Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links

“News and links for IBM employees, retirees, ex-employees, and persons interested in pension, retirement, off-shoring and corporate governance issues”—The news you won't see on W3!

Our Friends:

Watching IBM Watching IBM Facebook

Quick Links:

Get involved! Insider trading After IBM Lenovo Employee Discount

Previous highlights:

April 2, 2016 March 26, 2016 March 12, 2016 March 5, 2016 February 27, 2016 February 20, 2016 February 13, 2016 February 6, 2016 January 30, 2016 January 16, 2016 December 26, 2015 December 19, 2015 December 12, 2015 December 5, 2015 November 28, 2015 November 21, 2015 November 14, 2015 November 7, 2015 October 31, 2015 October 24, 2015 October 17, 2015 October 10, 2015 October 3, 2015 September 26, 2015 September 19, 2015 September 12, 2015 August 29, 2015 August 22, 2015 August 15, 2015 August 8, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 18, 2015 July 4, 2015 June 27, 2015 June 20, 2015 June 13, 2015 June 6, 2015 May 30, 2015 May 23, 2015 May 16, 2015 May 9, 2015 May 2, 2015 April 25, 2015 April 18, 2015 April 11, 2015 April 4, 2015 March 28, 2015 March 21, 2015 March 14, 2015 March 7, 2015 February 28, 2015 February 21, 2015 February 14, 2015 February 7, 2015 January 31, 2015 January 24, 2015 January 17, 2015 January 10, 2015 January 3, 2015 December 27, 2014 December 20, 2014 December 13, 2014 December 6, 2014 November 29, 2014 November 22, 2014 November 15, 2014 November 8, 2014 November 1, 2014 October 25, 2014 October 18, 2014 October 11, 2014 October 4, 2014 September 27, 2014 September 13, 2014 September 6, 2014 August 30, 2014 August 23, 2014 August 16, 2014 August 9, 2014 August 2, 2014 July 26, 2014 July 19, 2014 July 12, 2014 July 5, 2014 June 28, 2014 June 21, 2014 June 14, 2014 June 7, 2014 May 31, 2014 May 24, 2014 May 17, 2014 May 10, 2014 May 3, 2014 April 26, 2014 April 19, 2014 April 12, 2014 April 5, 2014 March 29, 2014 March 22, 2014 March 15, 2014 March 8, 2014 March 1, 2014 February 22, 2014 February 15, 2014 February 8, 2014 February 1, 2014 January 25, 2014 January 18, 2014 January 11, 2014 January 4, 2014 December 28, 2013 December 21, 2013 December 14, 2013 December 7, 2013 November 30, 2013 November 23, 2013 November 16, 2013 November 9, 2013 November 2, 2013 October 26, 2013 October 19, 2013 October 12, 2013 October 5, 2013 September 28, 2013 September 21, 2013 September 14, 2013 September 7, 2013 August 31, 2013 August 24, 2013 August 17, 2013 August 10, 2013 August 3, 2013 July 27, 2013 July 20, 2013 July 13, 2013 July 6, 2013 June 29, 2013 June 22, 2013 June 15, 2013 June 8, 2013 June 1, 2013 May 25, 2013 May 18, 2013 May 11, 2013 May 4, 2013 April 27, 2013 April 20, 2013 April 13, 2013 April 6, 2013 March 30, 2013 March 23, 2013 March 16, 2013 March 9, 2013 March 2, 2013 February 23, 2013 February 16, 2013 February 9, 2013 February 2, 2013 January 26, 2013 January 19, 2013 January 12, 2013 January 5, 2013 December 29, 2012 December 22, 2012 December 15, 2012 December 8, 2012 December 1, 2012 November 24, 2012 November 17, 2012 November 10, 2012 November 3, 2012 October 27, 2012 October 20, 2012 October 13, 2012 October 6, 2012 September 29, 2012 September 22, 2012 September 15, 2012 September 8, 2012 September 1, 2012 August 25, 2012 August 18, 2012 August 11, 2012 August 4, 2012 July 28, 2012 July 21, 2012 July 14, 2012 July 7, 2012 June 30, 2012 June 23, 2012 June 16, 2012 June 9, 2012 June 2, 2012 May 26, 2012 May 19, 2012 May 12, 2012 May 5, 2012 April 28, 2012 April 21, 2012 April 14, 2012 April 7, 2012 March 31, 2012 March 24, 2012 March 17, 2012 March 10, 2012 March 3, 2012 February 25, 2012 February 18, 2012 February 11, 2012 February 4, 2012 January 28, 2012 January 21, 2012 January 14, 2012 January 7, 2012 December 31, 2011 December 24, 2011 December 17, 2011 December 10, 2011 December 3, 2011 November 26, 2011 November 19, 2011 November 12, 2011 November 5, 2011 October 29, 2011 October 22, 2011 October 15, 2011 October 8, 2011 October 1, 2011 September 24, 2011 September 17, 2011 September 10, 2011 September 3, 2011 August 27, 2011 August 20, 2011 August 13, 2011 August 6, 2011 July 30, 2011 July 23, 2011 July 16, 2011 July 9, 2011 July 2, 2011 June 25, 2011 June 18, 2011 June 11, 2011 June 4, 2011 May 28, 2011 May 21, 2011 May 14, 2011 May 7, 2011 April 30, 2011 April 23, 2011 April 16, 2011 April 9, 2011 April 2, 2011 March 26, 2011 March 19, 2011 March 12, 2011 March 5, 2011 February 26, 2011 February 19, 2011 February 12, 2011 February 5, 2011 January 29, 2011 January 22, 2011 January 15, 2011 January 8, 2011 January 1, 2011 December 25, 2010 December 18, 2010 December 11, 2010 December 4, 2010 November 27, 2010 November 20, 2010 November 13, 2010 November 6, 2010 October 30, 2010 October 23, 2010 October 16, 2010 October 9, 2010 October 2, 2010 September 25, 2010 September 18, 2010 September 11, 2010 September 4, 2010 August 28, 2010 August 21, 2010 August 14, 2010 August 7, 2010 July 31, 2010 July 24, 2010 July 17, 2010 July 10, 2010 July 3, 2010 June 26, 2010 June 19, 2010 June 12, 2010 June 5, 2010 May 29, 2010 May 22, 2010 May 15, 2010 May 8, 2010 May 1, 2010 April 24, 2010 April 17, 2010 April 10, 2010 April 3, 2010 March 27, 2010 March 20, 2010 March 13, 2010 March 6, 2010 February 27, 2010 February 20, 2010 February 13, 2010 February 6, 2010 January 30, 2010 January 23, 2010 January 16, 2010 January 9, 2010 January 2, 2010 December 26, 2009 December 19, 2009 December 12, 2009 December 5, 2009 November 28, 2009 November 21, 2009 November 14, 2009 November 7, 2009 October 31, 2009 October 24, 2009 October 17, 2009 October 10, 2009 October 3, 2009 September 26, 2009 September 19, 2009 September 12, 2009 September 5, 2009 August 29, 2009 August 22, 2009 August 15, 2009 August 8, 2009 August 1, 2009 July 25, 2009 July 18, 2009 July 11, 2009 July 4, 2009 June 27, 2009 June 20, 2009 June 13, 2009 June 6, 2009 May 30, 2009 May 23, 2009 May 16, 2009 May 9, 2009 May 2, 2009 April 25, 2009 April 18, 2009 April 11, 2009 April 4, 2009 March 28, 2009 March 21, 2009 March 14, 2009 March 7, 2009 February 28, 2009 February 21, 2009 February 14, 2009 February 7, 2009 January 31, 2009 January 24, 2009 January 17, 2009 January 10, 2009 January 03, 2009 December 27, 2008 December 20, 2008 December 13, 2008 December 6, 2008 November 29, 2008 November 22, 2008 November 15, 2008 November 8, 2008 November 1, 2008 October 25, 2008 October 18, 2008 October 11, 2008 October 4, 2008 September 27, 2008 September 20, 2008 September 13, 2008 September 6, 2008 August 30, 2008 August 23, 2008 August 16, 2008 August 9, 2008 August 2, 2008 July 26, 2008 July 19, 2008 July 12, 2008 July 5, 2008 June 28, 2008 June 21, 2008 June 14, 2008 June 7, 2008 May 31, 2008 May 24, 2008 May 17, 2008 May 10, 2008 2008 Stock Meeting April 26, 2008 April 19, 2008 April 12, 2008 April 5, 2008 March 29, 2008 March 22, 2008 March 15, 2008 March 8, 2008 March 1, 2008 February 16, 2008 February 9, 2008 February 2, 2008 January 26, 2008 January 19, 2008 January 12, 2008 January 5, 2008 December 29, 2007 December 22, 2007 December 15, 2007 December 8, 2007 December 1, 2007 November 24, 2007 November 17, 2007 November 10, 2007 November 3, 2007 October 27, 2007 October 20, 2007 October 13, 2007 October 6, 2007 September 29, 2007 September 22, 2007 September 15, 2007 September 8, 2007 September 1, 2007 August 25, 2007 August 18, 2007 August 11, 2007 August 4, 2007 July 28, 2007 July 21, 2007 July 14, 2007 July 7, 2007 June 30, 2007 June 23, 2007 June 16, 2007 June 9, 2007 June 2, 2007 May 26, 2007 May 19, 2007 May 12, 2007 May 5, 2007 2007 Stock Meeting April 21, 2007 April 14, 2007 April 7, 2007 March 31, 2007 March 24, 2007 March 17, 2007 March 10, 2007 March 3, 2007 February 24, 2007 February 17, 2007 February 10, 2007 February 3, 2007 January 27, 2007 January 20, 2007 January 13, 2007 January 6, 2007 December 30, 2006 December 23, 2006 December 16, 2006 December 9, 2006 December 2, 2006 November 25, 2006 November 18, 2006 November 11, 2006 November 4, 2006 October 28, 2006 October 21, 2006 October 14, 2006 October 7, 2006 September 30, 2006 September 23, 2006 September 16, 2006 September 9, 2006 September 2, 2006 August 26, 2006 August 19, 2006 August 12, 2006 August 5, 2006 July 29, 2006 July 22, 2006 July 15, 2006 July 8, 2006 July 1, 2006 June 24, 2006 June 17, 2006 June 10, 2006 June 3, 2006 May 27, 2006 May 20, 2006 May 13, 2006 May 6, 2006 2006 Stock Meeting April 22, 2006 April 15, 2006 April 8, 2006 April 1, 2006 March 25, 2006 March 18, 2006 March 11, 2006 March 4, 2006 February 25, 2006 February 18, 2006 February 11, 2006 February 4, 2006 January 28, 2006 January 21, 2006 January 14, 2006 January 7, 2006 December 31, 2005 December 24, 2005 December 17, 2005 December 10, 2005 December 03, 2005 November 26, 2005 November 19, 2005 November 12, 2005 November 5, 2005 October 29, 2005 October 22, 2005 October 15, 2005 October 8, 2005 October 1, 2005 September 24, 2005 September 17, 2005 September 10, 2005 September 3, 2005 August 27, 2005 August 20, 2005 August 13, 2005 August 6, 2005 July 30, 2005 July 23, 2005 July 16, 2005 July 9, 2005 July 2, 2005 June 25, 2005 June 18, 2005 June 11, 2005 June 4, 2005 May 28, 2005 May 21, 2005 May 14, 2005 May 7, 2005 April 30, 2005 April 23, 2005 April 16, 2005 April 9, 2005 April 2, 2005 March 26, 2005 March 19, 2005 March 12, 2005 March 5, 2005 February 26, 2005 February 19, 2005 February 12, 2005 February 5, 2005 January 29, 2005 January 22, 2005 January 15, 2005 January 8, 2005 January 1, 2005 December 25, 2004 December 18, 2004 December 11, 2004 December 4, 2004 November 27, 2004 November 20, 2004 November 13, 2004 November 6, 2004 October 30, 2004 October 23, 2004 October 16, 2004 October 9, 2004 October 2, 2004 September 25, 2004 September 18, 2004 September 11, 2004 September 4, 2004 August 28, 2004 August 21, 2004 August 14, 2004 August 7, 2004 July 31, 2004 July 24, 2004 July 17, 2004 July 10, 2004 July 3, 2004 June 26, 2004 June 19, 2004 June 5, 2004 May 29, 2004 May 22, 2004 May 15, 2004 May 8, 2004 2004 Stock Meeting April 24, 2004 April 10, 2004 April 3, 2004 March 27, 2004 March 20, 2004 March 13, 2004 March 6, 2004 February 28, 2004 February 21, 2004 February 14, 2004 February 7, 2004 February 1, 2004 January 18, 2004 December 27, 2003 December 20, 2003 December 13, 2003 December 6, 2003 November 29, 2003 November 22, 2003 November 15, 2003 November 8, 2003 November 1, 2003 October 25, 2003 October 18, 2003 October 11, 2003 October 4, 2003 September 27, 2003 September 20, 2003 September 13, 2003 September 6, 2003 August 30, 2003 August 23, 2003 August 16, 2003 August 9, 2003 Pension Lawsuit Win July 26, 2003 July 19, 2003 July 12, 2003 July 5, 2003 June 28, 2003 June 21, 2003 June 14, 2003 June 7, 2003 May 31, 2003 May 24, 2003 May 17, 2003 May 10, 2003 2003 Stock Meeting April 26, 2003 April 19, 2003 April 12, 2003 April 5, 2003 March 29, 2003 March 22, 2003 March 15, 2003 March 8, 2003 March 1, 2003 February 22, 2003 February 15, 2003 February 8, 2003 February 1, 2003 January 25, 2003 January 18, 2003 January 11, 2003 January 4, 2003 December 28, 2002 December 21, 2002 December 14, 2002 December 7, 2002 November 30, 2002 November 23, 2002 November 16, 2002 November 9, 2002 November 2, 2002 October 26, 2002 October 19, 2002 October 12, 2002 October 5, 2002 September 28, 2002 September 21, 2002 September 14, 2002 September 7, 2002 August 31, 2002 August 24, 2002 August 17, 2002 August 10, 2002 August 3, 2002 July 27, 2002 July 20, 2002 July 13, 2002 July 6, 2002 June 29, 2002 June 22, 2002 June 15, 2002 June 8, 2002 June 1, 2002 May 25, 2002 May 18, 2002 May 11, 2002 2002 Stock Meeting April 27, 2002 April 20, 2002 April 13, 2002 April 6, 2002 March 30, 2002 March 23, 2002 March 16, 2002 March 9, 2002 March 2, 2002 February 23, 2002 February 16, 2002 February 9, 2002 February 2, 2002 January 26, 2002 January 19, 2002 January 12, 2002 January 5, 2002 December 29, 2001 December 22, 2001 December 15, 2001 December 8, 2001 December 1, 2001 November 24, 2001 November 17, 2001 November 10, 2001 November 3, 2001 October 27, 2001 October 20, 2001 October 13, 2001 October 6, 2001 September 29, 2001 September 22, 2001 September 15, 2001 September 8, 2001 September 1, 2001 August 25, 2001 August 18, 2001 August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—February 6, 2010

  • Age Distribution of IBM's STG 2009 resource action (PDF). Excerpts: On the morning of Tuesday, January 27, 2009, there were a total of 19,226 employees in the IBM Systems & Technology Group (STG) in the United States. By the end of that day, 1,213 of those employees (or 6.3%) were given notice that they were being laid off. IBM did this quietly (without public announcement) executing this as part of a series of what IBM calls “Resource Actions” (RA) during January of 2009 affecting STG and other divisions. IBM did not announce this since they considered this “not a material event.” I would argue that laying off 6.3% of a division of almost 20,000 employees is a material event.

    Included in the document package given to every person terminated is a list of the number of employees cut by job title, and the age of each person cut – and in addition there is a longer list of employees NOT cut, also with ages and by job title.

    This report analyses the age data in this report. It is a factual analysis. I use only the data included in this report, do not import other data and do not overlay subjective analysis. I do not speculate on how IBM chose employees for termination. I am not claiming here that IBM chose employees for layoff based on age. There may have been other reasons – but the end result is that older workers were laid off. I reserve my personal opinion for another report. ...

    On the morning of January 27, the average age of the 19,226 STG employees was 45.6 years old. This is a seasoned, experienced workforce. The average age of the 1,213 employees laid off was 49.5 years old, or almost 4 full years older than the average. Of the 1,213 laid off, 727 of them were 50 years old or older, or 60% of the cuts. The net effect of the layoff was to make the STG workforce younger. After the layoff, the average age of an STG employee is now 45.4 years old – marginally lower.

    A look at the distribution of the overall numbers shows a more startling picture. The chart below shows the percentage of employees in each age group (in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc.) that were laid off. In round numbers, about 4% or workers in the age groups of 20’s, 30’s and 40’s were laid off. The number jumps up to 8% of workers in their 50’s, and jumps up again to almost 18% (17.60% to be precise) of workers in the 60’s. There is a slight decline then for those in their 70’s. ...

    A brief comment on the layoff numbers in management: There were 154 staff with the title of “Director.” Only 3 of those 154 were laid off, or less than 2%. There were 101 staff with the title of “Vice President.” Only 1 of those 101 were laid off, or about 1%. The percentages of management level employees that were cut is much lower (1 to 2%) than the rate at which staff level employees were cut (about 7%). This contradicts with the pattern of laying off older workers, since management workers are typically older than the average.

    My messages to different groups:

    • IBM Employees: IBM is cutting older staff, for whatever reason. If you are young, in your 20’s or 30’s, odds are you are fairly safe. If you are in management, you are relatively safe. If you are over 50, you have a greatly increased risk of being laid off, no matter how safe you may think your position is. Prepare yourself as if you are on the list of those next to be laid off.
    • IBM Employees laid off: You may have been discriminated against based on age, especially if you were in a small group with highly specialized skills (in other words, very few people could do your job, and in that group you were the oldest). When you consult an attorney regarding the separation agreement, ask them about this, and also ask them about the WARN act that IBM may have violated by not giving you 60 days notice.
    • Prospective IBM Employees: If you are considering joining IBM, you should plan that your IBM career will end at age 50. Plan your retirement savings accordingly. Plan your IBM career accordingly. Make sure you have an idea of what you would like to do once you are away from IBM.
    • IBM Customers: IBM is purging experienced workers. The level of service you will receive will be from less experienced domestic IBM Employees and will be affected accordingly. This does not factor in the other consideration that IBM is at the same time offshoring jobs, so your level of service will also be affected by receiving more service from foreign workers who are also likely to be less experienced, have time zone, language and customs knowledge challenges.
    • IBM Investors: IBM is cutting older workers, thus costs will go down which should have the short term affect of increasing earnings. However, IBM will be hurt in the long run since they are purging their most experienced workers. I believe that the smart competition will scoop up these top talent experienced workers, which will hurt IBM’s competitiveness.
    • Federal and Local Governments: IBM continues to hold out its hand for corporate welfare from governments in the form of tax breaks and direct (cash) business investments. The latest request is from Sam Palmisano to Barrack Obama suggesting that the government buy IBM products and services. In return, IBM promises to create jobs. Governments, especially states, and especially the State of New York, should understand that IBM is not only reducing staff levels in the US, but they are reducing the average salary by letting older workers go. Reduced salaries means reduced tax income for the state. Reduced staffing levels means reduced tax income for the states. States should rethink their tax breaks and cash handouts to IBM.
    • Federal regulators and law enforcement: Age discrimination is against the law. Do your job and investigate IBM to see if they are discriminating against employees based on age. The data shows that for whatever reason, older workers are being laid off.
  • Philippine Star: IBM opens 2nd global delivery center in Cebu. By Ehda M. Dagooc. Excerpts: Technology solutions giant IBM has opened its second Global Delivery Center (GDC) in the Philippines, in Cebu, taking advantage of the province’s abundant supply of high-value Information Technology (IT) talents. The Cebu GDC site for Application Services (AS) will complement the Manila’s GDC operations that will focus on providing support service and product development for package, web technology, and other consumer application product developments. Initially, Cebu site will focus on capabilities in Java, testing and groupware, said Lula Mohanty IBM director for GDC Philippines.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "No Thanks!" by "sby_willie". Full excerpt: The cost cutting pettiness continues in IBM in America. The IBM Thanks! program has been discontinued as of Feb 1, 2010. There's no mention of any replacement. Does anyone believe any justification for doing away with it now? If you work hard for IBM all you get is an e-Card. So it's only now the "thought that counts"? I guess IBM doesn't have any funding for it despite record quarterly profits. I also guess they don't feel so strongly about rewarding teaming anymore either.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: No Thanks!" by "Stephen D". Full excerpt: A current IBMer friend sent me this: They didn't even have the courtesy to send out an email to even those folks that had unredeemed awards. I had 2 open awards and was able to redeem mine. I know folks that lost theirs because there is nothing left. In the meantime, execs have cashed in millions on stock options and we still carry 'consultants' on the payroll with names like Zeitler, Donofrio, and Wladasky-Berger. So, big BUMMER!
  • LinkedIn: The Greater IBM Connection: Another employee relationship centric program bites the dust at IBM. (Editor's note: LinkedIn has apparently removed this discussion from its board since these comments were captured—the link shown here no longer works.) Selected comments follow:
    • I was sad to learn that IBM has eliminated the Thanks! Award program. This program allowed IBM employees to recognize and thank each other by granting them a gift (think shirt, cooler, golf tees). It would be interesting to see the annual cost of this program (and indeed cost of all employee centric programs) vs. the continuing huge bonuses paid out to the "leaders" at the top of the organization. How long can IBM continue to retain its brand while continuing to make decisions that pull the plug on employee morale? How many happy IBMers do you know?
    • Let see, out of the 200-300 IBMers I know world wide.. I don't thing any of them would say they are happy at work and most would say they are just waiting for their layoff notice as it seems to be inevitable if you work in a G7 country.
    • As far as Thanks! awards go.. there was probably more cost in the administration of the program than the total cost of all the merchandise ever given away. A cheaper alternative would have been to just give a $25 certificate to Amazon.com, which probably would have cut the administrative overhead for the life of the program to less than the cost of the merchandise.
    • Well, I had mixed feelings about the program. I liked the idea to be able to express appreciation to someone who did great work. But given the 3 item limit, the good guys were maxed out in the first few months of the year so I would end up with a lot of items to give but not able to reward the people I want. So at the end given the giving cap was much higher then the limit on the received items most of the people would get their 3 anyway and instead of being a reward it became just another expected thing like free office supplies. So in my opinion the program was not really achieving it's intended goals but it's sad that instead of working on improving the program they decided to end it. Working at IBM makes you feel like being a tiny part in a huge machine and that program was one of a few human touches in that place.
    • The way we keep our Market Leadership and provide value to share owners is by showing high profit margins. In a tough economy where gaining share and selling more and more is really difficult, the company has to cut expenses every where possible. One way is to get rid of people - especially expensive people. Another way is to make them cost less. I hate losing good programs, but I'm happy to keep my job and see others keep theirs. I'll do a better job this year by telling colleagues "Thanks!". This is extremely weird - how is this in Jobs vs. Discussions?!?
    • There is another way to look. Just think about it. Does IBM think of employees as of valuable assets or as of liabilities? In old days when IBM was trying to attract the best and brightest it had to compete with other employers to get and retain top talent. So it had a lot of programs to bring valuable assets in because having better people would raise it above competitors.

      Now the situation is different. IBM is really treating employees as liabilities. IBM wants to compete not by having better people and providing services no one else can do (like developing supercomputers for example), but by providing the same commodity grade services cheaper than others.

      That is a totally different game. Now IBM needs cheaper employees and a lot of them. So if you think from that prospective, the employee is described by one parameter now - cost, and it'd better be below market.

      Some companies have done that with a great success - look at Walmart for example. So IBM might have bright future ahead. But it will be a different company and the kind of employees who brought IBM 5 Nobel prizes will probably instead of being the greatest assets will be the biggest drag on the bottom line.

    • Well when free coffee can be stopped, it was just a matter of time when they stopped this !
    • During my time spent as a prisoner of the borg, I noticed one thing... I could take a client(s) to a $500.00 dinner without a blink of the eye. I wanted to get them golf balls, shirts, etc ... God help me, some bean counter would come charging in if I tried to expense it.

      Just don't try and explain that $100.00 in SPIFs would make more of an impression than a single nice meal that they would forget in a week. (T-shirts last much longer and they become walking bill boards.) Naw, that concept doesn't make sense.

      With respect to the reward program, from what I saw, it was never really used by many as an actual reward. It was a way for employees who were overworked and under thanked by management to get SPIFs as long as they and their friends 'gamed' the system. How many times did you see an IM where a friend wanted you to spiff him, he'd spiff someone else and that person would spiff you? LOL... I can't be the only one. Don't get me wrong. I had a lot of my team pull customer's asses out of the fire.

      At IBM, you're a number. Your IBM serial number, your band level... etc . And your management is trained to think that you can easily be replaced.

      The loss of this program is just another cost cutting measure so that IBM can make their record breaking numbers and line the exec's bonus programs before Sam retires.

      Sorry for being cynical, and no, it's not that I have a grudge against IBM. Heck a lot of people I work with were at one time within IBM. Still have friends inside the borg.

    • It's interesting to see how much IBM has changed by reading the comments. In the past IBM had some common values which were shared by everyone. Those values were different, maybe weird, but they kept the company united and eventually helped IBM to achieve some amazing results.

      Now IBM is becoming very fragmented. The Thanks! award is one example. I did notice that in the US it's quite common to see people in December who didn't get all their 3 awards and when I tried to send Thanks! to someone in India I discovered they all had the limit maxed out way in the 1st qtr or the year. Another example is cost cutting. In IBM the mentality was let's create an environment where people can achieve something no other company can. It was not always about making employees life easier (like strict dress code in the old days), but it had a purpose to raise IBM above the competition by doing better job.

      Now looks like a lot of people in the countries where IBM is expanding quickly joined a very different company based on cost cutting and volume. What sounds shocking for the IBM old timers in the US is very natural to the people in India.

      Another example. In the US it was common to join IBM for life or many many years. It was viewed as a long time commitment from both side. So when IBM is laying off thousands of top performers in the US it's really mind blowing for the people in the US. And people in India probably don't see it as a big deal at all.

      I'm not saying one way is better than another but it's just amazing how polarized the company is.

      When people think of IBM transformation it used to be something like a tree dropping leaves in fall but turning green in spring so the same people were becoming a part of something bigger and stronger. What I see happening now is more like annual flowers where old culture is spreading the seeds and dying off and the new plants will bloom in the new places. To the outsider it will look like not much changed but for the old flowers it meant dying off and for the new ones it means a fresh short life.

    • I'm sure the layoffs of 10k people last year had something to do with this. 10k layoffs x 12 gifts x 25$ a piece. I know every round of layoffs those fortunate enough to be let go start handing out the Thanks! awards.
    • I would say the Thank You program was a glimmer of the old IBM in which employees felt like a family. That is not to say they were all nice to each other, but we had a set of principles drummed into our heads. From those I am still in contact with, IBM is now just another Company, no better or worse than any other.
  • JobVent: Working at IBM — Reviews by Employees. Selected reviews follow:
      • From Various, incl. Europe — 01/31/2010. My ratings are based on about the last 5 years of the 35 I had spent with IBM. I was forced out in 2004 because I was fire-proof and had the "nasty" habit of telling the emperor he had no clothes. I was very happy to get a pay-off to leave.

        But I'm not going to spend time explaining my ratings. I want to point out to you current IBM employees that your whining and complaining is completely POINTLESS if you just keep doing it on sites - like this one and others, notably those connected with Alliance@IBM. I keep reading comments about IBM being "unfair" and "heartless"; about IBM taking advantage of people, etc, etc.

        What I don't read is letter after letter saying "I want a union, I am joining Alliance, I am urging all my co-workers to do the same". Or letters like, "I have contacted my congressman/woman. I have let them know that I (and others like me) will NOT vote for any politician who does not get OVERTLY serious about the job drain in this country (off-shoring), nor will I/we vote for anyone who keeps handing companies like IBM tax breaks and incentives that are NOT an investment in this country.

        In other words......"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" Get off your butts, people. Do you really think all the blogging and venting us going to change anything? Stand up on your hind legs and ACT! How obvious does it have to be that you're not alone and that there are thousands and thousands of IBMer's who are in the same boat. Organize! Act! But do some damned thing besides the endless (and useless) whining.

      • From texas — 01/31/2010. I had no choice; I was sucked into their machine as a cog. The only thing I like about working for this company is that I am employed and therefore able to keep a roof over my head.
      • From New York — 01/31/2010. I'm very happy working for Big Blue. Less than a year hired, and could not be happier.
      • From Distrito Federal — 02/05/2010. Pay: also in the BRIC countries IBM pays very bad. I've been working there for 9 years, and my salary increase is in average, 10% annually (last year was 3%, this year will be 0%). I was hired in a scholarship and always been an IBM employee, not vendor. Mi ex-colleagues prefer to go outside and look for better salaries. MS pays you in average 3x, Oracle, 2x, SAP 2x, EMC 3x, and so on. I am a Senior Sales Representative. The millions Ì have made for IBM these years (nearly a hundred) does not match in anything versus my commission payments. I forgot to say that I am also a Top Talent, always been evaluated with 1, and 2+ and I have seen no differentiation with that...

        Respect: Maybe because of the mexican culture, I have seen always respect between colleagues.

        Benefits: IBM has been constantly reducing everything that seems to be an additional cost. Job Security: If you perform bad in a tough year, even if you were a Top Performer in the past years do not doubt it... you will get fired. IBM's memory is really short.

        Work Life Balance: If you apply to Sales... how can I say this... there is no balance in anything.

        Career/ Potential Growth: What I have seen these years is simple. If you already work for IBM and you are not well paid, you better quit, find a job with some competitor and remain there for a couple of years, and then return to IBM. Your salary will magically double or triple... in two years!!! I have seen that more than once. The last one with a very close friend of mine.

        Location: Average...

        Co Worker Competence: In IBM we say: "Do not try to kill a bug... It can become your boss" ... Many low profiled, inexperienced, and poor performers, can be managers with a little help from their friends.

        Bureaucracy and processes is killing IBM.

        Work environment: Full of stress... You do not have a name in there. Your name is the sales quota you sign for.

        Regards, Mr. "10MillionUSD" Perez Martinez.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re:HP Exedous" by "nyjints5". Full excerpt: You made an interesting point that in 2003, 76,000 employee's had fewer than 9 years of service with IBM. That says those 76K employee's were all acquired/hired at least by 1994 or later. I've been wondering about something related to that. For an active employee to really be able to appreciate what the term "the good IBM" means, they would have to have at least 20 years of service with the company. IMHO, anyone hired after 1990 does not really know what it was like to work for "your fathers IBM".

    I think IBM is very aware of the fact that it's the employee's with at least 20 years of service that are the most pissed off at IBM. And I think they probably know exactly how many active employee's fall into that category. That in turn should give them an approximate idea of when there will no longer be any active employee's remaining in that category. Of course, IBM can and might take actions to move that timeframe closer to 2010. When IBM gets to that point, that's a good thing for them, but I'm not sure if it's good for organizing a union.

    So how much longer does anyone think it will be when there aren't any more employee's that remember yesteryears "good" IBM? It's probably not as far away as many people think it is.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Don't drink water at IBM site, workers told. By Craig Wolf. Excerpts: People working at IBM Corp.'s East Fishkill semiconductor complex have been told not to drink the water as the company and Dutchess County's water agency investigate why lead has shown up in it. Too-high levels of lead have prompted IBM to provide alternate sources of drinking water. Several thousand people work at the site, including tenants, vendors, contractors and others.
  • People for the American Way: The Citizens United Decision and How to Fix It. By Michael B. Keegan, President, People For the American Way. Excerpts: Last week, the United States Supreme Court upended our political system with its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The decision, in which the Court ruled that Congress was prohibited from limiting the influence of corporations in elections for public office, represents an unprecedented attack on the core democratic values of the Constitution, and all of us, progressive, centrist and conservative alike, should be deeply concerned about its implications.

    The decision overturns more than a century of laws regulating the influence of corporations in elections. Not only is the decision a radical departure from longstanding precedent, it defies common sense: it argues that corporations and American citizens have identical rights under the Constitution. As Justice Stevens pointed out in his dissent, corporations are not people. They can not vote, they can not hold office, and they should not be allowed to pour billions of dollars into our system of government.

    Thanks to the Supreme Court, though, they'll be able to do just that. In fact, even foreign corporations may well be able to spend unlimited sums of money to support or defeat candidates-something flesh-and-blood non-citizens are still banned from doing.

    If Americans are frustrated now by the corporate influence in the system, wait until they see what's next.

    In the next few months, for example, Congress will be asked to enact tough new regulations on the banking industry-a recommendation supported by experts across the ideological spectrum. The legislation might be good for the American people, but bad for big banks. For a given Congressperson, a vote against the legislation might lead to some angry phone calls from engaged constituents, but a vote for the legislation could unleash tens of millions of dollars of attack ads. If that number sounds exaggerated, consider that Goldman Sachs posted annual profits of $13.4 billion dollars on the same day the decision was handed down.

  • New York Times: Suit Points to Guest Worker Program Flaws. By Julia Preston. Excerpts Immigration authorities worked closely with a marine oil-rig company in Mississippi to discourage protests by temporary guest workers from India over their job conditions, including advising managers to send some workers back to India, according to new testimony in a federal lawsuit against the company, Signal International.

    The cooperation between the company and federal immigration agents is recounted in sworn depositions by Signal managers who were involved when tensions in its shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., erupted into a public clash in March 2007.

    Since then, hundreds of the Indian workers have brought a civil rights lawsuit against the company, claiming they were victims of human trafficking and labor abuse. Signal International is fighting the suit and has sued American and Indian recruiters who contracted with the workers in India. The company claims the recruiters misled it — and the workers — about the terms of the work visas that brought them to this country.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
  • Job Cut Reports
    • Comment 1/31/10: I had 20 years service with IBM, the highest paid and most senior SSR in my branch. In the past 7 years ,working for my last manager, he always gave me a 2 rating saying I was overpaid as it is. Then on the year of my layoff, I got a 3 rating and a few months later, my notice followed. My manager told me that one of the reasons I was let go was because I never got anything over a 2, The 1's I got working for my other manager didn't count.

      Now that I'm gone, my friend who still works at the same branch just got a 3 rating in Jan. He happens to now be one of the 2 highest paid SSR in the branch (now that I'm gone). This is no coincidence, The contract workers and lower paid technicians are getting the better ratings while the more experienced are getting the shaft. When they cut, they start from the top and work their way down so the cuts add up to more money saved. And I bet my ex manager is getting bonuses and 1 ratings by keeping salary costs down.

      I'm glad I'm out of IBM now that I found a job in the medical sector where they treat their employees much better. If I have a message for the more senior non-management IBM employees, it would be to start looking elsewhere now and find a better job before you get the axe. Because all your years at IBM don't mean a thing. -Gone_in_09-

    • Comment 2/01/10: I heard Friday that a Territory Manager in the Northeast announced to his team that Feb 3 there is an RA. He announced to his team that all of them were safe. I however just got an invitation for a phone call at 4pm on Tuesday Feb 2nd.... -Annonymous-
    • Comment 2/01/10: -Gone_in_09- You are correct in your summation of how you were treated. It's all cost driven and political. The 3's are only their way of qualifying you for the next reduction in force. It's a tidy system leadership is more than willing to enforce. -soon to be Gone_in_10-
    • Comment 2/01/10: Another 10% "work reduction" for CDI workers for the five weeks starting 1 February 2010. In effect, another 10% pay cut on top of the 13% we took more than a year ago. -CDI_Drone-
    • Comment 2/02/10: To ALL predicting RA's: Anyone who has worked for IBM for any serious amount of time, knows that management NEVER announces an RA to a dept or team prior to the actual RA. Managers have to sign many docs, some stating they cannot disclose on the time the RA is going down. Posting "rumored" info is fine. Please avoid posting RA dates as if they are fact, when you're not sure. It hurts the credibility of the site. -papa-
    • Comment 2/03/10: To ALL predicting RA's: Anyone who has worked for IBM for any serious amount of time, knows that management NEVER announces an RA to a dept or team prior to the actual RA. Managers have to sign many docs, some stating they cannot disclose on the time the RA is going down. Posting "rumored" info is fine. Please avoid posting RA dates as if they are fact, when you\'re not sure. It hurts the credibility of the site. -papa- We all know that the rumor mill most times is true. Someone at a meeting asked a director if it was true that we were closing shop and merging with another group (We all heard it and some from mgt. in the bar). He said they weren't even considering it. 2 weeks later he announced the merger and the closing of our group. Human nature is to talk about things not keep secret. Also there are other signs people can see when these things happen -SamtheMan-
    • Comment 2/03/10: papa, you can't state that it never happens. I've witnessed a manager sit on a call and lay out exactly when an RA is going to happen and roughly how many will be hit and then go on to suggest we *ALL* start thinking about future careers. He finished it up by saying he'll deny ever sharing the information till the day he dies. -YayIBM-
    • Comment 2/04/10: Those of you who are afraid the statement of a date ruins credibility should stop reading right and skip to the next post. I can state with 100% certainty there is an RA coming up that will have a substantial number of ITD folks leaving on 5/31. That is all I can share at this time as any further disclosure could reveal my identity. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/04/10: This comments section is for the posting of specific information of Job cuts, Resource Actions and Firings. Stating that there is a 100% certainty of an RA coming is like saying the sun will rise. Since IBM is quite clear that annual RA's are it's business model. The post is like the ones who found better jobs, better pay, more respect for the individual, yet never say what company they work for. -Internal Accounts Are Dead-
    • Comment 2/04/10: Since 2005, a lot of the my friends and colleagues have been let go. Like so many others, they were good people, doing a good job, but their jobs were shipped overseas or consolidate on a couple of poor souls that were left to deal with the workload they left behind. I'm at the point now where I just want to know when the RA's are going to start. I'm praying that it's soon as I expect that I'll be included in this one.

      We all know that the potential is there for anyone to be let go at anytime, so knowing that will happen, there's only two choices, sign up with Alliance IBM and take back IBM like they did in Argentina, or work on an exit strategy (or both). The only enticement to stay with this company is if there's a union representing us. That's the only way IBM will become the company it once was, one that valued its employees and their talents, not one that bids out the work to the lowest country with no experience.

      It's a poor way to run a company, and it really does hurt the stockholders because they could be making more money per share each quarter. Until IBM changes, it's just going to be a cash cow for the execs, with a Board policy to drive away the most talented workforce in the world, by forcing everyone to chase the now illusive carrot, and taking away any monetary incentive to remain loyal to IBM. For those that think they're in a safe place, think again. I was there once... the RA's will find you or your team, department or organization. So what are you going to do now to prepare for then? -Anonymous-

    • Comment 2/05/10: A friend of mine this week that works at IBM East Fishkill NY manufacturing. Building 330 was told by His manager that he has to get rid of another eight employees. It appears that they are getting rid of their employees in drabbles and drapes! -Who's next?-
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 1/30/10: Let's all respond to the State of the Union address. Here is my post at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.

      Subject: I have a policy comment on Job Creation

      Dear President Obama,

      I voted for you and supported your campaign in 2008. I agree wholeheartedly with this statement from 2010 State of the Union address: "It is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America." PLEASE APPLY THIS POLICY TO IBM!

      IBM has been reducing its US staff for years:

      • 2005: 133,789
      • 2006: 127,000
      • 2007: 121,000
      • 2008: 115,000
      • 2009: 105,000

      In 2009 alone, IBM terminated more than 10,000 US employees.

      Yet IBM continues to hire offshore. IBM’s 2009 hires were:

      • Asia/Pacific: 13,376
      • CEEMEA: 3,988
      • Europe: 2,923
      • India: 18,873
      • Japan: 868
      • Latin America: 7,112
      • USA: 3,514
      • Canada: 820

      ...while IBM’s CEO Sam Palmisano was receiving personal compensation of over $20 million per year and asking for billions of stimulus dollars! I would appreciate a reply. -Gorya-

    • Comment 1/30/10: Had pbc review over the phone. Was told basically you're competing with the best of the best (those that are left). You came in just below that razor thin line that divides 2s from 2+s. Try harder (if you're around next year) and you might cross that line. Either way, there isn't any kind of monetary recompense as I did not walk on water on the surface of the moon at high noon while singing Sammy's praises. Meanwhile, some landed resources protested and threatened to tender their resignations if their ratings were not improved from 2 to 2+ as they were truly not US resources but rather GRS who were told they *had* to come to the US. They were less than pleased that they were considered on par with US resources. Meanwhile, they complain about the hours that they have to work because the client wants face to face contact while offshore refuses to work their third shift. Fiction I was told had to be believable. This cannot be made up. -Georgie_Poorwell-
    • Comment 1/31/10: I continue to feel sorry for those folks who have less than 30 years service in IBM and are less than 55 years old. Most have no clue what they will or have lost in future retirement benefits. But one day when they are retired they will lament that they were naive and didn't do anything like organizing to try to reverse the trend or try to change it. At least in my retirement I can say as an Alliance member I at least tried to do something about trying to change it even though I was RAed before 30 years service and before I was 55 years old without even a pension and retirement medical for my IBM labors. -sadntrue-
    • Comment 1/31/10: Obama says it will deny tax breaks but it says nothing of stimulus money denial. If IBM gets more stimulus money and that covers the loss of the tax breaks IBM still would come out on top. The more likely action if Obama denies tax breaks to IBM is then IBM will make sure the USA economy suffers more. IBM will then start knocking down underutilized buildings like they have done in the past to lower any property taxes they have to pay. When are you all going to realize that IBM is not a USA company at all and it only exists for the greedy good of the elite IBM middle management on up and the rich stockholders (which most of the middle management on up are also). IBM will do all it can with its vast political lobby influence to get exactly what it wants: continued tax breaks with stimulus money. -anonymous-
    • Comment 1/31/10: Just heard that IBM Canada sold off its parts department resulting in closing down it's 14th Ave location, if anyone visited 14th Ave before, it's a huge building, similar in size to Building #3 in RTP, not sure if anyone loose their jobs with this move but from the share size of the building I would believe some folks either was part of the sell-off or was package out. This is the forth major IBM Canada location closed over the past few years in the Greater Toronto Area, (Moatfied, Wynford Dr, Baber Green and 14the Ave), only Buildings left in the GTA, is 79 Wellington, 3500 / 3600 Steeles Ave. -Zion-
    • Comment 2/01/10: I am so glad to be out of the hellhole called IBM. IBM = Inhumane Business Mess I feel sorry for those of you left who will probably get less severance once the ax does fall. The only regret I had was I didn't at least join the Alliance when I was in IBM. Thousands of you are in for a rude awaking soon. If you don't believe it then you soon will. -anonymous-
    • Comment 2/01/10: Sam Palmisano will continue to take away everything he can from the IBM employee while he can get away with it. Obama hasn't quite figured it out yet; but what has really destroyed America are the greedy CEO's like Sam Palmisano. Right now Obama is focused on the "fat cat" bankers on Wall Street. Obama will work on the greedy CEO's like Sam Palmisano next. Just wait and see. -IBMer-
    • Comment 2/01/10: The cost-cutting continues in the US... The "Thanks-Award" program has been discontinued starting today, Feb 1, 2010. There's no mention of any replacement. If you work hard for IBM all you get is an e-Card. -still_in_ny-
    • Comment 2/01/10: IBM has discontinued the Thanks Award program effective today. Thanks IBM! I guess nobody is worth the $22 valued gifts anymore. -anonymous- Alliance reply: Give yourself and your co-workers the gift that keeps on giving: a union contract. Join Alliance@IBM and get your co-workers to join. Grow your own committee of organizers, educate them on the value of a union contract, and then organize more of your co-workers, then become an Alliance@IBM chapter in your state, region, area, etc. You're never going to get anything from IBM that is better than a union contract with IBM. We are here to help you. Contact Us.
    • Comment 2/01/10: Suggestion for Action: As IBMers, we are all naturally dedicated to our customers. We go the extra mile. That's just what we do. For one week across the US and Europe, and maybe beyond, I suggest that we don't go that extra mile. I suggest for one week, we all just work our contracted hours then switch off and go home. If you're not happy with the impact that will have on your customer, then work the hours, but don't record the extra hours for IBM in your time recording system. If we work to rule for a week, it will maybe make this company realize that it's gone too far, and its employees have had enough of slave labor, lay-offs, unfair ranking systems, forced relocations, closed pension schemes, and general misery. -piggynose-
    • Comment 2/01/10: I read a lot of posts about what Obama is and isn't doing for/to IBM. The US govt will NEVER punish IBM. IBM has too much an influence on the DJI and the US and global economy to "punish" them in any significant manner. So stop hoping IBM will get it's medicine. -anonymous-
    • Comment 2/02/10: Well the Thanks! was never a benefit program but losing it shows just how freakin' cheap IBM has become despite it's record quarterly profits. Wonder what the real reason is for ending it? I guess IBM doesn't give jack $hit about teaming anymore. It's now No Thanks all the way. I guess I can forget about the spoon when my next born enters this world in a few months too. I hate IBM. -anonymous-
    • Comment 2/02/10: I remember a couple of years ago when you received a Thanks Award, it was a nice small gift. The last couple of years the value of the awards have been less than the value of a meal for 2 at Burger King or McDonalds. It has been an insult to even spend the time viewing the cheap crap they would offer for free. The money would have been better spent and more honorable to give it to charity. -Dwindled-and-Gone-
    • Comment 2/02/10: Since Oracle got the EU problem settled. They are cranking up full bore with SUN and Oracle. Looking for people with all kinds of skills in development & test... skills across the board. I am glad to see some IT hiring. Hope this helps some people in Austin. Anyone thinking they a 1 or 2+ and sit on the top of world ... just might be sitting on the toilet and clueless, because unless we join together, we are all eventually going down the drain. If they project only 30K HC for US, do you really think that includes you? -Young Lady-
    • Comment 2/02/10: IBM just cancelled it's "Thanks" award program, they say they are going to go local so to "innovate." Translation: "Thanks but no thanks" -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/02/10: I was RA'd by IBM this time last year. I was fortunate enough to quickly find a job with one of IBM's largest competitors. I still tell people that post IBM I have felt the effects of being treated like an abused dog. It has taken some time, but I am getting to the point where I can trust an employer again. I truly feel for those of you left as IBM, along with many other American companies, has become a disgusting place to work. Before I left, a clueless sales executive sent out an email around the RA time about tapping into the broader community of ex IBM people in the industry. How wrong can you be. I have already beaten IBM in some small deals and I can't wait until I get to compete one on one against IBM in a big deal. That will be fun. -Happier Place-
    • Comment 2/04/10: Growth Driven Profit (GDP) Bonuses are being calculated this week and next. Payout in 3/15 paycheck. Just so the average worker is aware: Top management asks for a HOLD BACK from the lower mgmt. ranks so they can use that money for executives!!! Nice, huh? The exec. are constantly ripping us off. We don't even get all the money that is allocated to each department. ***join the Union*** -anon-
    • Comment 2/04/10: Is IBM hiring in Argentina? A transfer their might be a great idea career-wise. At least I'll get union representation and a contract there! I"M TIRED OF USA IBMERs lying low in the foxholes. When are they going to do something? I have lost all patience. -anonymous-
    • Comment 2/06/10: As I tried to obtain the call information from my dispatcher the other morning at 4:00am, it occurred to me that there is a delicious irony in building a smarter planet using illiterate workers.... -gadfly-
    • Comment 2/06/10: re: age distribution IBM can target older age group by simply declaring that they have excess of senior positions. The other option is to demote people. This is one reason I've told my mgr I don't want a promotion, the other reason is I don't want to work 12+ hour days. I've got better things to do than work all day :-) -25andCounting-
    • Comment 2/06/10: Regarding the Age Discrimination suit. On May 3rd, 2007, during a Chicago town hall meeting in the Hyatt Center, rooms 6607-6609, I heard Randy MacDonald utter the phrase "Sometimes it is necessary to lay off the older workers. Oops, the lawyers don't like it when I say that. I mean the more experienced workers." I had to dig through my notes to find the exact date. Was there anybody else here that was present at that meeting? Is there any chance that there is a recording of that meeting made by IBM since it was a town hall with an executive? -Bill-
  • 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 2/04/10: Salary = USD 65000; #Yrs Since Raise = 0; %Raise = 10; Band Level = 7; This Yr-PBC = 2; Job Title = ISSR; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = SWG; Location = Eastern Europe; Message = I was supposed to get promoted to band 8 in the beginning of 2009 but was denied at region level because of the crisis. I should have gotten a PBC rating of 2+ but was told that it is not possible because they are not allowed to give high rankings due to unachieved targets. Not sure if it is true or not but actually I am not on the sales bonus plan and my achievement was almost 200%. Go figure. -algorab-
    • Comment 2/05/10: Salary = 70,000 base 102,000 with OT; #Yrs Since Raise = 1; %Raise = 0; Band Level = 5; This Yr-PBC = 2; Job Title = Sr Eng. Specialist; Years Service = 28; Hours/Week = 50+; Location = East Coast; Message = Limited staffing with little depth. Overtime hours to cover the missing RA's positions. No lie. -Old Guy-
  • PBC Comments;
    • Comment 1/29/10: Band Level = 9; Years Service = 3; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = ?; Message = Young Lady -- this is what I'm going to do from now, no point of getting burnt out to be the best in a company that doesn't value your contribution. My manager didn't even know what was in my PBC results. We read it together over the phone for 5 minutes and then he said I'm getting a 3. I asked what did I do wrong? He said they are given a matrix and the logic says I have to be a 3, apparently doesn't matter what I did or didn't do in my PBC. If PBC results are predetermined, why all these carp of documenting and reviewing it? It took me 3 years to understand it. --
    • Comment 1/29/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 32; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr Bonus = ?; Prior Yr Bonus = 1500; Message = After over 32 years with this company, I've told my manager that I am seriously considering retirement this year. I was very blunt and told her that it's become obvious to me over the past several years that IBM no longer values experience and contribution as it once did (read pre-1993). Deep cuts are being made in areas of the business that I know will eventually make it nearly impossible for IBM to do anything but compete on an equal basis with competitors as opposed to being better. All of this as the company continues to post record profits and crows about significant increases in EPS by 2011. Although I've had reasonable PBC ratings since it replaced the old PPC&E, the rewards no longer match the ratings. Best of luck to anyone who remains after this year. -Just Another Old Horse-
    • Comment 1/29/10: To -survey says- : from what some of us are hearing most of the PBC lowering is 2+ down to 2's. We've heard that the 3's are around 5-10% but each department will have at least 1 person with a 3. Lets see what others are saying and see if there are more 3's then usual. Talk to your coworkers. Good luck. -Union Thoughts-
    • Comment 1/31/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 4; Prior Yr PBC = 1; This Yr PBC = 2+; Prior Yr Bonus = 50000; Message = After having worked at IBM for 4 years, I understand that there is nothing stopping you from getting a rating 1, if you remain just outstanding. You have to perform your responsibilities just at the next level and not the level you are currently in. That's a clear distinction factor. The problem starts for the folks who perform very well at their level. This is the fight pool for 2 or 2+. This is where are the politics get into...and the fun of relative performance creeps in....- ---Indian IBMer-
    • Comment 1/31/10: I had a discussion yesterday with one of my previous managers on what is going on with PBC's. The push is to move more 2+ people into 2's and then down to 3's in a year or two. This saves on salary and bonus money . The PBC matrix will continue to change giving the managers more flexibility. He told me to keep good documentation and request a review with your manager every 3 months. Anyone hearing anything different. -Union thoughts-
    • Comment 1/31/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 0.5; Prior Yr PBC = N/A; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = ??; Prior Yr Bonus = N/A; Message = Feel I was set-up for this rating. Joined IBM as part of an acquisition. Morale has dropped like a stone. IBM is the worst company I have worked for. I'm looking for my next company and hope to never work for IBM again! -AcquisitionEmployee-
    • Comment 2/01/10: PBC's have become a political tool to diminish and force out employee's that are either a higher price than management wishes to continue with in the current economic climate, or to clear the bench during a time several of the service divisions have no new business. Nebulous feedback without details on performance is delivered and when asked to qualify this feedback, those requests are ignored. Few existing projects are profitable and as a result, someone has to pay and it's definitely not going to be leadership - a major effort to push down accountability is ongoing. -anonymous-
    • Comment 2/01/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 4.5; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; Message = Got a 3 this year despite meeting all my PBC goals. These goals have no point whatsoever because they have no bearing on your rating. No raises in 2 years plus one additional year because of the 3 rating. I am *hopefully* close to leaving this horrible company soon, and I dream all day of the moment I look my manager in the eyes and say I'm out of here. -LookingElsewhere-
    • Comment 2/01/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 9; Message = Those who say (e.g. IndianIBMer below) that nothing is stopping you from getting a PBC 1 is big BS. I have been with IBM for 9 years and was rated 1 several times ( I think 4 times). However in the last few years, I have done way more WAY more than was ever expected from me, including charity events, MBA, certifications, mentorships, lunch & learns, internal initiatives, etc. etc. and 3 times in a row now I have received a 2+. Those years when I got a 1, I felt like I did not do much, just my 40 hours/week and that was it. I am not sure what it depends on to be honest, managers always say that 'in comparison to your peers' ... but I know that's BS. -Canadian-
    • Comment 2/02/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 23; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; Message = I have gone to second line for escalation. No warning last year from 1st line at all. At review, 1st line asked me to escalate and disagree. After I entered my comments with disagreement, he re-wrote his comments from previous (took out some positives) and added a lot of negative comments the next day. I am waiting for 2nd line to get back and after that will do an appeal. -anon-
    • Comment 2/02/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 10; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; This Yr Bonus = 0; Prior Yr Bonus = 1000; Message = Words fail me. I worked 3 months, count them 3 months, of UNPAID extra hours for IBM in 2009. It won't happen again in 2010, -UK scuffer-
    • Comment 2/03/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 25; Message = To those who were not warned that their PBC rating was going to be dropped (especially from a 2 to a 3) and are looking to appeal - I would suggest using a peer review. A few years ago I had a manager and a 2nd line that never even spoke to me and I was dropped a level without warning. I appealed via the peer review and it was overturned. I know it's probably harder these days, but out of all the options, that is probably the best bet. -Succeeded once-
    • Comment 2/04/10: Band Level = 7; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 3; Message = I got a 3 for the first time this year. What are the chances that I'd be able to pull myself out and save myself from a layoff? Has anyone previously gotten a 3 and managed to work their way back up? -GoneSoon?-
    • Comment 2/04/10: Band Level = 7; Years Service = 4; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 1; This Yr Bonus = 2000; Prior Yr Bonus = 10000; Message = I worked 60 hours a week last year and found out that my manager wants to give me PBC 1, also i got 100% club last year, but the bonuses were so bad despite the performance as the big chunks were consumed by our managers, in the end they realised that this guy is too sharp to mess with and they gave me a 1, clapped for me gave me 100% club with no trip and 1000 USD, converted into Euro 750 - 40% tax so i got 200 euros. Can PBC 1 and 200 pity Euros pay my bills, give me PBC 3 but give me a fat bonus for overperforming. That is why I left...what a relief... -EX-IBMER-
    • Comment 2/05/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 2; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2; This Yr Bonus = ?; Prior Yr Bonus = 3500; Message = I've been here 2 years and after looking at the people who have been at this for 20+, I'm pretty sure I don't want to end up in their shoes. Even if they are VPs.... -bamboozle-
    • Comment 2/05/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 31; Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2; Message = Without warning my PBC rating was lowered. Loosing my mother and sister this year may not have been business related but you'd think they'd be a little more sensitive. Wait, we're talking about IBM, aren't we? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/06/10: Band Level = 8; Years Service = 5; Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2+; Message = Should have gotten a 1 for 2009...what a rip off -anon-
  • International Comments
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • When Fridays were Fridays: Why So Many People Are Without Health Insurance. By Colette Martin. Excerpts: I learned more than I ever wanted to know about health insurance last year. This had a lot less to do with the great national debate than it did with my own family situation. In 2009, due to a perfect storm of empty nests, college graduations and job transitions, I suddenly had to find out how it all works.

    Before then I had worked for the same company for thirty years. I joined the company, had medical insurance, and didn’t think about it too much except for the annual grumping. Yeah, I complained when we had to start contributing to the coverage, and I complained when we had to figure out which plan to choose, and I complained each year when the cost went up.

    I truly didn’t know how good I had it.

    In 2009, it became very clear to me why so many people are without medical insurance. Here are my top four reasons: (read more...)

  • LinkedIn: Comments concerning Ms. Martin's blog post. Selected comments follow:
    • Colette, I've seen how bad its been for years via my mother-in-law who has never had the opportunity for medical insurance. $25k on a credit card for two lumpectomies. Thankfully they were benign. Couldn't imagine how she would have afforded anymore. She worked hard to raise three children after her dead husband's VA benefits were taken away from her during the Reagan years.

      At 70 she is still a part-time area manager for a small management firm and has a company provided car and apartment. Her monthly salary still isn't enough even with social security. Turns out she has a sizable amount deducted for her supplemental insurance. She's going back to work full time this month and even will be going without a part-timer to take over her current work load. She'll be working 48 hours every week.

      My sister is a special ed teacher and has been after me for a few years now to be officially evaluated for Asperger's. I don't see the point at my age, but Asperger's is also a condition that can get you denied health insurance. It's a hell of a list. Amazing anybody can get health insurance privately with everything that's on it.

      Too bad nobody has a serious plan for fixing any of this. I'd love to see one of the parties be serious about it.

    • From Colette: Erik, that's exactly the kind of story that makes me cringe. When people have to rack up credit card because they have no other option, or avoid going to the doctor altogether in fear that they will be diagnosed with a problem. Thanks for sharing.
    • Let me add my story. After retiring from IBM in Europe, my wife and I migrated to USA to be near our daughter and her growing family - our grandchildren. On arrival, I started working as a consultant and registered a corporation, through which I sell my services. For the first 18 months no USA Health Insurance Company would insure my wife and me. We took a special IMG Travel Insurance. Then we obtained our Health Insurance through UNICARE - who did not accept to cover any of my wife's pre-conditions - fortunately no denial of insurance.

      Please read on - this gets more interesting as years go by. Our joint premium was $840 USD with a $3K deductible. Then premiums started creeping up - and I started increasing the deductible and stabilizing the premiums until I attained the age of 65 - when to my surprise with a deductible to $6K our premium was raised to $1410 - and of course since I have been in USA for 7 Years only, when I went to Social Security Office - they laughed at me and said no Medicare for another at least 3 years - you need to have worked in this country for at least 10 Years and accumulated 40 SSC Points.

      OK - what shall I do - I cannot afford $20,000 per annum for our healthcare insurance - and an insurance that does not cover my wife's pre-conditions. I cannot believe I live in the richest country on Planet Earth and any minute I can go bankrupt - if God forbid - something unforeseen happened to me or to my wife. This system needs fixing and needs fixing fast - don't know how!!!

    • I feel everyone's pain with this issue. I think we do need to regulate the insurance companies to keep them from denying insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, as long as the insured people have continuous coverage.

      I'm now a small business owner. One of the things that kept me from going into business was that I have a pre-existing condition and would probably not be able to buy an individual plan on my own. My business has a small group plan and pre-existing conditions aren't considered when hiring new employees. However, in the past two years, our premiums have increased 50%. Our health insurance bill is now 10% of our gross company revenue, and 15% of our payroll. (We are a services business.) It is by far our second largest expense after salaries. Sometimes I just don't know how we're going to pay this giant bill every month, but we manage.

      One of the interesting things is maternity coverage. You either have to provide it to everyone or no one in your group. This has put me in the awkward position of asking my sister, who is my business partner and is the only one who needs maternity coverage in our company, if she's done having children. I HATE being put in this position. It really is none of my business, except that it is 30% of the total cost of our company's health insurance bill, which is becoming unaffordable. And by EEO rules, it should be none of my business, but the insurance company makes it one of the conditions that would lower our bill. We're fortunate to have good coverage, but it is very costly!

  • Huffington Post: To Pass Health Care, Dems Should Be Against It. By Bill Maher. Excerpts: President Obama made a point the other day in speaking at the Republican retreat to say he wasn't an ideologue, and while there was skepticism in his audience about whether that was true, there was agreement in both parties that not being an ideologue is a good thing.

    Is it? Maybe the problem is that neither party has any ideology anymore -- it's just all about getting the money you need to run commercials at election time, and being against whatever the other party is for. For example, why is the decision to have the trial of Khalid "Shake Shake Shake" Mohammed in New York a Democratic position, and not having it in New York a Republican position? Republicans are usually the 24 loving macho warriors. Isn't it the more macho position to be saying, "Damn right we're going to try them at the scene of the crime! We're going to make that bastard look at Ground Zero right out the window of the courtroom every day -- we're going to stick his nose in it like a dog who's made a mess on the rug: 'Look what you did! Bad dog! Bad!!'"? I can much more easily imagine Bill O'Reilly making that case than Obama.

    And yet, because its the Democrats who suggested it, the Republicans automatically piss all over it and find themselves backing the opposite approach, then make up a bunch of stupid reasons why: it'll fuck up traffic in Manhattan; it'll be a platform for Mohammed to "mock" us.

  • New York Times: New Rules Promise Better Mental Health Coverage. By Robert Pear. Excerpts: The Obama administration issued new rules on Friday that promise to improve insurance coverage of mental health care for more than 140 million people insured through their jobs. In general, under the rules, employers and group health plans cannot provide less coverage for mental health care than for the treatment of physical conditions like cancer and heart disease.

    Insurers cannot set higher co-payments and deductibles or stricter limits on treatment for mental illness and addiction disorders. Nor can they establish separate deductibles for mental health care and for the treatment of physical illnesses. Such disparities are common in the insurance industry. By sweeping away such restrictions, doctors said, the rules will make it easier for people to obtain treatment for a wide range of conditions, including depression, autism, schizophrenia, eating disorders and alcohol and drug abuse.

  • YouTube video featuring Senator Bernie Sanders: 'Giving Up is Not An Option' (referring to health insurance reform)
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 Timed op-ed: Good and Boring. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: In times of crisis, good news is no news. Iceland’s meltdown made headlines; the remarkable stability of Canada’s banks, not so much.

    Yet as the world’s attention shifts from financial rescue to financial reform, the quiet success stories deserve at least as much attention as the spectacular failures. We need to learn from those countries that evidently did it right. And leading that list is our neighbor to the north. Right now, Canada is a very important role model.

    Yes, I know, Canada is supposed to be dull. The New Republic famously pronounced “Worthwhile Canadian Initiative” (from a Times Op-Ed column in the ’80s) the world’s most boring headline. But I’ve always considered Canada fascinating, precisely because it’s similar to the United States in many but not all ways. The point is that when Canadian and U.S. experience diverge, it’s a very good bet that policy differences, rather than differences in culture or economic structure, are responsible for that divergence.

    And anyway, when it comes to banking, boring is good.

    First, some background. Over the past decade the United States and Canada faced the same global environment. Both were confronted with the same flood of cheap goods and cheap money from Asia. Economists in both countries cheerfully declared that the era of severe recessions was over.

    But when things fell apart, the consequences were very different here and there. In the United States, mortgage defaults soared, some major financial institutions collapsed, and others survived only thanks to huge government bailouts. In Canada, none of that happened. What did the Canadians do differently? Read more...

  • Wall Street Journal: GOP Chases Wall Street Donors. Data Show Fund-Raisers Begin Capitalizing on Bankers' Regret Over Backing Obama. By Brody Mullins and Neil King Jr. Excerpts: Republicans are stepping up their campaign to win donations from Wall Street, trying to capitalize on an increasing sense of regret among executives at big financial institutions for backing Democrats in 2008. In discussions with Wall Street executives, Republicans are striving to make the case that they are banks' best hope of preventing President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats from cracking down on Wall Street.

    GOP strategists hope to benefit from the reaction to the White House's populist rhetoric and proposals, which range from sharp critiques of bonuses to a tax on big Wall Street banks, caps on executive pay and curbs on business practices deemed too risky.

  • New York Times op-ed: Fiscal Scare Tactics. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: These days it’s hard to pick up a newspaper or turn on a news program without encountering stern warnings about the federal budget deficit. The deficit threatens economic recovery, we’re told; it puts American economic stability at risk; it will undermine our influence in the world. These claims generally aren’t stated as opinions, as views held by some analysts but disputed by others. Instead, they’re reported as if they were facts, plain and simple.

    Yet they aren’t facts. Many economists take a much calmer view of budget deficits than anything you’ll see on TV. Nor do investors seem unduly concerned: U.S. government bonds continue to find ready buyers, even at historically low interest rates. The long-run budget outlook is problematic, but short-term deficits aren’t — and even the long-term outlook is much less frightening than the public is being led to believe.

    So why the sudden ubiquity of deficit scare stories? It isn’t being driven by any actual news. It has been obvious for at least a year that the U.S. government would face an extended period of large deficits, and projections of those deficits haven’t changed much since last summer. Yet the drumbeat of dire fiscal warnings has grown vastly louder.

    To me — and I’m not alone in this — the sudden outbreak of deficit hysteria brings back memories of the groupthink that took hold during the run-up to the Iraq war. Now, as then, dubious allegations, not backed by hard evidence, are being reported as if they have been established beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, as then, much of the political and media establishments have bought into the notion that we must take drastic action quickly, even though there hasn’t been any new information to justify this sudden urgency. Now, as then, those who challenge the prevailing narrative, no matter how strong their case and no matter how solid their background, are being marginalized.

    And fear-mongering on the deficit may end up doing as much harm as the fear-mongering on weapons of mass destruction.

    Let’s talk for a moment about budget reality. Contrary to what you often hear, the large deficit the federal government is running right now isn’t the result of runaway spending growth. Instead, well more than half of the deficit was caused by the ongoing economic crisis, which has led to a plunge in tax receipts, required federal bailouts of financial institutions, and been met — appropriately — with temporary measures to stimulate growth and support employment. ...

    Why, then, all the hysteria? The answer is politics.

    The main difference between last summer, when we were mostly (and appropriately) taking deficits in stride, and the current sense of panic is that deficit fear-mongering has become a key part of Republican political strategy, doing double duty: it damages President Obama’s image even as it cripples his policy agenda. And if the hypocrisy is breathtaking — politicians who voted for budget-busting tax cuts posing as apostles of fiscal rectitude, politicians demonizing attempts to rein in Medicare costs one day (death panels!), then denouncing excessive government spending the next — well, what else is new?

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.

This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.