential job opportunities in growth markets where their skills are in demand.If you would like to be considered, notify your manager immediately so you can work with a Project Match team member to identify potential opportunities. Should you accept a position in one of these countries, IBM offers some financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move." A quick look at the IBM ProjectMatch jobs offered today show a total 2076 jobs in these countries: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, China, India -ProjectOffshore-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Well, we're all mushrooms - kept in the dark and fed a lot of, well, fertilizer. I wish they'd just treat us like professionals and tell us the truth. By keeping this quiet, the last shreds of trust have been destroyed. -IBMShroom-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Well at the moment it is quiet here in the UK with regards to layoffs.Despite 6 months of eductation budget freeze/cancellations ( don't/won't invest in your professionals) our UK chief man has a very expensive webcast production to all UK employees using external professional news caster and studio facilities. If IBM is blocking your IP address why don't you log successful IBM ip addresses. I would be surprised if all ip addresses were blocked. After all how will the corporation keep track on what is being said here and how the Alliance is getting on if they don't ever visit here to keep tabs. A little profiling at your end might reveal exactly what is going on. -UK eye-
    • Comment 1/29/09: IBM Legal hit 1/27. Counted 94 in the package. -lgra-
    • Comment 1/29/09: For all the folks who wonder why IBM is doing what it's been doing, consider the numbers. In August 2002, IBM had 320k employees worldwide, with 160k in the US. Today, we have 400k worldwide with 120k in the US. Doing some quick math, we see 40k jobs in the US have been traded for 120k jobs elsewhere.

      Now I'm pretty confident that I'm more productive than one BRIC replacement, but even if I think I'm twice as productive, 3 BRIC country replacements are still 50% more productive than I. If I then consider that my BRIC country counterpart makes 1/4 of my wages, then IBM has gained 50% productivity for 75% of my wages. What company is not going to choose that outcome?

      The H1B visa system was designed to prevent this from happening -- employers are required to pay the prevailing wage (i.e., no huge cost savings); plus only a limited number of H1B visas are available each year. The advent of broadband and the growth of BRIC-based technical talent have allowed US companies to essentially circumvent the H1B visa system since the foreign talent no longer needs to be brought on-site. Obama and his administration needs to plug this loop hole. Until/unless that happens, the current trend will continue. -IBM Mathematician-

    • Comment 1/29/09: laid-off-and-turned-over said his manager reminded him that "his comments would still be on my reference letter". That may be true if you take another job at IBM; but not for an external job. IBM does not provide external references; just verification of employment. -The-truth-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Comment 1/29/09: To 'Insult to Injury'..they (IBM) tried to do that to me and deny the retirement lunch/dinner and I escalated to HR. I got it. Don't let them tell you that you do not qualify for it. If they can bridge you to retirement, they can pay for the dinner..you should also get a catalog from Michael C. Fina to select your retirement gift. Go after what you earned! -gladimgone- Comment 1/29/09: I know it may seem minor compared to be laid off, but I was just informed I am not eligible for a retirement luncheon since I am bridging (I have 29 years and 10 months). It's only for active employees. -Insult to Injury- I did escalate to HR and they are the ones that stated that the luncheon was only for active employees. They did say I would receive the gift but no luncheon. -add insult to injury-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Yes, IBM is not notifying the media of layoffs because they don't want to call attention (and outrage) to what they're doing, which is laying off Americans and hiring Indians/Chinese/Brazilians. It actually has nothing to do with the economy and has truly now become a normal business operation. It is not going to stop when the economy improves. It's here to stay and the outlook is bleak if you work for IBM US.

      The fact that IBM won't ease up on this while the US economy is suffering and our unemployment is skyrocketing just proves that IBM is indeed NOT an American company, and it doesn't care about its American employees nor the anxiety its causing us by not being truthful about its plans to terminate as many of us as possible and replace us with 3rd world labor. Currently, IBM has 120K employees in the US and 400K worldwide. My prediction is that this won't be over until the numbers are 20K in the US and 500K worldwide. Those who remain here will be VPs, execs, and a few sales folks. Good luck, everyone. -IBM_please_be_honest-

    • Comment 1/29/09: Well after 28 years, a 1 appraisal and a promised promotion last week, I was notified on Monday that my services were no longer needed. I have 3-4 months to train someone, that has yet to be hired from overseas, to take my job. It should come as no surprise that IBM didn't even make the top 100 companies to work for in 2009. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2009/full_list/.

      I remember when we were consistently in the top 10, It is shameful. Sammy the Bull has the nerve to stand in front of Obama and profess to know one thing about helping the US economy. Sending jobs overseas and keeping it quiet will come back to bite him right in the you know what. So long fellow IBMers. It was a good run while it lasted. Only those of you that have been around a while, know what I mean. -Efffed-

    • Comment 1/29/09: Sorry to hear about the Bank of America account. I was laid-off at the end of October 2008 when the Exelon account ended. I would have been really glad to leave at that time, but payroll found a way to screw me, (even after the 15% paycut and the capping of OT). They changed my date of hire so my first 3.5 years with IBM didn't count towards severance pay. Even my manager was stunned that my personal record showed my date of hire on 1995 and payroll didn't count my service until 1999 when I transferred to IGS. What a joke of a company! -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/29/09: A short while ago (a few weeks, maybe?) someone had posted a comment related to the money SJP received when he cashed in several thousand (or hundreds of thousands!) stock options. According to exec pay watch, (http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/database.cfm?tkr=IBM&pg=6) SJP made approx. $25M in 2007 but I can't find anything yet with the 2008 figures and I find the $25M a little lower than I had thought since I thought I saw a post stating he cashed in on about $40M or more... I really want to know this because after sending several letters to the White House yesterday upon seeing Pres. Obama with SJP (I sent one under my name, and then asked everyone in my family to send one--I even offered to type them and although it took me most of the afternoon, it was worth it!).

      I plan to keep up the pressure on our newly elected President as well as my congressman and senators. Perhaps President Obama is blindsided by SJP, but I don't think so. I think he is well aware that it is VERY unlikely he got a vote from Sam or most of the other IBM execs (not to mention the execs in other companies!). I don't know about anyone else but I think it is well worth posting on http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ and letting our new administration know how everyone feels.

      I've been gone a few years now and am doing fine, but still remember the hell I went through knowing I lost almost all of my pension after 25 years of service as a '1' or '2' employee, numerous awards, etc. If President Obama is disgusted with Citibank for their plane (which they are returning) and the other financial companies who have paid out huge bonuses, then he needs to know that his buddy Sam is no better and is, in fact, probably worse since he doesn't even have the guts to be straight with the media. Why can't he admit what he and his fabulous Finance and HR department are doing? Does he have any idea that the goal is to have only 30K employees in the US and send everything else overseas? This is disgusting and atrocious and as far as I am concerned, SJP--and the other IBM execs are COWARDS. I have no use for cowards.

      Even during my last days when they 'tried' to torture me and demean me I had no hesitation in letting them know what I thought of them as well. My immediate manager wasn't even close in the way of educational background and general knowledge--but she was a young 'executive resource' who was up and coming and could not stand it when she tried to put me down that I gave it right back. I am so glad I am out and am okay now, but I feel for everyone who is going through the layoff process. However, if you don't pressure the government, if you don't join the union, you are pretty much saying that what they do to you is okay. Let's toughen up, please. If the colonialists acted as scared as most people are acting know, we'd all still be walking around with British accents and bowing down to the monarchy. JOIN THE UNION. -Sick of Sam-

    • Comment 1/30/09: White House announced a new website today to listen to middle class. I just posted comments there in support of those who have been RA'd recently. You can do your part too. www.whitehouse.gov/strongmiddleclass -LeftAtMyOwnWill-
    • Comment 1/30/09: First, my heart goes out to fellow laid-offers. In then end IBM is going to be worse off than we are. They totally underestimated social networking. They have lied outright to the press, to industry analysts, to us, and gamed the system to not report layoffs. This is are not "re-balancing skills" - that guy ought to be the next one laid off. I can only imagine the chaos in ibm legal and communications. They are walking on thin SEC ice. Once this market turns around, watch. People are going to bail right and left from IBM. And who in the world would apply to join them! This is worse than any botched corporate product recall. They will feel the repercussions of this for the next generation of workers. IBM has lost the hearts and minds of its employees - current, past & future. -Corporatecowards-
    • Comment 1/30/09: After all, why would you think SJP would be honest about IBM's job trashing in USA. He met Obama, and if you saw Obamas speech today on CNBC, it was all about job restoration in the US. SJP has done a great disservice to the IBM company and wants to hide this from public and policy makers at power in Washington. Obviously SJP still has not understood, that a successful company is the result of the working IBM people - and not a result of his particular contribution. Even the executive team surrounding SJP is reliable for this - they cannot be left out. Take Steve Mills: eliminating 1000s of US positions and moving these to China and India. Even worse, acquiring once prosperous US firms, and after a certain time eliminating US positions and moving them to BRIC countries. Examples ? Ever heard about FileNet, Tivoli, Cognos ? They are all on the trimming list. -Fire Sam-Obama wake up-
    • Comment 1/30/09: Info about "Project Match" wanted: I've read several descriptions of Project Match on this site and at several others.I'd like to write a story about the project for various Internet news sites. Any assistance will be appreciated and held in confidence. -Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff-
    • Comment 1/30/09: To laid-off-and-turned-over- Your manager is playing hardball. He's trying to drain every last ounce of work out of you before you go. While it may be true his comments will be in your file. IBM as a corporation, and as company policy will not release any of that information to a possible new employer. This is IBM Policy. Don't worry about it. Take care of yourself and do you need to do. -miss understanding-
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 1/28/09: IBMers who work in or for Silicon Valley-based depts. are being hard hit by layoffs, too. They also use contractors to avoid paying benefits. I work through one of those contractors, making 1/3 of what I used to earn for twice the skills required (doing two jobs, basically). They take 36% of what I make and are required to kick back 9% of that to IBM! -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I went to the Whitehouse website and posted this letter in the contact us section to the President (its a nice web site!) I have a feeling though, that if he makes offshoring a no-no, then more people will lose jobs..I just don't know.
      Dear Mr. President.

      I have to say I was horrified to see your picture in the New York Times on in the news next to the Sam Palmisano the CEO if IBM. I had to train my replacement over seas twice at IBM before getting laid off and then once at GSK. It is totally degrading and it is still happening. Please tell me that you gave Mr. Palmisano a good chewing-out about off shoring jobs. -PW-

    • Comment 1/28/09: Anyone see Palmisano on Foxnews with the other CEO's and Obama talking about job creation? Guess that says it all doesn't it... -Leaving on 2-21-
    • Comment 1/28/09: I worked as a Helpdesk contractor at the IBM Fishkill site in NY for over 5 years. Family responsibilities prevented me from travelling further from home to get another job. I was always blown away by the disparity in my pay VS IBMers, although I had nothing against them, personally. Their base pay was higher than mine and when I worked weekends(for 2 years), I received base pay while they received Time and a Half for Saturdays and Double for Sundays. While the pretense was that I was not an IBM employee, the reality was that I was managed on a day to day basis by an IBM Team Lead.

      The totality was a sham where IBM pretended that I wasn't their employee in order to pay me less and not have me on their headcount, while at the same time maintaining day to day operational management of me. I felt that this was a violation of the concept(but not law) of equal pay for equal work and approached a Labor attorney with about 6 of my fellow contractors. We were told that Permatemping was not illegal since we agreed to it when we went to work for IBM...I mean the Contract Company.

      Before working there, I had never seen anything like this, such a thinly veiled sham and pretense for IBM to maintain a large contingent of disposable labor. I have nothing against being let go if I don't perform, but I will never again demean myself by working in such a situation. Will the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act prevent this kind of thing in the future? There is not question but that Contracting, as I saw it practiced at IBM in Fishkill was nothing more than cheaper pay for contractors over IBMers for exactly the same work. -Mike-

    • Comment 1/29/09: I also am an RA victim in 07. I went to the white house web site and let them know that SP is probably responsible for more offshoring and loss of American Jobs then any other Active CEO. Please join me in this, let them know.... SAMMY SUCKS! -Paulie-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Sam and Obama meet. Sam likes the push for more technolgy. Sam sees software from India , hardware from China and administration done from Mexico. IndiansBuddhistsMexicans.. -dale-
    • Comment 1/30/09: It is an outrage to see President Obama with Samuel Palmisano. IBM's CEO is the worst offender of offshoring jobs..... what a joke.. I wish I would have voted for McCain at this point -outraged- Alliance Reply: Don't be outraged with Obama, quite yet. He merely met with Sam. Today, he met with Labor and signed 3 executive orders to reverse Federal anti-union and anti-worker practices that were enacted by Bush. Obama is an organizer and pro-labor. If McCain got elected; we'd be in a lot worse shape, and McCain would have bent right over for Sam. Let's wait and see what comes of these meetings.
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 1/28/09: I just got RA'ed after 34+ years. I'm eligible for the old pension plan. Can I collect unemployment benefits while collecting pension? Is there anyone doing this? There is a FAQ on the NYS site that addresses it and it depends if IBM contirbuted more than 50 % toward the pension plan in the last 18 months -Anonymous-
  • Raise and Salary Comments
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 1/26/09: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2; This Yr Bonus = none; Prior Yr Bonus = 2,000; Message = I was a first line manager and left after working a lot of overtime (with no pay), disregarding US holidays so India wouldn't "feel bad", and managing over 30 individuals when I was told a maximium of 12. It's a well known fact that when you leave, the manager will always give you a 2 so that you cannot receive a bonus in spite of all the hard work you do and the many "policies" to follow. It would have been a better process if people strictly received profit sharing. At least no one can take away from you what was earned and it truly an entreprenurial practice. -Michele-
    • Comment 1/29/09: Michele - why the hell would you work US holidays so India wouldn't "feel bad"? Most of our overseas "coworkers" get more national holidays than we do. Look into "IBM Wordwide Holidays" on w3 for a shocking eye-opener. Some have 20+ national holidays listed. Some also have government-mandated minimums for vacation and, by default, get more vacation than we do. Don't ever feel guilty about taking your measly vacations and holidays. You have more than earned them. -SixNationalHolidays-
    • Comment 1/30/09: Does anyone know if ratings are also decided in Aug or Oct as noted below in 2 different posting for GBS as well? This is shocking, but wouldn't surprise me... -wondering-
  • International Comments
Vault Message Board Posts

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:

  • "More should get the axe" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: IBM is way too top heavy - way too many executives (VP and above) for the size of the workforce. Since thus far, around 4% of the US workforce has been laid off in the last two weeks and more to come, I'd like to see 4% of the VPs and above canned too. Far far as I'm concerned, they ought to start at the top. Regime change at IBM!
  • "Check Bluepages - Shameful" by "Scouter1". Full excerpt: Sitting at your desk at night waiting for a job to run? Poke around Bluepages - unbelievable number of Directors / VP's with less than 5 - 6 reports, some with one or two people - and I don't mean reports with dozens of people reporting to them - sometimes a single Director reports to a VP - Jerry York tried to clean up this bloated culture - but under the latter Gerstner year, and now Sam P - as bad as ever - the prime reason why IBM's cost structure inflates GBS rates - and don't get me started on the "value" research brings to GBS and also included in GBS rates - IBM management been flogging that bs since the 80's
  • "Cut some executive level fat" by "bluejules". Full excerpt: I agree with all the comments expressed here. Like I said, I'm surprised to see that some VPs are getting cut, but I'm glad to see it.

    In a much earlier life, I was at GE when Welch was really pushing "work-out" hard. A benefit was it increased the span of control of managers. This made a lot of sense. We got to the point where there were 5 levels from an engineer designing power plant parts to the CEO. It made communications a lot clearer, and managers didn't spend as much time on political games - less people to fight with.

    In my little part of GBS, we are at 9 levels from client-facing consultant to Sam. Strange part is that in general only the first level both manages people AND works for customers. The levels above all "manage the business." This generally means playing political games, tracking stupid metrics like completion of mandatory "how to flush a toilet" training, and fighting with other managers with no project responsibility over who gets to have their people work on a project. Usually this is all done by a mass of redundant spreadsheet files prepared by a whole other overworked staff of non-client facing support.

    I would love to see 3-4 levels just eliminated. In consulting, you could take out levels 2-6 of 9 and most customers would never know. Most customers have no idea who these line management leaches are. They just wonder why our rates are so #$(&^% high compared to the competition.

    Eliminating these non-work layers would align our structure with our more nimble competition. No idea if IBM could even begin to conceive of this, but it could be fun to watch if they do. The political battles over who stays and goes would be legendary.

    Since accountants run the place, the one thing that could drive this would be the need to keep increasing margin to meet the "IBM model" touted on every earnings call. Once you've moved a huge portion of the client work to low-cost providers offshore, the proportion of management costs gets way big - blows your leverage model. Even a first year accountant realizes that capping growth on an already low Tech Services salary doesn't deliver nearly the savings as axing one or two executive layers who have very few reports anyways.

If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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