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Highlights—January 23, 2010

  • Information Week: IBM Iowa's Birthday: IBM Gets $52M, But What Does Iowa Get? By Bob Evans. Excerpts: Employment is always a serious subject worthy of serious consideration, particularly in these times when more than one out of 10 Americans is out of work. So it is puzzling at best and troubling at worst to see that IBM, after demanding and receiving $52 million in tax breaks and other incentives from Iowa in return for creating 1,300 jobs at a new global service center in Dubuque, will not release specific hiring figures. ...

    However, while the Greater Dubuque Development Corp.'s president gushed in the article about the volume of applications IBM had received—more than 8,000—he admitted he does not have specific figures on how many positions have been filled at the new global service center. Even more odd is that the state's Economic Development Department, which played a big hand in structuring and doling out the $52 million incentive package, has also not received specific job figures from IBM, according to the article:

    Iowa Economic Development Department spokeswoman Kay Snyder said IBM's annual reporting date is June 30. At the reporting date last year, she said the contract was still in negotiation and was not signed. "We definitely are in communication with IBM and we do understand ... they are on schedule, if not ahead of schedule, and we're pleased with that," she said. Snyder said the department has project managers who keep in touch with companies throughout the year to monitor staffing levels.

    So let's see what we've got here: the head of the Greater Dubuque Development Corp., who lavishes praise on IBM and its efforts as if he gets paid per compliment, doesn't have any details on hiring levels, and he's got a whole lotta skin in this game. The state agency overseeing economic development says it doesn't have any concrete details from IBM but is nevertheless "pleased" with "communication" indicating that IBM is on or even ahead of schedule. That's quite a trick—must be something they teach only in economic-development classes. ...

    You've set extremely high standards for yourself and your dealings with customers and partners, IBM, and you have enlisted the people of Iowa in general and Dubuque in particular as very close partners and, in some cases, employees. So now, with the public having put up not only $52 million in incentives but also considerable trust in you as a strategic partner, it's time for you to disclose the Dubuque hiring figures. Because transparency is more than a concept.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: How IBM Operates" by "ibmretiree2006". Full excerpt: I tried to maintain hope but now see it is not going to happen. I have tried to get people to at least go to the Alliance site and it was like I was asking them to cut off an arm. As to ratings, IBM has created a management army (not all but many) of petty dictators. It was done with forethought and with purpose. It allows them to get rid of older higher salaried employees while enjoying the glee of getting rid of those they do not like or those who do not kiss ass. The apologists can argue the point until the cows come home but it is a fact. I have seen it in several divisions so it is not an anomaly. The good news is I believe "what goes around comes around" and payback will be a b**ch!
  • The Register (United Kingdom): MPs slam IBM pension moves. Changes are redundancy by stealth. By John Oates. Excerpts: A Westminster Hall debate has led to serious criticism of the way IBM ended its final salary pension scheme. Sandra Gidley, Lib Dem MP for Romsey, said she had heard from many IBMers, especially those in their 50s who were hit hardest. She explained that in 2003 IBM staff were asked to increase pension contributions by 50 per cent even though the company, along with many others, had taken a pensions holiday for several years.

    In 2006 more changes were made which were grudgingly accepted with the promise that funding would be in place until 2014. But in 2009 IBM made more changes. Gidley criticised IBM's decision to run the feedback period during summer holidays when many staff were away. She said: "People will think twice about whether they want to work for a company that treats its employees so shoddily." Christopher Huhne, MP for Eastleigh, noted that IBM made record profits in 2008 and there was no underlying reason for it to treat its staff in such a way.

  • Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record: IBM makes a record $13.4B. But Big Blue cost-cutting will be 'ongoing'. By Michael Levensohn. Excerpts: IBM sold less stuff but made more money last year, thanks to vigorous cost-cutting. Big Blue reported a record profit of $13.4 billion for the year, up 9 percent from 2008's net income of $12.3 billion. But the company's revenue fell to $95.8 billion last year, down from $103.6 billion a year before. IBM was able to boost its profit despite lower sales by cutting more than $9 billion of costs and expenses. ...

    Through layoffs, attrition, retirements and firings, IBM eliminated more than 1,000 positions in Dutchess and Orange counties in 2009. That brought the company's mid-Hudson payroll below 10,000 workers for the first time in a decade. With the bulk of its growth coming from overseas, IBM has shifted jobs to those markets. Loughridge called cost-cutting an "ongoing part of our overall business model." He said reductions will continue in 2010, although not at the same levels as last year. "We're going to have good expense takeout," he said.

  • The Register: Big Blue boosts profits despite sales slump. By By Timothy Prickett Morgan. Excerpts: If the global economy is improving, IBM's top line numbers aren't showing it yet. To be sure, the company was able to eke out 1 per cent revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, with sales of $27.2bn, and net income rose 8.7 per cent, to $4.8bn. But given how awful the fourth quarter of 2008 was - and that IBM's sales were down 5 per cent at constant currency in the third quarter of 2009 - you'd think that the company could have done more than hit replay and managed a bigger boost in Q4.

    Thanks to share buybacks and cost cutting, IBM was able to post earnings per share of $10.01 for the full year, and according to Mark Loughridge, Big Blue's chief financial officer, that's at the low end of the EPS target the company set for 2010 way back in 2007. Apparently, this is what matters most - at least if your bonus at IBM or on Wall Street is pegged to IBM's EPS figures.

  • Financial Times: IBM earnings surge on cost-cutting. By Richard Waters. Excerpt: IBM said on Tuesday that its revenues had barely grown in the final quarter of 2009 as customers had held off signing big new contracts, highlighting the slow pace of the hotly expected technology recovery . In spite of that, the US tech bellwether continued to report surging profits on the back of deep cost-cutting, capping the seventh consecutive year in which earnings per share grew by at least 10 per cent.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Lower PBC Ratings" by "nyjints5". Full excerpt: I've kept in touch with some close friends still employed by IBM. They've told me a very ugly rumor is starting to come out. Most people's PBC rating for 2009 has been lowered. In particular, those that were rated a 2 performer in 2008 have recently learned they are now a 3. I'm told it's very widespread. 1 and 2+ performers are not exempted either.
  • LinkedIn: The Greater IBM Connection. Selected comments follow:
    • Actually the reason IBM never had a Union during the period Unions were at their peak was that TJ Watson Sr was Union phobic. Mr. Watson decided if he were to give his employees all of the benefits the Unions offered them, they would reject the Union bids. He established within IBM: Open Door Policy, Country Clubs (Nominal fee and no booze), Sick Pay, Personal Leave, Pension, Medical Benefits, Respect for the Individual, No Layoff Policy, Competitive Pay (Close enough).

      I call him Mr. since I read many of his memos in my first years at IBM and he was brilliant. Good to his people, his customers, and ruthless to his competitors. He built the IBM Brand, and he made it special to be an IBMer. His Son carried that on and built the IBM empire to the 5th largest, and most profitable Corporation in the World. I doubt any IBM CEO could match their success. It may not be possible at this point in time. They were the right men, with the right vision, in the right place at the right time.

    • Great question and discussion ! I do not think I would "tell" Sam anything... I would "show" him. Just imagine yourself at his level with the power, and clout to get whatever you want, whenever you need it, with many levels of hungry employees ready to do whatever it takes to complete your requests? Sounds great, huh? I know for sure, that if I had that kind of power, and hopefully, respect, that I would want to know how the business is truly running, and be able to drill-down under the miles of sugar-coated status reports.

      I started at IBM in 1997, so I had only heard about the "good ole days". However, seeing what is happening to this company now, makes me think about the "good ole days" in the late 1990's, and early 2000's.

      IBM is a company that is in this game for the long run, so they need to stop playing the game quarter by quarter, and show Wall Street that we are an innovative company that is willing to take informed risks, and continue with investments on both the internal and external sides of the company.

      IBM clearly has global presence now, but they still need to be careful when rebalancing workloads across the globe. Cheaper is not always better, and sometimes you simply get what you pay for. As consumers ourselves, we know what we are willing to pay for quality products and services, and when it is time to terminate the contracts. If the "Show and Tell" doesn't work, then I guess the "Happy Hour" is over. :)

    • I would remind Sam of his humble days in Poughkeepsie where he walked through the main plant with his fellow IBMers. I, too, have fond memories of IBM, silver spoons for my children, holiday parties, a sense of family and dedication to the company. However, my dreams were cut short when I was Resource actioned after 28 years and cannot retire with IBM. As a top performer and high contributor I was shocked and dismayed at how IBM handled personnel questions and the process in general. I would remind Sam of the values that Tom Watson had built the company on, and would implore him to reinstate them. IBM should never change a pension plan for existing IBMers. Any changes to corporate policy should be instituted going forward for new employees only. IBM should compensate all employees who were affected by the pension law change in 1999 fairly.
    • Wow, after reading this thread (my original response was - I'd tell him to re-hire me)...well, I can say that after 22 years there, working at 4 main facilities, and sacrificing my kids growing up, to help IBM grow... well, I've got to say that when I was "Bought (Forced to take a buyout)" out 26 days from retiring at 48... well , that was a cold shot. I would ask him , how John Akers, who was FIRED, got 11 Million Dollars, and a Honorarium 1 Million Dollars. Akers reminded me of Humphrey Bogart in the Cain Mutiny... where's the ice cream???? Well, I'd show Sam the letter Mr. Akers wrote me, saying IBM couldn't make an exception... I was never so ashamed at IBM in my life. Respect for the Individual died on Aker's watch, and now he plays golf in Hilton Head.

      Whew, had to air that dirty laundry... Sorry to the forum readers, but I've had this eating away at me since Nov. 1991. Sam, Good luck, and whatever you do... please don't forget where you came from... Tom Watson Jr. never forgot the little guy, because that's how he started in the company. Ciao, Stephen Vaughan IBM'er Feb 1970 - Nov 1991

    • Here is an interesting article which really hits home, as I see several of these strategies in use today at IBM... http://www.cringely.com/2010/01/ibm-2010-customers-in-revolt/

      What also greatly hurts service/support is the MATRIX organization coupled with these low-skill/low-wage global delivery centers. I was on a 5+ hour crit-sit the other day where we spent 90% of the time paging out different global teams to join our conference, and we had several delays in people joining and remaining due to their "shift changes" !!

      It all sounds great in theory until "Customer Satisfaction" takes a dive, and contracts are not renewed, revenues lost, and the treadmill starts up again with even more focus on lowering costs through increased lay offs, and offshoring. I'm sure there are many other companies doing similar things, but I do not see this as a long term successful business strategy.

  • New York Times editorial: The Court’s Blow to Democracy. Excerpts: With a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century. Disingenuously waving the flag of the First Amendment, the court’s conservative majority has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding. ...

    As a result of Thursday’s ruling, corporations have been unleashed from the longstanding ban against their spending directly on political campaigns and will be free to spend as much money as they want to elect and defeat candidates. If a member of Congress tries to stand up to a wealthy special interest, its lobbyists can credibly threaten: We’ll spend whatever it takes to defeat you.

    The ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission radically reverses well-established law and erodes a wall that has stood for a century between corporations and electoral politics. (The ruling also frees up labor unions to spend, though they have far less money at their disposal.) The founders of this nation warned about the dangers of corporate influence. The Constitution they wrote mentions many things and assigns them rights and protections — the people, militias, the press, religions. But it does not mention corporations.

    The majority also makes the nonsensical claim that, unlike campaign contributions, which are still prohibited, independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” If Wall Street bankers told members of Congress that they would spend millions of dollars to defeat anyone who opposed their bailout, and then did so, it would certainly look corrupt. After the court heard the case, Senator John McCain told reporters that he was troubled by the “extreme naïveté” some of the justices showed about the role of special-interest money in Congressional lawmaking.

  • Motley Fool: This Stock Has Soared for a Generation. By Rick Steier. Excerpts: If you've ever flown Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) -- and who hasn't? -- then you know the moment you step into its waiting area that its operation is different from every other airline's. As I examine the reasons why Southwest remains the champion airline stock, the theme of "employee" will keep coming up. The company's success is due to other factors as well, and it's worth parsing them because we always want to be on the lookout for companies that walk similar paths of disruptive innovation -- for great stock ideas might be the result. ...

    The real key, however, to Southwest's success is the "E" word I mentioned earlier. The company's founder, Herb Kelleher, understood right from the beginning that if he could make his employees feel like partners in the business, he would gain an advantage on competitors like AMR's American Airlines, UAL's United subsidiary, and US Airways. The value of this approach, which is still a radical concept even today, cannot be underestimated.

    How does this culture translate into a successful business? It's common sense. A happy employee, who feels they are a partner in the company, is more likely to perform above and beyond expectations. That translates into a better experience for fliers -- it's no coincidence the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) consistently recognizes Southwest Airlines as leading the industry in customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction creates brand loyalty. It encourages positive word-of-mouth which causes more people to fly Southwest, potentially making the airline a preferred choice even when given equivalent options. So begins a virtuous spiral.

  • The Oregonian: A little more on Intel's new bonuses. By Mike Rogoway. Excerpts: While I was out Friday, my colleague Jeff Manning wrote about the employee bonuses Intel announced after its strong fourth-quarter numbers last week: (Employees) will now receive additional sums equal to 12.4 days of normal pay under the company's Employee Cash Bonus Program. The company will pay those bonuses on Jan. 27. A week later, Intel will cut another round of bonus checks. The amounts will vary depending on each employee's financial targets set by the company. In an example provided by the company, an employee whose bonus target was $7,000 would receive $27,440 under the program.

    I asked Intel for more detail today. While the company wouldn't tell me how much Oregon employees will get total, it said these two bonuses are the highest it's paid out since early 2001 (following strong results in 2000). The first bonus is worth about 12.4 days of pay, 4.8 percent of annual pay, according to Intel. The second starts at about 4 percent of annual pay, the company said, and rises depending on each employee's "bonus target." That works out to the equivalent of 23 extra days of pay, if I do my math right. Intel pays the bonuses at the end of this month and the beginning of February. They are on top of the $1,000 "Thank You Bonus" that Intel paid at the end of last year. The company has over 15,000 Oregon employees, more than any other business.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
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  • Alliance@IBM: IBM owes the citizens of Iowa the facts! IBM went to Dubuque, Iowa in 2009 with fanfare and their hand out. With the promise of 1300 jobs for the Iowa economy, IBM demanded and secured $52 million in taxpayer money and other incentives to build a new global service center. So how many employees has IBM hired in Dubuque?

    According to media sources, the key players in giving IBM the money do not know. State, local and economic development officials all repeat the IBM line that hiring is “on track”. So how many employees does “on track” mean? How is it possible that those responsible for handing out the money do not know the number of employees hired? Where is the accountability to Iowa taxpayers? Why isn’t IBM disclosing the employee number?

    While there certainly are positive aspects of IBM establishing a facility in Dubuque, it must be remembered that IBM is notorious for not being transparent and open on hiring and job cut numbers. IBM’s stonewalling of information must end.

    The Alliance@IBM is calling on IBM to disclose the following:

    • How many IBM employees have been hired at the Dubuque facility?
    • How many non-IBM contractors have been hired?
    • Have any foreign workers been hired to work at the Dubuque facility?
    • If so, how many have been hired?
    • How many IBM employees in the Dubuque facility transferred from other IBM locations?
    • Do any of the employees “reporting” to Dubuque live outside the State?
    • Is any of the work targeted to be offshored?

    IBM must immediately disclose the true number of employees in the Dubuque facility. The citizens of Iowa deserve transparency and accountability for their money.

  • Job Cut Reports
    • Comment 1/17/10: I'm surprised no one reported 25 or 26 employees in E. Fishkill were SRAed two weeks ago. SRA, silent resource action, continues from time to time in IBM Hudson valley. -Friend of E. Fishkill Employee-
    • Comment 1/19/10: One event that might be impacting IBM's behavior regarding foreign workers and offshoring might be the new USCIS memo clarifying the definition of the employer/employee relationship for H-1Bs. They are howling about this on the sites that cater to Indian guest workers, so it might be significant. http://tinyurl.com/yj6gqa8 -Barb-
    • Comment 1/19/10: -Friend of E. Fishkill Employee- Yes, these silent RA's not being reported is not helping stop them from happening. Even the Poughkeepsie Journal seems to be mum on IBM labor actions so far this year. Of course the newspaper needs to get confirmed word of the RA's to report it. What is something, is that the Poughkeepsie Journal appears to be more interested in following how many deer are killed on Vassar property than how many IBMers are culled by a RA in East Fishkill. Nothing against deer or wildlife, but aren't human lives affected by labor actions more important and newsworthy? -MHVbeamer- Alliance reply: Craig Wolf of the Poughkeepsie Journal has reported on IBM job cuts more than any other media outlet. But as you state, to get the word out, he needs to have the information.
    • Comment 1/19/10: Re on your site: "The Alliance@IBM Communications Workers of America Local 1701, will work to reduce and eliminate the H-1B visa program; and supports efforts to cut the number of such visas now permitted. We also call for the restoration of jobs and opportunities that have been lost by U.S. workers especially in technical and professional sectors, as too many companies seek to expand their bottom lines at workers' expense." Please note H1-Bs have become passe ... companies like IBM with global subsidiaries are now fully (and legally) milking L1 visas which have no restrictions at all... and, if not directly, IBM will use "preferred contractors" to veneer this strategy. -Mad-
    • Comment 1/19/10: -To -MHVbeamer and Alliance@IBM- What I didn't understand here is why didn't any of employees from IBM East Fishkill that were let go only two weeks ago say something here? They didn't know about this website or they are afraid to spill the beans??? I dropped my subscription to the Poughkeepsie Journal because it never played tough against IBM's labor practices as the Times Herald Record always did. I begin to wonder where Christine Young is. The last few articles pertaining to IBM in the Times Herald Record weren't by Christine Young. Is she still with the Times Herald Record? Christine is far better than Craig Wolf! -For Christine Young admirers- Alliance reply: We agree with you that Chris Young did a great job on IBM. She has unfortunately left the Times Herald and gone back to school.
    • Comment 1/20/10: -For Christine Young admirers- Yes, you got it! Probably those let go in the SRA were probably not at least Alliance subscribers and are in utter shock they are now permanently fired. Yes, they are also still afraid to "spill the beans" since they are still afraid of IBM. IBM managers usually tell those RA'ed that "talking about it" means they can forfeit the terms of their severance package. If IBM didn't do anything intrinsically wrong with the RA then why should IBM try to put a gag order out on those affected?

      IBM KNOWS they are wrong and still uses the controlling FEAR to get away with it all. Oh, BTW, IBM is in the Poughkeepsie Journal today. Front Page. They made a record quarterly profit. Even though revenues are down, down again. Surprise, Surprise. I wouldn't rush out to buy the newspaper today. Better use of the $.75 for it is a cup of cheap coffee!

      Also, no reaction sought from Craig Wolf from the Alliance. I wonder if Wolf asked for an Alliance reaction as he has done in the past? Or is IBM now using FEAR to control Mr. Wolf now by requesting a gag order on him? Maybe if he mentions the Alliance now in his articles IBM will pull advertisement money out? http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20100120/BUSINESS01/1200332/IBM-sets-profit-record-but-hints-at-job-cu -MHVbeamer-

    • Comment 1/20/10: There was recently commentary here about jobs in Iowa. This column (link below) says that another reason for putting the data centers in Iowa is that a lack of sufficient employees lets them hire even more H1Bs to staff it. Plus, IBM will still get its Iowa tax breaks for it. http://www.cringely.com/2010/01/ibm-2010-customers-in-revolt/ -jmcnamera-
    • Comment 1/20/10: "It's not going to be at the $3.7 billion spend takeout that we saw last year," Loughridge said. But such reductions, he said, will be an"ongoing part of our overall business model." So is it going to be MORE or LESS IBMers being RA'ed going forward now in 2010? IBM says their EPS target will be "at least $11 per share". The only way they can do it with yearly declining revenues is cost cut and expense cut more aggressively than they are already doing. Maybe Loughridge means IBM will spend less on RA's now. That does not mean their will be less RA's this year: if the severance payout is cut from the RA packages then more RA's are possible at less expense for IBM. But the man isn't saying. Hate to see what cost actions IBM will do when they have a disappointing quarterly report. This gravy train they are on now can't go on forever. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/10: I am a friend of an East Fishkill employee that got hit with a stealth layoff. He was a solid "2" performer. IBM dumped him like a piece of garbage. Folks, the time has come for a Union contract to protect our jobs. Support the Alliance! -Concerned IBMer-
    • Comment 1/22/10: -Concerned IBMer- I'm concerned about what has happened too. You don't have to be a PBC 3 to get hit with a stealth layoff which is IBM's version of a "drive by job rubout": solid PBC 2+ and even PBC 1's get hit all the time, too. When will everyone understand NO ONE IS SAFE from a stealth RA or an RA or hundreds or thousands announced at one time. These stealth firings add up slowly but surely as well. -MHVer-
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 1/19/10: Google is taking a hard line on China's internet censorship. I wonder what IBM's stance is on Chinese censorship? If IBM Is not addressing it themselves then it is not sending a good message and is like an endorsement that it tolerates the censorship practices on IBM's info. networks. We need labor unions to make sure corporations like IBM can be more ethical than they are. -anonymous- Alliance reply: IBM censors also. Email from the Alliance and the web site are routinely blocked by IBM.
    • Comment 1/20/10: In regards your front page statement on Iowa. Good job on holding IBM's feet to the fire on not telling people how many workers have been hired with $52 million in taxpayer handouts. -member- Alliance reply: Thank you. It has been sent out via fax and email as a press release to political leaders, unions, community groups and the media in Iowa. It has also been sent to IBM
    • Comment 1/20/10: Regarding IBM's latest earnings announcement... Is Mr Loughridge serious? "Through layoffs, attrition, retirements and firings, IBM eliminated more than 1,000 positions in Dutchess and Orange counties in 2009. That brought the company's mid-Hudson payroll below 10,000 workers for the first time in a decade. With the bulk of its growth coming from overseas, IBM has shifted jobs to those markets." Wow, this really makes me feel good working for IBM. I bet Mark Loughridge got a big fat raise and big fat bonus too. IBM is doing such wonderful things to give back to America to create jobs and help rebuild our economy. Yeah, right.. IBM is selling the American employees out big time. And Mark Loughridge is getting big and fat and rich by laying us off. What an A$$hole. Sammy with Sammy Palmisano who is behind all this sellout of the American IBMer. -IBMer-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Doesn't IBM have to maintain at least a specific number to fulfill the agreement for the tax breaks under PILOT for NY State? I thought that number has to be over 10,000 employees for E. Fishkill. Correct? If IBM cannot supply an exact number of employees on site then NY State needs to go after them. As taxpayers in NY State the taxpayers should demand it if the NY state government (a bunch of do nothings who have no clue of a budget, let a lone a balanced one, is) doesn't have the balls to. I guess it doesn't matter if IBM gets big breaks with taxpayer money from Iowa or New York or any other US state. IBM just is not forthcoming on the employee population information. They need to be NOW. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Yes, somehow in it's traitorist, tortured logic the Supreme Court equates bribing politicians with free speech, which goes to show that the Supreme Court may be a bigger, stinkier cesspool than even Congress. This decision won't really change anything, just make it easier for corporations to buy politicians, which they already do without much trouble. It will just allow our 'representatives' to stuff even more money in their pockets while they sell out the American people. -anon-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Fortune's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2010/full_list/ Funny....I don't see IBM listed *anywhere*!! How'd that happen? Golly gee whiz...why didn't they make the list? <snickers> -Mistressofthei5-
    • Comment 1/21/10: -Mistressofthei5-, in regards to the 100 best companies. IBM has not been on this list for many years. This is not my accident, it's by design. They don't want to be good because they don't want US employees. Their intention is to aggravate employees with hope they will leave/quit. Therefore no severance. Same for no raises, bonus pay, reduced benefits, etc. IBM will never be a good place to work again, period. -worstCOtoWorkFor=IBM-
    • Comment 1/22/10: EVERY RA is an indication IBM can't make their profit targets due to declining revenues, sluggish sales, and rescoping of existing contracts. Even though IBM pulls seemingly record profits don't be fooled by this: IBM is storing up as much good news as it can muster with these so called record profits but still IBM is in a decline: an entity can't exist forever on declining revenues. Eventually capital runs all but about out and then any expense cutting will no longer work to turn anything around. -da_facts-
    • Comment 1/22/10: First, I'm a paying-dues-member of Alliance. Second, can you please help me understand the privacy statement in regards to posting, telling of non-disclosed (e.g. RA) info, etc. to Alliance? Is there anyway IBM can legally find out who said what? Thank you! -anonymous- Alliance reply: IBM cannot obtain any information about our members, without our permission or our members permission. All members information is confidential, and will not be shared with anyone without expressed consent of said members. We will not deliberately post IBM-Confidential information on any of these comment sections. If you are concerned about some information you may have posted; Please contact us and we can discuss this with you, if you are a member in good standing. link--> Contact Us
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments IBM CEO Sam Palmisano: "I am pleased to announce that we will not only be paying bonuses to IBMers worldwide, based on individual performance, but that they'll be funded from a pool of money nearly the same size as last year's. That's significant in this economy -- and especially so, given the size of the 2007 pool. Further, our salary increase plan will continue, covering about 60 percent of our workforce. As always, increases will go to our highest performers and contributors. We should all feel good about the company's ability to invest in people in these very concrete ways."
    • Comment 1/20/10: Salary = 0; #Yrs Since Raise = >5; %Raise = -100; Band Level = was 7; This Yr-PBC = NA; Job Title = was I/T Specialist; Years Service = plenty; Hours/Week = too many; Div Name = kept changing; Location = Unemploymentville; Message = RA'ed in 2009.-2009victim-
    • Comment 1/20/10: Salary = 65,000 US Dollars; #Yrs Since Raise = 1 Yrs ;%Raise = 4%; Band Level = 6; This Yr-PBC = 1; Job Title = SWE; Years Service = 4; Hours/Week = 40; Location = East Coast; Message = Enjoy the company challenges it provides and easy workplace -Secret-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Salary = over 60K; Band Level = 6; This Yr-PBC = 2+; Job Title = SWE; Years Service = 3.5; Hours/Week = ~40; Location = USA; Message = I've gotten one raise in 3.5 years or service. Since IBM no longer covers internet expenses for work at home employees my "raise" equates to about an extra tank of gas in my car per month. When they stop covering home business lines my raise will be $0. Since I've been employed, my managers have told me I make too much money based on my market value (BS). So the only real raises I can get are through promotions. I'm still stuck at the same band I was when I started. Last year they said next year. Now they're saying maybe not this year. At this point I'm just going through the motions and am looking for other options. There is no real growth at IBM. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/10: "At this point I'm just going through the motions and am looking for other options. There is no real growth at IBM." All the more reason to join the Alliance to try to do something about it while working in IBM. A collective bargaining agreement can help get regular raises and promotions ("steps"). Wouldn't it be nice to take a test to promote yourself from band 6 to band 7 based on your real skills, talent? -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/22/10: Salary = Not even worth mentioning; #Yrs Since Raise = 10; Band Level = 3; This Yr-PBC = 2; Job Title = SSR; Years Service = 13+; Message = Any IBMers gone past 10+ years and no base increase? Any IBMers making 3-4k a yr less then new hires? -Alone in this world, Heartbroken and buffing resume-
  • PBC Comments;
    • Comment 1/19/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 14; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = ?; This Yr Bonus = ?; Prior Yr Bonus = 1900; Message = I’m so sick of the PBC system to the point that my input into the tool is mostly one word response, i.e. Met, Exceeded, Achieved, Assist etc… it does not matter how good of a year I had, I still get the same 2 rating and the sad part is my managers never even takes the time to look at my results during my PBC interview, so I decided to stop wasting time inputting my accomplishments sine the last 10+ PBC interviews last a mere 5 minutes, normally he / she starts by pointing out the one thing they rigged up that I did not do well or achieved that year and then states because of that reason I can only give you a 2 rating this year… personally I’m tired of working for IBM so I really don’t give a rat’s ass anymore… I do my 40 hours a week and that’s it! Not a minute more… -Zion-
    • Comment 1/20/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 20; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2; This Yr Bonus = ???; Prior Yr Bonus = 5100; Message = Will be the fourth consequent year with a salary increase as is dictated by a rating of 2. Mostly positive feedback but IMO it's all about money and being high in band (120K) weighs against getting a higher rating. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/20/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 21; Prior Yr PBC = 3; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = 0; Prior Yr Bonus = 0; Message = I feel that I was set up to fail by being transferred to a team I never requested to be a part of. This was my punishment for being on FMLA too long. I was content in my previous role and never requested to be move to the role I'm in now. Thirty days and I'm out of here. Oh well, at least I won't have to train the analyst from Argentina who will have my job in a few months. -anonymous- The separation package (with minimized separation allowance) I was given today as a result of two consecutive PBC 3 ratings gives you 30 days, not 15 days to accept it. The 60 day performance improvement plan is ridiculous. (This is the plan you have to agree to if you refuse the separation package. I can't imagine anyone taking the 60 day plan vs. the separation plan. If you take the 60 day plan and your manager decides your performance hasn't improved enough (from a PBC 3 to a PBC 2), then you get fired with NO severance pay. -forced out-
    • Comment 1/20/10: Band Level = 6; Years Service = 4; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 1; This Yr Bonus = 6000; Prior Yr Bonus = 3500; Message = I don't see why this whole board is complaints, maybe you guys are in a different group than I? Definitely enjoy working at IBM and the people I interact with. -Johnny Be Good-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 15; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2; Message = Manager said to be "satisfied with a 2". I asked why I dropped from a 2+ to a 2 and my manager replied matter of factly "it was a due to our dept.'s revenue numbers being down which were not achieved". I stressed I know I did better this year in regards to WIN-EXECUTE-TEAM and that was reflected in this year's PBC results. So I am miffed as to why I dropped a PBC rating. I thought if your PBC rating drops then your manager supposed to give you an interim review before to discuss the possibility. Is this true? IBM I see had another great profit year so why do we have to suffer despite of it? -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Might as well forget about trying to fight your PBC rating. I know of three co-workers who tried in BTV. HR appoints an "independent and non-partisan" manager to review the circumstances. During one of the interviews, a reviewing manager actually spilled the beans that he went to school with the complainant's second level. IBM management all stick together and of course none of them can manage an ice cream stand in July! By the way, all the employees that I knew that challenged their PBC ratings are now former IBM employees, just like me! -Ben Dover-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 21+; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = TBD; Prior Yr Bonus = 2400; Message = After over 21 years of working for IBM I have received a 3 rating. I have never had a rating below a 2 in my life, until now. The reason stated was I did not have enough overtime. They can have it, I'm looking for the door that will be opening. It should be big enough for me to exit. I will make sure I do what I can to get my name on the list; but not get fired due to cause. -Still Ducking- Alliance Reply: We are sorry for what may happen to you. Your post is just a reminder to all, how much 'loyalty', 'hard work' and 'dedication' to IBM really means to IBM management. We hope things work out for you. We also hope that others see this as a reason to organize to get a contract.
    • Comment 1/21/10: "Alliance reply: got any testimonials? or where? Like, location, division, etc.?" I have ALWAYS been a 2+ and three "1" ratings. I was given a "3" this year and I understand that "2+" is now the old "1". If the story on"bizcovering.com" holds any truth, I expect many firings to come shortly. Anyone hear about a layoff of 7 - 10K on 1/29? -justmenredneckville- Alliance reply: On your 1/29 rumor: Where? Location, division, etc.? Or are you just asking a leading question? We would rather post substantive information than post rumors; however, some times rumors are true. So what other information do you have? (moved from jobcutsreports)
    • Comment 1/21/10: There are a lot of people talking that their PBC's have been drop to 2 from 2+. Also a lot of people getting a 3. More than in the past. IBM is now reducing expenses by lowering ratings. Also, in the future they may just fire the 3's with no severance. We will see. -long gone- (moved from jobcutsreports)
    • Comment 1/21/10: 10+ year DIV 12 got my first PBC=3. Prior years PBC ratings were 1's or 2+s. Was hesitant when I joined mid last year, but very glad I did now - makes me feel like I did my part to change my future. For less than I spend on coffee each month, I help make a difference. For those who think they can wait it out - most probably can't. It's only a matter of time before some BS management evaluation spin pulls your number on a review, and tries to get you to believe that if you work just that little bit harder, your manager will be able to evaluate your contribution higher against your peers (don't believe it as there is usually someone on the team who is scared and working day and night). -anonymous- (moved from jobcutsreports)
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 4; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = 0; Prior Yr Bonus = 0; Message = Got a PBC 3 this year. I got a 2 last year and didn't get a bonus, so I don't see the difference. About 2 years back, I was in a larger team of 11. All but 2 of us were laid off - of some of the people who were laid off, 2 of them were 2+ PBCers. I was a 2 that year as well and they kept me because I made less. I still make the least on my team. Not sure if two PBC 3s will get me fired next year or what. Is that IBM policy? -Bob-
    • Comment 1/21/10: "My manager did comment that 2010 was going to be another tough year". I heard the same thing after my PBC from my manager. I guess that is what IBM tells IBM managers to crow. I heard that 2008 was a tough year and 2009 as well. Then why did IBM make record profits. So why is it always a TOUGH YEAR? Does all IBM management have the same crystal ball and insider info. on the yearly outlook? IBM isn't lying. What you say? Let me explain: it is now always a tough year for the employee since IBM makes sure they suffer each year. This is as sure as the sky is blue now. Conversely, due to yearly record profits with all the stock options and ca$h bonuses galore each year for the fat a$$ middle and upper management and executive ranks, it will never a TOUGH YEAR for them. This is as sure as the sun rises in the east each day. -PBCed-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 25; This Yr PBC = 3; Message = For the first time in my 25 year career with IBM I have been rated a 3. I was told it's not because I'm not doing a good job, it's because relative to my peers the content of my projects are not as complex as theirs. The work I'm doing is what they would like to send overseas. I'm in GBS. -gone soon-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 10; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2; Message = Fed up with the lack of pay rises. Got a new job with a different company and nice raise last week. Good luck to anyone staying - you will need it. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 6; Years Service = 16; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = ???; Prior Yr Bonus = ???; Message = I was asking the question if anyone has heard of layoffs on 1/29. I have had several tell me 7K+ across the board and just wondering what others are hearing. -justmenredneckville-
    • Comment 1/21/10: To Johnny Be Good: PBC payouts have not yet been made, so how can you say you got a $6K bonus this year? Make me question your statements....... -Wondering-
    • Comment 1/21/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 16; Message = another thing my mgr told me is that calibration will be done globally in 2010. So if you're in a "global" team, you get to be compared to peers who may be band 6 in Brazil ... -Going_Global-
    • Comment 1/22/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 10.5; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2+; Message = RA'd 3/27/09. A 2+ for many years. -anonymous-
  • International Comments
    • Comment 1/16/10: Country = USA; Union Affiliate = Alliance Local 1701 Job Title = was I/T Specialist (RA victim) IBM Division = 1K Message = Bravo to the Cepetel union in Argentina standing up to IBM! Let's all hope IBM does not take any retribution and IBM respects their right to organize with their representation! If IBM does take any action against them then all IBM unions need to stand in solidarity with them. -unionYes-
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
Minimize
  • Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth's Profit Rises 30%. By Tess Stynes. Excerpt: UnitedHealth's medical-benefits ratio, or the amount of premiums used to pay patient medical costs, rose to 81.3% from 80.8% a year earlier, but was down from 82% in the prior quarter, as the intensity of the H1N1 virus outbreak subsided. The company said costs as a percentage of premium revenue increased because of growth in high-deductible plans, which tend to have seasonally higher costs in the fourth quarter.
  • New York Times: Centrist, and Yet Not Unified. By David Leonhardt. Excerpts: The bills before Congress are politically partisan and substantively bipartisan. What does that mean? The first part is obvious. All 60 Senate Democrats and independents voted for the bill, and all 40 Republicans voted against it. The second part is the counterintuitive one. Yet it’s true.

    The current versions of health reform are the product of decades of debate between Republicans and Democrats. The bills are more conservative than Bill Clinton’s 1993 proposal. For that matter, they’re more conservative than Richard Nixon’s 1971 plan, which would have had the federal government provide insurance to people who didn’t get it through their job.

    Opponents instead called for expanding the private insurance system. Nixon, then a young California representative, and others suggested government subsidies for people who couldn’t afford insurance, as Paul Starr explains in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Social Transformation of American Medicine.” But the socialism critique was strong enough to defeat Truman’s plan without need for compromise.

    The next push came from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, who tried to cover only the elderly. Critics cried socialism about Medicare, too. “Behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country,” as Reagan, who was then working as the American Medical Association’s spokesman, said in a widely circulated speech. This time, though, big Congressional majorities and sympathy for the elderly let the Democrats prevail.

    Once Nixon was president, the focus switched from expanding access to controlling costs, as you might expect with a Republican. He favored giving doctors incentives to set up prepaid group practices, which had the potential to provide better, cheaper care than the fee-for-service system. Ted Kennedy often said he regretted not making a deal with Nixon on health reform.

    The current bills, for better and worse, are akin to a negotiated settlement to this six-decade debate. It would try to end our status as the only rich country with tens of millions of uninsured people, as liberals have long urged. And it would do so using private insurers and government subsidies, as conservatives prefer. (I realize that some liberals argue that a more liberal bill would have fared better, but the history of the health reform — not to mention this country’s conservative instincts — offers reason for doubt.)

  • Huffington Post: Passing Health Care with a Majority in the Senate Isn't "Jamming" It Through -- It's Democracy. By Robert Creamer. Excerpts: A new 3-D version of Alice In Wonderland will soon be released into the nation's theaters. But you don't have to wait to enter a world where up is down and, as Alice says: "Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

    All you need to do is to enter the world of Washington Conventional Wisdom, where we have become so used to the notion that 60 votes are needed to pass something in the 100-person Senate, that we are now told that passing a health care bill with a simple majority involves "jamming it through." ...

    But to hear some the Republicans, a few conservative Democrats, and portions of the media, you'd think that the idea of passing something with a majority in the Senate is a grave perversion of the Rule of Law -- and would involve "jamming" the legislation through Congress. That formulation could well have come from the Mad Hatter. In democracies, the majorities get to make laws. In a democracy, the Minority tail should not be allowed to wag the Majority dog.

    What is undemocratic is the idea that a minority -- that also happens to represent the insurance industry and other wealthy, vested interests -- can block the will of the majority. During the last few years we've gotten so used to the idea that all major legislation requires 60 votes to pass the Senate that it now sounds "natural." Some people even believe it is in the Constitution. But of course that's not true. The Constitution assumes that both the House and Senate require a majority to conduct business and pass laws.

    Scott Brown was not elected to be the 51st Republican in the Senate. He was elected to be the 41st Republican. That should not entitle Republicans to block every significant piece of legislation -- to block fundamental change. If we allow them to, shame on us.

  • New York Times op-ed: Do the Right Thing. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: A message to House Democrats: This is your moment of truth. You can do the right thing and pass the Senate health care bill. Or you can look for an easy way out, make excuses and fail the test of history. Tuesday’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts special election means that Democrats can’t send a modified health care bill back to the Senate. That’s a shame because the bill that would have emerged from House-Senate negotiations would have been better than the bill the Senate has already passed. But the Senate bill is much, much better than nothing. And all that has to happen to make it law is for the House to pass the same bill, and send it to President Obama’s desk. ...

    Some are urging Democrats to scale back their proposals in the hope of gaining Republican support. But anyone who thinks that would work must have spent the past year living on another planet. The fact is that the Senate bill is a centrist document, which moderate Republicans should find entirely acceptable. In fact, it’s very similar to the plan Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts just a few years ago. Yet it has faced lock-step opposition from the G.O.P., which is determined to prevent Democrats from achieving any successes. Why would this change now that Republicans think they’re on a roll? ...

    Bear in mind that the horrors of health insurance — outrageous premiums, coverage denied to those who need it most and dropped when you actually get sick — will get only worse if reform fails, and insurance companies know that they’re off the hook. And voters will blame politicians who, when they had a chance to do something, made excuses instead. Ladies and gentlemen, the nation is waiting. Stop whining, and do what needs to be done.

News and Opinion Concerning the U.S. Financial Crisis
Minimize "It is a restatement of laissez-faire-let things take their natural course without government interference. If people manage to become prosperous, good. If they starve, or have no place to live, or no money to pay medical bills, they have only themselves to blame; it is not the responsibility of society. We mustn't make people dependent on government- it is bad for them, the argument goes. Better hunger than dependency, better sickness than dependency."

"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.

  • New York Times: How Retirees Saved the Banks. Excerpts: If you’re a retiree who relies on interest income, you know that the tap is running dry. In fact, many investors in certificates of deposits, savings accounts and money market accounts are losing money once taxes and inflation are subtracted from today’s extremely low yields. Less well known is that measly savings yields are central to the government effort to buy time for the banks to earn their way back to health. It is important to rebuild the banks. But more attention must be paid to the collateral damage from that effort.

    Here’s what’s happening: By lowering the short-term interest rate it controls to virtually zero and creating lending programs, the Federal Reserve has enabled banks to borrow cheaply. The banks re-lend that cheap money, but not necessarily to consumers and businesses. They can, for example, lend it to back to the federal government by buying Treasury securities, and earn a nice spread between their cost of funds and Treasury yields. At the same time, banks are awash in deposits, much of it from investors who have pulled their money out of riskier investments. With money rolling in, big banks don’t need to compete with one another for savers, which further depresses the interest on offer.

  • Washington Post: Let Wall Street run wild, without my money. By Allan Sloan. Excerpts: t's bonus time, Wall Street's days of wine and roses, when employees find out how rich they're going to be. But this year's bonus season has morphed into days of whines and poses. The Street, tin-eared, is whining about the people who are enraged by multibillion-dollar bonus pools at a time of 10 percent unemployment and public angst. It's trying to solve its problem by posing as a public-spirited operation (rather than Greedhead Central) by showing off charitable contributions and small-business loan programs. That maneuver can't possibly work.

    In happier times, Wall Street could explain away its obscene compensation levels by saying it needed to pay whatever it took to keep the best and brightest onboard. But that doesn't resonate these days, given that Wall Street's meltdown touched off the Great Recession, the effects of which linger almost everywhere but the Street.

    The fact is that even sound, well-run outfits such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase were saved by taxpayer money after the Great Credit Crunch in mid-2007. Had the Federal Reserve and other central bankers not flooded the world with cheap cash, Goldman and J.P. Morgan's counterparties -- the ones on the other side of their market bets -- would have failed. That would have wiped out Goldman and J.P. Morgan. The $240 billion of TARP money that was lent to banks (most since repaid) was a relatively trivial amount.

    In an ideal world, this year the Street would acknowledge the public largess by having the sense not to pay bonuses of more than six digits -- hey, worker bees need money in order to survive in the high-cost New York City area -- and they would make a nice, voluntary contribution to the government that saved it. But the Street isn't in the gratitude business; it's in the making-money business.

  • New York Times editorial: The Massachusetts Election. Excerpts: There are many theories about the import of Scott Brown’s upset victory in the race for Edward Kennedy’s former Senate seat. To our minds, it is not remotely a verdict on Mr. Obama’s presidency, nor does it amount to a national referendum on health care reform — even though it has upended the effort to pass a reform bill, which Mr. Obama made the centerpiece of his first year.

    Mr. Obama has done many important things on the environment, and in foreign affairs, and in preventing the nation’s banking system from collapsing in the face of a financial crisis he inherited. But he seems to have lost touch with two core issues for Americans: their jobs and their homes.

    Mr. Obama’s challenge is that most Americans are not seeing a recovery. They are seeing 10 percent unemployment and a continuing crisis in the housing market. They have watched as the federal government rescued banks, financial firms and auto companies, but they themselves feel adrift, still awaiting the kind of decisive leadership on jobs and housing — in terms of both style and substance — that Mr. Obama promised in 2008.

    Mr. Obama was right to press for health care reform. But he spent too much time talking to reluctant Democrats and Republicans who never had the slightest intention of supporting him. He sat on the sidelines while the Republicans bombarded Americans with false but effective talk of death panels and a government takeover of their doctors’ offices. And he did not make the case strongly enough that the health care system and the economy are deeply interconnected or explain why Americans should care about this huge issue in the midst of a recession: If they lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance.

    Mr. Obama has not said or done the right thing often enough when it comes to job creation and housing. He appointed an economics team that was entwined with the people and policies that nearly destroyed the economy. He made compromises that resulted in a stimulus bill that wasn’t big enough or properly targeted. Even now, despite a new, rather awkward populist tone, serious relief for homeowners is lacking and financial regulatory reform is in danger of being hijacked by banking lobbyists and partisan politics.

  • Jim Hightower: Giving Proper Thanks to Wall Street. No doubt you'll want to join me in sending a heartfelt "thank you" to Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, John Mack, and Brian Moynihan. They are, respectively, the chief banking whizzes at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America – the four biggest Wall Street firms whose get-rich-quick recklessness brought our financial system to its knees and wrecked our economy. During the last year and a half, these four collected nearly half-a-trillion of our tax dollars to bail out their sinking institutions.

    Despite this public generosity to save them, these too-big-to-fail giants still are not meeting their obligations to us. Instead of making loans that America's cash-starved businesses must have so they can start generating jobs again, the Wall Streeters have gone right back to the same sort of high-risk investment gimmicks that caused our country's economic mess. They've also used our money to take over some smaller banks in order to make themselves even bigger. And – of course! – they've returned to the charming practice of lining their own executive pockets with multimillion-dollar bonuses.

    Meanwhile, we taxpayers are still owed about $120 billion that we doled out to save the financial system – money that should now be going to other budget needs. To get it back, the White House has proposed a new Wall Street tax on the 50 largest banks – most of which are now raking in huge profits from speculative investment schemes that bankers developed by using dirt cheap federal funds.

    Yes, a proper way to thank Blankfein, Dimon, Mack, Moynihan, and others for the way they're treating us is with this tax. But it will be paid by the banks, not by the bankers who did the damage. So, let's also show a little personal gratitude to the greedheaded bank barons by assessing a windfall tax on the absurd bonuses they plan to pay themselves.

If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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