The last company statement was as of the end of 2008, when it said its two Dutchess sites employed 10,700 people. That number, based on IBM's recent patterns of reporting, includes some nonpayroll people whose jobs are attributable to IBM's presence. That was also two major rounds of downsizing ago. IBM wouldn't confirm the size of large-scale cuts in January 2009, either, but the Dutchess impact was as many as 900 jobs, employees said. ...
The decision to withhold the U.S. head count became clear in IBM's annual report, issued last week. It has routinely in past years given both global and U.S. numbers, but this omitted the American count. "You have to ask, what's the problem with reporting the numbers?" said Tom Midgley of Poughkeepsie, president of the Alliance@IBM. He works at IBM in Poughkeepsie. "If they're not doing anything wrong, why not report the numbers? "Second, if they're receiving tax breaks and government contracts to do work, they should report the numbers," Midgley said. ...
It's clear, though, that IBM has been growing its overseas divisions while shrinking its U.S. employment. The domestic work force of IBM has rapidly declined in the past few years to 105,000 at last public count. It was 133,789 in 2005. That's a drop of nearly 29,000 people in four years, or 21.5 percent. Growth in other countries has been strong since.
Downsizing and offshoring are big issues underlying the no-count move, critics say. "IBM wants to hide the information because of their constant offshoring of IBM U.S. employees' jobs to India, South America and China at the same time that they have their hands out for tax breaks for job creation in the U.S.," said Lee Conrad, national organizer for the Alliance@IBM. ...
Several multimillion-dollar grants have been made by New York state's government to IBM in the past decade, always accompanied by projections of job creation or retention and announced by political leaders. Assemblyman Greg Ball, R-Patterson, said, "This is absolutely ridiculous. If they're accepting taxpayer dollars, they have to be held accountable. "As a Legislature, we need to know, before allotting dollars to a multinational corporation, how many workers they have in this state at any time," Ball said. ...
Sen. Steve Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, also criticized the IBM policy shift and said head count data are important for policymakers. "To say that's disappointing would be a gross understatement. Notwithstanding their being a global company, their roots are in this nation and in this state and in our very backyard," Saland said.
The chatter about consolidation comes as IBM takes the ax to its workforce. IBM’s workforce dipped to 437,776 in 2009, from 438,080 the prior year, according to the company’s annual statement. At the end of 2009, IBM USA had a workforce of 105,000, down 30,000 in just a few years, according to the IBM Employees’ Union CWA Local 1701. Last year, IBM laid off at least 2,900, according to the IBM union web site. For the past few years, there have been rumors that IBM wants to get the US workforce down to 70,000, the union noted on its Web site. IBM is also said to have consolidated 10 locations into one in Massachusetts.
The bureau suspects IBM Japan of underreporting 400 billion yen in taxable income in 2008 through an accounting scheme that allows a parent company and its subsidiaries to file taxes as a single entity, Asahi said without citing sources.
My manager conducts "one on one" monthly meetings with me, and truly doesn't help me navigate my career, but more so, puts that responsibility on ME to define my personal career goals without any education funding provided by the company.
I often feel more like a consultant, than a valued fulltime employee (asset). If I have to figure out how I personally will contribute to the company's goals, and also track down no-cost, online training classes, ensure that I keep my market valued skills up to date somehow.. what does my manager do for me?
Outside of listening to me, but not being able to help me, coupled with making company announcements, conducting Resource Actions via phone calls, and giving me my Growth Driven Profit (bonus), and Base Salary Reviews, I truly don't know what critical factor a manager provides today?
Maybe someone out there can support the manager's side, but I have manager friends, and they truly feel helpless having their hands tied. I cannot understand why company's need so many organizational levels of leaders, starting from Manager, Senior Manager, Director, VP, GM, (2) Senior VPs, then Chairman. Maybe this is required organizational structure/levels when your employees total 400,000 ?
Back to your point Gary, it is a very good question ! I am a stockholder, and do not like to see the huge salaries going to members of the board from other companies too. Where is their value add here? If the company is not meeting targets, then leadership needs to be held accountable, and stop plucking the lower hanging fruits to make up for your lack of leadership and vision.
In the past 15 or 20 years most of our customers have hired or developed skills in programming and more recently business analysis and project management. In order to sell those kinds of services now they must cost less than a full time employee. We all know that no IBM consultant in the US or Canada costs less than our customer's employees. We priced ourselves out of the market. We had a really good run, with higher pay and more interesting work than our colleagues doing the same work for our customers.
Now IBM is scrambling to keep the services business going. You cannot support several highly paid employees on the bench for too long. The difficulty is that the people who have worked on highly lucrative engagements in the past are not skilled in the services we can market today. In fact, our offerings of today will not likely be viable in the near future when once again our expertise is transferred to the customer.
Lucky are the people who found themselves a niche that still has marketability. For the rest of us, there are certainly other opportunities to contribute and to earn an income. While I am not sure I will find any fun work in the future, I am still amazed, exhilarated and excited about how fast the world is changing.
I do regret that IBM chooses to lay off staff instead of retraining. However I can see that our band level was too high for a person just learning the skills that IBM is currently marketing. I suppose they could have offered to lower our band and cut our pay instead of sending us on our way. How many of us would have taken that option?
I think it's logical for a company in financial trouble to permanently lay off some of it's workforce. It's also a very cruel and brutal thing to have to do. While I think it's brutal, I can understand why it must be done. Can anyone provide me with a logical business reason why a company reporting record EPS would do something as inhumane as to continually lay off it's employees?
Can it really be true that the reason is as simple as executive greed? I want to believe it isn't, but I can't think any good business reasons why the execs think it's so necessary.
When your company's strategies cannot grow revenue (except for buying other companies that have revenue), to maximize profits the leaders have to minimize costs. Since one of the largest costs they can quickly discard is people, layoffs are the strategy.
The lack of revenue growth is a major fail for Sam P. It will be part of his legacy, along with over a 100,000 US layoffs before he's done.
What the execs are doing is dumping experienced and expensive people in expensive countries and moving jobs to low cost countries, using the cheapest resources available there. The company is pushing everything that can be offshored as fast as they can.
This leaves the remaining experienced employees remaining in expensive countries like the US horribly understaffed and assigned to cleaning up messes and disasters that the unskilled low cost labor create.
The big fail here is executive assumption that the cheap, inexperienced, unskilled labor can be trained in between 6 weeks and 6 months of distance learning and be equivalent in skill, experience, wisdom and discipline to those who have 20+ years in the business.
No matter what the executives think and how much they try, people and skills are not fungible and never will be.
The second fail to come sometime in the future will be when demand for IT services and IT skills become significantly higher due to eventual economic expansion. IBM will not have enough skills to handle the demand. If demand for IT skills grows with it, expect a number of skilled people to jump to other companies, compounding the shortage.
The third fail to cost even further out will be the inability to design and support new products. There is already a severe shortage of skilled labor in the development labs - not enough people left to be able to deliver on time with reasonable quality. So expect IBM product quality and functionality to drop over time and service quality and response to further erode.
For those of us still employed in the US, it's like you're on a death march. You keep moving as best you can knowing that you can be axed at any time regardless of how important your job in, how well you do it and how critical it is to the business. You look into the eyes of your coworkers and there's fear intermingled with sadness, aflame with anger, wrapped with feelings of futility and depression. You know that the dreaded day will come.
In May 2007 we shared with investors our 2010 Earnings Per Share Roadmap—which explains how we expect to achieve EPS growth of 14 to 16 percent and $10 to $11 in earnings per share by 2010. We did so to give our shareholders a clear understanding of the key factors driving IBM's long-term financial objectives. In 2007 we made progress toward our 2010 objectives by growing earnings per share 18 percent. (ref: http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/2007/higher_value.shtml)
Executives being the type-A, highly competitive personalities that they are will do whatever it takes to keep their non-contractual commitments to shareholders (never mind their broken non-contractual commitments to employees). They live in a very different world and cannot relate to the rest of us. Don't even try to rationalize or understand the way they think. For example it's quite likely that Mr. Palmisano had a bet with Larry Ellison on whether he could achieve this goal. That said, Mr. Palmisano did whatever it took to achieve his goal, even during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is all very unfortunate and well explains the growing ideological divide and class warfare that is fast approaching.
It's been very interesting to watch. Each quarter when ibm announced their mind-numbing record profits, employees are told quite another story. The story was/is always the same. "We did pretty good but not quite good enough, so we must all try harder". Typically layoffs follow shortly thereafter(not to mention no raises, dwindling bonus pay, no awards, increased benefit cost, etc). IBM is rather like the spoiled child, "it's just never enough". On the funny side, does IBM think that their "smart" employees cannot read the news and figure this all out?
I tell him he should do a formal study and write a paper.
I, too, when I meet ex-IBMers, note that they are more relaxed, less stressed, more upbeat and look years younger.
I challenge Dr Sep to work on making the IBM work environment less toxic, less stressful, less emotionally devastating and more humane.
For many workers, training opens doors—but it doesn't necessarily shorten the job search at a time of high unemployment. Nancy Eade, 55, of Charlotte, N.C., was laid off as a marketing program manager at IBM Corp. in December 2008. She then took courses at management-consulting firm Right Management, and then studied to get project-management certification at the nonprofit Project Management Institute. Early this year, Ms. Eade started taking classes in business analysis and quality control at Central Piedmont Community College. Finally, last month she landed a job as a project manager at Bank of America Corp. "I did everything right and it still took me 14 months," she says.
Remember, if a manager communicates at all about firings, you may get the impression the manager could actually do something about them or has something to do with them and then you may treat the manager as an enemy or at least not blindly trust them to be fair. It may cause the manager to feel stress or pressure so do not expect it to ever happen. This is one of the main reasons IBM no longer has face to face meetings when they can avoid them. Its far easier to deny or lie on the phone and not feel the need to pretend to care about employees or care about their feelings. You cannot see the manager rolling their eyes or biting their fist to keep from laughing on the phone you see. If they ignore you long enough, voicemail when you call them, no response to emails, no return calls, then you eventually stop bothering them.
Then if something happens they will hit you with a 3 rating because you failed to keep them informed. Its a win win for them. You become a self managing work widget that requires no supervision and just produces profits . Can be fired at will. Can be sold off in mass. Can be discriminated against behind closed doors and you simply have no say and no choice because you just accept it. "Was that a rifle shot Joe?" "Don't pay no attention John , it didn't hit you. Just keep your head down and graze..." And the life of the herd continues. -Exodus2007-
Will the bill really "turn America into a socialist country"? It's easy to laugh at this notion, of course, but let's look at it from another point of view. Even if that were correct, should you really sell everything and flee?
Socialism, or social democracy, or whatever else you want to call it, doesn't seem to have hurt stockholders overseas too badly. Over the past 10 years, according to MSCI Barra, stock markets across socialized Europe have produced total returns of about 2% a year in U.S. dollar terms, according to MSCI Barra. The figure for France is just over 2% and for left-wing Britain and Holland nearer to 3%. Pinko Denmark has boomed by 10% a year.
Meanwhile, here in the land of the free, investors have made zero.
As it happens, Reuters published an investigative report this week that powerfully illustrates the vileness of our current system. The report concerns the insurer Fortis, now part of Assurant Health, which turns out to have had a systematic policy of revoking its clients’ policies when they got sick. In particular, according to the Reuters report, it targeted every single policyholder who contracted H.I.V., looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, for cancellation. In the case that brought all this to light, Assurant Health used an obviously misdated handwritten note by a nurse, who wrote “2001” instead of “2002,” to claim that the infection was a pre-existing condition that the client had failed to declare, and revoked his policy.
This was illegal, and the company must have known it: the South Carolina Supreme Court, after upholding a decision granting large damages to the wronged policyholder, concluded that the company had been systematically concealing its actions when withdrawing coverage, not just in this case, but across the board.
But this is much more than a law enforcement issue. For one thing, it’s an example those who castigate President Obama for “demonizing” insurance companies should consider. The truth, widely documented, is that behavior like Assurant Health’s is widespread for a simple reason: it pays. A House committee estimated that Assurant made $150 million in profits between 2003 and 2007 by canceling coverage of people who thought they had insurance, a sum that dwarfs the fine the court imposed in this particular case. It’s not demonizing insurers to describe what they actually do.
Beyond that, this is a story that could happen only in America. In every other advanced nation, insurance coverage is available to everyone regardless of medical history. Our system is unique in its cruelty.
And one more thing: employment-based health insurance, which is already regulated in a way that mostly prevents this kind of abuse, is unraveling. Less than half of workers at small businesses were covered last year, down from 58 percent a decade ago. This means that in the absence of reform, an ever-growing number of Americans will be at the mercy of the likes of Assurant Health. ...
But shouldn’t we be focused on controlling costs rather than extending coverage? Actually, the proposed reform does more to control health care costs than any previous legislation, paying for expanded coverage by reducing the rate at which Medicare costs will grow, substantially improving Medicare’s long-run financing along the way. And this combination of broader coverage and cost control is no accident: It has long been clear to health-policy experts that these concerns go hand in hand. The United States is the only advanced nation without universal health care, and it also has by far the world’s highest health care costs.
Can you imagine a better reform? Sure. If Harry Truman had managed to add health care to Social Security back in 1947, we’d have a better, cheaper system than the one whose fate now hangs in the balance. But an ideal plan isn’t on the table. And what is on the table, ready to go, is legislation that is fiscally responsible, takes major steps toward dealing with rising health care costs, and would make us a better, fairer, more decent nation.
"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.
Sure enough, the United States followed this path for most of the last century. In 1900, federal taxes amounted to just 2 percent of gross domestic product. By 2000, the share had risen to 21 percent.
Over the last couple of decades, though, we have repealed Wagner’s Law — or, more to the point, only partly repealed it. Taxes are no longer rising. They fell to 18 percent of G.D.P. in 2008 and, because of the recession, to a 60-year low of 15.1 percent last year.
Yet our desire for government services just keeps growing. We added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. Farm subsidies are sacrosanct. Social Security is the third rail of politics.
This disconnect is, far and away, the main reason for our huge budget problems. Yes, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recession and the stimulus have all added to the deficit. But they are minor issues in the long run. By 2020, government spending is projected to equal 26 percent (and rising) of G.D.P., mostly because of Medicare and Social Security. Taxes are on pace to equal just 19 percent.
Let's talk about it all – the whole corrupt insider system of moneyed elites who're systematically destroying the middle class and perverting the political process to shut out the voices of America's workaday majority.
Let's discuss this Big Theft, but most importantly, let's figure out what to do about it. Whether you call yourself conservative or progressive, what can we do together to decentralize and democratize our country's economic and political power, putting America back on its historic mission of trying to build a nation of, by, and for the people?
Another organization has suddenly sprouted across the country that might help get us together. It's called the Coffee Party – not meant to counter the Tea Party, but to engage it positively. Check it out at coffeepartyusa.com.
Who knows – maybe we can all merge into a Beer Party! Beverage preferences aside, the important thing is for ordinary grassroots Americans to reach across false divides, see what we have in common – and start acting like the bosses of our government, our society, and our mutual destiny. That's what it really means to be American.
One wide open path is through both the Republican and Democratic governors associations. Both outfits offer corporate "membership" packages that literally let drug makers, utilities, tobacco companies, and other giants buy their way inside these two powerful groups. For annual dues of up to $250,000, a corporation's executives and lobbyists not only get to hobnob with these top state officials, but also to sponsor, organize, and participate in periodic policy discussions with the governors.
Is this a sweet deal for the companies? "Absolutely," enthused a tobacco executive! After all, these corporations have big money at stake on everything from state taxes to regulatory policies, and buying their way into the groups' gatherings lets them bend the ears of America's governors – and bend the governors' policies. Regular citizens and public interest groups never get this kind of special access, so it gives the corporate powers a big jump on everyone else.
Last year, for example, some 200 drug industry lobbyists organized a forum on biotechnology for Democratic governors. In this cozy setting, the biotech corporations had a one-sided chance to plead for state subsides and regulatory favoritism – and practically every governor who attended followed up by pushing for what the industry wanted.
In so many different ways, corporate money doesn't just talk, it shouts – and drowns out the rest of us.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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