Asked about the change in the way it provides employment numbers in its annual report, an IBM spokesman said in a note that "our competitors report headcount globally. Going forward we will report it globally." ...
Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said the workforce data is critical to helping policymakers understand the dynamics of offshoring. "By hiding its offshoring, IBM is doing a disservice to America -- through omission the company is providing misleading labor market signals and information to policymakers," Hira said.
IBM is trying to convince the government to allocate funds and establish policies that would help increase the number of STEM (or science, technology, engineering and math) graduates in the U.S., and it's also calling on Washington to raise the cap on H-1B visas, said Hira. "Yet at the same time," he added, "IBM is actually decreasing its demand of that same labor." ...
Hira also argues that the shift overseas makes clear how critical the tax deferral on foreign profits is to IBM's bottom line and why the company is opposing President Barack Obama's "proposal to end the tax breaks that encourage firms to move American jobs overseas," he said. IBM was one of a long list of companies opposing changes in the tax deferral rules in a letter to congressional leaders last year. The letter argued that repeal of the deferral "will result in a loss of jobs for Americans and serious negative impacts on the U.S. economy."
Besides the salary, bonus and stock awards, Mr. Palmisano received $1.1 million in "other" compensation including $320,065 worth of personal travel on company aircraft. Additional covered personal expenses included financial planning, security, family attendance at company-related events and the use of company autos. His compensation in the "other" category was up 10% from 2008 and 75% from 2007.
“IBM CEO Palmisano's pay and compensation of $21 million is outrageous given the firing of over 10,000 employees in 2009 and the recent firing of 2600 more this year,” said Lee Conrad, one of Alliance@IBM’s executives and a retired 26-year IBM veteran. “Those ex-employees and their families are struggling in an economic recession where companies like IBM increase profits on the backs of working families,” Conrad added.
“Where is the humanity and remorse of executives like Palmisano? It is clear they do not see or care what happens to employees and former employees who through their labor and expertise help him and other executives become richer.”
Conrad also said many IBM workers who keep their jobs are facing wage pressure. “Current IBMers face a falling standard of living as pay raises promised become pay raises denied,” Conrad said.
I am on the latest resource list and have no illusions about remaining an IBMer. I also have no anger or depression as this has been how I have expected my IBM career to end since around 2000 when things really began changing at IBM. I am thankful for the exit package, which, while not the best out there it is better than the nothing most people receive when laid off.
The so-called stealth layoffs, which avoid the legal requirements for disclosure, have been going on for quite some time (NYT article from a year ago here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/business/06layoffs.html)
It's common knowledge that hiring (and transfer) freezes seem to coincide with IBM's RAs, and that people somehow find themselves "ineligible" to apply for those few positions left open. Or the jobs left open are in a faraway place and come with significant pay cuts. Once in a great while, those who are well-connected seem to find another decent IBM job ... but this is the exception, not the rule.
While POK. is not all that great in terms of public transit, at least the side is within walking distance, and I have help from friends in previous jobs, which I would lose at a new site. Can IBM legally refuse severance pay if I'm offered one of these GDF jobs and I'm unable to take it because of transportation or other disability-related issues? I think in the end, I might have better luck trying to find a job in a major city with public transit, but I'm not ready to leave IBM just yet, at least not without the 6 months to look around.
"Please leave" is tough for employees who are over 50 years old unless they have very marketable skills. The answer is to constantly be upgrading your skills and be networking both inside and outside your company to maintain a list of people who would love to have you work for them.
For some people, leaving will FORCE THEM to start their own business as a consultant or to follow their dream of being independent. It is not for everyone, but sometimes it really works out.
I still remember a career building conference not more than 4 or 5 years ago that stated 50% of IBM's personnel had 5 years or less experience which in my mind was preparing me for the eventuality that pensioned or not once I was near 50 years of age I would be a marked man (and I was).
Even though we are employees at will, I believe in corporate liability for people who have gotten ill while working for the company like environmental liability for materials put in the ground is lifelong. There is no telling who may or may not get sick exposed to metal pastes, powdered ceramics, cleaning solvents and semiconductor materials or for my office mates the sheer pressure to perform for IBM on the job. But your odds of illness are higher if exposed to chemicals or stress than not being exposed.
So that being said I think a more reasonable fight is for the sick people of a once proud IBM to band together and make IBM compensate those they have discarded in lieu of better economics and profits.
I was part of the SWG RA of Feb last year. The reason was given as "Job Elimination". WPLC decided to slash investment in a technology from an acquisition from 10 years before, a business that had exceeded its revenue commitment in 2008 by 140%. I believe that the mother ship wanted the core programmers to work on core products...
I was unlucky enough to have a round with the big C (cancer) 10 years back and lucky to have a manager at the time who held to the principles of the "old' IBM. He stuck by me and I repaid the company with an additional 10 years of drive and dedication. So 2 months after my 25th anniversary, I was handed my hat. I bridged to retirement because I was lucky enough to be on the "old" plan. Needless to say, looking for work as a "seasoned" employee has not been a pleasant experience in these "interesting' time we find ourselves in.
Now, to add insult to injury, my wife, who is also an IBM’er of 13 years, was told last week that she will not be needed as of March 31'st. It’s going to sound like sour grapes on my part - but she was set up.
So – it’s now bittersweet, I hate what the company has done, but need it to stay successful so that I can continue to collect my Pension. We would be dead without it.
On that note - I have serious concerns with respect to the current strategy that the company is on. HR and Finance seem to have control of a lot of the decisions and are making them based on a "'parts is parts" mentality where employee retention does not matter and moving headcount off shore is completely acceptable. Not to belittle the countries where the investment is being focused, but I have been part of a number of projects that were moved off shore and all of them failed miserably. I hope the HQ Executive team know something that I do not. Good old Yankee ingenuity (integrity and loyalty) cannot be bought at any price (admittedly my perspective) and I have very serious concerns about the long term viability of this approach. Too bad that Sam will not be around when it comes time to pay the piper.
If and when the economy does kick back into gear, I suspect a lot of the folks in IBM US will be looking for greener pasture rather than try and fix what may be in the process of being irrevocably broken. It’s pretty clear that its every man for himself and it gets really, really stale worrying if you are the next one to be pointed to the door.
My advice is to have a stellar resume, network aggressively and make your move before they move you. And knowing people in IBM will not help, I knew VP's and directors and the relationship I had with them disappeared when I went looking for a job. Another point, I tend to agree with some of the other comments about the state of the 'mature' employee. I could never prove it but statistically in my group of 7, the 2 that were laid off (me and another guy) were the oldest. We were also the most experienced and skilled in the group. One could never prove it but I really believe age is included in their formula for deciding who to let go.My best wishes to all of you who have been 'downsized'. There is life after IBM, Do not give up, keep a positive attitude and persevere. This may sound trite but one companies trash is another companies treasure.
That was my attitude when I was in my 20's 30's even 40's it was easy then. I was valued, I was appreciated, I was awarded for my performance and I had the recruiters still calling me for y2k when I was close to 50. I didn't even become an IBM employee until I was 44. I still believe in not staying where I am not wanted and I did not fight when I got my walking papers from IBM in June 2009.
Here's what bothered me though, I went from being a top performer in 2003 to being disposable in 2009. It was extremely difficult to accept that after a 30 year career having worked for some of the biggest and best companies in America and always getting promotions, monetary awards and glowing reviews: NOW I am not valued, appreciated, or wanted. that hurts.
IBM said it did not look at age or salary or performance when they did cuts last year. I don't believe them, I can't prove anything. I am reinventing myself again and I will get that perfect position with the perfect employer but it still bothers me that employers get away with this behavior. We are not individuals to them we are just numbers.
Neither of these things have any legal recourse and IBM is smart enough to not simply rid themselves of any one class of employee (over 40, over 50, women, men, whatever) to prevent any kind of action.
The only option that would allow any kind of 'fight' would be to unionize. A full on collective bargaining unit that will protect the workforce. As it stands now we are all 'at will' employees and can be released for any reason or no reason. Severance is just IBM being polite.
Even though I am still looking for a new job after 2+ years, I am happy not to be with IBM any longer based on the comments I get from my colleagues who are still with IBM. It's gotten worse since I've been gone.. <sigh> re the off-shoring comments.... I had heard that even though work may be redone five times, and customer satisfaction is in the basement, IBM could care less since they are still making money because they are saving over 80 percent by offshoring.
Fighting internally is just delaying the inevitable unless you really have a case to prove you are not a "3". Fighting with an attorney will only waste your money. You are not alone. You do go through the phases of grief, and fighting is an initial reaction. You will eventually reach acceptance (which is not agreement that you are being treated fairly). The sooner you accept and move on, the stress will reduce and you can use positive energy deciding what you want for the next phase of your life. The severance benefits for most will tide you over to year end, and the economy is projected by many to start with jobs by then. There are lots of temp contract jobs til then, so shoot for them via a recruiter to get some income, if need be. -anonymous-
That was a couple years back. The key in all of this is passion. don't just scramble for a job, for having a job sake. Else, you might probably end up getting RA'd again. If you're not passionate about the work (…and at IBM, it's real easy to get pigeon-holed into a job you don't like)... it may not seem like it now, but you will find what you're looking for outside the Big Blue walls. Hope these words are received as encouragement either way. -Anon-
I have applied for jobs and from one was rejected. Have not heard any word from the others. So, they will open up all the jobs in April. Look at your package paper real good... find that project email address and send them an email to say. I do not accept this package, because 30 days is not enough time to find a job. I find it hard to believe that with all this RA only 6 people joined the union. What is wrong with you people? Next we will age to 70, and they will give us sleep forever shots and all of you will be agreeable to wait in line for your turn for the shot? Well, I will be camping in the woods with my shot gun, because I am not going down so easy. I am not mad with a single person and feel confident and happy. -Annon-
I had four or five distinct, but related, careers in over 20 years at IBM. I chose my job progression.
I had over twenty managers in my career. As I said, I chose four career avenues. And, I saw managers churn over, whether every four months (one year) or every 18 months (IBM's personal best, I imagine. I made a big mistake in pursuing my last job role. The role itself - very engaging; allowed me to use my past experience to the benefit of both my organization AND me. The mistake: Not trusting my instincts when I interviewed with the hiring manager. She was arrogant, didn't understand our brand, and (later) claimed that 'I'm the very best _____ that our organization has', disregarding the negative comments from our target audience. Sample comment: '(Insert manager name here) has NO CLUE as to what we need. She presented on a topic which she clearly did not understand.'
Good luck to those who remain in IBM or in that organization. If they read this post, they may recognize the manager. -RAed already- Alliance reply: Permission granted. Please consider joining or making a donation to Alliance@IBM, to show your support for this board.
Editor's note: Many more job cut comments are available in last week's highlights.
"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.
People are upset because they are mired in economic distress and are losing faith that their elected representatives are looking out for their best interests. They’ve watched with increasing anger as their government has been hijacked by the economic elite. They know that the big banks that were bailed out by taxpayers can borrow money at an interest rate of near zero while at the same time charging credit-card holders usurious rates of 20 to 30 percent.
They know that the financial fat cats are fighting the creation of a truly independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. They know that while ordinary Americans are kept out of the corridors of power, the elites with their lobbyists and lawyers and campaign contributions have a voice in every important decision that is made.
It’s not the message that’s a problem for Mr. Obama and the Democrats, it’s the all-too-clear reality. People know that the government that is supposed to be looking out for ordinary people — for working people and the poor — is not doing nearly enough about an employment crisis that is lowering standards of living and hollowing out the American dream.
What do Wall Street's narcissistic casino dealers actually do? What do they produce for the good of society? Well, for one sterling example, check out a product they manufactured last year, called the iTraxx SovX. No home should be without one!
No, it's not a slick new smart phone. The iTraxx SovX – created by a consortium of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and a dozen other Wall Street powers – is a "sovereign credit derivative index." A what? It's a computerized trading scheme that allows wealthy speculators to buy "credit default swaps" on troubled European economies. Huh?
Okay, in plain language, the iTraxx is a tip sheet for global gamblers. In particular, it lets banks and hedge funds lay down big money on a wager that the Greek economy is going to collapse. In other words, if the Greek people suffer, champagne corks will pop on Wall Street, for high-rolling speculators there will have won their bet. What a terrific product!
By the way, the Greek economy is now teetering on the brink of broke because Goldman Sachs' financial fabricators invented another profiteering scheme a decade ago that allowed Greek leaders to hide the true depth of their country's financial trouble. Goldman pocketed $300 million on that sorry deal, and now it'll rake in more by betting against the economy it helped dynamite. So, while honest work might be virtuous, Goldman's financial flimflammery pays better.
But then, lobbyists appear from out of the shadows to whisper to lawmakers and slip checks into their pockets. Time passes, and the fresh ideas show signs of wilting. Next, they moved into closed committee rooms where they get dissected by members representing special interests. Then – with Republicans sourly opposing anything fresh and good, and with Democrats timorously trying to appease sour Republicans – the ideas are taken down into a dark, secret chamber for "negotiations."
From there, the good idea emerges as a bill. Only – Ohmygod, don't look! – it's been turned inside out, stuffed, and twisted into a bad idea. Republicans, who forced this grotesque gut job, spit on their own creation and walk away, but Democrats say they need to pass something, so they pass the bad idea, and call it progress.
This has been the sad journey of a bill to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a good idea that surfaced a year ago to stop Wall Street and other banking hucksters from ripping off consumers. That idea is now being "negotiated" in the senate, where it is expected to be perverted from an independent watchdog with real teeth into a puppy kept by the Federal Reserve System, where it will be taught not to bark at bankers, much less bite.
The hope for us consumers is that the house will reject this fraud. For more information, contact Consumer Federation of America: www.consumerfed.org.
Well, yes. But who owns them? The carefully contrived myth is that they are owned by you and me – the millions of mom & pop investors, pension-fund retirees, and people with savings in mutual funds. This Norman Rockwell portrait of widespread financial democracy is heartwarming, but a lie. Controlling ownership is securely in the hands of financial elites.
Indeed, buckle-up for a xenophobic jolt: Increasingly, America is owned by superwealthy foreign interests. Take a peek, for example, at a sovereign wealth fund known as CIC, the China Investment Corporation. This $300-billion pile of money has become the Chinese government's chief tool for spreading its global ownership, including stakes in dozens of major U.S. companies. Since it was created in 2007, CIC has invested more than $9 billion in such iconic American brands as Aetna, Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly, Goodyear, Johnson & Johnson, MetLife, Visa, and Wells Fargo.
Most of CIC's stock purchases are not huge, but its ownership can be expected to expand steadily, for CIC is funded from China's almost bottomless stash of foreign cash. Ironically, much of the $2.4 trillion it holds in foreign reserves comes from us – American consumers, businesses, and even governments that keep buying products imported from China. So, CIC is using our exported dollars to buy our domestic corporations and banks.
We the People rarely hear about these transactions. For example, last year, when Morgan Stanley boasted that it was repaying the Wall Street bailout money it got from us taxpayers, it didn't mention that nearly $2 billion of the payback came from selling a chunk of itself to CIC. China says it is merely a passive investor, with no political agenda. For now.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.