Check out IBM Corp., the computer giant that once prided itself on treating employees right. These days, workers for Big Blue are being pounded black-and-blue by IBM’s relentless downsizing and offshoring. Fewer than 30 percent of IBM’s employees now live and work in our country. The corporation is chopping another 5,000 jobs in New York state, apparently sending the work abroad. IBM seems blind to the injury this causes in its own community. Injury turned to insult when the community learned that the company took $45 million from state taxpayers last summer in exchange for a promise to keep jobs in New York. The double cross caused an uproar, but IBM’s top executives are tone-deaf to public sentiment. In March, even as IBM lobbied for a chunk of federal stimulus money, the company submitted a patent application for a computer system to help corporations send more jobs overseas.
Could they possibly get any more stupid? Yes! IBM is offering jobs to displaced workers. The only catch is that they’ll have to move to China, Slovakia, India, or wherever their old job went. What a deal. You can keep your offshored job, but you have to offshore yourself. You also have to work for the local wage—the one that’s so low IBM decided to move your job there.
Why should our tax dollars finance this travesty? Rep. John Hall, a New York Democrat, and others are sponsoring HR 1874, the Patriot Corporations of America Act, to support companies that don’t abandon our country. For information, call Hall’s office at 202-225-5441.
Satyam had also won awards and accolades for innovation in corporate governance. With the Satyam scandal coming to light, one has to face the stark reality that India’s corporate governance system is in shambles and needs urgent reforms. In the current situation it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Satyam to continue to exist. Should it survive, it will have challenges to face since other companies will refrain from acquiring a tainted company. ...
Directors and managers across the globe may want to assess the following “early warning signs” to gauge the overall corporate health and the effectiveness of the management team.
This is precisely why Mr Lynt has helped to set up an MBA programme for the technology company’s most talented managers in India. The company recently partnered with Boston-based Northeastern University College of Business Administration to create an online degree course, which makes it possible for IBM employees based in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi to earn an MBA without disrupting their careers. ...
Mr Fernandes says that, because the programme is “purely online and delivered in a distant environment”, Northeastern CBA must work harder to ensure quality. “At some point, video conferencing will have enough capabilities that remote assessment of a student can be done,” he says. “As it becomes more prevalent, there will be more safeguards that you’re conferring a degree on the right, capable person that’s earned that degree.”
Thomas Moore, dean of the CBA, says he came up with the idea for the programme after speaking to Mr Lynt, who studied as an undergraduate at Northeastern, about the difficulties IBM faced maintaining a high-quality workforce in India. “By getting these high potential managers into an MBA programme, we’re adding value to IBM and helping the company recruit and retain workers,”says Prof Moore.
"IBM continues to make major investments in emerging markets around the world, growing business while helping to develop local ecosystems that advance IT skills and innovation," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM ISV and Developer Relations. "With this IBM Innovation Center and new university collaborations, we are able to make IBM’s technical resources and expertise more accessible to fuel innovation and help local businesses and academics compete on a global scale." The Vietnam center adds to the growing network of 43 IBM Innovation Centers worldwide, part of the company’s $1 billion annual investment into the success of its 100,000 global business partners.
As I've said before, absent a written contract without loopholes, (that is really an oxymoron), those who are retired and currently have IBM medical benefits have NO - ZIP - NADA standing to sue. This is distinct from having rights under ERISA to get fair treatment from the provider.
Visions Systems was included in a sweep that led to arrests of some 11 people in six states. The government, in announcing its action, said the companies and people involved were "displacing qualified American workers," but didn't identify how many. In court papers filed last month, the U.S. indicated it may be getting ready to do just that.
The U.S. said it is "prepared to demonstrate to the court the manner in which the defendant's schemes, along with similar schemes by similar companies have substantially deprived U.S. citizens of employment." The government then points out that "in January of 2009, the total number of workers employed in the information technology occupation under the H-1B program substantially exceeded the 241,000 unemployed U.S. citizen workers within the same occupation." ...
There are interesting arguments being raised in the courts by the U.S. over the H-1B visa. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in its case fighting the Programmers Guild and others from overturning the extension allowing foreign nationals with technical degrees to work on student visas from one year to 29 months, argued that the H-1B visa is needed to avoid a competitive disadvantage.
In the past eight months, Jamaica Eilbes, an information-technology recruiter for Milwaukee employment agency Manpower, has had to weed out more overqualified résumés than usual from the stacks that cross her desk each day. "I'd never feel comfortable putting a really high-level candidate into a lower level position," says Ms. Eilbes, who recruits for Manpower and other clients. "We don't want to take you on if we think you are going to jump ship."
But in recent months, Ms. Eilbes has seen more master's and doctoral degrees at the bottom of résumés instead of at the top. She's also seen candidates omitting or trimming job descriptions that showed they had substantial years of work experience. Résumés on which job descriptions taper off as they progress down the page raise Ms. Eilbes's suspicions. "How do I know I can trust them later down the road if there's something on their résumé they decided to take off so they could have a better chance at getting that job?" she says.
All told, Ms. Reed held on to 341 letters, some typed but many written in the kind of elegant Palmer method cursive script rarely seen today. Taken as a whole, the correspondence offers a candid glimpse of a vanished era, a time when six hard-bitten Marine sergeants could write that “we think you’re swell” and mean it in something other than an ironic sense.
Alliance reply: There is somewhat of an irony to this. During the IBM boom of the 1980's, a similar situation occurred. For example, once a 2 year degree'd, junior engineer got in his/her first or second service year with IBM; they would signup to go back to school and get their 4 year or even their MBA, Phd, or whatever and take an educational LOA. There were some that left IBM for Microsoft or whomever, a year or so after they completed those academic accomplishments, because they were dissatisfied with the assignments IBM gave them. It's ironic because their disloyalty sparked IBM's policies to change, in this country, as a result. This is from my observation while working in a development engineering department, from 1984-1990.
Life does not have to be as complicated as IBM makes it. Pensions can be as simple as $50.00 per month for each year of service. Don't need a degree in math to figger that one out. Therefore you cant be cheated . I do not believe any IBMer is looking for a free ride. We are all smart enough to understand that will not happen. But we also need to be smart enough to say stop when we are getting cheated. Nothing says stop like a legal contract. -Exodus2007-
Gregg Victor is one of the 1.5 million Americans who traveled abroad to get medical treatments last year. Most of these so-called medical tourists sought quicker access to health services, care for non-covered procedures like dental surgeries and cheap elective procedures like face lifts. More than a few were pursuing new stem-cell-based treatments unavailable in the States and rarely covered by American insurance companies. In March, President Barack Obama issued an order removing the limitations on stem-cell research set by George W. Bush, but real movement on this issue, if any, is still many years away. In the meantime, patients are paying up. Adult stem-cell treatments, often arranged by American-based intermediaries, run between $10,000 and $35,000, depending on the treatment. Airfare and hotel stays are extra.
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York has exemplified the perennial confusion in this country over socialized medicine. In his ill-fated presidential bid, and subsequently as a supporter of Senator John McCain’s bid for the presidency, Mr. Giuliani routinely decried as socialized medicine (or “socialist”) any proposal presented by Democratic candidates, because typically the latter advocated tax-financed subsidies toward the purchase of health private insurance or expansions of public insurance programs. But technically none of them advocated socialized medicine.
Perhaps Mr. Giuliani was unaware that Americans all along the ideological spectrum reserve the purest form of socialized medicine — the V.A. health system — for the nation’s veterans. I find this cognitive dissonance amusing. Indeed, if socialized medicine is so evil, why didn’t Republicans privatize the V.A. health system when they controlled both the White House and the Congress during 2001-06?
Mr. Giuliani also seems to forget that, in 1996, he found social health insurance a perfect solution to the financial problems faced by former Mayor John V. Lindsay, who fell on financially hard times during the 1990s as a result of chronic illness.
In a fit of compassion, then Mayor Giuliani rushed to his friend’s assistance with — you guessed it — taxpayers’ money, rather than with a private sector solution. He did so by appointing Mr. Lindsay to two no-show city jobs that came with tax-financed municipal health insurance and a tax-financed pension.
It seems fair, then, to ask Mr. Giuliani why it was perfectly fine to bail out a financially distressed man who had been wealthy enough in his younger years to provide adequately for his old age, when proposals to extend the same kind of assistance to hard-working, uninsured members of lower-income families are decried by him as “socialism.” One can only hope that our members of Congress and the typical American voter can make the right distinctions.
FSAs encourage the overconsumption of health care, which runs directly counter to a critical goal of health care reform. They also provide only modest tax savings to many workers while imposing onerous recordkeeping costs on accountholders. In addition, health care reform is likely to require health policies to limit beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs, which would weaken the rationale for FSAs.
Our employment-based system was not the product of a carefully designed health policy. It was a byproduct of evading wage controls during World War II. ...
A second major shortcoming of employment-based health insurance is that it is only temporary. It is tied to a particular job in a particular company, and it is lost with that job. Nowhere else in the industrialized world does a family, already down on its luck over a job loss, also suffer the loss of its health insurance. It happens only in America, under employment-based insurance. ...
The objective of current health reform efforts should not be to abolish the employment-based system to which so many Americans feel attached, brittle and expensive as that system may be. Instead, the aim should be to develop a robust, parallel system of fully portable insurance that individuals or families can purchase on their own, in a properly regulated and organized market, with public subsidies where deemed necessary. As my earlier posts to this blog sought to explain, this can be done in a variety of ways.
''As more people join the ranks of the uninsured, the hidden health tax is growing,'' said Ron Pollack, Families USA executive director. ''That tax hits America's businesses and insured families hard in the pocketbook, and they therefore have a clear financial stake in expanding health care coverage.'' The report found that, in 2008, uninsured people received $116 billion in health care from hospitals, doctors and other providers. The uninsured paid 37 percent of that amount out of their own pockets, and government programs and charities covered another 26 percent.
As you know, the current health insurance system is failing many older Americans. A growing number of older adults are without insurance coverage, and once older Americans lose their coverage, they are more likely to remain uninsured for an extended period of time (until becoming eligible for Medicare). In addition, older adults are much more likely to spend a significant portion of their income on health care. According to an AARP study, 2 in 3 adults ages 50-64 in the individual insurance market spend 10 percent or more of their income on health care. ...
Some have argued that premium adjustments for age are appropriate because older Americans have higher incomes and can thus afford to pay more for their health coverage. In fact, among the uninsured, older adults do not have higher incomes than younger adults. The median family income of the uninsured is $28,000 to $31,000, regardless of age. There is more variation in the median income of those who purchase insurance coverage, but it is 35-49 year olds, not 50-64 olds, who have the highest median income. The facts are clear: age is not a proxy for income, and it is simply inappropriate to use income as an excuse to charge older Americans more for insurance.
The ads don’t even skirt the neighborhood of the truth, but then, as Robert Borosage wrote last week, the health care industry has a long history of “trying to scare the hell out of Americans” when it comes to health care reform. The ads conjure up the boogeyman of a “government-run” health care system where patients will die as their cancerous tumors grow to fatal stages while they wait months to receive care. Scary stuff. Phony, but meant to scare us all.
A public health plan option has won the endorsement of major health care groups and many senators and representatives and is a key component of the AFL-CIO’s health care reform principles. It would provide workers who have private insurance and those without insurance a choice in coverage: Stay with their private plan or choose the public plan option. It would also—which scares the hay out of the private insurance industry—provide some competition for an industry that has secured a near-monopoly of the market and recorded record profits, while we are paying more for less care.
The Wall Street Journal reports that another group, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, is buying air time for a 30-minute Sunday morning infomercial featuring “horror stories” about the Canadian and British health care systems and warning the U.S. government is about to take over health care here. Like AFP’s campaign, that message doesn’t even have a nodding acquaintance with the truth. But a key Republican strategist says the truth doesn’t matter when it comes to fighting health care reform. BTW, most Republican lawmakers have decried a public plan option with strikingly similar, and just as phony, arguments.
"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.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Some sample posts follow:
Before everyone takes pot shots at me I urge you (members) to check the archives and see what I posted, which was on various boards.
I warned the financial services guys they'd be replaced - and they laughed at me. They aren't laughing now.
I warned programmers they'd be targets too, and as usual with numb skulls, they launched flame wars on me. Meanwhile how many of those flamers are still in IT?
The issue is NOT that I was right. The issue is that people didn't listen to me. And now they are too sorry to admit they were wrong, and I was right. And I sorry I was right because people lost their job. I did warn them.
The IBM internal instant messaging systems were non-functional three days this week. Reliability of the Domino mail environment has sucked (unless you're on a server supported by US resources) ever since that support was offshored.
I've talked to developers who had to rewrite the unusable code for products coded in China.
If Sam and his execs continue this path of denying the poor delivery of offshore resources and continues this insanity, there won't be any IBM employees anywhere - the corporation will fail and go bankrupt.
Odd how financial bankruptcy follows ethical and moral bankruptcy.
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