We have just confirmed sources that Sam Palmisano intends to triple the number of US, Canadian, and UK layoffs in 2010 over its 2009 layoff count. Top level insiders confirmed the information- based on a recent meetings Sam Palmisano had with top level executives just before the holiday break. Sam Palmisano said the board is on board and we can go ahead with our plan-to dump some more of the over weight staff budget . In fact an IBM executive said Sam Palmisano IBM CEO who has put on more than a few pounds sort of chortled when he said it- his eyes lite up, his six chins waved and his roll of jelly belly wiggled. Oh no the Anti-Santa. Sam is targeting staffers who he says skills are not right for the next ten years, middle management that can be reduced due to the dramatic staff reduction over the last 5 years. The top level executives rubbed their hands with excitement that severance packages will be greatly reduced and eliminated with the management initiated separations for performance. Oh and the rank and file will have reduced incentives pay while executive incentive pay will be increased. A Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
But on a more realistic note, I found an earlier posting which predicted that IBM was intent on saving $300-$400M in 2010 much more credible. Although I don't know the exact savings per RA'd employee, I would estimate this to be in the $100,000 per employee. That would mean about 3000-4000 employees RA'd in 2010 in the US alone.
That number would be below the 6 year average of 6,000/year, that have reduced US IBM'ers from 135,000 in Jan, 2004 to about 100,000 today. That last estimate would might still be needed to get the amount of savings forecast, since new hires must be accounted for as well in the total attrition total.
Overall, given the improving US economy, the psychological barrier of reducing US IBM employees below the 100,000 "resistance level", the beginning of the end of the Palmisano era,and IBM's unofficial target of 3% in the US, I would estimate 3,000 RA's in the US in 2010. Hopefully less.
"Requiring employers to increase their funding to defined benefit plans during a recession leads to layoffs, bankruptcies, and the freezing of defined benefit plans, suggesting that the pension funding obligations could fundamentally alter the distribution of jobs in the economy," the report reads.
"The accelerated funding requirements included in the Pension Protection Act, combined with the market-driven declines in pension asset values and historically low interest rates, have created unprecedented and unforeseen challenges for employers that voluntarily provide generous retirement benefits," Klein said.
Fully 68 percent of defined benefit plan sponsors indicated that unexpected cash needs associated with their defined benefit plans would cause the employer to make other cuts, including cuts in the areas of hiring and workforce training.
In years of contraction, defined benefit plan funding requirements are alone responsible for 4 percent of the reduction in employment.
"We made the difficult decision to freeze our plan in 2007. It was a decision we made in the context of the competitive environment in which we do business. Very few companies in our industry maintain defined benefit pension plans." Translation: Everybody is doing it, i.e. dumping all our promises and keeping the trust fund to ourselves, so we did too.
"Because this obligation is required by law, we will be forced to divert resources from our business and from job retention and creation. At a time when we can least afford to do so, we will need to divert capital away from critical investments in business growth and toward funding for a long-term obligation." Translation: What? We have to put away cash in the pension trust for our retirees? You mean we HAVE TO?
"As an example, if a company has to set aside $100 million for its pension plan in one year, that's equal to 2,000 employees earning $50,000 a year. In order for that company to pay that amount in 2011, it might have to lay off those employees near the beginning of 2010." Translation: Fire them all. We don't want no stinking pensioners anyway.
"Though each of our stories is somewhat unique, all of us are intertwined. When we divert resources away from meeting the demands of the new economy and maintaining and creating jobs, we suffer competitively, which impacts our customers and suppliers as well." Translation: I still don't understand why I have to fund that pension trust. I tell you, the sky will fall if we have to fund it.
"We are also very pleased that the Education and Labor Committee has passed funding relief and that Republican Leader Boehner has introduced funding relief legislation. And we look forward to continued constructive discussions of this critical topic with the Senate." Translation: OMG, is Boehner still holding a seat? I thought he would have retired by now.
2. Even if you’re lucky enough to work for a company that offers an old fashioned pension, there’s a good chance that those benefits have been frozen--or they will be--meaning that you’ll likely end up with a lump sum distribution that’s pretty much a lump of coal. ...
3. The only 401(k) reform currently on President Obama’s agenda is to encourage automatically enrolling new employees in an inadequate plan along with automatically turning 401(k) account balances into annuities when participants reach retirement age. This may enrich the mutual fund and annuity industries but it won’t make 401(k) nest eggs rich.
4. Companies may contend that they can’t afford to boost 401(k) contributions--but how can many of them manage to afford multimillion dollar executive pay packages? On the other hand, we can consider allowing companies that are genuinely struggling to “phase in” the contribution rate increase- as was the case in Australia--starting out at a 4% rate and gradually moving up to 9%--along with exempting companies that have been in business for less than five years from having to offer a plan.
5. Any member of Congress who resists 401(k) reform should vow not to take a taxpayer supported pension. ...
It's the first time in 85 years of IBM in Argentina that the workers will be able to choose their representatives. "We can be part of a new story, different from being mere spectators and victims of authoritarianism on the part of our employers" All workers will be able to vote, whether they are Cepetel affiliates or not, IBM workers or outsourced. "If you want to improve your work conditions, you have to vote; if you believe IBM is not paying you what you deserve, you have to vote", the announcement says.
For more information, check out: http://www.gremiodeinformatica.org.ar/Elecciones-de-Delegados-en-IBM.html
It has never been a part of the IBM corporate culture even though buzzwords like synergy and teaming were used. IBM has always rewarded the people perceived by management to be the top dogs. Never the blockers, Never the sacrifice bunters. Never the leaders in assists. Now they do not even bother to reward the top employees. Only the executives get rewards.
As more people realize that being top dog only means your cream of the crap to Management and you get screwed through benefit reduction and pension reductions just like everyone else does will the fierce competitors realize they are in a race to the bottom and change their outlook. As a C.E. I used to work with said, " Now that I have scratched and clawed and dug my way to the bottom, no one will get me out. " Now to amaze you. He said that 25+ years ago. Guess he was a soothsayer on the side. May the brave men and woman of the Alliance continue to stand for what is right, between their families and unemployment devastation. -Exodus2007-
Alliance reply: There will not even be a vote if we can not show the government there is sufficient interest. That means PROVING interest by the employees joining the Alliance in any of our 3 categories of membership. There will not be a vote if we do not have strong public organizing committees throughout IBM signing up their co-workers.
Sure the PBC is used to discriminate against you for elements like age, weight, health, personality, work habits, etc. but you will not see any of this in the PBC in writing. These elements are insinuated by the other evaluations given in the PBC. IBM knows that it would be tough for you to prove any discrimination since the PBC process is their RIGGED PROCESS so it is set up for their terms, not for yours.
The best advice I can offer is DOCUMENT EVERYTHING so if you get a PBC you know is grossly unfair then you will have ample evidence to confront your manager and second line with and also to make a stronger case for a PBC peer or panel review which is the "open door" procedure for the PBC. You really need to be able to prove that your evaluators failed or did not properly evaluate you. Yes, that is where it gets sticky since if you get a better PBC upon further review your management evaluators might be slighted that they had to change their evaluation of you especially after a PBC panel review conducted under IBM HR.
It's not like the PBC process is a total "no win" situation. You really have to out smart your manager and second line without dissing them so to speak. You have to be cunning. You have to make your case and not be subjective about your manager's evaluation or feedback. The PBC is a process that it is tough to truly win at for the employee when the process is so subjective when it should be more objectively conducted. IBM knows this about the PBC and that is the reason they keep it. -PBCed-
I still remember the good ole days when President Obama promised to make sure that all the health care negotiations would be televised on C-SPAN. I didn't think that would happen (although I was hoping he'd try), but I did think there would be at least a modicum of transparency in this process. That we've gone from promising all negotiations would be televised for everyone to see to potentially a situation where the final, most important negotiations are locked behind closed doors is sad -- not just from an objective transparency/democracy perspective, but, as you can see, from a progressive final-legislative-product perspective.
"Simple," he said. "I want to give them less and make them think it's more."
Part of my job back then was to analyze health care costs and model ways those costs might change under different plan designs. I'd written a textbook chapter on the way medical information and financial incentives affect doctors and patients, but this work wasn't theoretical. Business people wanted answers. I worked for health insurers and large employers. They wanted to know what they were buying for their health care dollars, how much those dollars were likely to go up in the next few years, and what they could do about it. ...
I've thought about those days a lot as I've watched health reform work its way through the political process. A lot of the theoretical arguments for some of the more specious aspects of reform are retreads from those old days in the 1980s. Like big-hair bands, they're a part of that decade that just won't go away.
Those ideas didn't work then, and there's no reason to believe they'll work now. Then, as now, people had far too much faith that we could design a health plan so efficient that it would, in effect, manage itself and reduce its own costs. Instead, here's what really happened in the 1980s: HMOs and other managed care techniques created a sharp, one-time reduction in costs (much of which wasn't really reduction at all, but a shifting of those costs from insurers to individuals). But the pace of health care inflation continued as before - sometimes slowing, sometimes increasing, but always racing far beyond what we could afford. We thought we were improving the system, but in many cases we were only adding to the problem. ...
Then there's the "to catch a thief" principle: If you don't know how insurance companies can work around regulatory obstacles, you have no idea how fragile or even counterproductive some ideas can be. Take the Senate proposal to hold insurance company profits and administrative costs to 15 cents on every dollar collected. It sounds great, but as I told David Dayen of Firedoglake , it wasn't hard to come up with five ways the insurance companies could get around it. ...
These aren't abstract or ideological concerns. They're based on real-world experience. If Congressional leaders and the White House leadership are serious about creating effective reform, they need to pay more attention to how some of these proposals will play out in the rough-and-tumble arena of medical economics. They'll need to fix what's wrong in these bills, and then turn their attention to an area we've haven't discussed enough: oversight and monitoring of the health insurance industry.
"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.
Some significant changes have been made, such as slashing Wall Street's debt, scrutinizing compensation, simplifying financial products and potentially increasing surveillance of financial markets. But more than a year after Lehman Brothers, American International Group Inc., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Washington Mutual collapsed or were saved by the government and financial markets swooned, it is striking how little on Wall Street has changed.
Staggering numbers of Americans are still unemployed and nearly a quarter of all homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Forget the false hope of modestly improving monthly job numbers. The real story right now is the entrenched suffering (with no end in sight) that has been inflicted on scores of millions of working Americans by the Great Recession and the misguided economic policies that preceded it. ...
We’re not smart as a nation. We don’t learn from the past, and we don’t plan for the future. We’ve spent a year turning ourselves inside out with arguments of every sort over health care reform only to come up with a bloated, Rube Goldberg legislative mess that protects the insurance and drug industries and does not rein in runaway health care costs. The politicians will be back soon, trust me, screaming about the need to rein in health costs.
The fault lies everywhere. The president, the Congress, the news media and the public are all to blame. Shared sacrifice is not part of anyone’s program. Politicians can’t seem to tell the difference between wasteful spending and investments in a more sustainable future. Any talk of raising taxes is considered blasphemous, but there is a constant din of empty yapping about controlling budget deficits. Oh, yes, and we’re fighting two wars.
If America can’t change, then the current state of decline is bound to continue. You can’t have a healthy economy with so many millions of people out of work, and there is no plan now that would result in the creation of millions of new jobs any time soon.
Voters were primed at the beginning of the Obama administration for fundamental changes that would have altered the trajectory of American life for the better. Politicians of all stripes, many of them catering to the nation’s moneyed interests, fouled that up to a fare-thee-well. Now we’re escalating in Afghanistan, falling back into panic mode over an attempted act of terror and squandering a golden opportunity to build a better society.
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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