Among the protesters was Rick Clark, an IBMer for 11 years before he was fired in January. "What's ironic is two years ago, I found a job in Connecticut," he said. "It would have been a promotion and great pay." When Clark gave notice, IBM offered him more pay and new opportunities, so he stayed. "I joined the Strategic Planning group and gave presentations to executives," he recalled. "I got good appraisals and bonuses. Then I got laid off. It totally shocked me."
IBM is turning it's workforce into a mercenary group - every person for them self, no feeling of pride or loyalty to the corporation. Competition between employees is rising, and lots of backstabbing goes on.
Your assumption, and others' assumption, that IBMers are complacent and have not earned their positions is not true. IBM is staffed by an amazing group of talented, dedicated, hard working people. Morale is low, yes, and the typical worker at IBM is now motivated by fear of being let go so they all work extra hard, even knowing this effort will have no bearing on being chosen for a lay off.
They are outsourcing jobs then forcing good, long-term employees to forgo their UNEMPLOYMENT by telling them if they don't transfer across the country they will be considered to have "voluntarily resigned".
Those workers that invested 28 years with a company being forced to retire without full benefits. Business requires change, I get it. Why not just say the truth. It's cheaper overseas and IBM no longer cares about their employees. PROFIT OVER PEOPLE. IBM is shrewd, profit-making but morally bankrupt. It's the change and hope you can believe in!! SHAME ON YOU, IBM.
Take ibm for instance: They're profitable, but still cutting American employees. Why? Because they need to make more profit (9.20 per share this year). And they fully intend to cut their way to that number, even if it is unhealthy for the company in the long term. And it will be...
The forced migration of jobs offshore is short-sighted for both US business, and the United States. Corporate greed (and maybe too much government entitlement - but that's another rant) will destroy this country.
I had to research this myself because it makes my head spin off like the exorcist. If these people "refuse" the transfer, they are NOT eligible for unemployment and MUST either resign, apply for retirement or be terminated. IBM does NOT care for these AMERICAN workers who have built their company.
Many of these people happen to be close to retirement age and have deep roots in the Hudson Valley. They own houses and just can't up and move "in thirty days" in this economy to San Jose or Austin. It just disgusts me.
Capitalism does not have to mean "screw as many employees or the community as much as you can." IBM outsourcing those jobs was a big slap in the face to this country and they are not entitled to anymore government benefits such as tax breaks. If you want to benefit from a capitalistic economy or take advantage of government benefits, then you need to be prepare to give something in return.
I have read a post where someone stated that nobody is owed anything when referring to the IBM employees. How come nobody says that when referring to the shareholders or upper management?
There's a tremendous, and rapidly growing, gap in the distribution of wealth in American society. While there will always be some gap in any meritocratic society, most of the current yawning chasm isn't due to differences in merit between the ultrawealthy and the middle class and poor. Rather, it's due to an ever-increasing imbalance of political and economic power, which has dramatically shifted since the mid-70s to favor the wealthy. Secondarily, it's due to the capture of almost the entirety of the mass media by the ultrawealthy, and its transformation in their hands into an incredibly effective instrument of propaganda on their own behalf.
This happened to an entire department of people who know are unemployed, refused unemployment and are waiting for a nonsense hearing at DOL to have appeal on the decision. IBM is doing its workers very dirty and no un-cited source of "cut and paste" from you is going to make it right. These are good workers performing IBM-specific high level technical skills that just can't be used anywhere.
This was not a typical layoff..It's a resource action within the company..IBM is great at finding loopholes like the one they are pulling now to deprive near retirement workers the recent OBAMA COBRA Benefit...It's not about you, DarkestB4, it's about them ...maybe you should go to the DOL hearing with them. You seem to know everything.....maybe you can help...Put your right-fighting to work! Have a nice day!
According to the plaintiffs' attorneys, it's common for cases calling for redress after an employee has been forced to resign, but suits filed before retirement are extremely unusual. As companies proceed with permanent employee layoffs, the case appears likely to draw a great deal of attention. ...
The case against the company was brought by Takeshi Kimura, 59, and two other members of the IBM Japan branch of the All Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers Union (JMIU). According to the union and the complaint, the three men were repeatedly pressured to retire in meetings with their superiors, who told the three plaintiffs that the company no longer needed them, and that no one at IBM could work until 60 years of age, among other inducements. The men were called into such meetings around five times a month, during which one superior kicked a desk.
When the men refused retirement, their superiors threatened to downgrade their work evaluations and reduce their wages, and took other measures to try and force the men to leave the company. The suit claims that using the alleged strong-arm tactics to coerce the men into retirement is a violation of the Labor Contract Act and an infringement of their human rights. ...
"The company is laying people off even as it is gaining profits," says Kimura. "I want to stop the company from laying people off like this on behalf of all those workers who put their all into the company, and then were unreasonably forced to quit without even a chance to speak." IBM Japan's public relations department declined to comment, stating that it had not seen the case, and could not say how many people had retired from the company.
While IBM has managed to keep its name out of this story up until now, IBM bought the software company, Cognos, that allegedly bribed DiMasi and his associates to win two contracts, including a $13 million software contract with Massachusetts signed in August 2007. The $57,000 in payments from Cognos to a law firm to DiMasi were allegedly made in 2006 and 2007. ...
As more details come out, IBM executives may be forced to take further steps to wipe the tarnish that this scheme could have on IBM's sterling reputation. One thing seems sure to me -- IBM will not be able to continue to dismiss this with a simple "no comment."
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."
Half of the program, when asked what he was going to do, was doing something about education. I googled education and Gerstner, and I see very little activity. Evidently, he found the Government Educated Indians of more value to IBM than the parents who paid for their kids education in the USA. The only place Lou wound up after IBM was as the Chairman of Carlyle group where he resigned and became a board member last year today at age 67. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Gerstner
The 36 minute video shows a "Young Sam" and how Lou "found his replacement" and how he pats himself on the back for "Saving IBM". He hates regulation of companies and laws like the Sarbane-Oxley law after Enron, Tyco, and Worldcom. He did not mention the Glass-Steagal Law that prevented fraud repealed in 1999 with the Gramm-Leach-Biley law that led to Enron, sub-primes, credit default swaps, and derivatives. He, like all corporate CEO's, hate regulation, and noted he likes it when it can be "modified" probably with the money that funnels into Congress from corporations.
The same year Lou left IBM, he was a member of the Forbes Richest 400 in America and titled as a "Self Made Man". Yeah, from IBM Assets, that include its people, their defined benefit pension plan and annuity from the 60's, the mainframe.
In 1997, he gave himself 10 million shares of IBM stock options that doubled the next year to 20 million plus an average of $20 million a year. In 2008, the 10 year stock option strike price was $53 and the selling price of each share was $108 I think. Not a bad "payday" for Lou.
Take a look at this video, from November 2002 and ask yourself, did Lou turn IBM around to have three quarters of the employees outside the USA as IBM is today or did he save the company for its USA employees? The video is a bit jumpy depending on your download speed. Interesting to see his "body language".
Reminds me of how you can tell a lawyer is lying, "His lips moved". He sure gives off a "cocky" demeanor. Quite different to see him on video verses reading the interviews in Business Week and others. I don't think he has given a TV interview since 2002. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/2286
It was in these years that retirees developed a distinct lifestyle captured by the mass migration to Sunbelt communities, traveling in RVs and bus tours, spending long mornings on the golf course and other recreational pursuits. The development of modern retirement is a great social achievement of the 20th century. But in the 21st century, the underlying economics of retirement are changing. ...
Indeed, the current pension system is making everyday retirement insecurity worse. Employers have embraced defined contribution savings plans like 401(k)s. But such plans don't deliver a steady stream of income during one's golden years. There's also plenty of evidence that workers with access to defined contribution savings plans aren't taking full advantage of them, either.
But wait, there's more: The health insurance system is widely acknowledged to be broken and is a strain on family finances. Even with Medicare coverage after age 65, the elderly are finding it necessary to pay for a greater percentage of their overall medical bill.
IMPORTANT EXCEPTION: Individuals receiving severance pay are considered to be unemployed (and, therefore, may file a claim) during any week that they are registered at or attending an institution of higher learning, a secondary school or an approved training program.. You must provide documentation of your school attendance/registration, and you must meet unemployment insurance “availability for work” requirements. -Anonymous-
All I had was the conversations with the IBM ESC which I specified and that I was specifically advised that I am not eligible. And furthermore, I indicated that IBM considered me a retiree even though I was RA'd and the loophole that IBM has used to deny my participation: Age + years of service. Further stating that I am not a retiree, I was permanently laid off and at no time was I provided with an information package as required to be sent out to all on 4/18/2009 detailing the Subsidy program. -anonymous-
Alliance Reply: Did you ever talk to an attorney? We have been told about the sexual harassment and discrimination, in the past. It doesn't get addressed by IBM like it should. We agree, that it is not acceptable for a company to gloss over the issue and 'punish the managers "behind the scenes".' Contact Us and provide your email. We want to hear your story. It will be strictly confidential.
It is definitely NOT the case that the economy is hurting IBM. It is also NOT the case that they need to rebalance the workforce based upon skills if they are firing people while actively hiring contractors to do the exact same types of work. This company had a magnificent profit in 2008. They are forecasting incredible earnings for 2009. They increased the dividend to their shareholders. But they are adding to the high unemployment level in the USA, firing the workers that produced the profits while bringing in contractors through the backdoor. This is without even mentioning the offshoring of work to other countries. -Pork Chop-
Alliance Reply: We are sorry for your job loss. By what you have posted here, it appears that you didn't know about Alliance@IBM until you got fired. Is that true? If you did know; may I ask why you didn't try to organize before this? We've been here 10 years. You were at IBM 25 years... Just curious, no disrespect intended.
Alliance Reply: What do you lose if you tell them you WILL NOT 'voluntarily resign' ??? Force them to fire you. They'll need to come up with a reason...and it won't be "the employee refused to quit". They can't fire you for refusing to quit. Don't make it easy for IBM.
IBM employees should know that tracking these kinds of "savings" will show where RA's logically will be targeted in the future. We work along IBM employees every day and see our associates and friends leave and not come back to the line. We knew it was just a matter of time they would get around to us too. Good Luck to all. Looks like we are going to need it. How desperate are they? -IBM Contractors Gone!-
Level 1 (those with less than 1 year experience):
Also included in this printout were required courses to take for those working in the EFK GDF. Looks like all education dollars are going towards educating GDF employees -anonymous-
Alliance Reply: What do you lose if you tell them you WILL NOT 'involuntarily resign'? Don't be a fool for IBM. Refuse to "play the game". Your bound to lose if you choose to play. Force them to fire you.
It's stressful, and demoralizing, and demeaning, to listen to moronic management talk about 'visibility' and 'not doing enough', but ignore them. Do your job to the best of your ability, play the game if you like, ignore the moronic management if you so choose, and wait for them to fire you. Trust me, it WILL happen.
There is no more respect for the individual or the work they do, the only employees still valued are those who suck up -- watch out for the team leaders who act as hatchet men for moronic managers -- so if you don't suck up, big time, you're gone. The moral is, based on my experience -- keep your skills up to date, do your job, and expect to be fired, but not until you've been humiliated, threatened and demoralized, especially when it comes to training an underskilled replacement. Oh, and most importantly of all? UNIONIZE! NB: AT WILL EMPLOYEE. -anonymouse-
I was fired in January, left with an excellent new job lined up even in this economy because my skill set is in such demand, and have enjoyed hearing from various executives I used to work with how outraged they were that I was forced out. I am sure that my story is far from unique. I know a number of hugely talented and hardworking 25+ year veterans who were also fired.
This is not the IBM I joined - that IBM would never have treated its dedicated and productive workforce in this way. I would never return to IBM under any circumstances. Open your eyes to the new reality - there is a much better world outside with employers who treat their people as assets, not commodities. -anonymous-
As any doctor will tell you, small health problems left untreated can become big problems, warns Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy at the health care advocacy group Families USA. “This is just one of the many high-deductible pitfalls consumers need to watch out for,” Ms. Stoll said. ...
Even if you can afford the costs, the loopholes that insurers often weave into these plans to reduce premiums can mean that even after your deductible is met, you may not have the coverage you need to handle a serious illness or accident. “For most people, a high-deductible plan is basically a bet against yourself,” said Ms. Stoll. “You’re betting that you won’t get sick and you won’t have an accident. But isn’t that exactly what insurance is supposed to be? A bet that something might happen, and if it does you’ll be protected?”
Key MMI findings include:
For 2009, workers are paying 41 percent of health costs, through premium share and through out-of-pocket charges such as deductibles and co-payments, according to Milliman's data. For an average family of four, total medical cost this year is $16,771. Of that, the employer pays $9,947 toward premiums, while employees pay $4,004 in premiums and $2,820 in out-of-pocket costs.
The workers' share of the costs went up this year 30 percent more than the employers' share - more than three times as great a gap as Milliman has ever recorded. While overall health costs have gone up between 7.4 percent and 8.4 percent in the last three years, employees have faced double-digit increases as employers shifted more of the costs.
More than 40 percent of the private American labor force works for companies with fewer than 100 workers. Leaving small businesses out of the federal effort to overhaul health care would be “a big hole in any reform proposal,” said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health care research group that advocates significant changes to the current system.
Will changes come? Dr. Epperly said he doesn't believe insurers will make changes and standardizations voluntarily, because speeding payments would rob them of the interest they make off the premiums they "float" while processing claims. "It's in their financial interest to delay this as long as possible. Until they are forced to do it, they won't do it."
The trouble with this is that when there are too many doctors in one area, too much money gets spent on health care. But the system could take advantage of this fact to save money.
Researchers have observed that having one additional specialist (per 100,000 people) in a region leads to about $13 more in health care spending per Medicare patient. New York City, for instance, has 186 specialists for every 100,000 residents, which is twice as many as Albany’s 93. Accordingly, Medicare spends $12,114 a year treating each patient in New York City, but only $5,950 in Albany.
Patients in high spending areas are no sicker than patients anywhere else, their care is of no higher quality, and their health outcomes are no better, research has shown. Having more doctors doesn’t even offer more convenience. Patient satisfaction is no higher, and just as many patients complain about having trouble getting to see a doctor.
Of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80 percent had health insurance. Respondents who reported having insurance indicated average expenses of just under $18,000. Respondents who filed and lacked insurance had average medical bills of nearly $27,000.
But the devil is in the details. Health reform will fail unless we get serious cost control — and we won’t get that kind of control unless we fundamentally change the way the insurance industry, in particular, behaves. So let me offer Congress two pieces of advice:
The Democratic strategy for health reform is based on a political judgment: the belief that the public will be more willing to accept reform, less easily Harry-and-Louised, if those who already have health coverage from private insurers are allowed to keep it. ...
Now nobody is proposing that Americans be forced to get their insurance from the government. The “public option,” if it materializes, will be just that — an option Americans can choose. And the reason for providing this option was clearly laid out in Mr. Obama’s letter: It will give Americans “a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep the insurance companies honest.”
Those last five words are crucial because history shows that the insurance companies will do nothing to reform themselves unless forced to do so.
"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.
Atop the agenda during their calls: how to counter an expected attempt to rein in credit-default swaps and other derivatives — the sophisticated and profitable financial instruments that were intended to limit risk but instead had helped take the economy to the brink of disaster. ...
But increased transparency of derivatives trades would cut into banks’ profits — hence the banks’ opposition. Customers who trade derivatives would pay less if they knew what the prevailing market prices were. “The banks want to go back to business as usual — and then some. And they have a lot of audacity now that everyone has bailed them out,” said Yra Harris, an independent commodities trader who was involved in an effort to regulate derivatives nine years ago. “But we have to begin with the premise that Wall Street doesn’t want transparency, because more transparency means less immediate profits.”
He was, as it happened, wrong about solving the problems of the thrifts. On the contrary, the bill turned the modest-sized troubles of savings-and-loan institutions into an utter catastrophe. But he was right about the legislation’s significance. And as for that jackpot — well, it finally came more than 25 years later, in the form of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
For the more one looks into the origins of the current disaster, the clearer it becomes that the key wrong turn — the turn that made crisis inevitable — took place in the early 1980s, during the Reagan years. ...
The immediate effect of Garn-St. Germain, as I said, was to turn the thrifts from a problem into a catastrophe. The S.& L. crisis has been written out of the Reagan hagiography, but the fact is that deregulation in effect gave the industry — whose deposits were federally insured — a license to gamble with taxpayers’ money, at best, or simply to loot it, at worst. By the time the government closed the books on the affair, taxpayers had lost $130 billion, back when that was a lot of money.
But there was also a longer-term effect. Reagan-era legislative changes essentially ended New Deal restrictions on mortgage lending — restrictions that, in particular, limited the ability of families to buy homes without putting a significant amount of money down. These restrictions were put in place in the 1930s by political leaders who had just experienced a terrible financial crisis, and were trying to prevent another. But by 1980 the memory of the Depression had faded. Government, declared Reagan, is the problem, not the solution; the magic of the marketplace must be set free. And so the precautionary rules were scrapped.
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