Clients, including Joyce Clemons of Evansville, and their legislators and advocates have complained of long hold times on phone calls, lost documents and unfriendly service. "That made me feel like they really didn't care if they took care of the customers or not," Clemons, 47, said Wednesday. She is a divorcee who gets $200 monthly in food stamps.
Anne Murphy, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, said the state wants the IBM team to succeed, but it might resort to canceling IBM's 10-year, $1.16 billion contract if there's not enough improvement. Four lawmakers who met with her in June said she also told them ending the contract was possible. The state is due to measure the improvements this fall. So far it has paid IBM more than $315 million.
If I was one of the people losing my job, I'd hope the president would have enough stripes in his bar code to tell me I was being laid off as opposed to some blah, blah about restructuring a global presence. When Caterpillar chopped 22,000 jobs, the chief executive said, "It is now clear that we need to sharply lower our production and costs." I would like it if the boss man stood on a backhoe loader and said, "This is the lowest day of my life." I would appreciate it if his chin quivered, he choked up and had to excuse himself to the men's room. ...
Just once I'd like to hear a CEO of a mismanaged company say, "I am standing here today because we have been greedy hogs slobbering at the trough. We pimped out our industry to pointy-headed business types who didn't know squat about our product and our market. We took bad risks, incurred ridiculous debt and now you're going to pay for our foolishness." A speech like that wouldn't really help if you were one being downsized, reduced or pruned - but it sure would be refreshing to hear.
So while IBM is celebrated for growing earnings amidst massive job cuts and even Google seems to have joined the cost-cutting party, VMware is hiring new people to make sure that its future business growth has the fuel and fire it needs. And the company sure can afford to spend a little money now to make a lot of money later.
Many companies freeze their pension plans in an effort to get retirement benefit expenses under control. Companies that halted their retirement plans significantly reduced net pension expenses from $72 million in fiscal 2003 to an average of about $3.6 million in 2008, Watson Wyatt found.
But a separate Watson Wyatt study found that freezing pensions generally didn’t enhance the company’s market value. The announcement of a pension freeze or close had either an insignificant or negative impact on stock prices, according to Watson Wyatt’s analysis of 82 publicly-traded companies that froze or closed their pension plans between 2003 and 2007. “Even if these freezes do lead to savings, there will be no immediate positive effect on firm value, which could even become diminished in the long run if employees begin to view the firm as an uncompetitive employer in light of its shrinking commitment to retirement and its transfer of risk to employees,” says Mark Warshawsky, director of retirement research at Watson Wyatt.
The higher up the economic ladder you go, the better are your personal interests served by "free trade". If your primary source of income is from stock and bond investments, then it benefits you if the corporations you invest in pay Third World wages but sell at First World prices. It should come as no surprise that, by and large, the wealthy do not support trade barriers, except for those that protect their own sources of income. Pharmaceutical company executives are happy to buy inexpensive clothing made in Honduras, or 60" flat-screen TVs made in Korea. They just don't want Indian-made antibiotics sold in the US at prices comparable to Indian prices. ...
How would managed trade ("protectionism" to its detractors) work in the US economy? Ultimately it comes down to identifying which industries or professional skill-sets are considered vital to the economy. If garment manufacturing is not vital, then impose no restrictions or duties on clothing imports. If home construction is not strategic, then issue thousands of temporary work-visas to Mexicans or Central Americans to come here and build houses. If auto or aircraft manufacturing is vital, then impose high import duties on the import of cars or airplanes. If biochemistry is a strategic technology, then impose local-content requirements on any biochemical product that the Pentagon or National Institutes of Health buys from commercial sources. This is not as "un-American" as the free trade boosters would have you believe. President Ronald Reagan, that darling of political conservatives, limited Japanese imports to 2 million vehicles annually (less than 15% of the US market) to protect the US auto industry. This forced the Japanese to build automobile plants in the US, using Japanese designs but American workers.
For decades, this country has let its political and economic discourse be constrained by the demonization of certain words and ideas. The political right-wing has effectively used labels like "big government", "liberal", "socialist", "government-run", "class warfare" and of course "protectionist" to discourage the consideration of policies that would benefit the average person at the expense of immensely powerful corporate interests. There is nothing inherently right or wrong about either free trade or protectionism. Both create winners and losers in society. By definition, protectionism protects and benefits some part of the general population. The national discussion we need is not whether to be a protectionist nation, but whom to protect and how to manage trade, so that the number of winners far exceeds the losers.
Highly paid employees received nearly $2.1 trillion of the $6.4 trillion in total U.S. pay in 2007, the latest figures available. The compensation numbers don't include incentive stock options, unexercised stock options, unvested restricted stock units and certain benefits.
The pay of employees who receive more than the Social Security wage base -- now $106,800 -- increased by 78%, or nearly $1 trillion, over the past decade, exceeding the 61% increase for other workers, according to the analysis. In the five years ending in 2007, earnings for American workers rose 24%, half the 48% gain for the top-paid. The result: The top-paid represent 33% of the total, up from 28% in 2002.
The growing portion of pay that exceeds the maximum amount subject to payroll taxes has contributed to the weakening of the Social Security trust fund. In May, the government said the Social Security fund would be exhausted in 2037, four years earlier than was predicted in 2008. The data suggest that the payroll tax ceiling hasn't kept up with the growth in executive pay. As executive pay has increased, the percentage of wages subject to payroll taxes has shrunk, to 83% from 90% in 1982. Compensation that isn't subject to the portion of payroll tax that funds old-age benefits now represents foregone revenue of $115 billion a year. ...
The $2.1 trillion figure understates executive pay, however, because it includes just salary and vested deferred compensation, including bonuses. It doesn't include unvested employer contributions and unvested interest credited to deferred-pay accounts. Nor does it include unexercised stock options (options aren't subject to payroll tax until exercised), and unvested restricted stock (which isn't subject to payroll tax until vested; the subsequent appreciation is taxed as a capital gain).
Also not included in the total compensation figures is executive pay never subject to payroll tax. This category includes incentive stock options (which are generally taxed as capital gains), "carried interest" income received by hedge-fund and private-equity fund partners (also taxed as capital gains), and compensation characterized as a benefit (benefits generally aren't subject to any taxes). ...
Lifting the earnings ceiling could result in higher Social Security benefits payments to higher-income individuals, since benefits are based on a worker's highest 35 years of earnings. But the additional tax revenue would have decades to earn a return, thus offsetting the cost of the additional payments. Social Security Administration actuaries estimate removing the earnings ceiling could eliminate the trust fund's deficit altogether for the next 75 years, or nearly eliminate it if credit toward benefits was provided for the additional taxable earnings.
This is what I think - IBM took a snapshot of certain jobs/skills. Then they figured which jobs could be offshored. Then they gave those jobs/skills the new "market salary" based on offshoring. So after many years of great appraisals, raises, var pay bonuses us older ones are pretty high compared to the offshore cost. Rather than offer us the Opp to keep our job at the new salary (at least until this recession is over and we have a fighting chance out there) they did a massive RA.
So the job I was turned down for - I probably would have been in the same position (overpaid vs. offshore resources). That job was/is probably next on the list to get offshored. We are all feeling the brunt for prior management's decisions to increase our salaries as we perform well over time. What happened in the world - is that technology (i.e. what WE HELPED BUILD) made the market global. That increased competition with third-world countries. That plus a world-wide recession = perfect layoff candidate. This will lead to disloyal employees who jump ship at the next better job / salary that comes by... no reason to stay with same company - especially if the OT, travel, or worklife/balance options change.....UNLESS THERE IS A UNION. This is a new paradigm and what goes around comes around. Karma baby. -silly willy-
I asked my manager on two separate occasions when would I see the replacement work he spoke of in the summer of 2008, but his answers were vague and noncommittal. Straight talk was never something he specialized in, so I figured sooner or later something would happen. I was right too! Something did happen on March 26th. My manager called me to deliver the news that I had been selected to participate in the Resource Action. (BTW, the guy in India panicked when he heard the news!) I left IBM in April. And in case your wondering, the "new work coming in" hasn't materialized yet according to the former teammates that I keep in close contact with. -my sad story-
Whereas I dreaded working at GBS, it felt like I was a temp employee, even though I was an exec there. Ugh... the place sucked...the more I think about it. So for those wondering and able...go out there and find a greener pasture...the blue pasture is covered in pesticide. If you wondered what it would be if you can die of boredom, work at IBM forever and you will find out.
Wow...same old ticks with EPS - they did the same with the PwC acquisition in 2002 - read how they reported growth in McKinsey. Valuation, organic growth actually fell negative that timeframe, they used the order books of PwC to look like they had real growth. I wouldn't blame them if I was the CFO, was the right thing to do - shareholders come first. Remember that and you will disabuse yourself of "making a difference" -Big Who?-
Alliance reply: The alternative to organize, exists in Canada at some level. There are links here that can take you to organizations that can help you do that: National Office CWA|SCA Canada 7B - 1050 Baxter Road Ottawa, ON K2C 3P1 Telephone: 613-820-9777 Toll-free: 1-877-486-4292 Facsimile: 613-820-8188 firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), invoked the statistic to argue against the creation of a government-run insurance option. But the polls are not that simple, and her assertion reveals how the industry's effort to defend its turf has led it to cherry-pick the facts. The poll Ignagni was citing actually undercuts her position: By 72 to 20 percent, Americans favor the creation of a public plan, the June survey by the New York Times and CBS News found. People also said that they thought government would do a better job than private insurers of holding down health-care costs and providing coverage.
In addition, data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last year, compiled at the request of The Washington Post, suggest that the people who like their health plans the most are the people who use them the least. Those who described their health as "excellent" -- people who presumably had relatively little experience pursuing medical care or submitting claims -- were almost twice as likely as those in good, fair or poor health to rate their private health insurance as excellent. ...
"Insurers promise choice, they promise innovation, they promise a lot of things, but I think they've delivered very little," said Alan Sager, professor of health policy and management at Boston University. "I think net they give us very bad value for the 10 to 20 percent share of the health dollar they skim off the top." Instead of choice, they offer "the illusion of choice," he said.
What is more notable is that on many other issues in the health care debate, the drug industry seems to have staved off some of the measures it most feared. None of the legislative packages now favored by the Democratic leadership, for example, include long-simmering proposals to let Americans buy cheaper drugs from Canada. Nor is there a push to end the tax breaks for drug advertising that some critics say promote the unnecessary use of costly pills. And seemingly off the table is any talk of giving the federal government new powers to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry.
“PhRMA’s biggest worry is price negotiation,” said Steven Findlay, a health policy analyst at Consumers Union, using the nickname for the drug industry group. “They would like to keep that totally off the table — this year and forever.” John Rother, executive vice president of AARP, the lobby for older Americans and a longtime critic of the drug industry, described PhRMA as “one of the big winners so far in health care reform.” ...
Drug companies have invested nearly $1 billion in lobbying over the last decade, more than any other industry, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, and more than $100 million in campaign donations, increasingly to Democrats. And the drug industry in the last three months has increased its spending, according to reports filed Tuesday: PhRMA spent $6.2 million during that period and 10 drug companies each spent more than $1 million. ...
On July 7, Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, and Mr. Baucus assured at least five pharmaceutical companies during a White House meeting that there would be no provision in the final health care package to allow the reimportation of cheaper drugs from Canada or elsewhere, according to Mr. Tauzin. The industry’s message, Mr. Tauzin said, was, “Don’t put us in a big negative fight over this issue while we’re trying to help you pass something that would be good for the American public.” The meeting included chief executives from Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, AstraZeneca and Abbott Laboratories.
At one point in his remarks Mr. Obama talked about a red pill and a blue pill. I suspect, though I’m not sure, that he was alluding to the scene in the movie “The Matrix” in which one pill brings ignorance and the other knowledge. Well, in the case of health care, one pill means continuing on our current path — a path along which health care premiums will continue to soar, the number of uninsured Americans will skyrocket and Medicare costs will break the federal budget. The other pill means reforming our system, guaranteeing health care for all Americans at the same time we make medicine more cost-effective. Which pill would you choose?
"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.
“To consumers, the company said it was impartial, but behind the scenes, it worked alongside credit card companies to get them to put unfair arbitration clauses in the fine print of their contracts and to appoint the Forum as the arbitrator,” Ms. Swanson said. Ms. Swanson had said the National Arbitration Forum handled more than 214,000 collection claims in 2006, 60 percent of which were filed by law firms with ties to the collection industry.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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