Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links

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

Our Friends:

Watching IBM Watching IBM Facebook

Quick Links:

Get involved! Insider trading After IBM Lenovo Employee Discount

Previous highlights:

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

Highlights—April 25, 2009

  • New York Times, courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune: Layoffs done piecemeal enable companies to skirt the law. By Steve Lohr. Excerpts: With the economy weakening, chief executives want Wall Street to see them as tough cost-cutters who are not afraid to lay off workers. But plenty of job cuts are not trumpeted in news releases. Big companies also routinely carry out scattered layoffs that are small enough to stay under the radar, contributing to an unemployment rate that keeps climbing, but that is not always truly reflected in jobs reports.

    IBM is one such company. It reported surprisingly strong quarterly profits earlier this year, and in an e-mail message to employees, CEO Samuel Palmisano said that although other companies were cutting back, his would not. "Most importantly, we will invest in our people," he wrote.

    But the next day, more than 1,400 employees in IBM's sales and distribution division in the United States and Canada were told their jobs would be eliminated in a month. More cuts followed, and overall, IBM has told about 4,600 North American employees in recent weeks that their jobs are vanishing.

    J. Randall MacDonald, IBM's senior vice president for human resources, said it was routine for the company to lay off some employees while hiring elsewhere. "This business is in a constant state of transformation," he said. "I think of this as business as usual for us." ...

    In interviews, IBM workers whose jobs are being eliminated were mainly chagrined that the undisclosed cuts, and the timing, seemed to contradict the company's public statements. Rick Clark, 50, an engineer in East Fishkill, N.Y., had worked for IBM for 11 years. He said he was disappointed in IBM this time because the job cuts were deep and spread across so many businesses and came at a time when IBM has been proclaiming its success. "I do think IBM, like other companies, has used this recession as an excuse to lay people off," he said.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Cuts spur IBM earnings. By Craig Wolfe. Excerpts: The benefits of cost-cutting, so painful to hundreds who have lost their jobs locally, have helped IBM Corp. as a whole push up earnings for shareholders even as revenues decreased in a global recession. ...

    Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge told analysts Monday that IBM had spent $265 million out of a year's planned total of $300 million to $400 million for "workforce rebalancing," which is mostly severance payments for terminated workers. That reduces overhead. "This lower level of fixed costs improves our balance point," and means most of the financial benefit of it lies ahead, he said.

  • Computerworld: H-1B visa use cuts U.S. programmer, software engineer wages by up to 6%. Researchers say new study 'dispels the myth that globalization generates no losers'. Excerpts: The researchers said they found evidence that the wages are falling by accessing tens of thousands of resumes provided by a "leading online job search site" they wouldn't identify, to gain demographic and wage data of individual companies. They took all that information and combined it with government and other public data sources, including H-1B visa use and outsourcing, to get what they termed a "micro-data" view of what is going on in public companies that hire visa holders and offshore work. ...

    "In this paper, we simply sought to dispel the myth that globalization generates no losers," wrote Prasanna Tambe, an assistant professor of information, operations and management sciences at the Stern School, and Lorin Hitt, a professor of operations and information management at Wharton. The authors said that it's important that policy-makers understand the wage impact of the H-1B visa program.

  • eWeek: Cognizant Technology to Back-Pay H-1B Workers. Excerpts: One of the leading technology companies in the United States that uses H-1B workers has recently agreed to backpay nearly $510,000 to 67 employees. Based on an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, it appears that Cognizant Technology has been found in violation of several laws. From a recent article in Computerworld:
    Teaneck, N.J.-based Cognizant is one of the largest H-1B users, having received approval for 467 visas during the federal government's current fiscal year. That put Cognizant, which has more than 60,000 employees worldwide, in seventh place on the list of H-1B recipients for fiscal 2008. The Labor Department, in a statement released this week, said that the company had violated federal law by failing to pay "proper wages" to H-1B tech workers. Cognizant also "failed to offer all H-1B workers equal benefits or eligibility for equal benefits, and failed to maintain required records," the agency said. A Cognizant spokesman said that the company isn't commenting on the settlement
  • Computerworld: Five reasons why the H-1B cap will be increased, revised. By Patrick Thibodeau. Excerpts: President Barack Obama has signaled interest in taking up comprehensive immigration reform. And any push for immigration reform is almost certain to include an increase in the H-1B cap. One year ago, I outlined five reasons why the cap will be increased; this is a revised assessment.
    1. H-1B opponents have no friends in the White House...
    2. H-1B opponents have no money...
    3. H-1B opponents still have no clout...
    4. Congress will increase the cap...
    5. The H-1B opponents have lost the public relations war...
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "So how much does retiree medical coverage cost?" by "steveazcyclist". Full excerpt: I'll be 51 with 30 years at the beginning of 2010. I'm single and my kids are grown, so only worrying about me for the moment. I realize that things vary greatly by location and the coverage chosen, but I currently choose the $0 out of pocket option and am happy with the coverage. Can someone give me an idea of a range of how much that equivalent coverage will cost me as a retiree? My FHA account has about $33K in it, so obviously the 14 year gap to Medicare is a big concern. Thx.
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: So how much does retiree medical coverage cost?" by Kathi Cooper. Full excerpt: Your FHA health premium for one person will be about 675 per month, and I am being very conservative. Therefore, your FHA bucks will last about 4.07 years, just for you.

    I decided to use my FHA bucks up as soon as possible after I retired. I've left a little bit in there as an assurance that I'm still able to use their health insurance later on, even if it costs me a thousand a month. I have since found my dream job as an accountant at a little community bank. I'm up front with everyone and tell them I'm working for health insurance. It's a very good match.

    If the Democrats get their campaign promise granted, we should be able to get health insurance from a common health insurance pool, made available for those that don't have it otherwise (if your still out of work and the FHA is gone after those 4 years). That would be a good thing for many of us as I'm certain some of us will need it.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: So how much does retiree medical coverage cost?" by "madinpoik". Full excerpt: Here are the monthly costs for one person under the FHA plan for 2009. These plans are available in the Hudson Valley area. From what I have heard from others, the costs are similar or equivalent to those in other areas of the country.
    Aetna Open Choice PPO: $659.10
    Health Net NY: $847.67
    IBM EPO - MVP: $704.62
    IBM Hi Ded PPO w/ HSA - MVP: $593.54
    High Ded PPO - MVP: $514.21
    Med Ded PPO - MVP: $614.97
    Low Ded PPO - MVP: $773.97
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: So how much does retiree medical coverage cost?" by "madinpoik". Full excerpt: Here are the 2009 monthly rates for employee + spouse. Because this is the FHA plan and there is no IBM subsidy, the costs are almost exactly twice what they are for one person.
    Aetna Open Choice PPO: $1319.20
    Health Net NY: $1695.70
    IBM EPO - MVP: $1409.23
    IBM Hi Ded PPO w/ HSA - MVP: $1187.09
    High Ded PPO - MVP: $1028.43
    Med Ded PPO - MVP: $1229.93
    Low Ded PPO - MVP: $1547.95
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: So how much does retiree medical coverage cost?" by "ranheimchas". Full excerpt: I retired after 40 years of service. When I reached 30 years, I was told many times my medical insurance was "Paid up" for when I retire as part of my deferred compensation. Needless to say, my free medical for life now costs me about $12,000 per year.

    I, like many others, believed what IBM told us. For those promises, we worked all kinds of long hours, gave up vacations, and missed many family gatherings. Now, many retirees are at the point they can barely pay for their medical bills, having little or nothing left to enjoy retirement.

    For those still working, be careful how you plan your future. Don't hang your hat on what IBM tells you. Those days are gone. Once you retire, you become just an expense, instead of an asset. Needless to say, IBM is always looking for ways to cut expenses.

  • Chicago Tribune: 8 tips on paying for health care in retirement. By Emily Brandon. Excerpt: It's difficult to predict what your health care expenses will be in retirement. Jack Dickinson, 65, thought he was one of the lucky ones. His 34 years as a General Motors sales and marketing manager came with two gold-plated benefits: a pension and lifetime medical coverage. And Dickinson was lucky indeed--until GM scrapped retiree health care coverage this year for about 100,000 white-collar retirees, him included. The beleaguered auto giant did raise monthly pension payments by $300 to help retirees buy their own coverage. But "it does not replace, by any means, the excellent coverage that GM gave us," says Dickinson, a retiree in Hoover, Ala. "If you go on the open market and try to replace everything, it is not available."
  • Wall Street Journal SmartMoney: The Hidden Costs of Retiring Early. By Angie C. Marek. Excerpts: BACK WHEN MARK TURETSKY was an entrepreneur, building a business empire that sold pork rinds, cotton candy and beef sticks in bulk, he seldom worried about insurance. His only health hiccups were high cholesterol and acid reflux—common problems for a guy his age. So he had no qualms about coverage when he decided to take the plunge and retire early, at age 55.

    The qualms kicked in later, when Turetsky, still eight years away from qualifying for Medicare, looked into buying new health coverage. His insurer told him that now that he was buying on the so-called individual market instead of through his company, the annual cost of covering himself, his wife Stephanie and son Jacob would more than double, to $27,600, or the price of a Honda Accord. And when Turetsky shopped for a better deal, things got Kafkaesque. The local Blue Shield affiliate told him it didn’t cover anyone in Greenfield Park, N.Y., the rural township where he lives, because the area is “riskier than average.” The AARP’s “young retiree” health plans, he learned, aren’t even offered in his state. Turetsky joked with Stephanie that he’d become a greeter at Wal-Mart if it would keep his medical costs down. Ultimately, he bought the only policy he could find, which doesn’t cover some routine doctor visits—and still costs him almost $13,000 a year. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t part of Turetsky’s script for retiring young. “This whole insurance thing,” he says, “entirely blindsided us.”

    Almost everyone fantasizes about swapping the cubicle and BlackBerry for a life of permanent leisure while they’re young enough to enjoy it. Untold millions put in long hours to make the fantasy a reality, and in these rough economic times, others have taken buyouts or been laid off. Unfortunately, America’s patchwork health care system is making those transitions much harder. Too young to qualify for Medicare and rarely covered by their employers, early retirees can face premiums they neither dreamed of nor planned for—often three or more times what they paid while they were working. And that’s for the healthy ones; others, who suffer from ordinary middle-age ailments—arthritis, elevated blood pressure, even back trouble—wind up paying far more or are simply rejected. Caught in this ugly collision of costs and restrictions, the only answer for some is to go without coverage. The public-policy research group The Commonwealth Fund found that in 2007 about 35 percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 were uninsured or underinsured—up from 26 percent five years ago.

  • eWeek: Microsoft Taps Former IBM Tools Exec for Security Job. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpt: It's no surprise that Microsoft has hired a former IBM tools guy to enrich its organization. What is somewhat surprising is where the software giant has him working. Microsoft has hired former IBM software executive Lee Nackman as the new corporate vice president of Microsoft's Identity and Security Division (ISD). According to Nackman's bio on Microsoft's executives Web page, which appeared on April 17 -- a year after Nackman retired from IBM: "The ISD group Nackman oversees creates products designed to protect systems and information from the latest threats, while ensuring that the right people have flexible, manageable access to the information that they need."
  • Forbes: Oracle And IBM Get Complicated. Suddenly, Larry Ellison has IBM in a very awkward spot. By Brian Caulfield. Excerpts: The big question: When Ellison is done slashing Sun's costs, how many weapons will he have left? "They have the arsenal to compete on levels with which they've never been able to compete before," says Crawford Del Prete, executive vice president of research at IDC. "[But] we really need to see what plays they want to run." The next move is Ellison's. And the first victims probably won't be at IBM. "We believe we'll be able to run Sun at substantially higher margins," Oracle President Safra Catz said on a conference call Monday, promising investors an additional $1.5 billion in operating income a year.

    That means cuts, big cuts. "Do they scale back the server business? Do they move away from SPARC [microprocessor] business?" Del Prete said. "Maybe they spin off the tape business ... to IBM?"

  • ZD-Net: Report: Fraud and deception at Satyam was deep. Posted by Sam Diaz. Excerpt: The fraud and deception at Satyam Computer Services in India was so in-depth that it included dual accounting books, thousands of forged invoices, thousands of unnecessary employees and dozens of fake bank statements, according to court records analyzed by the New York Times. Through the deception, managers, auditors and an adviser were able to create a perception that the company was “carrying out huge volumes of business” so it attract potential customers and investors, according to the NYT. All the while, cash was flowing into the hands of those who architected the deception.
  • The Register: HP packing workers seal bosses in conference room. By Joe Fay. Excerpts: Workers bossnapped five execs at a French logistics plant yesterday, amidst anger at HP's decision to switch printer packaging activities to Malaysia. Workers at FM Logistics at Woippy in NE France are angry that 400 jobs are set to go at the firm, after HP, a major customer, decided to shift its printer packing business from Woippy to SE Asia.

    The "restructuring" has gone down like a a tonne of bricks with les workers, and during a meeting about the process yesterday, they decided it was time for some actione direct. "Judging the (redundancy) measures insufficient, around 125 workers decided to apply pressure," said Bruno Damien of the CFE-CGC trade union to the AFP. The five execs were barricaded into the conference room. The workers freed a female member of the team and planned to hold the male bosses over night.

  • New York Times: When Cloud Computing Doesn’t Make Sense. By Steve Lohr. Excerpts: Clouds, clouds, clouds. Everyone talks about Google-style cloud computing — software as services off in the Internet “cloud” — as the future. But while cloud computing is a marketing triumph, new research from McKinsey & Company asserts that trying to adopt the cloud model would be a money-losing mistake for most large corporations. The research is being presented at a symposium on Wednesday afternoon, sponsored by the Uptime Institute, a research and advisory organization that focuses on improving the efficiency of data centers.

    The McKinsey study, “Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing,” concludes that outsourcing a typical corporate data center to a cloud service would more than double the cost. Its study uses Amazon.com’s Web service offering as the price of outsourced cloud computing, since its service is the best-known and it publishes its costs. On that basis, according to McKinsey, the total cost of the data center functions would be $366 a month per unit of computing output, compared with $150 a month for the conventional data center. “The industry has assumed the financial benefits of cloud computing and, in our view, that’s a faulty assumption,” said Will Forrest, a principal at McKinsey, who led the study.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
Minimize
  • IBM Italy Union questions executive perks. Excerpts: We’d like to inform you that we have started in Italy a national campaign against IBM manager’s excessive bonuses. In the middle of the economical global crisis, and during 9600 job cuts in IBM US, the management of GTS department of IBM Italy reserved for themselves a large reward and in addition went on a free holiday to a famous and expensive resort. Our cost estimate for this holiday is between $40000 and $150000. This waste of money by IBM Italy management is not fair and is offensive in the opinion of IBM workers. ...

    Revenue and dividends are going only to the investors, and year after year more bonuses are going to IBM managers. This is having a negative affect on the morale of IBM employees. Bonuses to corporate management are under scrutiny by President Barack Obama’s administration. Management bonuses are also under the control of Sam Palmisano, our CEO and Corporate Social Responsibility offices. We will no longer accept these excessive benefits to IBM managers. We ask IBM to reinvest money in the direction of IBM workers (main stakeholders of this company), and especially to the employees that have not received salary increases for 7 or 10 years. On top of this many education course are cut due to low funds.

  • Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 04/17/09: so here's a query for anybody who has been around enough to know - is leaving IBM for one of the other tech giants - say, Microsoft, Cisco, EMC, HP for examples that come to mind - a material improvement? Are they any better? -Wondering-
    • Comment 04/17/09: There is a resource on this site that many of you facing an "uncertain future" may want to look at. Go to the "Job Cuts" link in the left column and look at the "Job Cut Survival Kit". I also posted my own list (from experience) but it may be a bit dated now. See: Job Cut Archive - dated 05/12/08. I would like for someone else to post their more recent experience for the benefit of others. -Neal Watkins-
    • Comment 04/17/09: I have been told that GBS AMS SEA&T will RA'ed the remaining members of the practice by the end of the year since everything will be shifted over to India. People on commercial accounts will be re-assigned to other practice groups within GBS. If you are on a IGA Project, you are training your replacements in India. -Concerned in SEA&T-
    • Comment 04/18/09: To Wondering: All of the tech companies are offshoring US jobs and they will continue to do so until tax laws on overseas profits are changed. The 5% (instead of 35%) tax on "repatriated" profits from overseas is probably MORE of an incentive than the cheaper labor. They spend $100s of millions lobbying to keep these tax breaks. It's totally backwards. The tax rate for companies hiring and keeping American workers should be LOWER than taxes on overseas labor. The bottom line is the ONLY thing that matters to these companies. Write your reps in Congress! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/11/AR2009041102035.html?hpid=topnews -annonymous-
    • Comment 04/18/09: In New York the WARN act, recently changed, has some people leaving at the end of April with 30 days notice, but some leaving at the end of June with 90 days notice. It depends on the number of people being let go. The oddest part is that you can be in the same department, have the same manager, but if it shows one person works in East Fishkill they got 90 days notice, and the other in Poughkeepsie, they got 30 days notice. The last warn act for East Fishkill indicated 54 people - and they all got 90 days notice -To -RJ- -
    • Comment 04/19/09: So you want to be part of the next layoff? The best thing to do is volunteer (I did and it worked) I started it jokingly and just kept jokingly volunteering every time the subject of potential layoffs was brought up. It helps if you have a good old time manager or at least a good working relationship with your manager. If you really want to leave, the severance package is not bad, especially for those of us who can retire. -another old timer-
    • Comment 04/20/09: I was laid off in the "first wave" on Feb 24th. I wanted to let you know that you might want to post a bulletin about this on the front page of the site, for anyone who, like me, elected to take Cobra coverage. Under the Recovery Plan, employers were supposed to have info on the gov't subsidy of cobra to former employees no later than April 18, and be implementing it no later than than May billing. I called the ESC this morning because I received my bill Saturday for May's payment. I was being billed in full.

      When I talked to the ESC on 4/1, they had said to pay the bill in full for March/April, and then the May bill would be reduced by the 65% gov't subsidy, and I would receive a refund for the 65% I had overpaid for March/April. Well, I have received no refund, and now am being billed in full again. So I called the ESC.... was told that the info packets were being mailed out TODAY - 2 days after the gov't deadline to have the info in employees hands. Then I was told that even though they understand that at this point they owe me money, I need to go ahead and pay the bill I just received. That they will be sending out corrected bills in a few weeks, but to avoid cancellation of my benefits, I should go ahead and pay it to be safe (I'm scheduled for surgery - they've got me right where I have no choice).

      So I called the hotline for the Dept of Labor, and told them the story. They checked their system and said IBM has already received the gov't funds to cover the 65% of the cobra payments. IBM has already gotten the money, now they've collected more money than they should from me for over 3 months, and keep telling me to just kept paying I'll be refunded eventually. The DOL woman said if they get enough instances of this, IBM can be fined, and if there are enough instances of former employees not receiving the info by the deadline, there will be repercussions for that as well. Her words were that if other companies were able to meet the deadlines and have the info out to people over a week ago, there is no excuse for IBM, and there is no excuse for them to be telling me to pay more than I owe when the subsidy money is in their pocket already. The # for the DOL hotline is 866-444-3272. You may have to have a benefits advisor call you back. -TiredofIBM-

      Alliance Reply: Thank you for this very valuable information. We appreciate you sharing this with everyone here.

    • Comment 04/20/09: Wanted to give an update - Just got a call back from the Dept of Labor with one of the supervisors from the ESC on the line. Apparently, after I filed my complaint, the DOL wasted no time in taking them to task, the ESC woman even said "this is a huge embarrassment that the US Government is finding us so unprofessional". As far as my particular Cobra billing goes, it is now corrected, and even showing a credit on my account (guy earlier told me to send more money!!) covering me through June! The DOL woman made sure to say several times on the call that it was being recorded.... and that even though they close at 4:45 there were still 115 callers in the queue today. So I hope there were some more former IBMers who called in. DOL also gave me her direct number to call if for some reason IBM sends me another screwed up bill. -TiredofIBM- Alliance Reply: Proof positive that fighting back, works. Thank you for the phone # 866-444-3272 and keeping us up-to-date. This is why they call it "activism"; because people like you CHOOSE to act instead of whatever else... Good job.
    • Comment 04/20/09: Folks in STG, be warned! Another round of layoffs in June! I have learned this from a host of reliable sources. Managers already know who is going to get the ax. Signs to know you're the one: 1. Your assignments have been slowly delegated to someone else, stating that person is your "back-up." 2. You have not been delegated any new assignments. 3. Your manager has been avoiding eye/face to face contact with you. 4. Encouraging you to "job post." 5. You seem to be kept "out of the loop." These are just a few signs. Volunteering to be RA'd may not help; it won't change who they already picked to be ax'd. If you avoided LEAN or have not been involved, be very worried. Good luck. -Ready 2B Next-
    • Comment 04/20/09: Note to Sam P: That annoying buzzing sound you here will not go away... It's both Watson Sr & Jr spinning in their graves! -RAdman-
    • Comment 04/20/09: Thought you guys might want to know how much better things are for a unionized workforce. The company my husband works for (commercial jets) has not laid anyone off, although pilots are sitting at home on stand by as in-flight times have decreased by 30% in the past few months. Past week, the employees have been given options to take 4 to 12 months off with full benefits and retain 40% of their salary while on leave! And not one person has been laid off, although they actually do not have work for everyone. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 04/21/09: I was laid off from IBM Canada in Feb.2009, after 3yrs of excellent service. I have been fortunate to land a job which seems to be better than my career at IBM. To those of you worrying about employment, well the market is not as bad as the news pushes. For sure all of you will find better, if not the same, opportunities outside IBM. For those of you still at IBM, best wishes, but open your eyes...you could be the next lucky laid-off IBMer :-) -Happily.Laid.Off-
    • Comment 04/21/09: Finally pulled out the layoff numbers from manager: 36 people out of 98 in our org. -layoff_numbers- Alliance Reply: We need more details. What org? What kind of work? Anything being offshored?
    • Comment 04/22/09: The numbers i previously posted are for division 6C - MD Application Delivery.. Jobs gone are all technical i.e. DBAs, developers.. all managers are intact.. The jobs are outsourced in an indirect way.. In the past few months more Brazilian, Belorussian folks arriving, although most of us were told that our jobs were being dissolved /consolidated into the jobs of people remaining. As far as training GRs, it's been happening for the last 5 years and has been a continuous process for us. Note that the turn around is quite high - they usually stay no more than couple years, get the skills and leave. And then we have to train again and fix the mess that was left. Well soon there will be noone to do the training. -layoff_numbers-
    • Comment 04/22/09: I started IBM on 3/5/84 and was laid off 2/23//09. I was let go less than 2 weeks before my 25th service anniversary. Would they let me stay on for 2 weeks so I could be in the Quarter Century Club? NO. 25 years of dedication to this company. Heartless! My appraisal record is 2+, 2+, 2+. I was a strong contributor but I got this treatment. Thought you should know as there are likely others out there like me. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 04/23/09: Yeah, working at a deli looks better all the time. IBM has always been an unfair political jungle. I would love leaving with severance and having some kid with a family keep their job. That's not how the system works. So join the union. Have a voice if you want change. I focus on doing a quality job because I know that is irreplaceable. I don't believe it will save my job. I believe it will help someone somewhere and that's what we're all about. If we loose this battle through pettiness and laziness that is sadder than loosing something worth working for. -KeepWorking- Alliance reply: Thank you for adding your voice in encouraging employees to join the Alliance. Unfortunately people are still dragging their feet. Only 13 have joined this month. There is power in numbers but the numbers have to come first.
    • Comment 04/23/09: I was RA'd Jan/Feb. My manager knew about it in early November. My guess is that the number of cuts are decided annually. For 2009, it probably happened last summer or earlier. People keep forgetting cuts are made EVERY year - recession or no recession - and will keep on doing it to offshore jobs to cheaper countries & keep pension & salary costs as low as possible. The only way to stop it is to change the laws (taxes, WARN, etc) that encourage this activity and unionize. At least w/a union there would be a more level playing field and some fairness in cuts. -annonymous-
    • Comment 04/24/09: Div.7 Service Delivery Mgmt. 12 yrs at IBM. I was informed this week that my accounts were going to Brazil. Asked mgr. how long do I have left to be employed? Mgr stated that this phone call was about transitioning my accounts. It wasn't a RA call. Just so you know mgr. couldn't be honest that I would be RA'd in the next round. I have heard from reliable sources next round is in June. My ratings have always been a 2+ over the last 10 years. I Skills and performance doesn't matter any longer. Company is looking at age, years of service, vacation time. IBM doesn't want to pay medical benefits for older employees. Need 15 yrs and age 55 to be eligible for retiree medical and enhanced credit toward cash balance pension. These are the folks they are targeting. -NextToGo-
    • Comment 04/24/09: I am one of the recently RA'd and I can tell you that there are a lot of IT jobs out there, but they are very specialized and are going to less experienced, younger workers. I have over 20+ years in IT and I have found that mentioning this is a death sentence when looking for a job. Unless you are looking for a management position, keep your work history down to 10-12 years maximum. That makes it harder for potential employers to guess your age and discount your resume. Good luck to all the current and past RA's. -daveserv-
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 04/16/09: Since I work at a customer site where we cannot have our IBM laptop, I will simply drive to the IBM Office twice a week and expense the distance if they stop reimbursing me for my internet access. We'll see how 88 miles a week stack up to internet reimbursement -Anonymous-
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 4/21/09: Salary = 132000; Band Level = 9; Job Title = Senior Architect; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = GBS 6C; Location = Silicon Valley; Message = I believe I am at the avg. point for my band, but quite below avg considering my location in Silicon Valley. -blackandblue-
    • Comment 4/22/09: My current mgr is days away from full retirement. I asked him what the deal was with salary plan and if he had already finished the planning for the dept or if our new interim was going to get that job....he said the input process had been delayed til sometime in May or June, which obviously means that the raises, if they happen, will not be on the same schedule as prior years. -Not optimistic-
    • Comment 4/24/09: Not optimistic , the plan is done. it is pretty much plug and play over the last several years. all based on the pbc rating which then is plugged into the algorithm and the numbers pop out. manager has a little room but needs to meet the budget number that are sent down from above. your new manager will only execute the plan when he/she is told to. -retired-
    • Comment 4/24/09: Salary = 100K USD; Band Level = Band 7; Job Title = systems analyst; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 45; Location = Boulder; Message = glad to be going -anonymous-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 4/22/09: Band Level = 9; Years Service = 1.9; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr Bonus = 7000; Prior Yr Bonus = 800; Message = RA'd even though I had a 2+ PBC rating! I blew the whistle on illegal activities resulting in the firing of several "Partner" level executives... Wonder why I was RA'd.... hmmm -RA'd-
  • International Comments
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
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.

  • Huffington Post: The Parts of The 401(k) Disaster Story 60 Minutes DIDN'T Report. By Bill Mann. Excerpts: The whole sordid 401(k) saga largely involves big corporations dumping their pension plans and pushing 401(k)'s and then brazenly gaming the bankruptcy laws. The story has, sadly, largely gone unnoticed and unreported these past few months during the stock-market meltdown and housing/bank scandals.

    How did we even come to have 401(k)'s in the first place? Why didn't we just keep company pensions, which worked fine for most people for years? The questions get even more interesting (and "60 Minutes" didn't address this big one): Why and how was much of the cost of employee retirement savings dumped on individual workers - and then taken off companies' books -- in the 1980's? And finally: Why would anyone assume that most people have the time, inclination or talent to be savvy investors?

    The answers can be found in an absorbing report called "Can You Afford to Retire?" It originally aired on PBS's estimable "Frontline" investigative series in May, 2006, and the reporter was veteran New York Times journalist Hedrick Smith. (Smith's new "Frontline" report this week, on widespread and dangerous PCB pollution of the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound, "Poisoned Waters," as usual, got strong reviews).

    Anyone with a 401(k) -- cratered-out or otherwise -- or a pension plan, or anyone whose company may go bankrupt, should try to watch Smith's piece, which is still there in its entirety at "Frontline's" web site. Caveat: Be prepared to shake your head in amazement and swear a lot. ...

    But, explained Smith, "what got lost in all the euphoria" about "empowering" the small investor was "the enormous shift in who was now paying for retirement." That's the biggest story here. Corporations, said Smith, quickly realized that 401(k)'s would save them a shitload of money (here I employ an obscure accounting term). It would only cost them 50% of what pensions had cost before. ...

    In 1978, Smith reported, workers put in only 11 percent of total contributions to retirement plans while corporations put in 89 percent. By 2000, the employee share had jumped way up to 51 percent - and the company share had fallen to 49 percent. That's a tidy cost savings of 40%. for companies. So who needed pensions? They were so...outdated.

Vault Message Board Posts
Minimize

Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.

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

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