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Highlights—March 6, 2010

  • Local Tech Wire (RTP, NC): IBM layoffs top 1,600 across several work groups, union reports. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: Just as IBM workers feared, Big Blue began a new round of layoffs on Monday. According to Alliance@IBM, the union seeking to represent IBM (NYSE: IBM) workers, verified through various sources that IBM cut its payroll in at least 13 groups by more than 1,600 positions. “We have been able to verify almost 1,000 employees cut today,” Lee Conrad, the union’s national coordinator, told Local Tech Wire and WRAL.com before figures were updated later in the evening. “It could go higher,” he added. “We haven't received all the RA packs yet.” Moments later, Conrad said verification of another 200 cuts came in to the union. By 8:30 p.m., 12 work groups reported 1,518, according to data provided to the union. Later, the addition of another work group pushed the day's total to 1,614. ...

    “The Alliance believes this is another example of IBM firing US workers and moving the work offshore,” Conrad added. “Some of the employees have told us that they have been terminated while training offshore replacements. It is time our political leaders called IBM to task on this.” ...

    The breakdown by work group as reported by the union:

    • STG Technology Development: 24
    • STG Sales Support: 80
    • CIO Application and infrastructure: 160
    • Software Group WPLC: 50
    • Software Group Information management: 99
    • GBS Global Account: 98
    • GTS Security Systems: 41
    • ITD Transition, Quality and Service Management: 276
    • ITD Application Hosting and Database: 158
    • ITD Service Management Delivery: 66
    • ITD Storage Management: 178
    • ITD Distributed Server Management: 318
    • GTS North America East IMT Region Maintenance & Technical Support Resource Action: 66

    The latest cuts follow 10,000 layoffs in 2009 as IBM reduced its U.S.-based work force. The latest numbers, based on IBM data as posted at the Alliance@IBM Web site:

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

    iTnews quoted IBM spokesperson Matt Mollett as saying that IBM “continuously transforms its business, rebalancing skills and capabilities in order to meet the changing needs of clients and our business as a whole.” He also said IBM would "continue to hire in 2010, and ... end the year with more employees than when the year began.”

  • All Things Digital: “Investing in Our People.” Is That Another Layoff Euphemism, IBM? By John Paczkowski. Excerpts: “We’re not looking back, we’re looking ahead. We’re continuing to invest in R&D, in strategic acquisitions, in growth initiatives–and most importantly, during these difficult times, in our people.” –IBM CEO Sam Palmisano in his letter to shareholders last year.

    So much for IBM’s lifetime employment concept. In 2009, the company sacked as many as 10,000 employees. Now comes word of thousands more losing their jobs in what the company likes to refer to as “resource actions.”

    The Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701 Web site, which tracks layoffs at IBM (IBM), reports that some 2,544 IBM employees have been let go this week, with more to follow. And unsurprisingly, the group says off-shoring is, once again, to blame. Evidently, RA’d employees are being asked to train their overseas replacements before they’re cut. “IBM is shifting work offshore,” Alliance@IBM national director Lee Conrad told me. “The company appears to be abandoning the US workforce.” And this, not two months after IBM announced that its full-year profit will be at least $11 a share, exceeding earlier targets.

    What was that about investing in our people, again, Sam?

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM cuts 2,400 jobs across U.S., workers' group says. By Craig Wolf. Excerpts: More than 2,400 IBMers across the nation got their pink slips from Big Blue this week and there may be more job cuts to come, according to a workers group. Some of those laid off were in the Hudson Valley, the Alliance@IBM said, but a local count wasn't available. IBM did not confirm or deny the actions. The downsizings came in a wide range of IBM segments, including technology, sales, services, software and even human resources administration. "Everybody seems to be getting hit," said Lee Conrad, national organizer for the Alliance, who attributed much of the loss to sending work offshore to other countries. ...

    IBM's policy in the past few years has been to remain silent as to the numbers and locations, though in earlier years, representatives were permitted to give such details. "We continually remix our skills and structure to meet the changing needs of our clients," corporate spokesman Douglas Shelton said in an e-mail Tuesday.

    The mix is ever downward in the recent U.S. record. At the end of 2008, IBM had 398,455 employees worldwide, with the U.S. portion at 28.9 percent. It was 50.1 percent in 1993.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: IBM cuts hundreds of jobs, sliver of 400K workers. Excerpt: IBM Corp. has cut hundreds of jobs across a number of divisions. The cuts Monday represent a sliver of the technology company's nearly 400,000 workers worldwide.
  • Local Tech Wire (RTP, NC): IBM layoffs a ‘sliver’? No – A thorn in the flesh. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: It’s not often a headline causes my blood to boil, but this one did:
    “IBM cuts hundreds of jobs, sliver of 400k workers.”

    Here’s the first paragraph of the AP story:

    “IBM Corp. cut more than 1,500 jobs across a number of divisions Monday, a sliver of the technology company's nearly 400,000 workers worldwide.”

    There’s that word again – “sliver.” Am I oversensitive? Well, I’ve been fired. I’ve been “RA’d” as IBMers call layoffs in a “resource action.” I’ve laid off people. I’ve worked at newspapers that went belly up. I had my pay cut 40 percent to keep a business alive even as I fought cancer. I have seen my family fight off tears with fear replacing hope.

    The missing context of IBM’s cuts: But, here’s the context ignored by AP’s headline and accompanying short story:

    1. This “resource action” involves U.S. workers, so the “sliver” comes from a U.S.-based IBM headcount of some 105,000.
    2. So is just over 1 percent of 105,000 a “sliver?” Yes, again literally. But, let’s not forget IBM has slashed its U.S. workforce by some 30,000 over the last four years.
    3. The 105,000 IBM figure is misleading, too, when it comes to core Big Blue workers. The company has made scores of acquisitions in the past four years. So add in those employees to the mix and the IBM U.S. core really is shrinking more than the gross figure indicates.
    4. IBM likes to point out that its headcount is actually growing overall, standing at nearly 400,000. But many of those new jobs are “offshored” from the States.
    5. A good number of the new jobs IBM is creating stateside are call-center tech support spots, such as at a recently opened facility in Iowa. Those aren’t software engineering or research and development jobs.
    6. IBM reported record profits for 2009 even as overall revenues declined. The Big Blue bean counters know how to slim, slash, cut and burn with the best. Good for them. But don’t forget those profits came at the expense of some 10,000 U.S. jobs.
    7. Finally, The scant AP report didn’t account for hundreds of other jobs that are on the chopping block among IBM’s work forces in the United Kingdom and Australia.

    When does the madness end?Where are those jobs headed? You known darn well where they are headed. The “sliver” of U.S. jobs shipped overseas in search of lower costs and foreign markets is a flood. When does this madness stop? The U.S. economy is being torpedoed, capsized and sunk before our very eyes. Real unemployment is at 20 percent. And if this economy slips into a double-dip recession, then watch out. The depression word will be back. And we won’t be talking about any more “slivers” but bullets to our economic corpse.

    Need evidence? If you want some mind-boggling reading about the outsourcing flood, then read this bulletin in the Federal register about employees who are eligible for tax-subsidized benefits due to jobs being off-shored and outsourced. "Slivers," indeed.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues Message Board: "Resource Action Month" by "moonlady0623". Excerpt: Just got the call, 31.5 years, but IBM Global Administration has become harder and harder to work with so in the end I will be happy that this is my last month with IBM. As a non-exempt employee you really don't expect to hear that we are expected to be available whenever our client needs us. Upper management has been phasing out US Assistants for years. In the end I'm going to be really FREE for the first time in all these years!
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues Message Board: "Re: Resource Action Month" by Tom Daly. Full excerpt: 9 years and 11 months for me. Should I feel revived after learning of my RA today? I'm 42 years old with kidney disease and difficult career choices ahead solely based on my health concerns. I don't know what is worth waiting for more - a new job opportunity or disability.
  • Computerworld: IBM layoffs blamed on offshoring. As many as 2,000 workers may be hit in latest round of cuts. By Patrick Thibodeau. Excerpts: After shrinking its U.S. workforce by as many as 10,000 employees last year, IBM this week may be on its way to cutting another 2,000 workers. IBM isn't commenting on its latest round of cuts and information about it comes from the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, which gathers its data directly from IBM employees. The Alliance, which has blamed offshoring for many of the layoffs, has been trying to win bargaining rights for employees.

    "IBM is clearly offshoring things where they can," said one IBM employee who received his notice yesterday and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he didn't want to jeopardize his severance. A 10-year veteran and UNIX administrator, this employee said his customer support team once had 15 U.S.-based workers. That staff was reduced over time to just three workers in the U.S., with other members of the customer support team now in Brazil, Argentina and India.

  • eWeek: New Round of IBM Job Cuts Reported. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpt: According to published reports and comments on a Website that solicits IBM employees, Big Blue is expected to continue to lay off workers in a move slated to begin as soon as March 1.

    Selected reader comments concerning the above article follow:

    • It's funny how stories about this latest round of eliminating American jobs does not mention how may jobs IBM has created overseas in the past year. I'm sure this is all music to the ears of people in Bangalore and Manila.
    • Even more, I know of several people who have created personal businesses on the side (games and iPhone apps are a big thing) while still being employed by IBM because they believe there is simply no future and are no longer emotionally attached to their jobs, so they hedge their bets. As a result, (1) they do not focus on delivering value for IBM as much and IBM gets less per employee and (2) it sours the mood for everyone because people feel less and less invested. It's a vicious circle.

      Also, the image of talent in Manila and India makes me laugh. There is great talent there, but as soon as they get their basic training through a large company like IBM, they go for themselves, or shop around for other jobs. Keeping an employee for more than a year is a big issue for large companies like IBM in India. And finding employees at IBM India with more experience is extremely hard.

      What is happening is that Executives have lost respect for talent. It's as simple as that. They all believe that talent in Software has become a commodity. I have had an executive tell me personally that software engineering requires no talent: any 13 year old, without an education can hack a market leading application today. This type of thinking is the major driver here. Plus costs of course. I am sure that if costs were the same, and children labor laws were abolished in the US, IBM would start hiring high school kids to do work for babysitting-level wages.

    • "Resource Action" sounds euphemistic at best. It turns my stomach when project managers, HR people, and others refer to *people* as "resources", as if they were lumps of coal or kilowatt-hours. It's not that IBM is any slimier than any other big multinational company. I think it's time IBM had a union.
    • I am one of those being let go. I have till March 31st and then that it. I worked for the Hartford Ins. Group and a couple of years ago IBM landed the outsourcing contract. I transitioned to IBM at that time. We were safe for 18 months then they started to move as many job overseas as they could. On Monday last week there were 3 Indian gentlemen waiting for us to train them. They have been struggling with the simplest of jobs and tasks that I have given them. I'm a storage backup administrator and I spend most of my time scripting San Based backups utilizing CA Autosys product. Last week I was on call and this being their 2nd week in the US they have no clue on how complicated my job is. I have not even scratched the surface of my autosys scripting duties. That job would take an average admin about a year to get comfortable doing that job. IBM just laid me and my co-worker off, the only 2 guys who know how to script these backups or even have a clue how to support the automated SAN based backups that we do. We will both be out March 31st. The Indians had better get their notebooks ready because they have about 3 weeks to learn what took me years to understand.

      One more thought, we are going to wake up and look at EDS, IBM, HP, and a host of other integrators and then realize these preeminent companies are no longer American entities, they are solely South Asian entities. The American Executives had sold these companies, their shareholders and their knowledge and talent pool down the river years ago. Our politicians ought to get with what is going on instead of trying to curry favor with their executives. The first thing Obama did a POTUS was a meet and greet with IBM Sam.

    • IBM sucks
    • India Business Machines. Horrible Company. I would never do business with them.
    • I was told today there may be 6,000 lay offs in the raleigh area alone this week and into the next. Has anyone heard of any new news? if so please inform me at this email: cobleremodels@aol.com

  • The Register (United Kingdom): IBM cuts more than 1,600 US jobs. Under the reporting radar. By Timothy Prickett Morgan. Excerpt: IBM has about 10,000 employees in North Carolina. As the site points out in another post, IBM's layoffs have been deep in its home country (if a multinational can be said to have one), with an estimated 10,000 layoffs in 2009 and some 30,000 over the past four years. Moreover, IBM has been very acquisitive in the US in the past several years, and those net job counts that get to 103,400 jobs today in the States include untold thousands, possibly tens of thousands (IBM never says, and is not required to, as it makes deals) of additional workers that came to Big Blue as part of acquisitions. So the cuts among IBM staff have been deeper than they appear.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues Message Board: "Re: Jobs" by "sby_willie". Full excerpt: If IBM cared to manage and appreciate "resource productivity" in the USA it would find that the remaining USA IBM resources (a.k.a. and used to be called employees, workers, humans, people) are working their collective you know what off now. Offshoring a USA IBM job is not a 1:1 thing; not even close. For every one offshored job there are more than one resource from a BRIC that now does it.

    IBM makes billions of USA $ in record profits. But its revenues are dismal at best. The reason it's revenues are down is because of it's greedy, self serving leadership who can't fix the revenue stream since they don't care to. They only care to do the easy stuff and know how to cost cut and that's it. It's too much work to do for these overpaid and compensated folks to even study the revenue issues.

    These executives say they have to continually rebalance the workforce to meet client needs is because these executives are not willing to fix the real bottom up issues that affect revenue growth possibilities. IBM does not do a good job face-to-face with the customer. How many IBMers are meeting with the customer to bail a contract or a project out now? Plenty. Too many. IBM wastes tons of time and money in the process. It blows more money than most smaller companies could ever make.

    The money wasted is recovered by RAing productive workers. But the middle management and executive ranks stays the status quo. The real inefficiency is in it's middle and upper management and executive ranks but it is never addressed. And this inefficiency has been around for a long, long time (since the early 1990's).

    IMHO the only way IBM can fix it's present ills is to clean house from middle management on up. If this means hiring all middle management and upper management and executives and a whole new BOD in the BRICs then so be it.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues Message Board: "Laid-Off: A Blessing in disguise?" by "nefinat". Full excerpt: This time last year, I was "impacted" during the 2009 Resource Action. Part of an acquisition just over a year old, I had finally began to settle into the blue-washed world. GTS was my IBM home, and I was actually starting to enjoy it. ... let me indulge a little here: I came from a small group. I loved group (or so I thought). During an All-Hands meeting while still under our former ego, "We are small, but we are mighty!" ... sigh. Those were the days.

    Expectedly, I was confused, hurt, betrayed, and most of all, worried. Being a new home owner and in the midst of a total-home renovation – I was stressed enough. The next 8 months were the worst times of my life. Serving tables again? Really? It's that bad? Ugh. Shoot me.

    My life was turning upside down. Interview after interview = nothing. Arguments, bills, and stress was at its peak! This carried on for awhile. I contemplated Restaurant Management. Then I snapped out of it. Long hours, 6 days a week... Thanks, but no. Don't get me wrong, Restaurant Management is an honorable career, just not for me.

    About a week before I was about to go legally insane, I got a phone call from an employer that I had interviewed with; they had my resume on file (Yippee!). I went into the interview thinking "I have nothing to lose". I kept my head up, was attentive, made them laugh, and said my thanks. I was selected for the position.

    It's been two months... Life is great - I love my job – my salary doubled – I couldn't ask for more - I feel truly blessed - each and every day.

    Reflecting, while I was at IBM I knew that road was a dead-end. I needed a push; someone to kick me out of the nest and see if I could fly. I flapped my wings... hard, took some major nose dives - but I swooped back up and caught a ride with the wind. (Corny? I know – Sorry)

    Being laid-off was definitely a blessing in disguise. To those who are impacted, this is cliche, but keep your heads up... take a deep breath and catch your ride. Uncover your blessings. Good Luck!

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues Message Board: "Re: Laid-Off: A Blessing in disguise?" by "Corey Belkin". Full excerpt: Very well said I indeed!

    For me, I knew IBM Global Services was a dead-end job when I asked to do more and was politely told no, keep doing what I'm already doing because that's where I'm needed most.

    Now I'm getting paid to leave. It doesn't get much better than that when dealing with a job that had zero career opportunity.

    I'm looking forward to the opportunity to finally grow. True, the door to leave is always open but why leave and get nothing as thanks for years of service? If you can tolerate things I say stay for the paycheck and take the package when offered.

  • Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record: IBM says job cuts tallied at 2,591 aren't really layoffs. By George Spohr. Full excerpt: Alliance@IBM said Thursday the final tally in this round of IBM layoffs stands at 2,591. The union-backed employee group calculated those numbers based on “resource action” packets IBM gives to laid-off employees. The company's position is that those employees aren't laid off, because they have 30 days on the payroll during which time they're able to transfer to available positions within the company.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "IBMers not laid off after all" by "finitewisdom". Full excerpt: This is an amazing bit of spin, assuming it came from an IBM spokesperson. The fact that managers with open positions aren't allowed to speak to or hire those RA'd has conveniently been omitted.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: IBMers not laid off after all" by "trexibmer". Full excerpt: Yes, in fact I wasn't laid off. I was "selected to participate" in a resource action. Like I won something. I guess I won a 30 day exit after giving my best to IBM and am now unemployed. Gee, how nice. Thanks IBM. Life ain't so good.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: IBMers not laid off after all" by "Wayne". Full excerpt: Ah, so I wasn't laid off after all. That makes me feel much better (sarcasm intended). I just wish the executives had the guts to call it what it is, a lay off. There is no other term to describe it. I am lucky in that I can retire, although I am forced into it. I just don't want to keep putting myself or my family through the stress of these non-lay offs.

    I just wish time travel were possible. I would bring Tom Watson into the future to see what today's executives have done to the company. That old man would be whipping a few knots on some heads up at the executive level. My thoughts and prayers for everyone affected by an IBM layoff.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: IBMers not laid off after all" by "honestbuyer2010". Full excerpt: This is all BS from IBM management. Personally I have been RA'd and when I apply for jobs on the internal job web site, even if the manager is interested, they have a batch job which runs and rejects your applications and hence the manager can not do anything since your applications are rejected and unless you are in the system you can't be considered for openings. This is coming from my personal experience.

    IBM HR has put gates for every group/division. so if you are in GBS you can't move to STG and SWG etc., and even within SWG you can't move from Tivoli to websphere or IM till the RA employees leave. No one seems to know till when the gates are closed and everyone believes (including some managers I have talked to) that this will open up once RA employees leave.

    In other words they are stating to the world that RA employees can find other jobs, but internally closing all avenues and gates so RA employees don't stand a chance to find a job.

    Being a RA employee and seeing all this nonsense I have decided not to work for a company which has no respect and integrity to stand by what they state. Advice to RA employees: don't waste your valuable time and expertise with IBM. The company's jobs are not worth it, irrespective of your personal situation, you will be happier outside of IBM. Best of luck to all RA employees.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "A gathering place of IBM Alumni - and a message of hope" by Linda Pelekoudas. Full excerpt: I am genuinely sympathetic to all the new RA'ed folks are going through these days. There is nothing that can change what is about to happen, but what I can tell you is that you are in great company. By our count you are the 5th class of alumni since September of 2008. You may not believe me now, but there are many good things that you could realize from all this change. Here are a few that come to mind:
    1. You soon will no longer be responsible in any way for the jobs IBM sends overseas.
    2. You will have the opportunity to do what you have always wanted to do.
    3. If you work longer than a 50 hour week it will be because you want to not because your manager made you while he/she went out for a 2 day vacation.

    Naturally there are as many positive outcomes to be found, if you want to find them, as there are people in this common situation. On the converse, it is easy and natural to be angry, bitter, or even depressed. Though these are very understandable reactions, my advice is to spend as little time in this space as you can. Turn your anger into action. If you need help to do this there are many folks who are willing to help.

    Now there is something important that I wanted to share with you. Thanks to a member of the class from April 09, David Heck, there is a Ning group set up. It is called Surplus Capacity Reintegration Effort there are a number of groups set up in the site that you may find useful. As a group we met daily, facilitated by our friend Art Conklin, during our 30 day cooling period and continued to meet for several months afterward. Many participants found the support useful, a place to ask questions from peers - of all levels, and even opportunities for employment. The choice - obviously - is yours. My intent today is to simply share awareness with you that this exists. That there is hope and that in the end we will all be ok.

    I am a member of the April 09 class. It was actually the second time my job was eliminated at IBM. My career was a good one and I am proud of everything I accomplished. I do reserve my guilt to the client projects I architected that in the end had not one US citizen on the team. But this too is now just history. I and my colleagues are of a common mind at the moment - as long as there are out of work Americans, our company Strategy and Design Solutions (SDS) will not engage a single "off-shore" resource.

    The story of SDS is I am told an inspiring one, and not the only one of the Blue No More community that has accomplished remarkable progress in just under one years time. If there is an interest, the calls may again convene. In addition to addressing what you as a group wish to cover, presentations from some of these success stories would be easily arranged.

    Ok last things - there are several Linked in Groups you may wish to join if you have not already -Blue No More ande426.orgare two you may not have found - the others are bigger communities like IBMers,IBM Alumni ,The Greater IBM Connection and IBM co/ex workers independent group Best of Luck. And I hope to meet many of you in the days ahead.

  • The Register (United Kingdom): IBM quietly shoves ISS wares into Tivoli. Services only, please. By Austin Modine. Excerpt: IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS) products have quietly been booted from Big Blue's global services business and into the ever-expanding Tivoli brand product line, The Register has learned. IBM acquired ISS four years ago in a deal valued at an astounding $1.3bn. And though the Georgia-based firm was best known for its security software and appliances, what really attracted IBM to ISS was its managed security service offerings.
  • BusinessWeek: Naked Consulting: What Clients Really Want Clients are looking for transparency, humility, vulnerability, and honesty—the opposite of what is often given to them, writes Pat Lencioni. Excerpts: When I graduated from college and became a management consultant, one of the first things I was taught was how to answer questions from clients without giving away my age or lack of business experience. "Instead of admitting that you graduated from college last spring, just say that it's been a while since you were in school," was the answer I was advised to give. The underlying message was that we needed to portray ourselves as having more knowledge and experience than we actually did.

    That carried over into our work. When we went to clients, we were taught to have done plenty of research and to have formulated a recommendation, one backed up by solid data and analysis. We were expected to portray ourselves as smart (and frankly, that meant smarter than the clients) and advised to do nothing that might demonstrate a lack of confidence or authority.

    As a result, many of my colleagues, including me, came to dislike our jobs. And to be fair, it didn't feel as if our clients liked us much, either. But that was the world of consulting, and unfortunately, in many places, it still is.

    When I left that job and joined a "real" company, I became a client myself, bringing in consultants to do projects for my organization. I suppose it was sometime during that period that I developed my current approach to consulting, one we've been using in my firm for the past dozen years. It's called naked consulting and, yes, it's as intriguing as it sounds.

    The essence of naked consulting is that clients are more interested in candor, humility, and transparency than they are in confidence, authority, and perfection. That's not to say that competence is irrelevant; clients need to know that we have the knowledge and experience to help them. But once we've reached that level, the best way to differentiate ourselves from the competition—not to mention help a client implement our recommendations—is to be vulnerable with them. Read more...

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: Re: H1B Visa Reform by "trexibmer". Full excerpt: Here is an idea of reform that would sour the companies and corporations from abusing and participating in the H1B visa program unless they truly have a need: If companies say they can't hire qualified USA workers to fill a job, then require the companies that want to hire a foreign national to the H1B visa for the job to pay more than the average rate of pay for that job to be filled. After all if there is a true shortage of qualified workers then premium pay should be paid to the person filling the position.
  • eWeek: Government Seeking $1.4 Million Back Wages in H-1B Visa Case. By Don E. Sears. Excerpt: The U.S. Department of Labor is not happy with one New Jersey-based software company using H-1B visas. Peri Software Solutions, which has offices in Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif., and offshore in Chennai, India, is accused of violating prevailing wage law for a large contingent of H-1B visa employees. According to a Department of Labor statement, Peri Software and its president and owner, Sarib Perisamya, have been cited for not paying prevailing wages of H-1B visa holders working in software and technology analyst positions. The U.S. government is going after $1,456,422 in back wages owed to 163 workers.
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Pension: annuity/lump-sum + annuity/income leveling" by "scall0way". Full excerpt: OK, I just got RA'ed yesterday. Initially given an exit date of March 31, then just a few hours later extended to May 31, LOL. Plus I get the 6-months severance package.

    I have 36 years with IBM and will be 58 years old later this month, so I am retirement eligible under the old plan, although I had hoped to work a few more years. I know my odds of finding another job in my field at a comparable salary are pretty slim. And frankly, I'm feeling burned out enough that I'm not sure I *want* another job in my field! Though I'm certainly open to the idea of a part-time job perhaps.

    I'll be working half a year, and then will get another half-year's pay (and still have to understand what my unemployment eligibility is) so I should be set for 2010 at least. But when 2011 rolls around I'll still be 15 months from being able to draw from my 401k or IRA plans (yes I know I can do a 72(t) thing with the 401K - but I would prefer not to be locked in for 5 years when I'm so close to having unrestricted access to the funds).

    So my retirement plan options seem to be: 1) standard annuity; 2) lump sum + residual annuity; 3) income leveling annuity.

    I ran some of this past my financial planner. His recommendation was to go with option 2. He said that his basic philosophy about retirement planning is "don't have all your eggs in one basket" and he likes to see people have at least 3 and better yet 4 income streams, so that if something happens to one of them you are not totally hosed, but still have other income sources. Of course, as I said to him, this *also* assumes that the place you invest that lump sum money is likely to be more financially secure than the IBM pension plan.

    He said that IBM actually has one of the better pension plans around, and participates in the PBGC, but you still "never know". So he sees my income streams as being: 1) residual annuity; 2) lump sum suitably invested in some way; 3) 401K, and then later social security as a 4th income stream.

    He also brought up the point that if I were run over a truck right after retiring my heir(s) would get nothing from the IBM plan, but they *would* get the lump sum if I had taken it. Although it does look as though I can actually elect a non-spousal survivor option. I was not aware of this.

    And this is not that much of a worry for me. I am not married. My only direct heir is my son. He would still inherit my 401K and various other things. I am in the process of fixing up my house so I can put it on the market, and am thinking of just taking the money and renting somewhere. So I would have house money proceeds to invest also.

    From my own viewpoint I had seriously been thinking about the income leveling option. That would give me a fair amount of monthly money right up front, and would indeed easily be enough to live on for a few years, assuming I get my house sold and find somewhere reasonable to rent. Yes I know it drops back drastically when SS kicks in, but I figure by then my 401K and house-profit investments will have had more years to grow and help provide another income stream.

    Yeah I know the IBM pension is non-COLA, so I would have to account for that. Not having had a raise for the last six years I can easily see how money gets eaten away!

    If I take the financial planner's option I don't see *any* way to get a monthly income anywhere close to what the IBM income leveling option would give me - at least not without dipping into the 401K much sooner than I want to.

    But I am not a "number cruncher" so all the above assumptions are based just on high-level numbers and gut feel. I did some searching here on "income leveling" and didn't get one single hit, so it doesn't seem to have been discussed here.

    I'm read about people here saying the did crunch the numbers to determine which made the most financial sense, but I'm not even sure how one goes about it! Are there any tools (that would need to be at a "For Dummies" sort of level for me to understand them) or things available to help me with my decisions? Or even personal experiences?

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Pension: annuity/lump-sum + annuity/income leveling" by "madinpok". Full excerpt: Some things to think about... Your financial planner should be a fee-for-service planner who will not profit from your taking the lump sum and investing it with him or with his firm. That's the best way to get unbiased advice.

    By taking the lump sum, you will be giving up a portion of the early retirement subsidy which is part of the annuity payments. The subsidy boosts the monthly payment above what the underlying lump sum would normally pay. The subsidy is worth the most the younger you are and disappears the closer you are to age 65 when you retire.

    At age 58, the subsidy is still fairly significant. As a result, it is difficult to invest the lump sum at a rate of return that would provide the lifetime income that the full annuity would have provided. One thing that might make you take the lump sum anyway is that if you believe we are in for years of high inflation in the future. The lump sum might protect you there, assuming you can find a way to invest it that will beat inflation.

    The Income Leveling option is a form of a loan, which IBM charges a fairly high interest rate on. By paying you more now, before you are eligible for social security, IBM is loaning you some of your future social security income. To pay the interest on that loan, IBM reduces the amount of your pension. So you need to think about whether you are willing to pay the interest cost of that loan. Your financial planner should be able to compare the two payment options and calculate the hidden interest cost.

    If you need the extra income now, you may not have a choice. But if you can afford to live without the leveling income, you will probably be better off in the long run. Unless of course, there is something in your family history that makes you think you will not live a long life.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Pension: annuity/lump-sum + annuity/income leveling" by "copyright1997". Full excerpt: I have 36 years with IBM and will be 58 years old later this month, so I am retirement eligible under the old plan, although I had hoped to work a few more years. Since you are more than 55 years old, you can make penalty free withdrawals from your 401k. This does NOT require you to transfer your 401k to a Rollover IRA and then do a 72(t) SEPP plan.

    So my retirement plan options seem to be: 1) standard annuity; 2) lump sum + residual annuity; 3) income leveling annuity. I ran some of this past my financial planner. His recommendation was to go with option 2. He said that his basic philosophy about retirement planning is "don't have all your eggs in one basket" and he likes to see people have at least 3 and better yet 4 income streams, so that if something happens to one of them you are not totally hosed, but still have other income sources. Of course, as I said to him, this *also* assumes that the place you invest that lump sum money is likely to be more financially secure than the IBM pension plan.

    WARNING: A lot of "financial planners" "might" like to recommend lump sums because lump sums need to be invested and "financial planners" make money by "managing" peoples investments.

    He said that IBM actually has one of the better pension plans around, and participates in the PBGC, but you still "never know". So he sees my income streams as being: 1) residual annuity; 2) lump sum suitably invested in some way; 3) 401K, and then later social security as a 4th income stream.

    Have you run the numbers to determine how much #1 - #4 are? Even before that, have you constructed a BUDGET to determine what your initial $ requirements are? This is the FIRST step for a financial plan. (Don't forget about inflation. You could either assume a reasonable inflation factor, or you could try to construct a plan that is inflation based, i.e. makes an assume on your return on investment in real (inflation adjusted terms). Note that your pension is not inflation adjusted, so you need to make a estimate of what percentage of your pension would need to be reinvested to keep up with inflation.)

    He also brought up the point that if I were run over a truck right after retiring my heir(s) would get nothing from the IBM plan, but they *would* get the lump sum if I had taken it. Although it does look as though I can actually elect a non-spousal survivor option. I was not aware of this.

    Yes, you can designate a non-spousal survivor for up to a 50% J&S option on the IBM plan. (I know because I did so.)

    From my own viewpoint I had seriously been thinking about the income leveling option. That would give me a fair amount of monthly money right up front, and would indeed easily be enough to live on for a few years, assuming I get my house sold and find somewhere reasonable to rent. Yes I know it drops back drastically when SS kicks in, but I figure by then my 401K and house-profit investments will have had more years to grow and help provide another income stream.

    Your decision on leveling (in statistical terms) depends partially on how long you expect to live. There is a break even point (I don't remember the age off hand). If you die before that age, taking leveling was a good economic decision. If you die after that age, a bad decision.

    Yeah I know the IBM pension is non-COLA, so I would have to account for that. Not having had a raise for the last six years I can easily see how money gets eaten away!

    I had done (but can't seem to find it now) a simple spreadsheet where I entered three factors, a) expected years to live b) expected inflation rate, c) expected return on investment and then used goal seeker to tell me what % of my pension would theoretically need to be reinvested (and therefore what percentage remained for me to use) to keep a constant after inflation buying power. A similar spreadsheet could be used to calculate a break-even point on the lump-sum vs annuity decision.

    If I take the financial planner's option I don't see *any* way to get a monthly income anywhere close to what the IBM income leveling option would give me - at least not without dipping into the 401K much sooner than I want to.

    Another way to look at the lump-sum vs. annuity is to use one of the single premium immediate annuity quotes (e.g. Berkshire has one... google Berkshire SPIA). It will tell you what it would take to purchase a SPIA to give you a given income stream for life.

    But I am not a "number cruncher" so all the above assumptions are based just on high-level numbers and gut feel. I did some searching here on "income leveling" and didn't get one single hit, so it doesn't seem to have been discussed here. I'm read about people here saying the did crunch the numbers to determine which made the most financial sense, but I'm not even sure how one goes about it! Are there any tools (that would need to be at a "For Dummies" sort of level for me to understand them) or things available to help me with my decisions? Or even personal experiences?

    The "retireearlyhomepage.com" contains some very useful information. Some other things to look at are the firecalc calculator (www.firecalc.com) (fire = financial independence retire early). Also see the early retirement forum, www.early-retirement.org. Finally, feel free to ask additional questions or ask for more detail on things that don't make sense.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Pension: annuity/lump-sum + annuity/income leveling" by "dpudup". Full excerpt: Faced similar decision last fall (one difference married so I had to make decision on whether to stick with the surviving spouse 50% default or chose another option).
    • Discussed taking the lump sum with other IBMers (one of whom was also a CFP (side career)) ----- unless you or your family have history of health problems, not a good decision to take the lump sum if you expect to live past approx 70. Agree with other posts (is your CFP trying to sell you something?) The discount is too large to justify the lump sum
    • You have other assets (home (look at IRS Pub 523 you get a $250K exclusion on capital gain), 401K) to leave to you son,
    • By taking the full pension, you also hedge against needing to use 401K or other assets to pay for medical and other costs after FHA account runs out
    • Same with the leveling -- a steep price to pay if your life expectancy is normal
    • Your thought about a part time job does two things - eases the transition from full time work and supplements the pension, avoiding the leveling choice
  • Jim Hightower: The Supreme Court's Corporate Wonderland. Excerpts: As you’ve probably heard, corporations are now “people.” While these inanimate paper constructs have no brain, heart, or soul, five ideological screwballs on our Supreme Court have created a new Frankenstein monster. The five Supremes decreed that corporations henceforth have a First Amendment right to “speak” in any and all of our elections by spending unlimited sums of corporate cash to elect or defeat candidates.

    This will of course, have a disastrous impact on the democratic sovereignty of us actual people. But the Court’s idea of turning corporate entities into persons has also prompted a gusher of fun, irreverent ideas and questions from you human-type persons. ...

    Then there’s the issue of “next steps.” If corporations have the First Amendment political right to support candidates, how can they be denied the right to become candidates? Indeed, one corporation, Murray Hill Inc., has already filed for a Maryland congressional seat. A Murry Hill executive says that his corporation simply decided to "eliminate the middleman," and he's urging other corporate brothers and sisters to take the political plunge. “We’re saying to Wal-Mart, AIG and Pfizer, if not you, who? If not now, when?”

  • Reuters: Retirement without fear. By Linda Stern. Excerpts: Most American workers are better set to retire than they think they are, according to a new retirement readiness index. "People are going to be surprised," asserts Tom Kmak, head of Fiduciary Benchmarks (www.fiduciarybenchmarks.com), a company that analyzes corporate 401(k) plans. "If you take the passion and the fear-mongering out of it, it is possible to retire on schedule."

    Fear mongering has been a part of the "retirement readiness" landscape since workers began having to invest for retirement on their own through Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k) plans. Companies that make money selling investments also make a regular practice of floating "workers are woefully unprepared and should save more" surveys.

    Kmak's firm used a different methodology. It used corporate tax filings to determine how much money was actually in workers' 401(k) accounts, and extrapolated Social Security benefits from salary information. It used fairly conservative figures from Aon Consulting and Georgia State University (here) showing that retiring workers typically need to replace between 72 percent (high earners) and 95 percent (low earners) of their pre-retirement incomes. And it found the average worker already had 92 percent of what was needed to be on track for retirement. Most workers could make up the difference with small additions to their savings, or by working a little bit longer, or living a little bit smaller when they retire. ...

    Most measurements of retirement readiness focus on how much you'll need in the first year or two after you retire. But the vast majority of retirees end up cutting their spending sharply by the time they are in their mid- to late 70s, according to the Federal Government's Consumer Expenditures reports. So those necessary replacement rates may be overly conservative.

    You can retire happily on less. It's important to have enough money in retirement to cover everyday expenses and some joys. But many people fund their retirements, at least in part, by moving to a smaller home or a cheaper town. They still enjoy life. Falling a few dollars short doesn't mean destitution, it means making the same budget choices you're already making during your working life.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
  • To Alliance@IBM supporters: The Alliance is the only organization that advocates and supports IBM employees and ex-employees. In fact, there are few like it in the Information Technology field. It is always difficult to keep an organization like this alive, but as a supporter you know how important it is that we exist. We are calling on you today to help keep us alive another year by joining as a member or associate member. See our online forms below. As our membership has dropped, it is imperative that we gain new members or this organization and web site will cease to exist. Help us keep our organizing and advocacy work alive!
  • General Visitor Comments: Due to a lack of membership growth the comment sections will be closed until we see sufficient growth in full membership, associate membership or donations. Many of you that visit our site have not yet joined, but seem to value its existence. The only comment section that will remain open will be Job Cuts Reports. If you have information that you want the Alliance to know about please send to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com. Information of importance will be put on the front page of this web site. To join go here: Join The Alliance! or here: Join The Alliance!
  • Tell-A-Friend! Take action! IBM must employ US workers on ALL Government contracts! Pass your message on to your friends and colleagues, and invite them to sign up for Alliance@IBM.
  • Job Cut Reports
    • Comment 3/01/10: Was reading the Alliance@IBM job cuts and wondering about "The Big Date 3/1". Just received a phone call about being on the RA list. I have mixed feelings right now, should I celebrate or be worried ? But I am not in panic or fear. I am confident of myself and find something better. If they offer me 36 weeks of severance and I get hired within a month somewhere else, now that will be a reason to celebrate. Good Luck to all who will be taking up my work and I can tell you will regret it to take it up from me :) -Grand_Finale-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Layoffs happening today in Rational Software, Lexington MA. -irRational-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Got resourced with a PBC rating of 2 in Division 48 for something out of my control, not technical skills or performance. -RA'd-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Just got call from my manager. He said an RA is happening today but I am not part of it. Div 6C-AIS. Targeting mainframe skills... again and others. Glad I joined Alliance last year. -IBMer2Long-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA today in ITD. Some great co-workers moving on. We'll miss you guys. -InTheKnow-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Div. 7 - ITD Project Managers getting hit. Maximum severance - 6 months. -No faith No Trust-
    • Comment 3/01/10: To "Grand Finale": unless the rules have changed, the max severance IBM would offer is 26 weeks. To "Fate": I tried to get another position during the 30-day window, but no luck. One manager explained to me that, for him to take me on, he'd have to lay off one of his folks. In other words, headcount was frozen during the Feb 2009 RA. That said, a good friend of mine got RAed, and was "saved". But he had very high-level connections, and a couple of VPs went to bat for him. So it all hinges on whom you know. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Well I guess I may need to think about changing my name since "Still Ducking" does not apply anymore. I just talked to my FLM and received my package with a 3/31 separation date. My manager told me that this is a 75% reduction in this department and all of the other departments in the FLM group. So that means about 20 others in my department (plus about 60 others in the other departments) are waiting for the FLM to get to them to tell them their time is up at IBM.

      I am a Project Manager in ITD Div 07. So this is going to be a long day for many. For me, I have seen this coming and am prepared for it. But, I feel sorry for those that do not have a clue, as this will be really hard on them. There are many in my department like that. They put their nose on the line IBM draws on the ground and start following it with the attitude IBM is there to protect them. The package I received is a normal package with 1 week for every 6 months from "most recent hire date". I am happy I am done with IBM. -Still Ducking-

    • Comment 3/01/10: I'm in GBS Div 6C - there are RA's going on in my area (we are scattered all over the US). Received the "you are not affected" call, but others under my 2nd line aren't as fortunate. Good luck to all those who are let go - hoping you find a better environment to work in than this. -Getting sick of this-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Got word that RA happening today in CIO's office. 3 in my department affected - not sure about others. -CIO's Office-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Division 7 Layoff occurring for Shared Services Business Analysts 4 in my dept probably more as the day progresses. These are mobile employees so no one location affected. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: CIO office laying off today possible 500 -xxxxxx-
    • Comment 3/01/10: SARM and ITD and PMs hit hard. Over 30% of one dept in Lex, RTP, Atl, Denver. All in name of "workload requirements" of work shifted to Dubuque and offshore. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: OFF-TOPIC: Keep your eyes on IBM & insider selling at IBM. IBM 2010 ANNUAL STOCKHOLDER MEETING-A REAL CLIFF HANGER ! Details- www.ibmTheWidowMaker.com -twitter.com/@MadamePJBailey-
    • Comment 3/01/10: It's true, I received my notice today. Effective 3/31 is my last day. I have 31 years service and am 61 years old. No discrimination here. I'm in ITD in Tulsa Ok. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Layoffs happening with WebSphere Application Server, AIM in RTP this morning. -RTPGuy-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Job cuts in Fishkill GDF. No numbers yet -NYer-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Job cuts today - 3/1/2010 in Demand Programs a division formed last year from what was formerly Marketing and Market Intelligence. Don't know the full extent just know of 4 already thins morning that were cut from about 20 that I regularly work with. Have not heard from everyone, but I am sure it's deeper than that with my immediate folks.-Longtimer-
    • Comment 3/01/10: To those of you RA'd today, please know that this is not the end but the beginning! Life after IBM gives you the freedom to find something better. You are not alone. Take solace in the company of your fellow RA'd and join the union to help the others to follow. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Apparently another resource action going down today. I'm in Boulder and I just got notified my last day is March 31. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Alliance - are you aware of ANY other company in the United States that has cut 30,000 Americans in the last 5 years only to hire overseas? That's equivalent of a football stadium. -annonymous- Alliance reply: We've known since before 5 years ago, that IBM fires more people per capita in the US than any other company...and that factoid, goes largely unreported by the media. Hopefully the media will start talking about it today.
    • Comment 3/01/10: Yup - got my pink slip today too. Not that surprised - a couple others on my team got it too. I just better not have to talk to anyone in India today! - Beaverton, Oregon -Susan-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got my notice first thing this morning. I am being told by some folks that this round could be as hi as 30% of DIV 07. I was with SARM, work from home. -Adios IBM-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RIF'd this morning from STG sales (FTSS technical support). Heard a number of 40% but not sure what the extent. I live in Austin but am a mobile employee associated with Retail Store Solutions in Raleigh. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Global Administration (secretaries and managers) got cuts. About 10% of the population. -anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I have been let go as of the 31st. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Are the remaining IBMers not affected by the recent RA finally going to join the Alliance to try to stave off another future RA? When R U folks going to take some action? The only action I see is folks getting RAed. -JoinTheAlliance- Alliance reply: Our advice is Join The Alliance and DO SOMETHING... like O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E!
    • Comment 3/01/10: Job Cuts across GBS (div 5): operations and practitioners. Around 30% in my area alone (operations). -anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: It's time to begin collecting data on how many employees are picked up in IBM's acquisitions, to get a better picture of how many people are being let go. As of today, IBM has about 300 new employees as a result of buying Initiate Systems. -Think-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Just got my RA notice today at 11:20am ET. Separation date of 03/31. Worked in the GBS Migration Factory -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I am a reporter following IBM's progress in Dubuque. Thanks. -Eileen Schmidt-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Cut from GTS Marketing in Atlanta. From IBM Security. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Got the word today from my manager in BTCIO, one person in my dept,. is affected. The management speech included phrases like, cost control, right sizing, and cuts were based on job roles, locations, skills, and relative performance. I do not know the locations of layoffs as our organization has "virtual" teams spread out over the country and globe. I will try to obtain a resource package. Yet another bullet dodged for now. -Alliance member-
    • Comment 3/01/10: ITD CES (div 07) had huge layoffs. Out of 322 total, 288 to stay and 34 are on RA list. About 10% RAed. Associate Architects, PM, Executive architect, exec PM, Sr IT Arch, Sr PMs, Advisory Architect are on the list. This is not a good sign at all when Sr Architects and PMs are being RAed. This is not their skills issue, it its IBM's business ramp down. Watch out below -Out Of Muck-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Any Resource action in Canada? It has been very quiet above the 49th parallel. -concerned- Comment 3/01/10: I am in NA demand programs and I was just laid off ... div. 12 Sales& Distribution -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA hit our dept. today (GBS IGA). I am not impacted, but others in my dept. are. I don't know who or how many were impacted since most of us Work@Home. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 129 from GBS Public Sector. -StayedTooLongAtTheFair-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got notified this morning I have been RA'ed... DIV: 07 Unit: ITD/SSO -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Just RA'd from IBM after 14 years of agony in ITD division 07. Manager scheduled a very atypical 15 minute 1-on-1 conference. Severance package includes 1 week of salary for every 6 months of employment. Looking forward to brighter days AFTER IBM. I asked why I was laid off a few weeks after receiving a 2+ PBC rating with glowing comments, told it was skill based and not performance based. What that means is that they needed to fire some more US workers. -Goodbye IBM-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was just told (09:45 PST) on 3/1/2010 that software group was cutting jobs. Unbelievable!!! The company posts great profits and then lays off employees. AHHHH!!!! I wasn't part of the action, but this really makes me sick. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 5 individuals including myself. have been released today. Killing the goose that .lay the golden egg. -layoffs 3/1/2010- Comment 3/01/10: GTS - Complex Engagement Services - (1) TSM GTS - SO General Business CSE (1) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Div 07. Tech Services. 4 cuts from staff of 27. Mobile workers - no specific location. -NoMoreIBM-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Legacy Telelogic, came into Rational Services with the acquisition in Jul 08. Had 2+ PBC last year, 3 this year and just got the call. Last day 31 March. -Rational in No. VA-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was cut last year Feb 2009. Damn near lost my home. Found another job rather quickly 400 miles away taking a serious, serious cut in salary. You're nothing but a means to and end...a number...IBM will cut you right now and replace you with another resource in India or elsewhere. 13 billion in profit is not enough. I can tell working from the customer side now, quality and support are in a downward spiral. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: ITD/SSO Div 07 Transitions group. Was told I'm safe but that my dept. was affected. RA is happening across entire organization. Joined the alliance 2 years ago when they cut my pay. Come on people let's make history and get a contract. -safe for now- Alliance reply: Agreed. Thank you for your support! The time to be scared the least, is when you are afraid the most. That's the time to ACT! Our advice to all US IBMers is Join The Alliance and DO SOMETHING... like O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E!
    • Comment 3/01/10: If you are RA'd, be sure you get your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) money OUT ASAP. You can take out everything you elected to contribute for the whole year and not have to re pay it. Also sign up for a local class to get unemployment AND severance for added pay! These things won't be shared to you. -Annonymous- Comment 3/01/10: 5 in my 2nd line's org. 2 in my dept. 1 in Tucson, 1 in San Jose. Standard package 3.31.10 leave date -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: It seems that the criteria they are using to RA an individual this time around is, if you are not certified in your area of expertise, you are the first to go. This so-called Skills based resource action is a joke, when for the past 5-10 years they have not provided any training whatsoever even when the training dollars were available for those needed certifications. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: ITD, was laid off today...there is a package -Kimberly-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Re: "I asked why I was laid off a few weeks after receiving a 2+ PBC rating with glowing comments, told it was skill based and not performance based.' I just talked to a coworker of mine that was laid off for performance reason s(or so they told her). Interesting how IBM just picks a reason that suits them. -Interesting coincidence-
    • Comment 3/01/10: IBM Mechanicsburg lost about 70% of its PIMS IT force this morning. 40 total employees, 28 RA'd, 12 Staying, 2 still unknown. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was RA'd today....Cognos division. -Anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: The same SDMs, PDMs who laid off hundreds of programmers few years back are getting laid of. Its their turn now. -Jack-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Seriously "skill based" means you are an american making american wages.. they want CHEAP FORIEGN workers to replace US workers .. period.. eventually ALL US folks will be gone .. especially operations folks ... -Anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: It's not just division 7. I dodged this bullet (my heart goes out to all of you who didn't) but others in my dept got RA-ed today. We're in division 53. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: "...told it was skill based and not performance based..." It's a lie. Typical IBM big blew. They are getting rid of all the folks with the skills and keeping the dumba$$ yes men and women who don't have a clue and have no skills to carry out this and other RAs. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Hi Everyone! I am a contractor with IBM and have been laid off twice since 2002, once as an IBMer a new house and a new baby, and second time in 2007 as a single mom of two young children with high rent. Times have changed for sure. If interested I have written an article"The New North American Trend - I've been laid off! How to cope? (http://downtoearthwithwings.com/?p=266)...good luck to everyone, stay strong! -Mel-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Four people I work with in Toronto Canada have been RA'd today. Their last day will be end of March. Operations is not a good place to be any more - jobs that can be outsourced are slowly and steadily being outsourced. IBM have been masterful at keeping this and other past RA's out of government and media scrutiny. I have high PBC ratings but have no illusions about my prospects of continuing employment with IBM. -Town-
    • Comment 3/01/10: One of my colleague under my manager in Software Group (issw) was just laid off. A very sad day. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was RA'ed today out of an IGS dept based in Boulder, CO. My org has ~150 employees and I was told we had a 25% cut today. But on the bright side, I keep reading news reports about how the recession is over! -out-on-my-ear-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Got the call this morning Div07 ITD/SSO. Still in shock was always a 1 or 2+ rating but last year was only given a 2 but also was on maternity leave, something seems "wrong" with that. Good luck to everyone effected today!! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA'd today.. got 26 out of 32 in my department. All PM's in ITD Dev 07. -RA'd today-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I've been a member over a year. The writing is on the wall. Our colleagues (and maybe me since I haven't heard word yet) are being let go. If more people had joined the union we could have been at the bargaining table instead of a rotten 1x1 telling you that you just lost your job. Are those non-members just NOT interested in protecting their interests? I tried to get a bunch of people to join, but everyone thinks, NOT ME, until IT'S THEM and then its too late. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE JOIN - WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP OUR JOBS AND KEEP OUR COUNTRY STRONG ! If you think your upper mgmt cares about you, think again, they ONLY care about making their goals in life, not yours. -alliance member-
    • Comment 3/01/10: No cuts in IDT in the EFK GDF but some employee changed from exempt to non exempt and 15% pay cut with paid OT -Tony-
    • Comment 3/01/10: resource actioned today. IBM Global Technology Services Security SPL -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I'm in IGS. At least one person in my department of nine was RA'd today. Same number as last year. Elsewhere in IGS, my best friend was RA'd. Ugh, I'm glad to have dodged the bullet, but when it comes, I will have nothing but good things to say about IBM. I have always been treated well here and will never bad-mouth this company. It's among the very best, and contrary to some of the posts here, IBM doesn't OWE its employees ANYTHING. The days of employee/employer loyalty are gone forever. We're all contractors now. Embrace it! -HappyIBmer!- Alliance reply: Embracing it with a contract would be much better. Organize and embrace that.
    • Comment 3/01/10: ITD Americas Distributed Server Management ... from what I heard a lot of people were cut from that department -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Used to work for SWG Div 61. Got RA'd last year April29, 2009. Thought I would be ok due to years experience and credentials(10years at IBM)BOY was I wrong. Took me 9 months to find work. Almost ran through unemployment. Wished I had joined when I got the feeling we were going to be laid off. Join The Alliance and get your ducks in a row. -FormerSWG-
    • Comment 3/01/10: In Div 7, Ron Atkins org -- got the axe this morning. Heard 6 of 27 managers were going going gone, too. -Not.bitter-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Boulder, Co (but worked from home in Denver), just me but I assume more, one of the PM's on the account got it to, she's from New York. ITD, Div. 7 I assume more at my location got hit, but none that I know of yet. -Kirk-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Got my walking papers today. Div 7 SWG. Last day on 3/31. I felt this coming for a while now and I'm glad that I got the head start on the job search. I'm sad to have been laid off, but I'm happy that I'm finally free =) -finallyfree-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Getting layed off from IBM Globals as of 03/31/2010 due to jobs going overseas. Was part of MQ Websphere Projects Team. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: hmmm, first time I posted this today didn't seem to go thru. I was set up with a PBC 3 this year and just got the RA. ITD. Please point me to any links that tell me what things I should be remembering to do. Thanks -another- Alliance reply: We're getting 2500 hits per hour, on this web site. That could be the reason. Glad you kept trying.
    • Comment 3/01/10: Our team of 5 got cut to two just now. CWME (Middleware Support in ITD) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA's at the Littleton, MA Software Group. Mostly work at home folks it sounds like. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 31.5 years, will be 58 in June...one of the 124 Global Admin employees RA'd. Was top performer for 30 year, bad management IMHO resulted in 3 rating 2008 (the year my husband died), got a 2 this year but figured I'd be out. IBM doesn't give a rats ass about people anymore. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: All remaining US positions in my dept were RA'd today, including mine (Div 7, ITD-TIM). Seven positions total. -Ben-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Reporter with The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vt) keeping tabs on this. If you work for the Vt IBM plant send me an e-mail: dbmclean@gannett.com -dan mclean-
    • Comment 3/01/10: IBM Global Financing, (US) is affected. Don't walk - run. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: SVL got hit today. 3 in my team alone -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Division 07 Has been hit with cut's today. My department was affected but I don't have a head count yet. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 20 in Nashville, quite a few in Atlanta but no word on how many yet. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was RA'ed today. Division 7 SSR been with the company for 10 years and this is the thanks. Always a 1 or 2 rating. Always tapped to train people or mentor and now here I am RA'ed. IBM doesn't care about your work ethic or the quality of work you do. You are just a number in an equation that says you are no longer wanted. I know one other in my group is out as well. Do not know about anymore. -Unhappy IBMer-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA'd this am. 4 from STGCFWEST, 1G dept. 2 in Tucson, AZ and 2 in San Jose, CA. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA for our entire group today, which was already in the process of being transitioned to Dubuque. OWBPA report shows 668 total cut for ITD. -oldgeek-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Global sales ops - know of 1 so far but many to come I hear -sick of this BS- Comment 3/01/10: Was RA's last Feb 09 came back as a contractor. Much better environment then SWG No more PBC, IDP and other crap to put up with. -NowAConsultant-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 3 of 27 RA'ed for Div 7, ITD-SSO Enterprise Messaging team (Geographically diverse team). -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Just found out more details. My division is 1E. Two of my department's 10 employees got laid off. The department does technology development. -HappyIBMer-
    • Comment 3/01/10: SSR's hit today.....Don't have a headcount.... -anony-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 2 In my team today got the news. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: CIO Org massive cuts --- Div 1G to be honest i knew my cheese was moved upon being moved back in to this division... no connections to my 2nd level and up mgmt. Glad to be out of this crappy company.... just hope to land new job. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: just got my notice about 3:30 pm est. GLobal services - Email and collaboration been here 4 years, 9 months, since I was outsourced here. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got the RA call this morning. I'm in the BT/CIO. From the package looks like the cuts are pretty deep. Lots of luck to those who got it today and those that still have to stick around and put up with worrying about it every quarter. -Glad-its-over- Comment 3/01/10: Cuts being made in the Lotus group at the new Littleton, MA campus. Don't know how many. Almost nobody's talking yet. I survived -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Cannot believe the large RA when we don't even have enough people to do the work for our customers as it is! Don't they know customers don't want people from other countries that they can't understand?!? -Anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: GTS -lost job today 03/01/2010 -Anonymous- Comment 3/01/10: 2 people RA'd in my group today. That I know of. Boulder location, SARM group -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I am an Alliance member. I was cut today as part of a "skill-based" 50-person RA in WPLC (the group formerly known as Lotus and Iris), in Littleton, MA, Div 8 SWG. I have never worked at home. I was an Advisory Software Engineer, 12 years at IBM, always with good performance reviews, and PBCs of 2 or 2+. I loved my work and my colleagues but I hated IBM. So don't cry for me, I'm GLAD to be out! -Gorya-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was RA'd today, Cognos division code is 12 (First post didn't post for some reason) -Anon- Comment 3/01/10: Rochester MN (and other locations, RTP, etc) - STG Sales Support about 80 selected in RA -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Good luck with your new business model Sammy. Those 3rd world dumps you're outsourcing American jobs to are prime for war, civil unrest, theft and sabotage that were little to no concern in the US except now in places where you have brought them here on H1B's. And, BTW, since you no longer build any machines, per se', better be thinking of a new name for the company. -you're.kidding.me-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got the axe today too. div 07. ITD. Several others I know got it too. Seems to be pretty wide spread. be interesting to see a total. IBM has long been in the crapper and it's only a matter of time before the customers and shareholders see it too. -freedomatlast-
    • Comment 3/01/10: work in finance - got RA'd today -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: CONFIRMING - LAY OFF AS OF 3/31/2010. SWG- FINANCE. ISSIM -anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: At least one gone from our dept. of 9 people. ITD Div 7 - We are buried in work and are gearing up for a new green-dollar project for the customer but it didn't seem to matter ... I was not sure that we would be able to pull it off before... Now I am sure it will blow up. -anon-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I'm one of 72 in Jim Sellinger's organization. -GoneN2010-
    • Comment 3/01/10: SARM getting hit hard; I know of myself and 3 others. I currently support Alliance :) -anaonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: CIO org got hammered thanks to mismanaged reorg last year! How come no managers go? Duh... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA'd today. Won't miss this company one minute. -glad2bgone-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Received word today regarding RA and last day 31FEB. WFH, division 07 opened my mouth about unethical behavior regarding management requests. Reported through chain and though ranked 3rd in overall performance was targeted. Watch out IBM clients. Looking for a small co with ethics and integrity. -Better than Blue-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Be aware that your severance is calculated based on your official IBM start date. If you came to IBM from an acquisition (who didn't) those weeks/years do not count at all towards severance calculation. No one will tell you this until the end. -a member-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I already chimed in about being RA'ed. Was curious though. In my department I get frustrated because the people getting hired have little to no IT knowledge and they are not great learners. Anyone else experience this? Are they only letting go of the good people and keep the dead weight? And managers? -UNhappyIBMer-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got the usual word I'm NOT layed off (yet). Have a 1 rating for 7 out of 10 years and average about 110% utilization rate in AMS and I will say that is no buffer against layoffs. Seen it years ago so it's no surprise. Never so much as seen the bench since I started over a decade ago. The firing practices may be legal but there's no reason not to put up a huge stink about it. I'm not one to agree a labor contract is the panacea to everything but whatever it takes to get the word out to the world that this is our problem in this country. -SaFe4now-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Just heard from my manager about RAs in other depts. We, who were just recently outsourced to IBM about 8 months ago are not affected (yet!). But the cards we are being dealt are not good. -webchiizguru-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Add 9 to the ITD SSO. 9 out of my dept today, doesn't include those that have received the "move or quit" notes. These were all WAH people. If you did get RA'ed, feel lucky that you get a package...the rest of us will probably get the relocate or..... notes. -justme-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Notified today of RA, I work in Global Business Services. -Bummed-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I am in CIO and counted up the numbers and it looks to be 275 in our area -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got the ax today. 28 years at IBM in sales. I'm in S&D in the Intermountain area. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: At least 12 gone from div 7 in atlanta from high visibility ibm contract on 3/1/10. All high performers, no warning. Acct. mgmt team had no idea it was coming. Literally had rug pulled out from beneath them.. Delivery, which was already a challenge on this acct., will be crippled beyond belief. No word yet on who will fill those roles. -littleblue-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Location: San Jose, CA Cut Jobs: 2 Div: 07 RFS Mgmt-Indv Bus Unit: ITD Geo Svc Delivery -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I'm in Rochester, working for Global Services in the support center, and I have been laid off. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: 3 members of a team supporting 1 account- all 3 given notice today. -AX'd-
    • Comment 3/01/10: -UNhappyIBMer-, if the BRIC hires we've had to train and rescue are an indication, then yes, they're keeping only the dead weight. One of my team mates, a senior system admin and great problem solver, got hit today. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Would everyone stop blaming offshoring already? Global Resourcing hasn't been the culprit since '08. Everyone in ITD being RA'd today needs to know their jobs are going to GDF Dubuque, which is just as bad. -InTheKnow- Alliance reply: We have had employees contact us today to report that they were training their offshore replacements. The replacements weren't from Iowa. Look at our chart on where IBM hired in 2009 on the front page of this web site for more information.
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got notice today -Gong- Comment 3/01/10: 6 positions cut. CIO RUN TOWER 6 GUD All technical positions 2 IT architects , 2 Websphere admin, 1 System admin, 1 Notes admin -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Rif'ed today after 14 years w/the company and a consistent 2+ pbc rating. SWG WPLC group....looking forward to new opportunities. According to my paperwork 50 people let go from wplc today. -rifed-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Lost 30% of our staff, approx 20 people, in ITDelivery, div 07. The same jobs are available in Dubuque, if you're willing to move on your own, and you're willing to take lower pay. Apply Now! -GrinNBearIt-
    • Comment 3/01/10: ITD Layoff - Project Manager -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I got the call about 11:30 AM this morning PST, that my last day will be 3/31/10. I work in the Mobile Services Division. I was acquired by IBM when the company I worked for hired IBM to contract their IT division and now I am laid off from IBM. Looks like about 98 jobs from my Team. I am in Oregon. I am with the Mobile Wireless Team -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Thinking, "it's not going to happen to me", as someone said, is only part of the problem. Many people think it just doesn't matter, or they're afraid. They think speaking up or supporting unions are going to get them singled out. Eventually, you\'re going to get #$%^&ed one way or the other and either you go out fighting, with some integrity, and doing the right thing for yourself and for others, or you go out curled up in a ball on the floor crying. I joined the Alliance a while back as a member when they first started doing the 10% pay cut thing as a retaliation for those lawsuits.

      Do I think the Alliance is going to save me? No. But it's a statement. I'm a member for the same reasons I write letters and call companies who jerk me around - because they shouldn't get away with it. Are they going to change their policies because one 'nuisance customer' complains? Nope. But again, that's not why I do it. It's the principle. And it's the fact that if I feel that way, I can guarantee you that millions of others do too. And if they spoke up too, just imagine.

      Stop being pushed around, even if it doesn't matter - say something. Join a union, call someone, write a letter, call ALL of your representatives. Do *something* instead of nothing from now on, even if you think it won't make a difference. Because it will, at the very least you'll have done the right thing and told "them" that they didn't. And tell everyone you know to do the same. Get a bumper sticker, a t-shirt, a hat, and get your a## out to the next rally or protest and be counted. It's not just IBM, it's everything these days - corporations are getting larger and greedier and individuals are counting for less and less and getting @#$% on. You have to start speaking up, whether you got RA'd or whether you didn't. Because things aren't going to get better by themselves. -juggernaut-

    • Comment 3/01/10: RA'd today 3/1. ITD div 07. .. should I proceed to step 13 in the pkg? -- 13. Consider contacting the IBM Employee Assistance Program for emotional support. -FreeAtLast-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was RA'ed today as well. I am a ISSW person in florida -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was laid off today... I'm in GTS Security Systems -Anonymous- Comment 3/01/10: IBM Global Finance has had 10 layoff today in Armonk, NY -A-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Almost 12 years of service. Got the call this afternoon. Consistent 2+ performer with a few 1s thrown in there. In IGS->AIS->AD. Unsure who else in my dept was affected. -Not Surprised-
    • Comment 3/01/10: It is surprisingly sad to hear people say "they had no idea it was coming". People, it is coming, now you know. Organize!!! -No-One-Is_immune_from_Lay_OFFS-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Here in Poughkeepsie, ITD Distributed Server Management just got hit with a bunch of resource actions. I know of at least 3 in my department including myself, in the Zseries Linux Support team, and a few others in the GNA project management area. In our case, the team leader wasn't even made aware of the cuts, so I'm not sure how they arrived at the decision, but the 3 in our team had joined a couple of years ago after our jobs in GNA were outsourced to India. This time, the outsourcing is going to Brazil, but the people haven't even been hired yet to do training. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Well, I didn't get RA'd today, but somewhere between 5 and 10% of the US WebSphere Application Server Development team got axed ... DIV 7G - SWG/AIM - I suspect the entire project will go to India soon, just like Java did. -Alliance member-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Notified today - last day is 3/31. -Anonymous from GBS-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Sales and Distribution Marketing & Communications 20 Selected -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Well, apparently IBM has convinced mainstream media that if they don't comment, the layoffs aren't happening. Only AP is reporting cuts, and they insult us by calling them a 'sliver' of the 400k workforce. Please forward the alliance numbers to your local media! Reply to articles and blogs informing them of their errors! Everyone needs to help get the word out... -media machine-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Dallas and Atlanta Inside Sales Center lost most of their General Business Mid Market Inside Sales Reps today. Not sure about Atlanta, but Dallas lost 24 -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: At least 5 people let go from SWG at the Dallas Diplomat location today. 2 more known colleagues let go from STG in Austin. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: After 3 years, got the "resource action" notice. I count 64 in the West IMT S & D. 40%. Seems like a lot. IBM's competitors should be salivating at less IBM feet on the street. -STG West-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I heard there were 57 people who were part of the RA who worked in ibm.com sales support in Dallas. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Been told that California's Software Group based in SVL had several people notified today however it seems as it is a token effort ( one here, one there ) not 10% of folks in any department. -NotInIndia-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I have heard of at least 5-6 people from the ECM part of IM. -X-IM guy-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Got RA'd today. Not sure why - maybe my salary was too high?? Div 07, ITD. I know of several others - seems widespread, and occasionally deep. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: A friend at the IBM Rational Lexington, MA facility (soon to move to Littleton, MA) reports that about 70 people were cut today. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Div 1G/HQ - work from home in Calif. Only one RA'd in my dept (of 6). -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Toronto GDF. At least 3 employees. Probably more. 80%-90% of our accounts have been moved off shore since 2009 (GD). IBM's treatment of employees is disgraceful. -JustANumber2IBM-
    • Comment 3/01/10: I was RA'ed from the IBM Toronto last year. It was the best thing ever happened in my life. I love what I'm doing now. For Toronto folks looking for an opportunity in your after-IBM life, contact me, I might be able to line you up for your next move. -GC-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Though I know my manager did a poor job doing his job, it seems consistent with upper management. Those who are "Left Behind" should not fear, but buff up their resume and look elsewhere; even if the pay is less. IBM is not IBM anymore - just the name of a legend company that is going down. -Not2fear-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Spoke to an exec in one of the SWG divisions. They were told to cut headcount by 5%; basically it was up to them to arrive at the list of names. Most just pulled out the PBC 3's and decided from there. -StillThere-
    • Comment 3/01/10: oh, i forgot to say .. not only was I RA'd (11+ years with IBM .. 1, 2+, 2) -- but the contractor that has a green card (from India) .. was NOT let go. unbelievable. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me. - Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: Caught the RA bullet after dodging all the STG/MD bullets since 2001. Everyone in my dept is floored by it, since I was brought on in June to fill a gaping hole. Definitely not something my direct management had control over. I'm looking at this being a silver lining opportunity. Only one in my Dept. Work out of SoCal for BTV. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/01/10: RA'd today from ITD Shared Services. I was told that my job is going to Argentina. Hasta la vista -Anonymous- Comment 3/01/10: ITS - 5 years, great reviews, top revenue contributor architect - laid off today. -Now ex-IBMer-
    • Comment 3/01/10: The Hartford Insurance CT 10 so far ITD Distributed Server Management -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Manager says job going to Hungary. -Shot Yesterday at 11 AM ET-
    • Comment 3/02/10: RA'd from ITD div 07 IBMGS. Is the severance package real (up to 26 weeks salary for years of service) or does IBM find some technical excuse NOT to pay this to us? - SeeYaIBM -Rick-
    • Comment 3/02/10: 2007 People approx let go in SWG so far -Anonymous- Alliance reply: As of Midnight 3/1/2010, we calculated 1614. Where did you get your numbers from?
    • Comment 3/02/10: the blanket statement from communications at HQ repeatedly stating that IBM reserves the right to shift skill sets in response to customers is the biggest joke of all. having worked on a new cost cutting review ongoing now, it is all about cost. customers already joke openly about our offshore resources, their continuous delays, their inability to deliver effectively, even their inability to learn the english language. -anonymous- Comment 3/02/10: 9 out of 22 folks in my groups RA'ed. Div 7G, SWG AIM in Austin. -AIM Austin Alliance Member- Comment 3/02/10: I was RA'd today. I'm a WFH in Div 07. I can't say I'm sad. -happy-i'm-free-
    • Comment 3/02/10: ITD - Div 07 Customer Facing PM RA'd yesterday -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I was laid off today. I'm in Denver, co IGS Qwest Account No sure how many but I herd there was 100s -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Hello, STG Sales rep in Denver. Cut in the RA yesterday my first day back from vacation. -Cut in Denver-
    • Comment 3/02/10: 500+ from BT/CIO organization cut. Remainder of the 5,000 people management line itemed from their business units to the CIO org exactly a year ago are planned to be actioned over coming months. Their salary was to remain on previous business units books until 12/31/09 for transparency and plausible denial of numbers and evade WARN requirements. As the already bloated CIO organization has taken on Jabba the Hut proportions and provides IBM with no revenue producing processes they can not sustain redundant costs. Cringley was correct in numbers, though off in time frame -Anon-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Got the ax today. 10 yrs with the company. BUT I see openings for my team??? Oh and they just converted long term supplemental. How is that fair? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Number of cuts: 2 people Location: SVL Division: 7H Information Management Dept R35A This is at a 2nd line level. -Anonymous- Comment 3/02/10: IT Specialists and Systems Administrators who got RAed: Your severance is not based on your new pay remix. OT is not part of the calculation. Your severance is strictly based on the 15% base pay cut your received earlier. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: =Bastard-Job= Artech has been active trying to recruit RAed IBMers. I was RAed last year and have received e-mails from them and I don't know how they got my name. I reckon IBM supplies them with the RA lists. -teched_off-
    • Comment 3/02/10: To -Feel Sorry - the way to read those numbers is x (y) is x=age, and y is number at that age. So, Senior SW Engineer 46 (3) is 3 Senior SW Engineers age 46. So it is a breakdown by age and total at that position and age - or, IBM proactively trying to stave off age discrimination suits. -RAed Jan 09-
    • Comment 3/02/10: RA'd - ITD div 7. Was told I was picked only because I WFH. 2+ pbc the last few years and yet they kept the 3s. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Twelve RA'd out of eighty in my layoff group labeled STG Global Markets code STBG -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Any word if the RAs will continue today? Western Canada seems to have been spared so far, but FLMs and most TLs had themselves set to "In a meeting" or "DND" on Sametime all day yesterday. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I am ex-ibmer who is very sorry to hear about the job cuts and want to share my 2cents. I was under appreciated, over worked and under paid Indian working in the US. I decided to work on my skills and chose to return to India, while the competition here is tough, i have managed to distinguish myself from the crowd and now am in much better position and make as much as what IBM used to pay me in the US. My only regret is i should have moved back earlier. for those of you, who are from other countries and now working as slaves for IBM consider returning to your native countries if you have the option, yes, there is bad infrastructure and problems of living in a developing nation, but the advantages sure outweigh the disadvantages. -ex-ibmer-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Isn't a point for the media that the layoffs last and this year are targeting North America? That the USA employee count will dip below 100,000 this year? It does not matter what percent of the total 400,000 employees are RA'd. It is important to focus on the USA base is drastically reduced. That US workers lose jobs when jobs are either offshored or when workers are displaced by imported foreigners under the H-1B, L1 and other visas. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Job being eliminated. Currently actively working on high profile, state of art, strategic Smarter Planet project with Customer and IBM internal support. Over 40 years with IBM. Innovator, architect, visionary. Consider myself an "asset" not a "resource", and any involuntary separation a firing...not a re-allocation. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: From the RA totals, it looks like GBS USA has not been affected yet. Last year they had their own 5000 RA'd March 27, 2009. If IBM is in the press to cut to gain a savings of $400 million, they have a ways to go. But yesterday's RA will have people gone by month end meaning IBM is using that to make their 1st quarter financial targets. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: was offered a job with the Hartford Insurance company right before my RA and I heard they were outsourcing to IBM so I did not take it. Now I see IBM'ers working there are getting cut. What a surprise. The sad thing is when I asked the HR person about IBM taking over they told me oh I don't know anything about that. Ya right. -Gone_in_07-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Gotta love that "Sliver of its Workforce" phrasing. Yea, you can bet that came directly from an IBM news release. Seems the lawyers and marketing types who come up with this crap are the only ones whose jobs are safe (for now). -Gone in 96-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I was RA'd in 2/09 from the Corporate Communications group after 28 years of dedicated service and consistently excellent PBC reviews. Six months later I was HIRED BACK AS A CONTRACTOR TO DO THE VERY SAME JOB (hated to come back but the bills needed to be paid and kids needed to be fed). Earning a better salary now but have no benefits at all and job could end at any time. This once-great company is now a disgrace; founder Thomas Watson Sr. and his son Tom Jr. must be turning over in their graves! My sincere condolences to those of you being affected by the current RA..... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: You cannot get mad, you must get even. The first thing everyone should do is to join the alliance and try to force a vote at some facility. Those of you laid off should think of joining, your vote might be just enough to tip the scale for a vote before March 31. Don't forget what IBM has done to you. When you are out there in the market, if you have a chance to decide for or against IBM products, first ask "have they unionized yet?" If not, then choose someone else's products. -Now is the time-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Another WFH RA'd 3/1, age 41, Division 53 -Anonymous- Comment 3/02/10: RA's yesterday as 1 of 24 from Div 05 - GBS Global Financial Services - US job being replaced by offshore resource... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: ITD Div 07 (9+ years of service) WFH Project Manager RA'd yesterday. Solid 2, 2+ performer. Good luck to you former (and current) IBM\'ers. I wish you the best in your job searches. -RA'd-IBMDad-
    • Comment 3/02/10: IBM has and will continue to move jobs offshore. Other companies will do this as well, maybe not to the extent of IBM but it will happen. There is nothing illegal about this, its a fact of life now. Be prepared, have your resume updated, have contacts and do whatever you need to, to stay current with your skills. What IBM does is not good for this country and they treat employees badly, but its a fact of today's greedy business model. It will eventually come back to them as they get rid of the highly skilled people. I figured this out years ago and do my job well and only commit to 35-40 hours per week. I give them exactly what they pay for and treat them how they treat me. I am a number to the bean counters and I give them a number back, 40 Hours, not more. When my time comes I will be ready. There is life after IBM keep your head up and stay confident. -IBMer-
    • Comment 3/02/10: RAed yesterday. 14 years with IBM. Age is over 46. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Notified of RA yesterday by manager and have 30 days to find another job in company outside of Global Administration. Hoping this is the best thing that could ever happen to me - trying to stay positive. -IBM (Former) Assistant-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Div 16 PS, received RA notice on 3/1 to end of the month. Running utilization at 110%. About 170 people affected this time -- Comment 3/02/10: Anything happening with the fabs in Burlington or East Fishkill? -sad but true-
    • Comment 3/02/10: So much for IBM COMMITMENT to Tulsa, OK. Wasn't it just a few years ago IBM had a stockholder meeting there and said how they would grow jobs there? Now where do the jobs go and where is your comitment now IBM? To the state of OK: throw IBM out and demand any money or tax breaks for doing biz you gave them back! IBM = LIARS -OkieDokied-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Div 07 - I was not hit but a massive number of PMs, Problem and Change SMEs were. Nervous that since Ron Atkins talked about the future locations of PMs in November and again in January left out WAH or Work from non-GDF location as options shortly. Didn't get RA'd yesterday and nervous that the next time they come around it will be 'move or you're gone with no package'. -Formerly Loyal-
    • Comment 3/02/10: US GTS Finance 25 HC cut -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Lots of layoffs in Alberta yesterday...Mainframe folks....any other details out there?? -Alberta Bound-
    • Comment 3/02/10: It used to be and probably still is: You can look for another job within IBM. If you get one and you get RA'd from that new job within one year, then you get no severance at all. Best to check on that. -Neal Watkins-
    • Comment 3/02/10: This is a war. Make no mistake about it. American workers are being executed to feed Wall Street greed mongers. It has progressed way beyond "Trimming the deadwood". As you read the comments from people billing 110 percent or more of their time; it sure is not based on performance. When an organization is torching its sales and support structure you can believe they do not plan to be in the market these people service for long. "Work shall set you free" was on a sign in a concentration camp during WW2. It did not. An organization of Allies, a union of soldiers, a band of brothers is what set them free. Join with us. The members of the Alliance. Your co workers. Your friends. Lets start a counter attack that will sweep through this company and then through America and save American Jobs! United we stand! -Exodus2007-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I'll soon be 67 years old and now laid off. Scary. Social Security doesn't pay my rent and I'm alone. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: The theme I seem to hear the most is that a lot of RA'd folks are"solid contributors" or have great PBC ratings or they have many years of service. Folks I've ben saying this for years "your contributions amount to SQUAT. IBM is rarely if ever considers those factors even if they say differently. It is strictly a numbers and political game that is played over and over again. -RA'd Class of 07 & 09-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I have not taken any personal holiday or vacation this year. So as of 03/31, how many I can take or eligible for? If IBM offers anyone job of lower position/band or salary or comfort and decline, will it compromise the RA package ? Is there any nicer and safer way to decline IBM offers ? If customer that I work for, offers me a position on May 1st, will there be impact on the RA benefits ? I am just looking to safely duck away from IBM jobs, take the extra money and have nice vacation. What's your plan? -Things2do-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I am a work at home employee and part of Software Group. I was layed off yesterday and have 28 years and 8 months with the company. I am 3 months shy of being able to bridge to the 30 year retirement. -Anonymous- Alliance reply: I know your pain. I was sold with the Microelectronics Div, in 2002 with 28 years and 6 months. I, too, missed the "bridge". I joined the Alliance in 1999 and I refuse to give up organizing this company's workers; so that they don't experience what you and I have.
    • Comment 3/02/10: Div 91 Global E&U. 1/09 was supposed to be my PBC review. Instead I was told -- after getting my 25 year certificate the month before -- that my new position I just moved to was eliminated. I was one of 3 in a group of 12. I received 1 and 2+ ratings. The previous 3 years I was approached on 3 different occasions by others outside our dept asking me to consider a position in their group but was told by my mgr he couldn't let me go. He didn't have a backup to do my job, which was global ops. When I finally did make a transition, after training my replacement for 6 months, I got RA'd. If I had stayed in the position I had I would have kept my job but they couldn't take it away from my replacement at that point. I should not have kept mum when my boss kept me from moving earlier. Sadly the stock price and qtrly earnings are driving Sam and his team.... It appears improving China's and India's economy is more favorable than improving the U.S.'s... after all their bonuses depend on it. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I work at a customer site in Burbank, CA - so far I know of 7 layoffs - the interesting thing is that they have shipped in IBMers from India to train and rotate in and out of this location as well as 2 other customer locations; Florida and Columbus -Name Withheld-
    • Comment 3/02/10: CIO - Div 1G -Leaving after 29 years-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Laid off 3/1/2010 after 32 years with IBM. Was working for Malware Security team (Managed Security Service Delivery). -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I was informed Monday, March 1 that I was selected for a resource action. My last day is slated to be March 31, 2010. I am a financial analyst in the Rochester COE. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: RA'd yesterday with 13 years in Global services. Hoping that the class action lawsuit I signed up for a couple of months ago pays out. -TD-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Looks like 20 people were let go Almaden research center -Fred-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Just heard that two Utah SSR's (branch 033) were RA'd/Fired -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Reply to Things2Do: I was RAd in 2009.. a few tips: take all of your personal holidays(you will not get paid for these if you do not use them); don't take any vacation days, you will be paid for these (prorated for the year). If you have an FHA - submit what your full year contributions would have been - even though you've only paid in 3 months- but you have to have the receipts by 3/31 (go get prescription sunglasses, etc.) If you don't want to stay at IBM, don't even look or apply for any positions (it's pretty much a farce anyway), because on the off chance you are offered a job, and you don't take it, you will lose your severance benefits. As long as you are not directly competing with IBM in whatever new job you take, your severance should be ok. I got a job with a Business Partner days after my RA notification, I pretty much did nothing for my last month at IBM (certainly did not look internally for a position) and then started my new job that next Monday after my last day at IBM. Good Luck - its great to be away from the IBM bs. -RAdin2009-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Question: For the people who got layed off just shy of 30 year retirement, does that mean that they will not get their full pension? Can someone please clarify this? -Baba- Alliance reply: Yes, it could mean that. It depends whether they were allowed to 'bridge'. Historically, IBM has allowed a bridge to retirement if the service is 29 years or more. If it's less than 29 years, they will probably lose their full pension.
    • Comment 3/02/10: Laid off from Global Business Services -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: IBM does business in major markets like the US and Europe and it does business in growth areas of the world. IBM wants to reduce its resource in the more mature markets of the world and grow them elsewhere. On the surface, this is not bad. What makes it bad is the US workforce bears nearly all the brunt as it is simply easy to lay off here. Far lesser performing individuals in Europe stay because they're either organized or because their governments dictate severance packages which benefit the employee and don't disadvantage the economy through unemployment. Not here. IBM doesn't even have to do what it does here. Know it and expect it. They will continue to cut the US because they can. That is until such time as something happens to prevent it or at least put up as much resistance here as exists elsewhere. -Anon-
    • Comment 3/02/10: The more IBM obfuscates and refuses to admit these layoffs, the more the company loses its integrity. I think the company is damaging its reputation by refusal to comment on these layoffs. For those of use who have been around long enough to remember how IBM **was**, it is really sad to see what IBM has become.... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I could see my job cut coming; first my appraisal was the lowest I've ever had and the lowest of my team even though we are on the same performance metrics supposedly and I was the one who brought in the most revenue. I was working in the Strategic Outsourcing (SO) group and having a very hard time morally selling something that I personally object to - taking jobs and sending them overseas. Hopefully, a door will open somewhere and my abusive profane manager will eventually be recognized for what he is. -Anon-
    • Comment 3/02/10: 40 were let go in Cognos development including me. Close to 20 in support -cognos_laidoff-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Add Tivoli DIV 46 Location: Austin, TX -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Things2do, You cannot decline an offer of a "similar" job and keep the severance. Whether that job is halfway across the country from where you live is irrelevant. The likelihood of an offer for an internal job is almost nil, but it's possible. So don't apply for something you really don't want. The number of vacation days you have may be less than what you think depending on the exact date the RA occurred. If it is near the end of the month, you won't get a prorated accrual. -anon2-
    • Comment 3/02/10: RA'd today from GTS. Told that my job will be moved offshore to India where workers are less than 1/2 of my "not that much" salary. -Anon-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Location - mobile employees. 20 Selected. Div - 12 Sales and Distribution Business Unit - Marketing and Communications (Demand Generation) -Anon-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I received notification yesterday in Sales and Services division in NYC. -Friend to all-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Laid off from ITD Storage Management -anon-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Got RAed today (3/2/10). have 28 yr & 11 month with IBM and was given the bridge pkg. I am not surprised. I have been arguing with management over technical issues this past year and lack of resources to do quality job. got a 3 pbc for 2009. refused to sign my pbc. I hope no job shows up so I can move on before stress kills me. -Anon RAed-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Folks that got RAed: Make sure you get your Growth Driven Pay payment. Don't accept any BS from IBM if they try to delay the payment or withhold it and say your severance will compensate for it. Make sure you get that GDP. You more than earned it. For those not RAed: show some solidarity with those RAed. Show IBM you displeasure with what has happened to your colleagues by peaceful, productive resistance. And, oh yeah, start organizing big time! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I was RA'ed on Monday. Div 6C - GBS - AS C&M I am/was a Band 9 IT Architect -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/02/10: I was "resourced" this morning by my remote manager after hearing from someone last night that my group was going to be cut in half...all off-shift personnel were gonna get it. Waiting now to hear the final numbers...I work on a customer site away from the IBM offices in Atlanta GA. -Won'tGetScrewedAgain-
    • Comment 3/02/10: To those worried about their GDP payout - if you worked thru Dec 31, 2009, you are entitled to your GDP, and I, and everyone I know who"got it" last year (my end date was Feb 23, 2009), right around the middle of March 2009, my GDP check showed up. Whether it would have been more had I stayed is of course something I'll never know, while I got (and you're getting) shafted, at least last year they did not try to completely hose us on GDP - FWIW. -RAed in Jan-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Got my termination letter last night. I was expecting something like this was going to happen. I was more disappointed by my manager sending me an invite via conference call at 9 pm in the evening to break the news. I know the guy was doing his job but I thought he was like a prick to take away my evening just to inform me of my employment being terminated. -rt-
    • Comment 3/02/10: Was informed yesterday of RA. Trained my 3 India replacements last week to fill my position. I hope IBM gets everything they deserve. -Trouble-O-7-
    • Comment 3/02/10: 34 jobs gone in NZ, another 580-ish in Australia. All within three days of 'consultation'. Split across GTS in both countries. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: just short of 13 years with IBM and i'll probably get screwed out of my 26th week. no vacation taken so far so at least i'll have that too. I'm less then a month short of that 26th week, anyone know of a chance in getting that? Also be nice to talk to someone who has gone through this. what to expect, timeframe of severance payment, etc... ITD 3 gone from group of 12. varied locations, and WFH. -13yearsandout-
    • Comment 3/03/10: What a sad, sad company. Huge profits and more people losing jobs. My guess is the profits are not real at all. I have been told that over 5,000 will eventually get the axe this quarter alone in North America. There will be more in the next quarter. This company has to start taking a nose dive soon. Workers hate being there, customers hate products and services, and vendors hate working with them. IBM is the greed that is ruining our nation. Let the jobs go overseas so the execs can get their stock options. RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL. Anyone remember that? I HATE IBM. I HATE IBM.. I HATE IBM -No More IBM-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Here is the time and place for the IBM stockholder meeting this year. Annual meeting of stockholders IBM's 2010 Annual meeting of stockholders will be held on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in the Midwest Airlines Center, 400 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Let's rally current and former IBMers to protest everything the company now stands for. I am sure some news agencies will cover it. -Let's Rally- Alliance reply: If people are going to the stockholder meeting to rally, the Alliance needs to know. In the past we have called for participation and very few showed up except Alliance members.
    • Comment 3/03/10: Wonder why STG numbers are so low? Well think Sep/Oct and you'll see STG numbers really high after GA of all latest products. I have long predicted that IBM US will cut 3-5% every year down to 30000, may be even 20000. Wish I had a better prediction. Look, it's a job, I provide my skills to IBM, they pay me for 40 hours. And remember, there REALLY is life outside and after IBM. Good luck y'all. -Anonymous STG-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Me and a co-worker were RA'd last year..she was offered a job she didn't want just before RA. She refused the job right after RA was announced, but before she was given SA. She ended up forfeiting 6 months of severance pay due to refusing the job. Word of advice: if you hear rumors of RA coming up in your department, don't agree to any internal interviews (especially for a job you don't want) until you have read the fine print of your SA. Also, if you accept IBM position soon after you have been released you may end up having to pay back part of severance pay depending on years of service. For example, if you get 5 months of severance pay, but end up being rehired with IBM (or vendor) 1 month after being released, you will have to pay back 4 months of your severance to IBM. In essence, an incentive not to accept a job with IBM after release until after a period equal to the amount of severance pay you received. Good riddance IBM..Thanks for the first class trip to India: a beautiful country I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to visit.:) -IBM sentence over-
    • Comment 3/03/10: RA'd on 3/1. I was one of the 318 from ITD Distributed Server Management. I was prepared for this. Had been looking for a job outside of IBM for a about a year. Looking forward to starting a new career. Our customer is fighting this in hopes that our jobs can be saved. They know, as we do, that the India team doesn't have the skills needed to support them. The customers business is going the break. I don't want my job saved. I'm ready to go. I'm a dues paying union member. I want to thank Lee and everyone in the union what they have done and will continue to do. The union needs your support. Only way to stop these greedy executive decisions is to join the union and fight this crap. Best of luck to all and God bless. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!!!!! -AmazedDisgrace-
    • Comment 3/03/10: 500 out of 2680 to be made redundant from UK ITD division by 5th June 2010, what union in UK is helping in any way if anyone is? -anonymous UK- Alliance reply: Go here: http://www.unitetheunion.com/
    • Comment 3/03/10: To those who still remain after yet another slaughter, we do have to unite. Join the Alliance and also limit the amount of OT worked. I was close to 140% billable last year (including my 5 weeks vacation- I am part time...) and received a poor PBC because my project wasn't as complex as my peers. I decided to limit the amount of OT worked and I shut the computer down once I hit my number of hours. They expect us to do "whatever it takes" to get the job done - well, I'm done with that. They have killed my spirit and I refuse to give them all the extra free hours off my back which they then get to bill my customers. I work hard the hours I'm on, but once I hit my total hours, I'm off. And with all the people they let go even more work will fall on those left behind, it's a sad state of affairs.... -Getting sick of this-
    • Comment 3/03/10: STG Server Sales, released on monday. -don't want to tell-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I count 74 in the STG Marketing & Communications plus Sales Support function. I am in Somers. This represents a 15.5% cut for that function. The reason for me and one other Marketing Mgr was Work Elimination for our business area. I noticed a few months ago that they had engaged a person from the Global Marketing Center in India to pick up some of the facilitation of meetings and other execution oriented functions for our specific business area. I think the Marketing function in India provides a safety valve to move certain business functions from "active" to "maintenance". Now, of course, when they do see real work beyond that for the business area, it is easy enough to ramp up the resource in India. So, it is unclear whether much workload was really eliminated or just shifted to India. At any rate, there go another couple of good US jobs and 25+ year dedicated careers. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Rick Smith (rsmith@wral.com) at Local Tech Wire and WRAL TV's web site in Raleigh, N.C. wants to hear from RTP workers about what's happening in your work groups. Send him an e-mail. He's also looking for IBMers who have been RA'd or are still at IBM who would be interested in talking on camera with TV about what's happening. If you are among those who don't see anything wrong with what IBM is doing, he wants to hear from you as well. -Alliance-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I see a few Directors but no VP's. With such a glut of high level Execs in IBM, you would think that these reorgs and workload trimming exercises would logically include some of them. The only GM I recall being cut in recent memory was the one who got taken away in handcuffs (who was infamous for laying people off so effectively btw) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: more than 20 at costa mesa CA -KKM-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Senior Managing Consultant from Telelogic - only 2 DOORS pros left in whole country now -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Many thanks to Alliance for doing the only good job of gathering hard facts and then getting the information out about the March 1st layoffs. You do an incredible job and I thank you. -Tulsa-
    • Comment 3/03/10: SWG, Tivoli, div 46, Littleton, MA (Maximo / base services support) -- 2 RA'd. There are probably others I don't know about elsewhere in Littleton, it's a big building. -still there-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I just got laid off after 30+ years on Monday. I am in Texas. Mentally and emotionally I cannot allow myself to read the anger in most of these posts. Anger only hurts yourself - I must move on for my own well being. I have always never wanted to end up an angry old man - and now I realized there is only one of those things I can do anything about. - Bye -A Nonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Just wondering how they prorate vacation time? I have 5 weeks coming 2010 and would sure like to get paid for all of it. 3 were laid off from GTS SO in the industrial sector that I know of; ages 44, 55 and 62. Don't know if they were men or women. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Kudos to the Alliance for getting word out to the media, better this time than ever before. IBM can no longer get away with its stealth layoffs by flying under the WARN radar. Keep up the good work! -Think-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Some points that came up for those RA'd last year. Don't be surprised when you get your severance check and it is tiny. IBM takes out an overly huge amount for payroll taxes. I got a really big chunk back when I did my taxes for 2009. It is unfortunate you can't keep that up front when you really need it. If you are a newer IBMer and not under the old pension plan, but instead under the frozen cash balance pension plan. You are eligible for the FHA retiree health plans if you are considered retired - including bridged to retirement or fall in the rule of 65 (over 55, and age + service = 65).

      However, if you have less than 15 years of service, you are not eligible for the FHA money. You just have access to purchase the plans. I found it twice as expensive for the FHA premiums as for COBRA. So while it is access to a group plan, you might find cheaper insurance elsewhere, like a spouse's or association's plans. And hopefully the Health reforms in Washington will help out.

      Note that once you are bridged to retirement - reach at the end of the month you turn 62, or are otherwise retired (and have access to the FHA retire health plans) you are no longer eligible to receive the federal COBRA subsidy that pays 65% of the COBRA premium. You do get to keep COBRA for the 18 months if you choose to select COBRA when first unemployed. -anonymous-

    • Comment 3/03/10: 3/1 I was let go. Canada. ITD. Last day 26th. -Loner-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I have heard that IBM is planning a huge celebration of its brand next year for the 100th anniversary of the company. There is quite a bit of material coming in 2011 about what a fantastic company IBM is to work for. They are trying to drum up the old feelings from the years when there really was "respect for the individual". Honestly, this is a farce now. When all that BS comes out, there should really be a lot of backlash. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: To all those RA'd. I suggest that you contact you Congressman and Senator and let them know what is going on. Let them know that IBM is not an American company anymore. Call Obama and let him know. With enough pressure maybe we can stop IBM from getting a few government contracts that IBM will use to pay non-American workers -ANON-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Half the WPS server group was let go in Foster City CA SWG AIM yesterday. I support developers at ISL Bangalore in Adapter development. It was outsourced 18 months ago from Foster City. Now I see new hires every week in ISL. -Mike-
    • Comment 3/03/10: More hits in Lexington MA to ClearCase. IBM is killing a cash cow using attrition by RA as the weapon. -Peter ClearCase-
    • Comment 3/03/10: "Just wondering how they prorate vacation time? I have 5 weeks coming 2010 and would sure like to get paid for all of it."

      IBM uses earned vacation. It's generally not strict earned vacation where you cannot take more vacation in a month than you haven't yet earned though. For instance, you can take the first week of January for a vacation even though you haven't earned it yet as long as you work after taking it to "pay it back". So if you already taken more vacation than you earned and got RAed then you will get less of a severance check since IBM will take the money of vacation time you haven't earned. If you have taken less than your earned vacation before being RAed then IBM will add what was not taken, but earned, to your severance check. So, if you are RA'ed on 3/31:

      • 2 weeks (10 days) earned vacation = 2.5 days
      • 3 weeks (15 days) earned vacation based on years of service = 3.75 days
      • 4 weeks (20 days) earned vacation based on years of service = 5 days
      • So for you: 5 weeks (25 days) earned vacation based on years of service = 6.25 days

      BTW, take ALL your personal choice holidays before you are RAed! It's generally "use 'em or lose 'em" based on any part of the year worked (exception, I think, is CA where you can be paid for not taking them(?) -VacMan-

    • Comment 3/03/10: They're not limiting the current layoffs to steady state ITD people. I know for sure of a Transition & Transformation project manager who was given his 30-day notice on Monday 3/1. And IBM GA people are no longer being sent over to commercial accounts...probably because they are getting rid of people all over the place. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: How sad, someone said that IBM is trying to look like a great place to work for the anniversary, which I've wondered at some of the programs they've put in place over the last year... Yet the underlying issue that will never be addressed is the impending fear all employees will continually feel as layoffs become a year-round, every year activity. We are all overworked from past layoffs and very stressed. On top is the continual fear of being next.

      Kudos to those who give us a heads up, and especially to those who are alerting the media. Last year it finally hit the big news but somewhat late. Now it should hit faster. Someone needs to do a story on how IBM is helping to make America a poorer nation and making India a richer nation. Clients have no idea, and if they did they would be furious at what level of resources they will get in the future.

      No blanket disrespect, as many people in other nations are very intelligent, but the ones we work with are not equipped to make intelligent decisions and think through problems outside the normal script of their role. NO problem solving, thought provoking solutions offered. Maybe to help those that have been laid off the alliance could host something with all the what to do and not due when laid off. Either a paper, conference meeting, pre-recorded session... or a separate listing of all the suggestions that are buried throughout these -frustrated-

    • Comment 3/03/10: Ref: "You can take out everything you elected to contribute for the whole year and not have to re pay it" re: FSA -------- I believe it is true. The FSA is pre-funded by IBM and you pay them back over the year. Take it all now. Get that hair transplant you always wanted or a nip/tuck. You have to do it while you're employed so that means this month. After that, it's gone. The HSA may be different though. Call the ESC. Isn't that all funded by you? You may be able to take it out but you will probably owe taxes on it. -Neal Watkins-
    • Cognos layoffs? I thought the targets for the year were astronomical throughout the company! I can't help but notice how again the age ranges listed are all 40's and up, mostly up... Trying to avoid more retirement support in the future? yes, I think they are.... -hum...-
    • Comment 3/03/10: IBM screws US employees again. Notified 3/1 that I had been"selected". Boulder Colorado ITD Managed Services Delivery Division 07Q Managed Services Delivery -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Several of my Client Solution Executive (CSE) co-workers got the axe as well. -Just the facts-
    • Comment 3/03/10: My spouse had a long term coworker let go from the team, IBM GS Lotus Notes email. Coworker was hourly, originally joined the team through an acquisition by IBM -Friend2ndHand-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I just noticed that many of the global resources I have worked with for the past several years, now have new Lotus Notes ids to make it appear as if they work in the US. Talk about IBM smoke and mirrors. I assume IBM uses this to ask city & state governments for tax breaks under the auspices of how many people it makes it appear they employee. Clever, but certainly dishonest (no surprise there). -Smoke and mirrors- Alliance reply: Please email us some examples. We intend to pursue this with Government officials. Send to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com
    • Comment 3/03/10: After having spent 8 years with a media / entertainment company only to be outsourced to IBM in 2005 I can only say I am RELIEVED. Of course I will miss my friends and a paycheck but in my 25 years in IT I can honestly say IBM is THE WORST COMPANY I've ever worked for. I'm glad it's over. I'm sick of their management style and of them sending jobs to India (and elsewhere). I will be contacting my senators, congressmen and the oval office (not that that will do any good since Sam is pals with him). My best wishes to all who are RA'd. I'm sure we will all find better jobs within the next 6 months. Chin up, keep smiling. Take some time to decompress and enjoy life and your families. -Relieved-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Have not had time to read through all the comments, but on Flexible Spending Account, yes it is my understanding that the fund can go negative. If you signed up for say 1200 and only paid 300 in thru March 31 layoff, you can still get reimbursed up to the full 1200. Probably have to verify with Acclaris administrators. In CIO Business Office 75% of those laid off were age 55 and up, 12% cut in aggregate. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I feel bad for everyone that was RA'd this week. Its a really sad state of affairs. Its sad that we, as employees, have zero voice with our management. Until we do, they are free to maximize their profits at our expense in any fashion they choose. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Join the alliance so we can get to the bargaining table and begin to have a voice in our future. For those of you that think this is impossible, PLEASE reconsider. How can it hurt to have a voice ??? -Alliance member-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I was RA'd on 3/1 as well. In Division 7, part of SARM. My department was 100% remote until IBM decided it would be more cost effective to put us all into a building in the middle of Iowa. Those of us that chose to not pick up and move our entire lives were just handed RA notices. And to top it all off, the people they replaced us with (college grads, etc) know nothing about the job role that they are stepping into. I was told that if these people could "fog a mirror", IBM would hire them just to fill the building, meet their quotas and get their tax incentives. In the end, it's just a way for IBM to reduce the cost of their workforce and screw the truly skilled workers out of their jobs. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: My sympathies to those being RA’d. I went through this last March. All I can say is it gets better from here on out! It took a while, but my new firm increased my salary 25% and offer better benefits. Also, they do not have regular lay-offs and it’s real strange – they all are pleasant, professional and have upbeat outlooks. So, don’t let this keep you down! To those who missed the “bullet”, just wait, your time in the cross hairs will come. Performance is not the criteria, your total burden is – not just salary (as is mentioned here a lot) but remember the additional benefits we take for granted here are also not all present in off shore locations.

      Also, don’t think they care about the quality of service; they care about how the customer perceives it only! Like a sales rep selling a customer on the concept that IBM has 100K+ professionals available to solve the issue they have – ever try to find those resources? And as to skill set – I KNOW the deployment model our RDM used was first free, first deployed, regardless of skill set. I even was told to go to a client and read the Redbook once there to do a job. Consider this like surgery – it hurts a short time, but life will be better afterwards. I didn’t think so at the time, but it’s true now. -RA'd 2009-

    • Comment 3/03/10: I was fired after 11 years at IBM as a Band 9 and high performance for several years. Managing a Trouble Project, you will be a target to be dismissed (part of the problem, not part of the solution). Political environment was critical... Avoid GBS! -IBMer !!!-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I am a billable PM in Atlanta working on a large project. I was RA'd Monday at 7:45AM. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I really feel for my peers who lost their jobs and wish they find something better and sooner. I am friend with few IBM managers and they all felt very bad discharging many talented people, lot of were rating 2, 2+. Lot of young and mid-career American people are on the list. There are lots of clueless VPs and directors in fat management ranks who have never really worked to improve or grow IBM revenue or never faced real IBM clients and customers, are driving this company to ground by mindless cuts.

      Because these fat-cats are so dumbed down that their survival is possible only by cutting the resources underneath to the bones. There was a very serious discussion in our dept meeting today about the impact on the work-load of the people let go. How can we absorb all the additional work-load :( ? We, who stayed, do realize that we have indirect 20% pay-cut by working 20% more just by this RA. The team is so stressed out, we may just resign en-mass. It is also becoming clear that those who will continue, have higher chances of lower benefits, no severance payouts in future, more cuts and pay cuts. It was evident this time it was not performance or skill based, it was just mindless cuts.

      Some of my peers feel envy of the people who let go in this cycle. Honestly, it feels like we are on Titanic deck looking at the boats being lowered with people in it and we can't jump because we will be forced to sink with the ship by our fate or force against our will. The Indians who are happy to take up more and more are going a big indigestion. They are bring set-up for a huge failure. Indians are becoming slaves in India and overworking in unhealthy conditions and will revolt. I remind everyone, never forget the day when IBM was kicked out of India overnight for becoming too mean for Indian customers and people in 1977. That day is coming soon. -iThink-

    • Comment 3/03/10: IBM withholds 25% of your severance for federal taxes because they are required by law to do so. If you're >= 55 IBM calls you 'retired' and you are not eligible for the COBRA subsidy, plus you get a nice letter graduating you on your retirement. I kid you not. To the poster who refused to get angry, sometimes anger can be a great motivator, if you have it in you, best to express it somehow. -anon-
    • Comment 3/03/10: STG NA Sales Ops; Somers NY after 34 years of dedicated service...TJ is rolling in his grave.... -AJ-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Three SSR's let go from Houston on Monday. One point of sale, One Large System laid off. the midrange SSR took a retirement package. -houston-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Re: withholding on severance checks - This is dictated by the IRS (and the state and local governments). Federal income tax withholding should be a flat 25%. OASDI and Medicare will be "normal" (OASDI is 6.2% up to the wage cap of $106800; Medicare is 1.45% with no cap). State and local will vary depending on the state and locality... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: 202 RA'd in Division 6C (GBS Application Services Americas) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Will be cut 3/31. Top 10% revenue generator. PBC 3 engineered by sleazy leadership. Had enough of Sam Palmisano greed. It's all about him at our expense. I will be happy to work for the competition and take $ from Sam. IBM is unAmerican. In my spare moments, I will write newspapers and magazines until they start publishing the story of how Sam P. is destroying thousands of American lives. Greedy Pigs. -withheld because IBM is sleazy-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Some of my colleagues have been given the axe in GTS in Toronto. I frankly wish I was one of them. I'm left picking up the extra work, dealing with irate clients, training inexperienced college grads from the third world countries. Oh, the thought of it is not good. So, to the people who were recently ra'ed, Good Luck to you, but, it's the poor schmucks that are left are the ones that need the luck, because they're just waiting for things to get so bad we quit on our own. -anotherIBMnumber-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I'm so sorry for everyone who was RA'd this round. I'm one of the lucky? ones who gets to now work 14 hours a day instead of 12 hours a day. I"m so sick of it, I'm exhausted, and I'm getting close to my 30 years so just have to suck it up to get there. I have never wished so much in my life I could quit this place. -anon-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Thanks for the comments iThink. I was surprised how easily I took the news on Monday. It was almost a sense of relief. 5 years ago, I would have freaked. I had started interviewing for internal jobs and have a few prospects in play. I do not find myself deperate at all to close out on a new IBM job before the deadline. Even if you jump Divisions, there is apparently no relief. 15% workforce trimming every 6mo - 1yr. Targeting Senior people. It is completely demoralizing. No way to live your life. Of course, we need to put food on the table. There is a big world outside of IBM though. Maybe this is just a good kick in the butt for me. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: -13yearsandout- Certainly understand your concern. However, consider your teammates with 26 years, who receive the same severance which you shall receive. Can't prove age discrimination, of course. You may be 99 years old with 13 years' service. Your teammate may be 26 years old with 26 years' service. Good luck - you are (likely) young enough to compete for a new job outside IBM. -@-13yearsandout--
    • Comment 3/03/10: Looking for some clarification regarding Personal Choice Holidays - is it true "use them or lose them?" I have hearing different things should they be used up before my end date of 3/31??? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: Re: Vacation Earned - Vacation accrues MONTHLY. I learned this last year when I "got it." It accrues for each completed month you worked. My last day was Feb 23, 2009so I got no vacation for Feb. Not sure how this works if your last day is the 31st, because your exit interview is before the end of the day, so did you really "finish" the month? Bottom line is, it is what it is' they're doing it, so just understand and take whatever $ they give you and move on. Don't agonize over it. It's a waste of energy. -RAed last Jan-
    • Comment 3/03/10: I am being laid off as of March 31 as part of the ITD Application Hosting and Database Resource Action. They recommend I have a lawyer examine the severance agreement before signing. There are others on my team with the same seniority but are not being laid off. I do not understand the criteria they are using. I have a solid performer rating (2) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: ITD Performance and Capacity Management - Midrange, losing 18 employees. Only 5 remaining. Work is being moved to Dubuque, or offshore -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/03/10: The Rochester MN internal IBM home page just posted a story titled "Senior State Executives bring IBM's point of view to Washington". Seems to me that our elected government officials are in pretty tight with IBM executives. IBM is always posting info on well orchestrated site visits by government officials where IBM feeds them some well crafted message about "Smarter Planet". Do we believe there are any government leaders on the workers side? Does anyone keep a list by state of who supports the workers VS who supports IBM executives so we know who to vote for. These government officials should be asking why the parking lots are so empty instead of listening to IBM's latest media campaign. -Anon-
    • Comment 3/04/10: For those who were acquired by IBM beware. All your employment contracts state that your date of hire with your old company (e.g., Cognos, Telelogic, etc.) is only valid the first year after the acquisition. After that, your date of hire is when you were unfortunate enough to become IBM employees. So instead of getting 16 weeks of severance, you will only get 2. IBM is a class act... -Screwed by Big Blue-
    • Comment 3/04/10: I worked 22 years at IBM, not getting a raise in my last 8 years, then RA'ed in 2009. One thing only will decide if your eligible to be RA'ed, it's salary. If you're a contract worker or just starting out, you're safe. If you have 10 or more years and being paid in the top half of your department salary range, watch out. Things are looking much better for me now, I found a job at a comparable salary, not overworked anymore, plus I'm now getting raises and praise which I never got with IBM. I'm slowly adjusting to this new environment, which I find strange. There are much better companies out there -RA'd Canada 2009-
    • Comment 3/04/10: I am/was working with a person in India from the "Global Marketing Centre India". He is in GBS working as a Consultant in the Strategy & Change Global Delivery organization in India. My guess is that Marketing functions are another business process area they are looking to outsource. In this case, they are just doing some of the more operational tasks. I think that allows IBM to cut responsibilities in certain Marketing areas but keep things operating. Naturally, they can later decide to staff up more Marketing resource in India to do more. I think this is just another flavor of outsourcing US jobs. They are figuring out how to grab more and more. Considering that many Marketing professionals in IBM are seasoned veterans with 20+ years in the company, it is an area to really cut costs. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Just amazed at all the people that are still working at big blow that know about this site, are posting their RA's and probably are not members. If everybody was an Alliance member instead of a lurker it could have made a difference. -Gone_in_07-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Software Group Rational has been hit hard by the layoffs. I know of at least 8 people effected. 6 on Clearcase and 2 on Clearquest. Support has also been effected. Many of us have been training our replacements in China and India for the last 2 years, but they aren't at all ready to pick up the slack being left by this round of cuts. Existing projects were already extremely overloaded and at risk, with these cuts many will need to be re-evaluated to determine which could be canceled. This round of layoffs is cutting into our key experts with knowledge and experience that cannot be replaced. As others have stated, people on my team were given false PBC ratings of 3 even though they were top performers and had one of their best years ever. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/04/10: IBM has become a cheap, hollowed-out shell of its former self. As these latest cuts bear out, they've taken the basic underpinnings that any good, not to mention great, company has as its core - trust, fair treatment, and ethical integrity - and pulled them out from under its employees. You don't take any long-term employee or employees who are within months of locking in their full retirement benefits and cheat them from this. The policies they have which allow this say it all - they're not to be trusted. It's a betrayal of what they profess to stand for, let alone what they want their customers to believe. Do they have anybody in that place that understands this?

      Instead the executive pockets get lined with more money and people who have given their lives to this company are thrown out the door with a shred of what they should have had. They've become a joke but this unfortunately will be on them as the spirit and infrastructure which are being destroyed spread at the rate they're going, unabated. It's a travesty, and an alarm this once great company has fallen so far.

      The Alliance@IBM is the one shining light that stands for everything good which is being stripped away from IBM's backbone - its people - here in the US and other locations where affected. The Alliance carries the true spirit that made this company great, and that says it all. PLEASE JOIN. -Former True Blue-

    • Comment 3/04/10: Re: Lawyer looking at the sep agreement - I assume the agreement those getting it now have is essentially the same as the one we got. I had a lawyer friend look it over for me and he said it actually was one of the better ones he's seen - simplicity, relatively low restrictions etc.. If you can get last year's (Jan/Feb, anyway), and compare, you might feel comfortable and save some legal fees. FWIW... -RAed last Jan-
    • Comment 3/04/10: I was whacked last Feb. Although things were tough, I landed on my feet. Please use all the resources that IBM gives you in your package. I attribute my successful job find to the great coaching from Right Management. Please use all of the training $$ they give you. Things will work out. Take it from me. I was 54 when this happened to me, and never thought I would land again. I was wrong. Believe me, my thoughts are with all of you that are affected by the 'action'. Keep you head up. -Whackedin09-
    • Comment 3/04/10: To the person who asked how "far away" IBMers are from forming a union. Unfortunately, we are too far. IBM alliance has 350 members and IBM has 105,000 employees in the US. To be a force the IBM execs reckon with, we need at least half signed up and ready to walk if IBM does not come to the bargaining table. Signing up 50,000 members dispersed all over the US is a monumental undertaking - to say the least. However, this alliance is the best the IBMers have at the moment. By paying dues, IBMers give the alliance the wherewithal to recruit more members so the dream of forming a union can be realized sometime in the future. -anon-
    • Comment 3/04/10: RA's 03/01/2010. Integrated Technology Delivery - Service management. RCA coordinator (dept. 07 - srve management probl/chg coordination) Div. 7 - Danny VEntresco's org. Plans are to eliminate dept. for global resourcing or new college hires in Iowa as legal terms of support contracts allow. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Some advice for those newly RA'd from some RA'd last year who have been through the fire. Don't bother with showing the severance package to an attorney, etc. Just move on. IBM and former IBMers RA'd have already been down this road. This has been going on for many, many years.

      File for unemployment. Take some days to just be nice to yourself like a vacation. Take some time to think about what you might do next - it is a great opportunity to change your life in many positive ways. You might even trade overtime and stress on the job for a lower paying job with more family and personal time. You might relocate to a place you've always thought about. You might switch careers out of IT. You can get retraining money as part of the IBM severance package ($2500, I believe), and free grant money up to $4000 from the state level of the Dept of Labor. Check out your local PSG (professional services group), an arm of the state DOL. for additional training in resume writing, mock interviews and more, as well as networking events. The one near me is far better than Right Management. Here is a great website for info: http://www.careeronestop.org/

      Unemployment greatly varies by state so go to your state's website. The NY one seems to have good general info in any event. State benefits are for 26 weeks, but there are federal extensions (several tiers). Learn more at this website: http://www.unemployedworkers.org/sites/unemployedworkers/index.php Click Ask the Expert. It is usually uptodate on what Congress is doing and news. Right now Congress passed one month's new funding that covers March 2010. My guess is that the new bill now being discussed in Congress, which will fund unemployment benefits to year end and is retroactive to March 1, will be passed pretty quick. The sooner you let go of IBM, and just move on, the better it will be. -anonymous-

    • Comment 3/04/10: Lost 5 from Div 1G. Last day 3/31, all notified on 3/1, all Sr people, at IBM for a long time. -anon-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Reading all the anguish on this board makes me really sad. I was RAed several years ago and my butt is still sore from the ordeal and abuse. You folks still there at IBM really need to support the Alliance. it makes no difference to me since I am out of that hell hole. But for you folks still there why can't you caught up a few bucks and show your support for the Alliance? These folks at the Alliance are working hard and are on YOUR side. Show a little support and join! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Div 07 Dept: LOHH IGS Systems Administrator Part of Monday's purge. No warning. Very high job evaluation reviews. Not much else to say. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/04/10: IBM Banking Center of Excellence in S&D was decimated.. it is not in the list you have.. I know personally of about 12 people from the ACI Alliance Group. We were cut without ceremony. IBM has a new trick.. you know the 30 days to find a new job?.. B.S. .. they use that against you. If you don't have an offer on the first day.. you wont have time to transfer.. and even if you do.. you still may not be able to do it.. see.. they got special rules that make it harder to hire someone who is on the RA list than just an external hire. So much for all you've given for all that service. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Got caught up in the last round (GBS). Took me about 5 months to land a new job and I am indeed happier. More interesting work and a slight bump in pay (was happy with the old salary). That said, I was prepared to accept less if need be because the opportunities did seem far and few between, and in a competitive region. My advice/lessons learned -
      • Don't be shy/ashamed...put the word out immediately to EVERYONE that you are looking for a new job. In other words, network far, wide, and fast.
      • If you received an education grant, don't sit on it...time will pass by quickly so don't risk losing it...should you land a new job before it expires, chances are you won't have time to use it
      • Utilize Outplacement services and if possible, do it on their site and not from home; better to get out of the house (though there is travel cost), network, and there are better services on-site regardless of Right Mgmt tells you.
      • Start exercising and get in shape - it will keep you mentally and physically fit. Best of luck! You will survive this and for the better.
    • Comment 3/04/10: ITD Storage Mgmt - 41 years old - been with IBM for 14.5 years. -anon-
    • Comment 3/04/10: SSR Texas Tivoli, One of my team mates just resigned to go to a competitor. This place is a sweat shop and the new sales comp plan is a joke. It's a toxic environment in TX software sales to say the least. Just as bad as Oracle and CA. BTW, don't bother fighting through the informal performance plan. It's a set up to get you to increase your FLMs pipeline before they dismiss you. I can't wait to 0 out all my OIs and watch my manager **** a brick because I was the only one with a decent "qualified" (cough cough) pipeline. -Sweat Shop victim-
    • Comment 3/04/10: Software Group Rational, 8 engineers in our site I know of. Some very senior who handle very complex stuff. My scenario: PBC 2's last 3 years with high praise from first line mgr, PBC 3 this year with comment that "there is intense competition in this band" and a recommendation to reband to the next lower band. I know my performance certainly did not change this year. In the 2009 comments, there was discussion that PBC 3 RA's got less separation pay than PBC 2 RA's -- is this true in any way for this RA? -Anon-
    • Comment 3/05/10: I was axed last year. My sympathies to those now going through the same trauma I went through. To those of us who landed with competitors, let us all endeavor to drive IBM into the ground. I know this is petty, but it does make me feel better. -Axed Last Year-
    • Comment 3/05/10: People in IBM need a union. You might read here and think you got it made, please understand they will tear you down over years and kick you to the street. Anybody 45 years old needs to take a serious career assessment and get the hell out while you can get into a more secure job/retirement/benefits. GET READY and take action. While you are at it, please donate and support this "only" place that offers any help/advise. Get off the F#@%^ fence and support. -None-
    • Comment 3/05/10: They finally cut me loose from this prison called SVL. I've been trying to break out for n years. I finally got a 3.. Sweet retirement! Have served since Frank Cary was CEO and programs were punched on cards. Used to be damn proud to be an IBMer. The severance, unemployment is the biggest award that IBM gives out theses days. Although it is no match for what they took away from us, it is the only way a broken old man can break free these days. Hallelujah I'm a bum! -grumpy old man-
    • Comment 3/05/10: ITD Security and Risk Management. At least 7 Security Compliance Advisors released on Monday. The SCA teams are turning away work due to not having people to handle. Can not get people onto the teams. 6 were part of the Danieli -vs- IBM -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/05/10: To -Smoke and mirrors- I have noticed the offshore resources with USA based Blue Pages info as well (incl Notes, location, office, etc). While it may seem like a scheme, the truth is HR records and Blue Pages are not the same thing, so I do not see this as anything illegal. They just create the profile for these resources under the same location as their Blue Pages manager. The HR record would contain their actual info, and that is what would be used for any real headcount data from a labor reporting perspective. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/05/10: I am a 56 yr old senior systems administrator with 22 years making 82k cut from (ITD) Integrated Service Delivery. Cuts were made to the Allianz Life Insurance and Firemans Fund accounts to move more SA jobs to inexperienced rookies in Argentina. I will be delighted to take my 40K severance and leave the stench of these skanky IBM execs behind. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/05/10: What surprises me is the surprise that employees show when they get Ra'd. It doesn't matter how many years you got a "1", what your PBC is now or your band level. It also doesn't matter how long you've been there, how much work you do, or if you are smart as a whip. You are fooling yourself if you really think IBM cares one bit about you. After successive years of large first quarter layoffs and watching colleagues get shown the door, you guys should know just where you fit in. -Whome-
    • Comment 3/05/10: Another good website for those unemployed: http://www.dol.gov/dol/audience/aud-unemployed.htm -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/05/10: princeton nj location 10 divisions SWG, STG, CIO -ts-
    • Comment 3/05/10: First they did away with thanks awards, and now I heard the entire Technical Leadership Exchange (TLE) is gone. How is that related to job cuts? All the people doing TLE got cut. It went down hill when TLE went virtual? Come on. The benefit of TLE was face to face networking. Sad to see all those faces go. Best of luck to you. -anon2-
    • Comment 3/05/10: My sources tell me this latest round was not your typical "bottom's up" RA, where a number is passed down and line management cuts based on performance/relative contribution. Our org was decimated in Austin, Tucson, and people with WFH as their work location code. Whether this is a sign of things to come, or an aberration to kick-start the year, no one is safe. This round, line managers were given a list of people to cut. I know we had 2+ performers cut and kept 3 performers. If you thought you were safe because you were the best in your group, think again. The only way to improve your chances is support the Alliance and get a union inside IBM. -new2rchland-
    • Comment 3/05/10: I agree completely with Whome. This is not about anyone's performance. This is all about Earning per Share (EPS) and headcount. The IBM CFO and CEO declare an EPS figure and they will meet it any way they can. The best way for them is to cut costs. IBM has record earnings. Mr. Palmisano will earn $77,000 per WEEK in retirement. Check out IBM insider trading at http://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=IBM If this is not incentive to join a union, I'm not sure what is. My best to anyone on the RA list and to those that remain and will suffer the consequence of the cuts. The Watsons were building a company. The current executive group is simply amassing wealth. Sad, very sad... -Been There-
    • Comment 3/06/10: 12 years with ibm (india Beijing Machines). Just got RA'd (can't call it lay-off, we are now resources, not people). In California, many former colleagues were hit. Shame on ibm for replacing us with people in brazil and India. So much for al l the work we put in -out on the street-
    • Comment 3/06/10: I was RA'd in Feb 2009 from and was lucky enough to have been employed long enough to get 12 months of paid health care as part of the severance package. The 12 months are up and to my surprise, I only will get another 6 months of COBRA via IBM even though I am in NY. NY passed a law stating that COBRA was extended for 36 months for those let go during a certain timeframe and I qualify. The Employees Services Center states that IBM follows federal guidelines not state. Has anyone else come across this problem and how did it resolve? -1YRGone-
    • Comment 3/06/10: Your end dates may vary. In the past, some people were kept several months to complete a contract / work. Someone notified in Spring 2009 was released in October. Most are however 30 days notice. It used to be you were notified, say, March 27 so the last day was April 27 - meaning you got screwed out of April's accrued vacation. Multiply that times the numbers RA'd and IBM kept a nice sum of money stolen from the people RA'd. Plus the people lost a few days pay. -anonymous-
    • Comment 3/06/10: Although I have lost my job, it warms my heart that our top Execs are still paying themselves Millions (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=IBM) and protecting anyone from a VP level up from getting involved in these ugly layoffs. -fatcat-
    • Comment 3/06/10: I didn't use my real name but I am in NJ and we have seen mostly large system CE's and EUS (CE's that only install servers, telecom, networks) in the NY and Phila area. -Bob Bobb-
    • Comment 3/06/10: Just for s#!ts and giggles, Say nothing but as often as possible, when you go into office, wear a red shirt. ( Red shirts on Star trek were always the ones who went down on away mission and did not come back) So, basically the way IBM spins it, ALL US employees are "red shirts" Don't say anything to mgmt, but in the halls we see another red shirt, can be called the red shirt revolution -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/06/10: Hi ppl.. i am an ibmer from india. i really do sympathize with your situation out there..hang in there and wish you all the best...you never know..once it becomes costly here..same thing will happen to us -Anonymous-
    • Comment 3/07/10: Anon - My scenario: PBC 2's last 3 years with high praise from first line mgr, PBC 3 this year with comment that "there is intense competition in this band" Almost the same thing that happened to me, except I didn't get a 3. Same old song and dance about not having any money this year, so bonuses, etc., were meager, but then manager adds "competition is tougher this year doe your band" even though I am doing 3x more work. Even tho I've been "spared" this year, I'm not going to wait around to see what happens next year. I'm already applying elsewhere. I was actually WANTING to be let go on 3/1 just so I can have some of my sanity back with some severance. Now I'll just leave with some of my sanity back and no severance. -Anon2-
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • National Public Radio (NPR): Why Pay For Health Insurance When You Can Steal It? By Jennifer Moore. Excerpts: These days, most people know the drill for dealing with a stolen credit card number — call the card company and have the account canceled. But experts say a different type of identity theft is on the rise — one that could compromise both the victim's credit and physical safety. Patients using someone else's name, Social Security number or insurance card to get health care could risk their victim's health if inaccurate information, such as blood type and medications, is recorded on the victim's chart.

    CoxHealth Hospital in Springfield, Mo., has one of the busiest emergency rooms in southwest Missouri. In the span of a few minutes, an elderly woman arrives in an ambulance, a police officer escorts a young woman through the doors, and children in the waiting room become progressively restless. Officials at this hospital say more and more of these patients walking through the doors are pretending to be someone else so they won't have to pay for their own medical bills.

  • Huffington Post: The Cure That Dares Not Speak Its Name. By Robert Kuttner. Excerpts: In all of the debates about health care reform, one of the stubborn realities is that neither the Obama plan, nor any of the Republican alternatives, will seriously alter the trajectory of relentless cost-escalation in health care. If you look at the Administration's own projections of federal deficits in the next decade and after 2020, virtually all of the alarming growth in deficit spending is Medicare and Medicaid.

    And that's only the public part of the health care bill. In 2009, total health care costs increased to 17.3 percent of GDP, with escalating premiums eating into both corporate profits and worker take home pay. The consensus among the usual policy experts is that there is no good solution. The march of technology and demography will just continue to raise health costs.

    But you can reach that conclusion only by ignoring how the rest of the club of affluent countries manages to insure everyone for 9 or 10 percent of GDP, and have a healthier and longer-lived population, to boot. They do it, of course, through universal, socialized insurance.

    There is no single formula. The Canadians do it with a single payer system for the insurance part, but physicians are private. The Brits have an integrated National Health Service. The Germans achieve near-universal coverage through a system of nonprofit health insurance plans.

    What every other nation has in common is that they have taken the commercialism out of their health systems. As a consequence, they can direct health spending to areas of medical need rather than letting the market direct health dollars to areas of greatest profit. And with everyone covered, they can use highly cost-effective strategies for prevention, wellness, and public health. That's how you cover everyone for ten percent of GDP.

    Our one island of single-payer medicine, Medicare, is phenomenally popular -- so popular that the Republicans' most effective attack on the Obama plan is that it would divert some money from Medicare. The Republicans, on the one hand, fiercely attack "government-run health insurance," while on the other they defend Medicare (which they would just as soon privatize).

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Why So Many People Are Without Health Insurance" by "mr_quarkwrench". Full excerpt: Gotta say I love medicare. I just got a bill from the radiological group that did my X-ray and CT scans. It runs to a page and a half list of the procedure, charge, medicare's payment, the medicare adjust and finally the balance I owe. Here is just one example: CT $590; medicare pays $50.58; adjustment $577.35; I owe $12.65 I'm beginning to become a real fan of socialism. -- Don
  • New York Times: Obama Wields Analysis of Insurers in Health Battle. By David M. Herszenhorn. Excerpts: To bolster the case for a far-reaching overhaul of the health care system, the Obama administration is seizing on a new analysis by Goldman Sachs, the New York investment bank, recommending that investors buy shares in two big insurance companies, the UnitedHealth Group and Cigna, because insurance rates are up sharply and competition is down. ...

    The Goldman Sachs analysis shows that while insurers can be aggressive in raising prices, they also walk away from clients because competition in the industry is so weak, the White House said. And officials will point to a finding that rate increases ran as high as 50 percent, with most in “the low- to mid-teens” — far higher than overall inflation.

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

"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.

  • New York Times op-ed: Financial Reform Endgame. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: So here’s the situation. We’ve been through the second-worst financial crisis in the history of the world, and we’ve barely begun to recover: 29 million Americans either can’t find jobs or can’t find full-time work. Yet all momentum for serious banking reform has been lost. The question now seems to be whether we’ll get a watered-down bill or no bill at all. And I hate to say this, but the second option is starting to look preferable.

    The problem, not too surprisingly, lies in the Senate, and mainly, though not entirely, with Republicans. The House has already passed a fairly strong reform bill, more or less along the lines proposed by the Obama administration, and the Senate could probably do the same if it operated on the principle of majority rule. But it doesn’t — and when you combine near-universal Republican opposition to serious reform with the wavering of some Democrats, prospects look bleak.

    How did we get to this point? And should reform advocates accept the compromises that might yet produce some kind of bill?

    Many opponents of the House version of banking reform present their position as one of principle. House Republicans, offering their alternative proposal, claimed that they would end banking excesses by introducing “market discipline” — basically, by promising not to rescue banks in the future.

    But that’s a fantasy. For one thing, governments always, when push comes to shove, end up rescuing key financial institutions in a crisis. And more broadly, relying on the magic of the market to keep banks safe has always been a path to disaster. Even Adam Smith knew that: he may have been the father of free-market economics, but he argued that bank regulation was as necessary as fire codes on urban buildings, and called for a ban on high-risk, high-interest lending, the 18th-century version of subprime. And the lesson has been confirmed again and again, from the Panic of 1873 to Iceland today.

    I suspect that even Republicans, in their hearts, understand the need for real reform. But their strategy of opposing anything the Obama administration proposes, coupled with the lure of financial-industry dollars — back in December top Republican leaders huddled with bank lobbyists to coordinate their campaigns against reform — has trumped all other considerations.

  • Huffington Post: "Markets" and the National Interest. By Gary Hart. Excerpts: Even the most market-oriented capitalist would hesitate to encourage Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, or Boeing to produce more sophisticated weapons systems for other nations than we produce for ourselves, even if it meant huge profits for those companies and their shareholders. It would simply not be in our national security interest.

    Yet few voices are raised when America's leading investment banks secretly encourage foreign governments, such as those in Greece and Spain, to manipulate their national budgets to conceal real deficits; and then those banks receive huge profits for doing so. The net result is to destabilize international financial systems and cause markets to fall, including in the United States.

    Something is wrong here. Are investment banks chartered in the U.S. free to make profits that are distinctly not in the interest of the U.S. and dismiss their counter-productive manipulations in the name of "free markets"? Apparently the answer is yes. If the guardians of our country's economic interests, such as Mr. Geithner or Mr. Summers, have spoken out to condemn this activity, then they have done so quietly. These are the same banks that became "too big to fail" and thus demanded, and received, bailouts from the U.S. taxpayers even while piling up continuing huge bonuses.

  • New York Times: Trading Away Productivity. By Alan Tonelson and Kevin L. Kearns. Excerpts: For a quarter-century, American economic policy has assumed that the keys to durable national prosperity are deregulation, free trade and a swift transition to a post-industrial, services-dominated future. Such policies, advocates say, drive innovation, which leads to enormous labor productivity and wage gains — more than enough, supposedly, to make up for the labor disruptions that accompany free trade and de-industrialization. In reality, though, wage gains for the average worker have lagged behind productivity since the early 1980s, a situation that free-traders usually attribute to workers failing to retrain themselves after seeing their jobs outsourced.

    But what if wages lag because productivity itself is being grossly overstated, especially in the nation’s manufacturing sector? Then, suddenly, a cornerstone of American economic policy would begin to crumble.

    Productivity measures how many worker hours are needed for a given unit of output during a given time period; when hours fall relative to output, labor productivity increases. In 2009, the data show, Americans needed 40 percent fewer hours to produce the same unit of output as in 1980.

    But there’s a problem: labor productivity figures, which are calculated by the Labor Department, count only worker hours in America, even though American-owned factories and labs have been steadily transplanted overseas, and foreign workers have contributed significantly to the final products counted in productivity measures. The result is an apparent drop in the number of worker hours required to produce goods — and thus increased productivity. But actually, the total number of worker hours does not necessarily change. ...

    This continuing mismeasurement leads economists and all those who rely on them to assume that recorded productivity gains always signify greater efficiency, rather than simple offshoring-generated cost cuts — leaving the rest of us scratching our heads over stagnating wages. ...

    Above all, if offshoring has been driving much of our supposed productivity gains, then the case for complete free trade begins to erode. If often such policies simply increase corporate profits at the expense of American workers, with no gains in true productivity, then they don’t necessarily strengthen the national economy.

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

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