ZDNet.com.au contacted IBM on the truth of the allegations. "There have been no announcements in the areas put forward, but IBM continues to rebalance its skills and capabilities to meet the changing needs of our clients," IBM spokesperson Matt Mollet said, but would not comment further on the issue.
The Baulkham Hills centre the union believed to be affected was involved in strike action just over a year ago, which attempted to obtain better conditions. Workers were now in the midst of negotiating a collective agreement with the company, McManus said. "It's pretty low of [IBM] to make these people redundant after they've been negotiating a collective agreement," she said.
McManus believed IBM has been using lawyers to delay the hearings in order to finalise deals with the offshore companies. "They employed very expensive legal representatives who have been using technicalities to delay the hearings," she said.
Layoffs have left a lot of ground to cover, and nearly all the major tech companies have cut their workforces. One bellwether company, IBM, is due to release its 2009 annual report this month with updated worldwide employment figures, and it may show a U.S. workforce decline of 115,000 to 105,000 for the year, according to testimony by a company official in November before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.
An IBM spokesman said today that this U.S. workforce figure is accurate through October.
IBM employs about 400,000 globally. In 2007, IBM employed 121,000 in the U.S., but has increased at the same time its hiring in India and other overseas markets.
"You cannot have an economic recovery when good paying information technology jobs are slashed in the US, the workers terminated and the work shifted offshore," said Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, a union that has been trying to organize IBM workers. "These are the jobs workers trained for when the manufacturing jobs were offshored," Conrad said. "Now these jobs are going to low cost countries. You also can not have an economic recovery when these workers see their jobs disappear and their wages vanish."
The market hasn't yet recovered from its most recent crash, but the monster unaccountably is back on its feet. This time it comes dressed up as part of the "Roadmap for America’s Future" recently unfurled by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking GOP member of the House Budget Committee. The Roadmap is a retort to the charge that the Republican Party contributes no ideas to the national debate on fiscal issues, only "no" votes in Congress. It's a road map to the dismantling of federal social programs under the guise of making them fiscally sound, while cutting taxes for the rich. (The plan eliminates taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.)
Social Security comes in for particular abuse. Ryan states that "Social Security's shrinking value and fragile condition pose a serious problem. . . . To maintain the program's significant role as a part of the retirement security safety net, Social Security's mission must be fulfilled . . . without bankrupting future workers."
One doesn't want to be picky about an elected congressman's words, but with all due respect, these words are pure bilge. They come straight from the talking points of Social Security's historical enemies: conservatives who have never believed that the government should play such an important role in people's retirement planning, and mutual fund and insurance companies that hanker for the business generated by millions of Americans looking for a profitable place to park their retirement assets.
Social Security's value to the average American isn't "shrinking" -- it’s expanding. In 1962, it accounted for 30% of the income of Americans aged 65 and older; in 2007 that figure was 36%. (These numbers come from the Social Security Administration.) Given what's happened to most families' financial assets since 2007, the percentage probably is even higher today. Its "fragile condition"? Social Security runs an annual surplus and has done so since 1983; no other government program can make that claim. Read more...
This IBM would probably go the junior college hire route in VT this time around if I had to make a guess (I wouldn't be surprised that not even a GED is needed to work for this IBM now if IBM can pay training or minimum wage just to save a few pennies).
Your father would be appalled seeing how this IBM continually cuts it's employees down and lavishly rewards its middle and upper management, executive, and even the Board of Director ranks. Your father was a leader. Of course your grandfather was. Both were much better men than any of the so-called leaders this IBM has running (or should I say "ruining"?) the company today.
Sam Palmisano and the rest of his inner circle of executives, cronies, and captains would not be around under your father's watch. Your father and grandfather were at least fair, and valued employee loyalty and commitment. Thus, the cause for employees organizing was not really a consideration since they did what they could to keep the IBM employees content and proud to work in their IBM. Sadly, this IBM doesn't. Tom III: are you in favor of this IBM organizing? I hope your father and grandfather are resting in peace. Again, they were much the better men. -VTBigBlew-
IBM has gone from a 10 to a zero. From the best to the worst. It all started when Three Fingered Lou took the helm. TFL started screwing the employee for his own personal gain. TFL left IBM will less than 10 years of service with over $500 million in his bank account. TFL started the executive greed culture in IBM. TFL trained Sam Palmisano to take the helm as CEO and Sam is just like TFL. Take as much from the IBM employee for yourself.
Sam has been filling his bank account with millions with his excessive salary, stock options and bonuses over the last 8 years. How disgusting can it get. Sam just doesn't get it. It is a culture that is deep in Sam's core.
Folks, things will just continue to go down this lopsided path and the employees will continue to get screwed by layoffs, outsourcing, pay cuts, excessive workload, etc. We really need the Alliance and a Union contract to turn this mess in IBM around. This mind set of TFL and Sam Palmisano has infected the entire country and pulling our whole country's economy down. It can be explained simply as CEO GREED. -Pro Union IBMer-
Alliance reply: IBM will continue the path that they have been on, since before 1999. No one should be surprised when IBM sells yet another piece of its legacy. Whatever it is; IBMers feeling sick about it won't change anything. We've been telling every IBMer that wants to listen, since 1999. Organize your co-workers and focus on what YOU can do to make YOUR situation better. There's too much time spent staring at the "man behind the curtain", and not enough action. Taking action and organizing will help you to lose that sick feeling.
The top-level management is FAR too stupid to understand what it takes to develop, support, and run the day-to-day operations for this company that actually bring in the money. They really don\'t give a $#!+ as long as they get their bonuses and the quarterly reports look good. They have the minds of animals, only living in the present without any awareness of the past or future. The more they throw out the people with the knowledge, the worse they hurt their prospects. The choice is yours: help to change things (unionize), leave now, or sit around and crash & burn. -MuffinMan-
Recent reorg moved me from FS - BPM practice to the ERP space. Most of the band 9 and 10 of "old" BPM went to S&C practice mid 2009. Not sure why I went to ERP and not S&C. Guess I don't have "what it takes".
My "old" PBC goals did not align with "new" practice so once again....utilization kept me down this year to a 2. I have been with same client multi. yrs and active in winning new business (3 extensions and a new proposal for 13 million) but our contracts are capped at 40 hrs per week so there is little chance of exceeding 90-93% utilization. Can't "compete" with other peers in new group who somehow stay consistently in 99-120% range for billable utilization?? Chargeable utilization was not considered in last PBC rating but I still exceeded target range.
10% raise in 2008 was due to moving from band 7 to band 8. Usually receive 3-4K per year in "service excellent awards"...but nothing in 2009 despite similar performance ratings. My bill rates the past 2 years have been in the 225 to 250 per hour. Next proposal has bill rate of 261 per hour. ( 90% certain this contract will materialize). My Internal cost to IBM seems low in relation to bill rate. I guess I am a "loss leader", in terms of being staffed at this rate.
New role in ERP practice will require some "retooling" on my part. As of now requests for formal training (i.e. costs IBM $$) have not been going well. My old peers who went to S&C have seen increases in salaries this year. I guess the best example of how IBM treats its employees came 2 weeks ago when I received a "Thank You" award from a project manager on another project for "going above and beyond" in providing assistance with an RFP materials. I went to the IBM site to claim the Award and the program had been cancelled as of Feb 01. I could still claim an Award...so I went to browse the selections and there was a nice note informing that they would not be restocking items. The only thing left to choose from was a pink yoga mat. I understand cutting costs and saving $$..times are hard out there. I just thought it was funny. But it was indicative of how IBM views its people.
As I try to realign my career goals now that I am in a new practice, I am having some time to think about what a "career" with IBM really means and I find myself coming up short. The past 6 years I have been exposed to many things and added many new skills to my tool-box; both from a business perspective and a technology perspective. However, lately I find myself in the precarious position of being in a "mile wide and an inch deep". I suppose this is partly the result of being on many different projects and the various skills required in those projects. I also think it has to do with the fact that when I am on a particular engagement I focus all attention to satisfying the client...and not so much on my career aspirations. I guess I am old school and believed that hard work and dedication to client satisfaction should be the number one goal for any IBM employee..do these things and IBM will take care of me; I thought.
As I reviewed the WWGPE model for our last proposal and saw the internal costs offshoring the work and the internal costs of bringing H1-B visa employees to the US to staff the work here I was literally amazed and somewhat shocked. The resources weren't just technology folks they were also business/ functional. IBM embarked on a program a couple of years back to bolster hiring of MBA's in other low cost countries ( mainly India). I always thought this was to support the growing service center presence in those countries. Since I am not a pure technical resource, I suppose I never really paid that much attention to all of the offshoring IBM has been doing over the past several years and how much the US employee count has declined vs how much it has grown offshore.
The reorg I experienced last year also made a little more sense to me. All the bands 9-10 went to senior positions in S&C and the majority of lesser bands that were not the victims of the RA process last year went...well...elsewhere. I finally realized the direction the company is heading and "my place" in the IBM of the future. The band 9&10 types here in the US will be the "face men" of GBS with our clients here in the US and all other staff needed to support the work they sell will be offshored (internally that is). From an internal cost perspective...why would IBM keep resources that bill at 260 hour and cost 120-13- hour when they can staff with resources that have bill rates of 75-100 hour with internal costs of 20-30 hour (if that).
Anyway...I guess I am just a little slow. Maybe I should focus less on client satisfaction and spend more time actually observing what is going on around me within IBM. It is too bad an employee can't feel somewhat secure with their employer these days...if they make their clients happy of course. IBM has led the charge in the past decade on the "offshoring" model as a cost cutting and selling tool with its clients. I suppose as an employee involved in delivering those solutions; I should have also realized IBM is no different than the clients we serve...they want to make higher returns as well and to lower our own costs of business. I suppose I have been complicit in my own demise so to speak and will soon become a victim myself as IBM internally offshores more of its cost basis to its "Global Delivery" services. I guess this is what is called reaping what you sow. Anyway, glad I found the site. It is refreshing to find out about other peer salaries and PBC experiences within IBM. --
Instead, the Republicans focus on making insurance more affordable. Their strategies could indeed hold down premiums for the young and the healthy. But they are likely to drive up premiums for the older and the sicker. That may also be good short-term politics — there are a lot more healthy people than chronically ill people — but it shortchanges those who most need help. And until the problem of rising medical costs is addressed, the government will never solve its deficit problem. ...
Mr. Obama is right to challenge the Republicans to come up with their own health care reform plans. And if real progress can be made at this month’s meeting, the whole country will benefit. What Mr. Obama should not do is give up on his goal of covering as many Americans as possible or his goal of reining in spiraling health care costs. That is what he promised, and it is what the country needs.
But Hatch's opposition is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it. In fact, says Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea. "It was invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. back in the day, as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time."
“Ten percent I could have rationalized,” said Mr. Punzet, 34, a financial controller for a Los Angeles recruiting firm. “But a 34 percent increase? I don’t even have any data points for that, nothing to compare it to. I’ve never seen anything go up 34 percent.”
With health care negotiations stalled in Washington, the Obama administration is seizing on the seething fury felt by Mr. Punzet and nearly 700,000 other Anthem customers in California who have received notices of increases that average 25 percent. About a quarter of them are seeing leaps of 35 percent to 39 percent, the company said, at least four times the rate of medical inflation. At a moment when the health care debate seemed drained of urgency, the rate increases have permitted Mr. Obama to remind Americans of what is at stake, not just for the uninsured but for those whose coverage is threatened by unregulated hyperinflation. ...
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius challenged the company to justify its “extraordinary” rate increases and, when it did in a five-page letter, volleyed that she was not satisfied. She expressed indignation that some of Anthem’s increases would be up to 15 times the rate of inflation, and that WellPoint had earned $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009. “Too many Americans are at the whim of private, for-profit insurance companies who are raking in billions in profits each year,” Ms. Sebelius wrote on the White House blog. ...
Mr. Needle, like many of the 13 million Americans who buy insurance individually rather than through employers, cannot shop for a better deal because he has medical conditions like high cholesterol and glaucoma that would probably disqualify him with other carriers. Once accepted by an insurer, consumers cannot be dropped for medical reasons. But in California, where Anthem controls more than half of the individual market, regulators have little power to prevent insurers from raising individual rates as high as the market will bear. That often forces consumers to move to less-generous policies with higher deductibles in order to hold down their costs. ...
Medical costs have typically risen by 5 percent to 10 percent during each of the last five years. Mr. Poizner said he was starting to see significant increases for individual policies sold by some of Anthem’s competitors, and double-digit increases have been reported in other states. Several insurance analysts said it was possible, but not necessarily likely, that such increases would become common, at least while the economic downturn persists. Insurance brokers in Los Angeles said they had never seen jumps of such magnitude.
Yet a great deal of the current opposition to the legislation was based upon the premise that the American public categorically rejected the legislation. This is premised on the concept that Americans knew what was in the legislation. But a January 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation poll run prior to the Massachusetts election demonstrated that not only did individuals polled have a poor idea of what was in the legislation, but that when told about 27 separate provisions of the bills, 17 provisions made a majority of individuals more likely to support the legislation and only two provisions less likely.
Some of the provisions that made the legislation more palatable to opponents of the bill included provisions in the legislation to provide tax credits for businesses to buy insurance, protect current insurance policies, prevent federal funding for abortion services and health care for illegal immigrants, create health insurance exchanges and close the Medicare doughnut hole. Seniors found this last provision especially appealing — except many did not know that it existed in the bills. Interestingly, one of the least known effects of the legislation was the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) prediction that the bills would reduce the federal deficit. Only 15 percent of those polled believed that the legislation would achieve this goal, but 56 percent upon learning that it would, based on CBO estimates, became more supportive of the legislation. ...
Cost in the legislation is tied to the premise that in order to cover the insurance expansion for most of the uninsured there must be subsidies to pay for the expansion. Here there are no easy answers because the issue is one of ethics and a social contract, rather than the correction of insurance industry abuses or technical issues. What this brings up are social questions: Does American society share the belief that it is a necessity for everyone to have access to health care coverage and insurance? Or, is our society is willing to accept the current, tiered health care system? These are the questions that should have been debated and explored, not the circus of death panels or the by-the-second accounts of the latest outrageous statement. But the news media chose the path of least resistance and did not discuss these issues, or evidently most of the actual provisions of the legislation.
Sure, hospitals are expensive and serve tasteless food. Yes, surgeons can accidentally leave a clamp behind, and nobody likes blood. But burying one’s head in the sand is what ostriches do — and that’s what we Americans are poised to do if we miss this chance to reform our sick health care system.
The debate about health care in recent months has focused on the shortcomings of the reform proposals. Critics are right to be disappointed that the legislation doesn’t curb malpractice suits and doesn’t do more to change the basic fee-for-service structure that incubates rising health care costs. But just think for a moment about the far costlier option that now may lie ahead of us: sticking with the status quo. ...
The United States Public Interest Research Group calculated last year that without reform, insurance premiums for those with employer-provided health care would nearly double by 2016. Also last month, the Urban Institute applied its computer model of health insurance costs to a scenario in which there is no reform, and this is what it found:
“Over the next decade in every state, the percent of the population that is uninsured will increase, employer-sponsored coverage will continue to erode, spending on public programs will balloon, and individual and family out-of-pocket costs could increase by more than 35 percent,” it said. It added that the number of uninsured Americans could reach as many as 65 million in another decade."
As The New England Journal of Medicine noted last month, the United States ranks No. 1 only in terms of spending. We rank 39th in infant mortality, 43rd in adult female mortality and 42nd in adult male mortality.
Skeptics suggest that America’s poor health statistics are a result of social inequities and a large underclass. There’s something to that. But despite these problems, the population over age 65 manages to enjoy above-average health statistics — because it enjoyed health care reform back in 1965 with Medicare.
The medical journal noted that “comparisons also reveal that the United States is falling farther behind” other countries each year. In 1974, for example, Australian men and boys aged 15 to 60 died at about the same rate as American men and boys in that age group. Today, Australia’s rates for that group are about 40 percent lower than America’s. “U.S. performance not only is poor at any given moment but also is improving much more slowly than that of other countries over time,” the medical journal reported.
Indeed. Sky-high rate increases make a powerful case for action. And they show, in particular, that we need comprehensive, guaranteed coverage — which is exactly what Democrats are trying to accomplish.
Here’s the story: About 800,000 people in California who buy insurance on the individual market — as opposed to getting it through their employers — are covered by Anthem Blue Cross, a WellPoint subsidiary. These are the people who were recently told to expect dramatic rate increases, in some cases as high as 39 percent.
Why the huge increase? It’s not profiteering, says WellPoint, which claims instead (without using the term) that it’s facing a classic insurance death spiral.
Bear in mind that private health insurance only works if insurers can sell policies to both sick and healthy customers. If too many healthy people decide that they’d rather take their chances and remain uninsured, the risk pool deteriorates, forcing insurers to raise premiums. This, in turn, leads more healthy people to drop coverage, worsening the risk pool even further, and so on.
Now, what WellPoint claims is that it has been forced to raise premiums because of “challenging economic times”: cash-strapped Californians have been dropping their policies or shifting into less-comprehensive plans. Those retaining coverage tend to be people with high current medical expenses. And the result, says the company, is a drastically worsening risk pool: in effect, a death spiral. ...
But here’s the thing: suppose that we posit, provisionally, that the insurers aren’t the main villains in this story. Even so, California’s death spiral makes nonsense of all the main arguments against comprehensive health reform. For example, some claim that health costs would fall dramatically if only insurance companies were allowed to sell policies across state lines. But California is already a huge market, with much more insurance competition than in other states; unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most. And competition hasn’t averted a death spiral. So why would creating a national market make things better?
More broadly, conservatives would have you believe that health insurance suffers from too much government interference. In fact, the real point of the push to allow interstate sales is that it would set off a race to the bottom, effectively eliminating state regulation. But California’s individual insurance market is already notable for its lack of regulation, certainly as compared with states like New York — yet the market is collapsing anyway. ...
But the main point is this: California’s death spiral is a reminder that our health care system is unraveling, and that inaction isn’t an option. Congress and the president need to make reform happen — now.
"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.
"If there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that the bad decisions and harmful policies by Washington bureaucrats that in many ways led to the economic crash must never be repeated," Luntz wrote. "This is your critical advantage. Washington's incompetence is the common ground on which you can build support." Luntz continued: "Ordinarily, calling for a new government program 'to protect consumers' would be extraordinary popular. But these are not ordinary times. The American people are not just saying 'no.' They are saying 'hell no' to more government agencies, more bureaucrats, and more legislation crafted by special interests."
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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