"IBM is facing a backlash against its pensions proposals," reads a statement from Peter Skyte, Unite national officer for IT and communications. "Hundreds of workers are joining the union determined to stand up to this unacceptable attack on their pensions. These highly skilled and experienced staff were key to the company’s survival and they view the company's proposals as a kick in the teeth.
"IBM is a highly profitable company with substantial revenues and cash reserves. But it is using the recession as a cloak to close its pension schemes to existing members and further line the pockets of its shareholders and senior executives at the expense of its loyal workforce."
"IBM is facing a backlash against its pension proposals," said Peter Skyte, national officer for IT and communications at Unite. "Hundreds of workers are joining the union determined to stand up to this unacceptable attack on their pensions." ...
The Association of Members of IBM UK Pension Plans has received thousands of forum posts on the pension cuts from staff upset about the action and questioning its legality. The organisation has urged members to write to their MPs and complain. IBM changed the details of the final-salary pension scheme in 2006, and closed off the benefits to new members. ...
Unite claims that IBM employees in their mid-50s could lose up to £200,000 as a result of the changes to the retirement pension cuts. The situation has been exacerbated by IBM's posting relatively good financial results, which managed to beat analyst expectations. Profits for the quarter ending 30 June rose 12 per cent to $3.1bn (£1.9bn), or $2.32 (£1.42) per share. "IBM is a highly profitable company with substantial revenues and cash reserves, but is using the recession as a cloak to close its pension schemes to existing members and further line the pockets of its shareholders and senior executives at the expense of its loyal workforce," said Skyte.
The deal, announced by the state’s Empire State Development Corp., Gov. David Paterson and IBM in July 2008, involved three investments by IBM totaling $1.5 billion with $140 million in state incentives. Two of the projects are upstate and the third is at East Fishkill, which in December triggered a $45 million payment by the state to IBM.
In January IBM began a massive round of layoffs including an undisclosed number at East Fishkill and Poughkeepsie, said by employees to be as many as 900. The company later made filings confirming several hundred of those. Ball called for “an independent and forensic review of a deal made by the state that gives IBM millions of taxpayer dollars as they continue to make multiple rounds of layoffs.” ...
Ball said today, “IBM is offshoring large components of their business over a multi-year period and at the same time they’re negotiating what seems to be a sweetheart deal with state and local governments.”
We don't know what form the AAHCA might take (which is the House version). There is also a version in the Senate. Those two have to be merged into one product. The final product may or may not contain the Public Option. The Public Option is the one you need if you are without health insurance.
Let's assume a bill passes AND it contains the Public Option. The AAHCA would begin operating in 2013. That's a long time off for 46 million Americans.
We have had some great discussions on this board about how to utilize the FHA. My opinion only; use Cobra first (I heard President Obama reduced the premiums by 65%), then use the FHA, then pray.
Backdating companies reached back in time by weeks or months to select a date when their shares were trading at low points, then represented that options had been awarded to executives at that time. The practice gave executives a head start on rich options profits, generally contravening accounting and disclosure rules.
Private companies have increasingly scaled back retiree health-care benefits or eliminated coverage entirely to shore up bruised bottom lines and investor confidence, said Kaplan, whose research appears in the current issue of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics. Among U.S. companies with at least 200 employees, only 35 percent provided any retiree health-care benefits in 2006, compared with 66 percent in 1988. Kaplan says similar tough choices lie ahead for government, where retiree health-care benefits are more common, offered by 48 of 50 states and most local governments.
The legend is that Kildall blew IBM off to go fly his plane. The real story is that Kildall was flying to deliver a product to another customer, leaving his wife to negotiate with IBM. Dorothy Kildall didn't like parts of the deal IBM was proposing and sent the executives packing.
Big Blue went back to Gates, who with his partner Paul Allen whipped out MS-DOS, based on Tim Paterson's QDOS (the Quick and Dirty Operating System), which was itself based on CP/M. IBM ended up offering both Microsoft's DOS (for $60) and a version of CP/M ($240) to buyers of the original IBM PC. The cheaper product won.
You cannot write PBC's that will protect you. First, they are meaningless because senior mgmt. dictates the annual results through quotas. Second, what difference does your rating make when mgmt. can simply say "Your job has gone away"?...and then replace you with either a contractor or ship the job overseas? When will you folks wake up to the fact that YOU CANNOT WIN as an individual? You must organize, you must demand a return to management by objectives, you must refuse to train your replacement, you must refuse to work routine 60 to 80 hour weeks without a written contract to define what's in it for YOU! Otherwise, quite frankly, just shut up, lower your profile some more, and continue to hope that "someone will do something". -Anonymous-
I am slipping more into debt each year because my compensation has decreased over 15% in base pay, in real dollars, in the past five years and my overall compensation over 30%. Yet I am contributing more than ever to the success of my team and IBM overall. My incentive pay is now based on profit, which I have almost no direct control over. But profit for my BU, IMT, IOT, and brand has been strong this year. The contempt IBM executives hold for its employees is unbelievable. They set team members in competition with each other for the few dollars in our incentive pay pool. Rather than being incented for teaming for the benefit of clients and IBM, it's everyone for himself/herself. All I need is a decent offer from a decent company and I am gone. Morale on my team is low; I expect many others would leave today if they could find jobs. -GoingBrokeFast-
I don't recognize the raucous and rowdy town meetings in other parts of the country that have grabbed big headlines this month. Those shouters and screamers talk about "freedom," but what they are doing is trying to disrupt meetings. That's the absolute opposite of what freedom of discussion is about. They are trying to shout down speakers and shut down town meetings because they are afraid to debate the real issues and the unprecedented set of problems our country now faces.
In terms of health care, they are afraid to debate the fact that we have a disintegrating health care system with soaring costs, that we have tens of millions uninsured and underinsured, the fact that over 18,000 Americans die every year because they don't get to a doctor on time, or the reality that some 1 million Americans will go bankrupt this year because of medically-related bills. These people are screaming and yelling so we can't have a real discussion of the real health care crisis.
These are people like Lori Hitchcock, whom I met in New Hampshire last week. Lori is currently self-employed and trying to start a business, but because she has hepatitis C, she cannot find an insurance company that will cover her. Another woman testified that an insurance company would not cover illnesses related to her internal organs because of an accident she had when she was 5 years old. A man lost his health coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because the insurance company discovered that he had gallstones, which he hadn’t known about when he applied for his policy. Because his treatment was delayed, he died. ...
In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing. If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket. Our deficit will continue to grow. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people. That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America. In the end, this isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives and livelihoods. This is about people’s businesses. This is about America’s future, and whether we will be able to look back years from now and say that this was the moment when we made the changes we needed, and gave our children a better life. I believe we can, and I believe we will.
Besides being vile and stupid, however, the editorial was beside the point. Investor’s Business Daily would like you to believe that Obamacare would turn America into Britain — or, rather, a dystopian fantasy version of Britain. The screamers on talk radio and Fox News would have you believe that the plan is to turn America into the Soviet Union. But the truth is that the plans on the table would, roughly speaking, turn America into Switzerland — which may be occupied by lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eaters, but wasn’t a socialist hellhole the last time I looked
As the debate rages, lawmakers are learning that creating cooperatives — loosely defined as private, nonprofit, consumer-owned providers of health care, much like the co-ops that offer telephone, electric and other utility service in rural areas — will not be easy. The history of health insurance in the United States is full of largely unsuccessful efforts to introduce new models of insurance that would lower costs. And the health insurance markets of many states suggest that any new entrant would face many difficulties in getting established.
Forget about a crackdown on price-gouging drug companies and predatory insurance firms. That’s not happening. With the public pretty well confused about what is going on, we’re headed — at best — toward changes that will result in a lot more people getting covered, but that will not control exploding health care costs and will leave industry leaders feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot.
The hope of a government-run insurance option is all but gone. So there will be no effective alternative for consumers in the market for health coverage, which means no competitive pressure for private insurers to rein in premiums and other charges. (Forget about the nonprofit cooperatives. That’s like sending peewee footballers up against the Super Bowl champs.)
Insurance companies are delighted with the way “reform” is unfolding. Think of it: The government is planning to require most uninsured Americans to buy health coverage. Millions of young and healthy individuals will be herded into the industry’s welcoming arms. This is the population the insurers drool over. ...
If the oldest and sickest are on Medicare, and the poorest are on Medicaid, and the young and the healthy are required to purchase private insurance without the option of a competing government-run plan — well, that’s reform the insurance companies can believe in.
The image of government takeover of health care is meant to strike fear into good market oriented Americans who believe the government can do nothing right, particularly in an area as difficult, personal and important as health care. The fear of government involvement in any aspect of our life is a deeply held American value which allows us to continue to believe in the myth of small government. It is any easy fear to exploit even when speaking to people who have good jobs because they studied at public universities, know their parents have enough to eat because of social security, drive to work on federally funded highways and generally live in the 21st century industrialized world. ...
Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' benefits have become an indispensable part of our health care system providing valuable services and benefits to people, many of whom would have very few health care options were it not for these government programs. This is something which should be kept in mind when scare tactics about government takeover of health care are used. These programs also demonstrate the inaccuracy, or perhaps nuttiness, of some of the more outlandish claims about Obama's proposed programs. For example, if the government were really going to ration health care or set up "death panels" as part of government health care programs, wouldn't the government have started by doing these things to the poor, the elderly or disabled veterans-precisely the people who rely on the government for health care today.
All of the current versions of health care reform would create insurance exchanges, where tens of millions of uninsured Americans, people who lack group coverage and workers in small businesses could buy policies from either private insurers or a new government-run program. While a public plan has been demonized by opponents as a big-government takeover of health care, the idea is to increase competition among insurers and give consumers more choices. ...
We are frankly skeptical that any compromise will be enough to satisfy Republican opponents of health care reform. If the White House and Democratic leaders decide to go it alone, and they may well have to, they should restore a robust public plan. It is the best way to give Americans real choice.
I mention these successful member-owned businesses in a deeply red state because as the public health care option gets hammered by a campaign of disinformation, the co-op model deserves a fair hearing. Co-ops may not work as the best way to extend care to the more than 45 million Americans without coverage. But they do tend to keep private insurers honest, are fairly good at controlling costs, and will be harder to demonize. When Sarah Palin starts making things up about co-ops, as she did with the famous nonexistent death panels, she’ll be lying about a familiar model for many Alaskans.
Health insurance is already becoming unaffordable for families and businesses, with premium inflation outpacing wage increases. Between 1999 and 2008, employer family health insurance premiums rose by 119 percent, while the median family income rose by less than 30 percent. As a result, average family premiums for group policies have risen from 11 percent to 18 percent of median family income. And if Congress fails to pass health reforms that control health care costs, premiums are projected to rise to 24 percent of a family's income by 2020. ) In any economic climate, but especially in today’s recession, mAverage Family Premiumost families cannot afford to devote a fourth of their income to insurance coverage, nor can businesses afford their share of insurance premiums in addition to raises for employees.
These are the Blue Dogs. Without them onboard, Obama is somewhat powerless. http://www.house.gov/melancon/BlueDogs/Member%20Page.html
Drug companies have already gotten what they want from congress in the current bill. It gives a govt subsidy to pay for brand name prescription drugs but excludes generic drugs from the subsidy. That's why they are supporting the current bill. It's a give away at taxpayer expense and will not lower drug revenue that Big Pharma takes in.
Now the big Health Insurers are trying to kill off the "Public Option" by offering up these lame Co-Ops or Exchanges which will do nothing for the buyer of health insurance. Co-Ops will be just a distraction that will allow politicians to say they did 'something'. But in the end it will be nothing but rearranging the deck chairs. It is all a really sad commentary on how corporations have bought out the politicians -- both parties I am afraid.
Astonishingly, many politicians seem to think that we should lead the world in prisons, not in health care or education. The United States is anomalous among industrialized countries in the high proportion of people we incarcerate; likewise, we stand out in the high proportion of people who have no medical care — and partly as a result, our health care outcomes such as life expectancy and infant mortality are unusually poor.
While the company has proposed ways to help bring costs down, its support of an employer mandate has been the most contentious issue within the employer community. According to lobbyists who work for Wal-Mart, the company hopes that its current health benefits would meet any government requirement that employers provide health coverage to workers. Doing so would keep Wal-Mart’s costs the same while raising costs for competitors that don’t yet provide health coverage to workers.
One purpose of the public option is to save money. Experience with Medicare suggests that a government-run plan would have lower costs than private insurers; in addition, it would introduce more competition and keep premiums down. And let’s be clear: the supposed alternative, nonprofit co-ops, is a sham. That’s not just my opinion; it’s what the market says: stocks of health insurance companies soared on news that the Gang of Six senators trying to negotiate a bipartisan approach to health reform were dropping the public plan. Clearly, investors believe that co-ops would offer little real competition to private insurers.
Also, and importantly, the public option offered a way to reconcile differing views among Democrats. Until the idea of the public option came along, a significant faction within the party rejected anything short of true single-payer, Medicare-for-all reform, viewing anything less as perpetuating the flaws of our current system. The public option, which would force insurance companies to prove their usefulness or fade away, settled some of those qualms. ...
And then there’s the matter of the banks. I don’t know if administration officials realize just how much damage they’ve done themselves with their kid-gloves treatment of the financial industry, just how badly the spectacle of government supported institutions paying giant bonuses is playing. But I’ve had many conversations with people who voted for Mr. Obama, yet dismiss the stimulus as a total waste of money. When I press them, it turns out that they’re really angry about the bailouts rather than the stimulus — but that’s a distinction lost on most voters. ...
It’s hard to avoid the sense that Mr. Obama has wasted months trying to appease people who can’t be appeased, and who take every concession as a sign that he can be rolled. Indeed, no sooner were there reports that the administration might accept co-ops as an alternative to the public option than G.O.P. leaders announced that co-ops, too, were unacceptable. So progressives are now in revolt. Mr. Obama took their trust for granted, and in the process lost it. And now he needs to win it back.
These groups spent $263.4 million on lobbying during the first six months of 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group, more than any other industry. They spent $241.4 million during the same period of 2008. Drugmakers alone spent $134.5 million, 64 percent more than the next biggest spenders, oil and gas companies.
Mr. Obama also sought to reassure Democratic activists concerned by senior administration officials' conflicting signals over a public plan to compete with private insurers. The plan would be available for individuals and small businesses on a health-care exchange. "There's been a lot of confusion about this, so let me just clarify: I think a public option is important," he said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed the same point Thursday, telling a news conference in San Francisco: "There's no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option."
Virtually all of the major hospital chains, private insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies have been involved in massive health care fraud over the past decade, the senator added. He also pointed to a string of criminal and civil cases against many of the leading corporate health care providers in the country, including...
Another poll, using questions from the same sources, sought to find out about health care misconceptions. That poll found that Fox News viewers were overwhelmingly more likely than CNN/MSNBC viewers to believe untrue information about health care reform. By margins of 31%, 40%, and 45%, respectively, Fox News viewers were more likely to believe erroneously that health reform would give coverage to illegal immigrants; lead to a government takeover of health care; and stop care for seniors.
Finally, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45% of Americans believe that the country as a whole would be better off if Congress passed health care reform, as opposed to 34% who think it would be harmed. "Without all the lies, I could guarantee you that an even greater majority would be in favor of reform," said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
"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.
Speak for yourself Mr. Gibbs. I got a whole lot of begrudging in me and here's why. We basically own those nine large banks. Without the trillions of dollars of bailouts and loan guarantees we provided, they all would have gone belly-up -- each and every one of them. There would have been no profits, no bonuses, nada. We saved their butts because at the time it seemed like the only way to stop another Great Depression. Even with the enormous bailouts and stimulus funds, presently over 25 million Americans are unemployed or forced into part time work because of the lack of full-time jobs. I wonder if they are or are not begrudging those "big salaries," which actually are nothing more than welfare checks. ...
Here's what I'll never forget: During the three years leading up to the crash, nine of the largest commercial banks made a whopping $305 billion in profits. Approximately half of that was doled out in bonuses. Since the crash these same institutions lost all of that and more when the world discovered they were raking in profits by selling toxic assets. The bankers and traders, to be sure, didn't pay back any of their gains or make up for the enormous losses. Now that Wall Street is getting on its feet again and we forget that it is doing so because we are bailing it out each and every day. The bonus money they are earning right now is our money. Yes, Mr. Gibbs, I begrudge giving it to those who wrecked the economy. I would rather drop it from an airplane over Detroit.
Recent rebounds notwithstanding, most people now are asking whether the system is fundamentally rigged. It's not just that they have an understandable aversion to losing their life savings when the market crashes; it's that each of the scandals and crises has a common pattern: The small investor was taken advantage of by the piranhas that hide in the rapidly moving currents.
This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment's hesitation, they took our money -- yours and mine -- to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don't care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as "useless eaters." ...
The reason Wall Street was able to game the system the way it did -- knowing that they would become rich at the expense of the American people (oh, yes, they most certainly knew that) -- was because the financial elite had bribed our legislators to roll back the protections enacted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Congress gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial lending banks from investment banks, and passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed for self-regulation with no oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently revised its rules to allow for even less oversight -- and we've all seen how well that worked out. To date, no serious legislation has been offered by the Obama administration to correct these problems.
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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