The can't-be-missed offer comes as part of IBM's You* flexible rewards scheme (click on "Your money" for details), and is described in documentation forwarded to The Register by what we presume is a not wholly ecstatic employee. The "benefit enables you to refresh your primary IBM workstation on a more frequent basis." It's kind of like hire purchase, in that you give IBM a monthly sum for a two year "sacrifice period", at the end of which you make a final "Fair Market Value" payment and the computer is yours.
Employees can choose from three Lenovo models which will be "configured to meet IBM business requirements" with, says IBM, additional memory and large hard drives plus IBM's internal use software. IBM also claims they are discounted below the "'general public' price available from Lenovo." The prices quoted however aren't greatly below current UK street prices for the machines, and that doesn't take into account the end-of-deal Fair Market Value payment, which IBM estimates at £80-£120.
Weirdly, the "large hard drives" are all 160GB, significantly smaller than those in equivalent Lenovo models currently available in the real world.
Still, contemplating the length of the internal queue for replacement workstations, the honest IBMer might still reckon it made sense to shell out for a You* flexible reward. How do you find out how long you have to wait for a machine from the normal refresh programme?
View Assets. Find your primary workstation in the list provided and click on View Detail. Scroll to the bottom of the window and find the Capitalization Date. Add 4 years to the Capitalization Date, and this is approximately when you will receive a new or cascaded machine".
Cascaded? Right... So can I buy my old workstation instead of returning it?
"No. Purchase of a previous IBM-owned workstation is not part of this programme."
Presumably it could come in handy for cascading to non-participants. What if you leave, or have one of those things IBM calls "Life Events"?
"If you undergo a Life Event during the course of the You* scheme year, this will not enable you to change your election during the payment term providing you remain eligible for the You* scheme.
In this instance you still need to cover the cost of the laptop package..."
If you leave IBM, "whether voluntarily, through dismissal or redundancy, you will have to pay the outstanding amount... This payment will be taken from your final net salary. If there are insufficient funds, then we will ask you for the balance."
Still, if you negotiate the two years successfully, the computer's yours after IBM has hosed the company software off it. What then? Well, you can go back to the standard company system, or you can buy IBM another computer for you to work on. Cool...
In 2007, IBM said it had 98,000 employees in Brazil, China, India and Russia, but that number increased by 15% to 113,000 last year. Most of those employees are in India.
Local NBC affiliate KTTC took a closer look at the firings (to call them layoffs, as if these people are possibly going to be rehired, is a cruel joke) and brought attention to a high percentage of over-50 employees that were sent packing. Advisory software engineers and advisory engineers were two job titles specifically noted because approximately 60 percent of the eliminated jobs belonged to folks 50 years old or older. These jobs are within the Systems and Technology Group. ...
For its part in corporate good citizenship, IBM is offering workers who are no longer needed in Rochester the opportunity to compete for jobs in foreign countries such as China or India, two countries where IBM is outsourcing the majority of its jobs. (See Colonizing Endicott from a few weeks ago for more on this.) ...
In a March 5 article from The New York Times, IBM is cited as one of many large corporations that "routinely carry out scattered layoffs that are small enough to stay under the radar." It notes that IBM has fired approximately 4,600 North American employees in recent weeks.
Although an IBM spokesperson claims the job losses are "business as usual," some labor experts are taking issue with the lack of disclosure and the treatment of workers. Also worth noting is a federal law that mandates a warning when certain job eliminations are imminent. Some say corporations are intentionally using scattered and smaller scale firings in order to circumvent the federal law--known as the WARN Act--that only applies when dismissals reach a specified number.
Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, said the deal marks a surprising departure from IBM's acquisition history. "Financially, there's an opportunity for IBM to create value for shareholders," he said. "Strategically, it's more questionable." Mr. Sacconaghi said cost-cutting must be a big part of IBM's interest in Sun, suggesting more pain ahead for West Coast tech workers. The combined companies employ more than 430,000.
One local Sun employee said some colleagues were not happy about the acquisition news, adding that it could be "worse than layoffs." "There are two prevailing feelings: Closer to the door and/or working for a company that has a very different culture. Acquisitions are always painful, and I think worse when it is two large companies," said the employee, who did not want to be identified due to job security concerns.
Sun employees looking at the company's troubles might well be happy to don blue Oxford shirts, at least figuratively. But it's not easy to reconcile different procedures for allocating resources, marketing products, assessing their success, and charting new directions. And IBM might well sidestep cultural mismatch issues by laying off thousands of Sun employees.
A 2008 Annual Survey of 401k Plan Sponsors by Deloitte Consulting found that 80% of employers believe that 401ks are effective in recruiting employees to come work for them but only 13% believe that the 401k plans they offer will provide retirement security for their workers. In other words, employers understand that offering a plan that purports to provide for workers’ retirement security, without obligating the employer to pay retirement benefits, is helpful in building their businesses. However, employers privately acknowledge that these plans are not sufficient to provide for workers’ retirement. On the other hand, employers believe that guaranteed retirement income, such as a traditional pension plan, would be far more costly to provide.
Meanwhile, HP has been undergoing the tricky task of convincing its workers in the UK and Europe to voluntarily take a pay cut. Unlike their US cousins who saw an immediate dent in salary following the company's latest cost-cutting announcement on 18 February, HP's EMEA employees are required by law to give their individual written consent before any salary deduction can be imposed upon them. All of which might explain why the firm's US employees have taken yet another hit.
“Executive pay is the ultimate shell game,” said Richard Ferlauto, a longtime critic of corporate compensation practices and director of pension investment policy at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “Boards come up with all sorts of new ways to pay people whose performance shows they don’t deserve it.” ...
Some CEOs are willing to accept less compensation. Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group cut his pay 99 percent last year, to $350,000, after the firm swung to a $1.2 billion net loss connected to heavy write-downs. Numbing the pain was the $180 million Schwarzman pocketed in 2007, when he took his leveraged-buyout firm public.
The growing number of suspensions appears to strike a blow against the viability of 401(k) plans, which were introduced 30 years ago as the main way that Americans should save for retirement, replacing defined benefit pension plans. Companies typically offered to match employee contributions up to 5 per cent of annual salary. The average 401(k) plan at the end of 2007 held about $65,000, but half of them held less than $19,000, according to a trade group, the Investment Companies Institute. They would hold much less today because of stockmarket falls. The suspensions mean that individuals can continue to contribute to their plans, but their companies will not.
"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.
Douglas-David has filed court papers showing she has more than $53,800 in weekly expenses, including for maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three residences in Sweden. Her weekly expenses also include $700 for limousine service, $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, and $8,000 for travel. At that rate, Douglas-David would burn through $43 million in less than 16 years. The Census Bureau estimates that the median U.S. household income in 2007 was just over $50,000.
Let us all now give a collective hug to the poor, put-upon rich, who for the past 30 years have been grabbing practically all of the financial gains generated in our economy, while the vast majority of folks have seen their real incomes decline. Then let us point out to Brother Brooks that such things as health care for all and a booming green economy actually will be of great benefit to everyone, including the rich.
Yet, the Times columnist condemns "promiscuous" redistributionists who want to spread the wealth. With a straight face, he cries out for a conservative vision of "a nation in which we're all in it together – in which burdens are all shared broadly, rather than simply inflicted on a small minority."
What planet has this guy been on the last couple of decades? This "small minority" he weeps for is the same bunch of elites who've created tax dodges, trade scams, deregulation fantasies, de-unionization schemes, financial hustles, and other mechanisms to redistribute wealth from workaday families to them. It's about time the burden shifts upward – and the benefits of our economy become broadly shared.
Aside from the snoot factor, what's the difference? The tax code. Our ordinary income is taxed by the feds at a rate of up to 35 percent. The very rich, however, who haul in most of their money from capital gains and stock gains, pay only 15 percent on this income.
What's at work here is another big difference between us and them. They have lobbyists and are able to make impressive levels of campaign contributions to key politicians – so, the tax code has been deliberately perverted to benefit them. Oh, tut-tut, sniff these swell ones, we take big investment risks with our money and we fuel America's entrepreneurial spirit. So we are, in fact, special and deserve preferential tax treatment.
Good grief, Daddy Warbucks, spare us your bloated sense of entitlement. Mostly, you're risking other people's money, and mostly you're buying up existing companies, which you then cannibalize by firing workers and selling off corporate parts to fatten your take. Nothing noble about it.
Income is income, and the superrich deserve no special break just because they make their money from money. As Warren Buffett has asked, why should billionaire investors like him pay a lower tax rate "than our receptionists do or our cleaning ladies?" It's a question of fundamental fairness.
There is no reason to believe this.
Similar arguments made during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, when currencies and stock markets collapsed in much of Southeast Asia, turned out to be a smokescreen to protect the executives who were partly responsible for the mess. Recovery from that crisis required Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand to close or consolidate banks. In all three countries, bankers protested, claiming that their connections with borrowers were critical to recovery.
In South Korea, cozy relationships between banks and the large conglomerates called chaebols were a major reason for the crisis. But after the crisis hit, Korean bankers and companies insisted that the complexity of chaebols like Samsung and LG — with their many separate but interwoven businesses — meant that outsiders would not be able to distinguish good loans from bad. ...
The lesson of all this is that when insiders have broken a financial institution, the most direct remedy is to kick them out. Traders are hardly in short supply, and you don’t need to rely on the ones who made the toxic trades in the first place. Companies must always plan around the potential departure of even their star traders, or they are certain to fail. A.I.G. does not need to keep all of its traders, especially since it takes far fewer people to unwind a portfolio than to build it up.
The lawsuit blames Cerra for persuading teachers to leave a defined benefit pension program for a 401K-style retirement plan administered by AIG. ...
"Over 14,000 teachers and school service personnel in West Virginia are deeply interested in the debacle that is their retirement accounts," Bell said in a statement. "Their individual financial well-being was and continues to be placed at risk due to highly-leveraged, high-risk credit default swaps of collateralized debt obligations by AIG. "That is bad enough, but the recent bonus payments show a total disconnect from reality on the part of AIG."
The irony is these layoffs came a few days after IBM announced record profits. It was also around this time IBM CEO met with President Obama regarding the creation of future IT jobs within the US. I guess it was a great photo op for Sam Palmisano "IBM CEO" the photo's were splashed all over IBM internal web sites.
To get to the point within IBM there appears to be a disturbing trend. IBM is hiring foreign Post Docs on student visas such as H1B as supplemental workers; the older experienced US employees are asked to train them, after training IBM then layoff the older workers, after a certain amount of time to avoid litigation IBM hires full time the foreign Post Doc. This trend appears to be a way for IBM to get cheap foreign labor, I presume this may be the trend throughout many US companies.
As a NY State Congressman you should take heed and visit IBM Research Division Yorktown Heights NY and take careful note of the vast amount of IBM non US employees at this site, as compared to 5-6 years ago. The numbers are astounding.
A year ago last November an older IBM colleague and personal friend was laid off after IBM hired a foreign Post Doc. The older IBM'er trained the foreign Post Doc, the Post Doc then took over some of his tasks, eventually the IBM'er was informed that he will no longer be required and was laid off, he subsequently accuses his management of firing him in order to open a position for the foreigner, IBM management obviously denies the accusation. Well guess what: he was laid off. IBM after a certain period of time which probably avoids litigation concerns hire the Post Doc as a full time employee at a lower pay rate.
My case is similar, 2 years ago I worked with a excellent summer intern and recommended to my manager to hire this person. Last August he hired this person who is now a Post Doc and foreign national on a student visa working as a supplemental IBM employee. I was asked by my manager to train this person on very high tech specialized equipment. During this period after reflecting on what happened to my friend it crossed my mind that I may be training my replacement. Well guess what , I was right. I have been with IBM for 22 years and had excellent yearly reviews. My colleague was with IBM over 25 years and also had excellent reviews.
The US work force is in dire need of immediate assistance. Not only do you see foreign workers taking US high tech jobs it is the same story throughout all US industry. Last April I spoke with laid off construction workers in San Francisco California who are being replaced by mainly illegal latino's who are taking advantage of the sanctuary city policy and pricing local workers out of the jobs market.
My question is : WHEN and HOW or IF, you and your colleagues in Congress intend to address the sheer undermining of the US work force. Like most US citizens it is my opinion these concerns will fall on deaf ears. The US citizens approval rating for Congress clearly reflects my opinion. Prove me wrong
For those of you left at IBM here is what I have observed. First line managers are not managers anymore. They appraise people, gives awards and promotions based on what the 2nd line says. I have asked for two years why I was rated a certain way and my boss said the 2nd line made the decisions. A 2nd line I had met once. When I was laid off, a 2+, but they way, my manager said he was not part of the decision. Then he wasn't allowed to travel to close me out. He wouldn't even return a call one week before the end.
If you are still working for IBM, you will not be long. There are so many people on the bench and so many people with nothing to do it is a very ominous sign for you. IBM's products are not selling. That is why they are buying companies left and right. IBM has business partners that get no support and no education so they don't know how to sell IBM products. Here is the sad thing. The rest of the layoffs will not offer severance packages. Those remaining are going to get totally screwed. -Done-
So, let me see if I have this right boss, EA management is defending the position that its organization does not fit the GDF model by presenting evidence of how successful it has been in GR GDF's. Yeah that'll work! I agree with my management, EA will not fit the GDF model and they can not make it work. With that said, just like we were told, chances are it will not happen, so do not worry. Who me worry, about selling my house in this economic environment or losing my job because I will not move? No worries, mate! -Tivoleer-
By comparison, our competitors (Accenture, EMC, etc) have utilisation targets of 75-80% at best. Obviously IBM thinks of AIS as a commodity (which it is in many ways), and with AIS being only 3 years old (spun-off from AMS in April 2006), its numbers have shrunk year-over-year. It is difficult to imagine the AIS experiment existing 2-3 years from now.
As it still shares the same division number as AMS (both are 6c), I would think AMS and AIS will collapse back into a single entity again. Very difficult to differentiate custom application development when the GR price to customer (mind you not cost, but price) ranges from $25-30 per hour. Also nearly impossible to demonstrate industry alignment. -AIS-RA-
Soon there will be additional GDF's. California is looking like where the next one will be located due to the recent signing of a Strategic Outsourcing contract with Kaiser. While I personally do not work in a GDF, I know many who do, and most report that they are not happy campers. You see, there is no choice with regard to where you will work. If you live within 50 miles of the GDF, you will be commuting to work each day. So if you were a work at home employee, you aren't any longer! And now your manager decides if, when and how much you can work from home. If you were told to report to the GDF each day, but informed your manager that you'd rather not, well, then you just voluntarily resigned from IBM.
Then there's the open landscape seating in the GDF. It does not make for a very conducive or productive atmosphere when one is trying to concentrate. The 300 or so other people sitting in the bullpen with you generate an awful lot of "office clatter". Finally, there are those employee's that live greater than 50 miles from the GDF, and lucky them! They don't have to report to the GDF each day. They can still work from home as much as they like. For a while. You see, their replacements are being hired as we speak. Perhaps the guy who lives more than 50 miles from the GDF is a Band 7 or 8. His replacement will be a Band 3 or 4.
It will work like this: The new guy gets hired as a Band 4, reports to the GDF everyday, and when management thinks he or she is sufficiently trained, the folks who live more than 50 miles from the GDF are most likely history
So now that you know what all the fuss is about, aren't you impressed? The GDF's are nothing more than a management fad de jour, simply another way to cut costs. What I cant figure out is this: I recall management encouraging employee's to work from home permanently. That was justified by all of the money IBM would save on office space because IBM no longer had to provide offices to employee's. Now that's it's back to everybody on site in the GDF, what the hell happened to everybody work from home??. -anonymous-
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.