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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—June 5, 2010

  • CIO: H-1B Visa Holders Earn More Than U.S.-Born IT Professionals, Study Claims. Findings from a new IT salary study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland challenge the notion that H-1B visa workers depress the wages of American-born citizens and that American corporations only hire H-1B visa workers for cheap labor. By Stephanie Overby. Excerpts: One of the biggest complaints about the federal government's H-1B and L-1 visa programs is that they could be used by corporations to hire skilled workers born outside the U.S. at wages lower than the U.S. market rate. Indeed, anti-H-1B visa activists say the program depresses American IT workers' salaries and robs them of jobs. But new research from the University of Maryland seems to contradict anti-H-1B visa activists' claims about the immigration program's impact on American wages. In fact, the research suggests that foreign-born IT professionals with temporary skilled worker visas actually earn more than their American counterparts, not less. ...

    Lucas and Mithas say their research proves that corporations use foreign-born IT professionals as a complement to, not as a cheaper substitute for, their American workforce. But the data does not provide any explanations for why employers would pay non-citizen IT workers more. Lucas and Mithas have their own theories. For one, they think companies recruit foreign IT professionals for skills or expertise that they can't get from American workers, whether it's a stronger work ethic, multi-cultural experience, or willingness to travel.

  • eWeek: Professor Blasts Research on H-1B Visa Workers Earning Higher Wages. By Don E. Sears. Excerpts: eWEEK: What are your main problems with the University of Maryland study that found H-1B visa holders are being paid more than U.S. citizens? The study is fatally flawed, because its data source is grossly unrepresentative of H-1Bs in the computer field. The readership of InformationWeek [a good portion of the University of Maryland's research is based on a 2006 study done by Information Week and the staffing firm Hewlitt Associates] tends to be much more managerial and less technical, so the survey is not picking up the typical H-1B computer professionals. ...

    In addition, as an academic I'm very disturbed at the appalling lack of even-handedness on the part of the Maryland authors. Their statements to the press do not jibe with their own findings, and their coverage of previous research is severely one-sided. I'll cite three (of many) examples: ...

    Moreover, the authors do not mention at all the fact that two Congressional-commissioned employer surveys have found that H-1Bs are indeed often paid less than comparable Americans. These surveys are far more relevant than regression analysis (the tool used by the authors, myself and others), as regression can only attempt an indirect, approximate answer to the questions at hand. Employer surveys address this question directly, and thus are very important. It was unconscionable for the Maryland authors to omit discussion of these official employer surveys. In short, this paper was not the evenhanded treatment that is expected in academia.

  • WashTech: Take Action: Good News Bad News. Excerpts: For 20 years now, Americans have been denied the opportunity to fairly compete for jobs which we are qualified for in our own country due to unfair guest worker programs and immigration lawyers that “game” the green card system. It's time to play fair now. We’ve got an over abundance of experienced tech professionals and an oversupply of new science & technology graduates whom we have paid dearly to educate. Congress must reform guest worker programs that discriminate against American talent, facilitate the offshoring of top-dollar white collar jobs, force us to train our foreign replacements, and displace us from our jobs in favor of foreign citizens.
    • American 4th and 8th graders matched their classmates in Germany in the latest round of TIMSS, the prestigious math and science international test.
    • Over the past decade, US colleges and universities graduated three times more scientists and engineers than were employed in the workforce.
    • "H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker," according to the Department of Labor's Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2006-2011.
    • Americans face "H1-b Only" or " OPT Only" want ads for US job openings.
    • Silicon Valley now has fewer White, Black, Hispanic and Female IT professionals than in 2000.
    • 55% of America ’s “best and brightest” STEM graduates didn't land jobs in STEM fields in the late ‘90s.
    • Microsoft, Intel, Goldman Sachs and other American companies have increased their hiring abroad while laying off thousands of Americans in 2009.
  • The Stakeholder (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Weblog): House Republicans Protect Companies that Outsource American Jobs. Posted by Brandon English. Excerpts: Putting partisanship before protecting jobs, House Republicans voted to protect companies that exploit tax loopholes to ship American jobs overseas. Their "no" votes on the House's amendments to the American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act send a clear message that even in this tough economy, the GOP remains on the side of companies that outsource jobs instead of looking out for the workers who are being laid off. Despite their opposition, our Democratic Majority passed the measure that includes a provision to crack down on companies that take advantage of loopholes in the foreign income provisions of the tax code which makes it more profitable for them to outsource jobs. The bill would prevent corporations from using current U.S. foreign tax credit rules to subsidize their foreign activities.
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • IBM Anonymous: (Current Employee) “It's just OK!” Pros: Large multinational that can present different opportunities for career. Good benefits. Cons: It's just ok, that's part of the problem. Too conservative, difficult to manager internal processes and systems. Does not pay as well as some competitors. It's just ok. Advice to Senior Management: More focus on training its people. Focus on growing skills and education. Education on sales, technical and soft skills. Needs improvement.
    • IBM Managing Consultant: (Current Employee) “Consultant.” Pros: Decent pay, very autonomous work environment, travel schedule was reasonable. Decent benefits and perks. Cons: As a consultant, the only relevant measure of your worth is your billable hours. So if you can meet your billable requirements, then all is well. Other than that any review of you as an employee is complete arbitrary and often conducted by personnel that have no intimate knowledge of your work. Also, don't plan on advancing unless you have a partner to vouch for you, your work alone won't cut it. Advice to Senior Management: Come up with a better way to handle reviews and promotions of consultants.
    • IBM Staff Software Engineer in Hursley, England (United Kingdom): (Current Employee) “Great working environment, average pay, relentless cost-cutting.” Pros: Mostly interesting technical work, and a great working environment - very strong team work. Most low-level managers are good or very good, but are now strongly constrained in what they can actually do by the broader system. Support for flexible working is excellent. Cons: Rates of pay are acceptable, but not great and rises are limited - even after 5-10 years most people aren't far ahead of new graduate pay. Above band 8 further career development becomes very difficult, most people plateau at band 7 or band 8 and once you've stopped advancing your pay generally starts to decline in real terms. Most teams are understaffed for what they're expected to do, as more senior levels of management are focused on cost-cutting above everything else. Earnings-per-share rules everything. Advice to Senior Management: The relentless focus on cutting costs further and further has become very damaging to employee morale, with many teams struggling to meet unreasonable demands with insufficient resources. We're a hugely profitable company, so invest for the future and boost earnings through innovation.
    • IBM IT Architect: (Current Employee) “IBM IT Architect.” Pros: Opportunity for experience- for the proficient self-starter, there is potential to get training/experience with a huge array of technologies. High probability of working from home and being somewhat autonomous. Cons: Very large company. High turnover. Frequent layoffs. Occasional pay cuts. Most job changes/promotions are lateral with regards to salary. Overtime expected. Advice to Senior Management: Consider taking better care of your people. Satisfaction is down.
    • IBM Senior Managing Consultant - User Experience in Cambridge, MA: (Current Employee) “IBM is changing, but still a solid place to work.” Pros: IBM has always been very respectful of work-life balance and time off for life events, etc. Leaders are generally very accessible and willing to engage all employee levels. The work can be very rewarding. Cons: The spreadsheet mentality means that they may not always completely understand how to value a good employee whose benefit to the company rises above their bottom line or utilization tallies (particularly in the area of User Experience and other creative/design roles). It was NOT always like this here. It seems back in the earlier part of the decade, we were encouraged to "Do the Right Thing" and were rewarded for our efforts and risk in a more organic way. Advice to Senior Management: The PDFA process is not particularly effective in identifying the best candidates for promotion and, in fact, often sews the seeds of discontent and, in some cases, hysteria in the minds of those who are passed over without sufficient cause.
    • IBM Digital Strategy in Portland, OR: (Past Employee - 2010) “New economy = more hours & projects, less professional investment & salary from company.” Pros: Other IBM employees--smart, creative, inspiring people. Cons: Most upper mid-management not adapting to new culture and economy, unable to rethink & seize opportunity to make strategic changes that are equal in magnitude to the resource/team changes. Continued US upper management disregard of other country innovations and best practices. Advice to Senior Management: Adapt & be surgically strategic around where you can make a difference in place of trying to manage all legacy programs after resource and budget restrictions.
    • IBM Senior IT Specialist: (Current Employee) “Sustainability?” Pros: I have great benefits at IBM. I'm fortunate enough to work from home (though travel is a job requirement, depending on the assignment) and am well paid. My 1st and 2nd line managers are wonderful (my 1st line in particular) and still adhere to the "old school" philosophy that people are a company's greatest asset. Cons: Due to recent layoffs (resource actions), morale has declined and workload has increased. Globalization means early morning and late night (or middle of the night) conference calls on a regular basis as people in different parts of the world have to communicate real time. Advice to Senior Management: Management would do well to remember that people can be a company's greatest asset. Treat employees with respect and most will strive to help the company succeed. The right decision is not always about the cheapest cost; in the long run, that can be an unsustainable approach.
    • IBM Anonymous: (Past Employee - 2008) “Good start, limited advancement.” Pros: Good infrastructure and systems, education and ability to work from home. Good place to start and get a blue chip name everyone recognizes. Cons: Decision-making is very limited. 15+ people must say yes and a single "no" can gate progress. Backlash to the white male heritage now means that current opportunities are limited for white males. Mediocrity is too well tolerated. Advice to Senior Management: Follow through on the talent pipeline.
    • IBM Senior Consultant in Melbourne (Australia): (Current Employee) “Senior Consultant at IBM.” Pros: It has a great reputation which helps when applying elsewhere. They provide excellent benefits, especially when you are expected to travel for work. The variety of roles which you can be involved with lead to lots of opportunities to learn new skills. Cons: Mediocre pay and highly bureaucratic environment. It has a culture of over-management and under performance. Typical solution to any issue is to throw more managers and more underpaid workers at the solution, then make them work weekends if that does not solve the problem. At one stage I had 8 managers... Read Dilbert for more details, I feel like I am working in that company. Advice to Senior Management: Reward hard work rather than worrying about keeping everyone the same. Treat employees like people instead of resources to be abused.
    • IBM IT Specialist in Hursley, England (United Kingdom): (Current Employee) “Sucking the lifeblood from the company.” Pros: Good benefits for some. Good pay for some. Flexibility Working time. Family oriented feeling. Cons: Many under paid. Many not recognised. Personal issues can override business judgement. Management focused on saving money at the expense of the staff. Let's get to $20, who cares what the people think. Advice to Senior Management: Listen to your employees. Morale is at an all time low and you are making it worse.
    • IBM Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL: (Past Employee - 2009) “Good place to start your career, then move on...”Pros: Consulting work can be challenging, a great opportunity to learn, travel and gain a lot of experience quickly. IBM can provide an excellent name to a resume with worldwide recognition and offer you insight into the world of IT that would be hard to find at most other IT employers. Cons: As a consultant you are expected to put in some long hours on the job, hours that IBM expects, not appreciates. Additionally, you should plan on adding in travel time on top of the work hours put in for the client and having to deal with IBM's restrictive (occasionally bizarre) travel and expense policies. Promotions are often based on your ability to jump through hoops (disguised as "development"), fill out review forms and suck up to reviewers/partners, sadly these often have little to do with client satisfaction and adding value to the projects for which you work. Advice to Senior Management: IBM executive leadership seems to be running a company in textbook fashion, as seen by the company's stock performance in the past eighteen months, however the consulting portion of the company would not fall into the same category.
    • IBM Unix Administrator in Brno (Czech Republic): (Current Employee) “AIX & Linux Administrator.” Pros: Good environment and lot of opportunities to improve or continue career in different ways. Really interesting people from all over the world. Customers of IBM are many of top companies in the world. Cons: Low payment compared to other companies, low bonuses, improvement of salaries is extremely slow even for period of few years. Advice to Senior Management: Promote more managers which are not from Czech republic.
    • IBM Advisory Systems Analyst in Gurgaon, Haryana (India): (Current Employee) “existing ibmer.” Pros: latest IBM products and technologies you get to learn for free. many new technologies can be tried out. lots of IBM products. Cons: salary is not as good as outside. Also once you get in increments are minimal dragging you further behind your peers outside. Advice to Senior Management: do not hire people at decent salaries and then keep the salaries stagnant for 2-3 years. try and grow internally. Look at the internal folks reward them what they deserve before hiring anyone from outside at much higher salary
    • IBM IT Specialist in Bangalore (India): (Current Employee) “Great Place if you are managing career pro-actively on your own.” Pros: Great technical minds and information sources around. Great place to pick up plenty of tech skills. Great work-life balance possible. Great projects (unless you fall into one of the few 'dead' accounts Cons: Can be a complex place w.r.t processes (at least initially.) Career progression is mostly your own baby. Do no expect much support from managers. Pay...hmmm well what can we say. Advice to Senior Management: All answers are known.
    • IBM IT Architect in Moscow (Russia): (Current Employee) “Very good place to advance your career.” Pros: IBM's Work/life balance philosophy enables employees on technical positions to utilise different flexible work practices. Lots of opportunities for self-education. Cons: The value of each employee is a bit underestimated. There are not so many ways to innovate. Advice to Senior Management: There are too many leaders and too few good managers in modern corporations. IBM could be an exception.
    • IBM Software Developer in Buenos Aires (Argentina): (Current Employee) “Software Developer for maintenance in Argentina.” Pros: Very quiet environment, at least at maintenance support. You have very good home working policies. There is no better place to work than your own house/apartment. The managers are also very good. Cons: Regarding the conditions, the payment is very low here in Argentina as in most companies, but a bit lower than the average. It's not enough to get to the end of the month and save to buy whatever you want, a car, a house, or do your own business. The hiring conditions are very bad, because you pass the IBM interviews and examinations and after they tell you were successful, they say oh, we forgot, the hiring is thru a consultancy company we work with. Most employees at IBM argentina are hired by third party companies. Advice to Senior Management: Everything is ok, but the company is so bureaucratic! may be is that why times are flexibles?
    • IBM Consultant: (Past Employee - 2008) “IBM Consultant.” Pros: Good pay, good benefits, good people, great education, and good atmosphere to work on most occasions. Kept up to date on current technologies. Cons: Too much travel, not enough home time, and inconsistent management. Very short sited on quarter to quarter results and not long term results. Push, push, push to get your 90% billable rate in! Advice to Senior Management: Allow advancement on ability and not just gender. Management was looking for any and all females to advance, but not white males, even though we had better training, experience, and ability.
    • IBM Senior Software Engineer: (Past Employee - 2008) “Balkanized by Acquisitions.” Pros: Lots of variety available. Access to vast resources, especially software. Cons: Acquisitions, especially in remote locations, do not integrate with IBM culture. IBM is highly balkanized by its acquisition strategy. Very important to understand the culture of the acquired company. More so than IBM's. Acquisitions are very uneven in terms of talent, especially in senior management, who often do not know how to be effective in a large corporation. Cultural friction between acquisitions and corporate. Local senior management was outright hostile to corporate executive and senior management. Advice to Senior Management: Do a much better job of integrating acquisitions into the IBM brand, rather than 'bluewashing'. Rotate local senior management into new assignments elsewhere in the company, bring in experienced IBM management. Avoid acquisition euphoria -- due diligence should result in a good percentage of negatives (otherwise, why perform the exercise?).
    • IBM Field Technical Sales Specialist: (Past Employee - 2010) “The new IBM.” Pros: Great benefits and flexibility within the job. Cons: Performance reviews are not always accurate. Often times managers do not even realize what their own employees are working on. Raises are small and hard to come by. Tough to learn and grow within a position. Advice to Senior Management: Allow for more education to its employees. Also, give accurate mid-yearly pbc reviews so the employee can improve before pbc time.
    • IBM Anonymous: (Past Employee - 2010) “Mix of very good opportunities and other roles where skills are under-utilized.” Pros: Brand image and company financial stability. Strong influence on the market whether by leading or following. Very smart and committed professional staff. Broad range of products, services and roles - if one can network sufficiently across organizations to make transitions. Cons: Inconsistency between feedback and/or role as being 'highly valued' vs. broad resource/cost reductions (over the past 5 years there's a noticeable drop in employee trust for management.) Advice to Senior Management: Move with added caution in reducing the workforce, especially senior or experienced professionals who are likely to have strong influence on IT purchases at their future employers
  • Wall Street Journal: H-P Revamps Services Unit. Tech Giant to Cut 9,000 Jobs, Automate Computer Centers as It Looks to Reduce Costs. By Justin Scheck. Excerpt: Hewlett-Packard Co. said it plans to shed about 9,000 workers from its technology-services division while investing $1 billion to modernize the unit, as it moves to jumpstart growth in an industry that's lagged the economic recovery. H-P's restructuring comes two weeks after the Palo Alto, Calif., company said quarterly revenue in its services division—which runs computer systems for large companies and governments—rose 2% from a year earlier but declined by 3% when adjusted for currency differences.
  • New York Times: How High Can the Retirement Age Go? Excerpts: In the United States, where private-sector workers born in 1960 and later already have to work to 67 to gain full Social Security benefits, government officials are looking for ways to reduce the costs of ballooning public sector pensions and are pressuring unions to agree to later retirement dates. How high can or should the retirement age go, and should it be tied to increases in life expectancy? What will changes in retirement patterns mean for the United States, compared with Western Europe? ...

    Europe’s Social Welfare, and Ours. Thomas Geoghegan, a labor lawyer in Chicago, is the author, most recently, of “Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life,” to be published in August. Why wouldn’t you want to work to 67 in Europe? To an American it still seems like paradise. Even the Germans who are so famous for “cutting back” are hardly East of Eden.

    They still golf, cut out by lunch on Friday, and can still hit a two month stretch in spring of four “four-day” weekends. That still leaves five to six weeks of vacation, and of course they use their sick leave to the max. Who’d want to retire from that?

    Not only is the pace more fun — compared with us, they have a far better chance of being in high skill jobs, being engineers, or even being subsidized to make art on the public dime. As a German labor official said years ago: “We should be working less and less, and our work should mean more and more.”

    And here’s a corollary: if they are pacing themselves, they should be good to go at least to 67 without burning out. It’s not just longevity: the whole place is set up for not using people up. That’s why at every income level, people in a social democracy are healthier. So far as I can tell, that’s a part of the European left’s response: “We’ll go a few more years but we’re going to pace ourselves a little better.”

    At any rate, it’s ridiculous to write off social democracy because the French might raise their “legal” retirement age from 60 — say, to 62. (Since the “effective” or actual date the French retire is now 58, it means they’d probably have to work to 60.) Are they really working longer? French women get two years of paid maternity leave, per baby. So do other European women. Throughout Europe paid paternity leave is spreading too. Over there they’ve got time-out rights, of which we have no idea.

    And even cut back, public pensions will remain high – typically about 60 percent of income vs. our 40 percent here. And in Germany and elsewhere, they have high personal savings rates in part because they get so many public goods for free (health, education, nursing care, decent public transport, free nursing home care) — goods for which our old and young go deeply into debt. ...

    Also important — the Europeans are in labor unions which have pushed for private pensions to make up the cutbacks in the public ones. Finally, these “legal” and “effective” retirement ages vary a lot in both Europe and the U.S. In Germany right now, the “legal” is 65 but “actual” is 62. So if the “legal” goes to 67, it just means that Germans will really retire at 64 instead of 62.

    So far as I can tell from my clients, when the U.S. goes from 65 to 67, it means that lots of people will actually retire at 84 instead of 79. And after 84, we have some of our old people trying to live on just $600 a month in Social Security. Maybe after they get over their mocking of Europe, some in our U.S. press would like to look into that.

  • Huffington Post: Offshore Corporate Tax Havens: Why Are They Still Allowed? By Arianna Huffington. Excerpts: The bracing reality that America has two sets of rules -- one for the corporate class and another for the middle class -- has never been more indisputable. The middle class, by and large, plays by the rules, then watches as its jobs disappear -- and the Senate takes a break instead of extending unemployment benefits. The corporate class games the system -- making sure its license to break the rules is built into the rules themselves.

    One of the most glaring examples of this continues to be the ability of corporations to cheat the public out of tens of billions of dollars a year by using offshore tax havens. Indeed, it's estimated that companies and wealthy individuals funneling money through offshore tax havens are evading around $100 billion a year in taxes -- leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab. And with cash-strapped states all across the country cutting vital services to the bone, it's not like we don't need the money.

    You want Exhibit A of two sets of rules? According to the White House, in 2004, the last year data on this was compiled, U.S. multinational corporations paid roughly $16 billion in taxes on $700 billion in foreign active earnings -- putting their tax rate at around 2.3 percent. Know many middle class Americans getting off that easy at tax time?

    In December 2008, the Government Accounting Office reported that 83 of the 100 largest publicly-traded companies in the country -- including AT&T, Chevron, IBM, American Express, GE, Boeing, Dow, and AIG -- had subsidiaries in tax havens -- or, as the corporate class comically calls them, "financial privacy jurisdictions." ...

    Washington has been trying to address the issue for close to 50 years -- JFK gave it a go in 1961. But time and again Corporate America's game fixers -- aka lobbyists -- and water carriers in Congress have managed to keep the loopholes open. ...

    But the bill would end one of the more egregious examples of the double standard between the corporate class and the middle class, finally forcing hedge fund managers to pay taxes at the same rate as everybody else. As the law stands now, their income is considered "carried interest," and is accordingly taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent.

    The issue was famously brought up in 2007 by Warren Buffett when he noted that his receptionist paid 30 percent of her income in taxes, while he paid only 17.7 percent on his taxable income of $46 million dollars.

    As Robert Reich points out, the 25 most successful hedge fund managers earned $1 billion each. The top earner clocked in at $4 billion. And all of them paid taxes at about half the rate of Buffett's receptionist. Closing this outrageous loophole would bring in close to $20 billion dollars in revenue -- money desperately needed at a time when teachers and nurses and firemen are being laid off all around the country.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
  • Reality Check! 800 IBM jobs to be “created” in Missouri What about the 14,000 IBM jobs lost?
    • IBM is marching into Columbia, Missouri with a promise of creating 800 jobs. Oh by the way, $28 million in tax incentives please. This for a company that has billions in cash.
    • The Alliance@IBM is certainly all for job creation. We are also for job retention. But that is not what is happening in IBM.
    • In the last year and a half IBM has terminated almost 14,000 US employees and moved much of their work offshore. Where are the jobs for them? Will they be re-called and offered jobs in Columbia? Sorry, IBM doesn’t value its employees enough to do that. Of the 800 jobs to be “created” how many will be new hires? In the case of Dubuque, many IBM employees from around the country were told—move or be gone.
    • What of the wages for Columbia’s new IBM employees? The example of Dubuque and other US Global delivery centers is enlightening. Average salary in the older sites at East Fishkill and Boulder is $70,000. In the newer Dubuque it is $50,000. That is factoring in the higher paid IBMers that transferred to Dubuque. And that won’t last because as employees have told us, band levels and pay scales are dropping for the transferees. Let’s face it: job “creation” in Columbia and Dubuque is also about lowering wages in IBM.
    • So while there may be some IBM glitter in the eyes of Columbia residents right now it is important to ask IBM questions on job creation and what will happen when the contract runs out. Above all taxpayers must demand transparency and accountability from IBM. A link to an excellent article “IBM’s trail of broken promises” is here.
  • 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 5/28/10: Things about Dubuque Iowa not too many people know or the public is not aware. If your name is on the RA list and your job shows up in Iowa, you can apply and will get it since no specializes as IT workers in the area. You are guaranteed a job with the same payscale/band for 1 year if you choose to move to Iowa. Once the one year is up, your band and payscale will be decreased and you are not guaranteed a job. What is happening right now with masses of RA's not wanting to move to Iowa, IBM is getting all the contracting jobs and hiring anyone off the street. IBM is not telling their customers that and wait until the customer finds out the support is being channeled to Iowa and the contract will be canceled. How come no one is talking about the next wave of RA due to happen on June 1st? -Ben-
    • Comment 5/28/10: I would have posted this in the general comments section, but that is no longer available. Thinking of Memorial Day in the US this weekend and as a veteran and happily EX IBM employee, I have been appalled at the actions of IBM and just about ALL other US corporations ... I take a step back and say ALL CORPORATIONS, in any country where MANY have died to secure the freedom of their and other citizens, only to have any dreams crushed by corporate greed. Corporate morals no longer exist in the free world ... so the sacrifices of those who have served, and continue to serve and die are being thrown out the window ... it's a sad time... -ArmySarge-
    • Comment 5/29/10: IBM has been on a steady decline under the so called "leadership" of Sam Palmisano. I work for the jerk and have no respect for him. If you want a CEO to run a company in the ground hire Sam. The employee population in the US will continue to decline until it is just Sam and his cronies. -IBMer-
    • Comment 5/30/10: Ok, so here's the latest cr*p from, IBM. The middleware group I work with was severely cut during the last RA. There is one group that has 3 people left in it. Mgmt just told us that contractors are not to work overtime for the month of June. This leaves the one remaining reg standing. He will now be doing the on-call, filling in the gaps when the contractors have to stop working, and pretty much handling any of the sh*t that will be hitting the fan on the project work. When you think it can't get any worse....hold onto the steering wheel, 'cause IBM will veer off course again and put another stupid cost-cutting measure into place. -dun-4-
    • Comment 5/30/10: I am identified to be RA ed on June 30th. I have a medical problem and if I go on medical leave now, Can they still RA me on June 30th or they have to wait until I come back from my medical leave? -Anonymous- Alliance Reply: IBM can do anything it wants to you. Don't expect any mercy or good will from them. They have selected you for RA, and they will do what they will. Sorry to be so blunt; but that's what "At Will Employee" means.
    • Comment 5/31/10: The word on the street is more notices going out on 6/1 for folks in US ITD. Gotta start staffing for the two new GDF locations. IBM is 'creating' jobs, you know.. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 6/01/10: "I am identified to be RA ed on June 30th. I have a medical problem and if I go on medical leave now, Can they still RA me on June 30th or they have to wait until I come back from my medical leave?" What happened to me is I was on a medical leave when IBM "selected" me for RA. When I returned to work after the medical leave I was then given the 30 days to find another job, unsuccessfully of course which is what 99% of those RAed given 30-60 days have found out. My job was basically eliminated as an IT Server Support Specialist but the servers were not eliminated that I supported. Believe me: you can't escape an RA in this IBM whether you are healthy or not. IBM now probably considers those out on a medical leave as a drain on their profits since you are not billable for them during the medical leave. Employees not sufficiently billable for whatever reason are known to be "selected" for RA. -sby_willie-
    • Comment 6/01/10: To all who are affected by IBM RAs and those who are witnessing them, please keep updating everyone with information. Everyone (IBMers, customers, reporters, etc.) need to stay informed and aware of what is happening, and we cannot allow IBM to continue carrying out actions in the dark that have such consequences for workers, the economy, and our country while they control their PR with stories about how they are creating jobs and making the planet better. -Joe-
    • Comment 6/02/10: "IBM CEO May Step Down in 2011 in Historic Succession" This is the best news I've heard in a long time. It's about time this jerk steps down. No one likes Sam. He is a greedy self-serving pig and has been bad news for the US IBM employees since day one. I can't wait to see Sam leave! -IBMer- Alliance Reply: You'll be happy to know that there's a good chance that the NEXT IBM CEO will be worse than Sam. After all, he was worse than Lou Gerstner..Far worse. Be careful what you wish for.
    • Comment 6/02/10: Did upper management decide to stagger the layoffs in US ITD in order to fly under the radar and reduce the amount of bad press? It was very quiet on 5/28 and 6/1, which is surprising since I would think they'd want as many perms off the books by the end of the quarter as possible. Now I'm wondering if they'll just do it monthly in smaller numbers instead. Any info on this? Thanks. -next round-
    • Comment 6/03/10: I am happy to leave IBM I worked on a Lotus Notes organization with all the non education people and bad management made me sick to see them. what I have learn is political from many years -IBMer-
    • Comment 6/04/10: Upon his departure from IBM, Gerstner received a 10-year consultancy contract worth up to $2 million annually, plus expenses and full use of IBM facilities and services, such as office, cars, aircraft and financial planning. He is only required to work one month out of the year. -Anan-
    • Comment 6/04/10: nextround: IBM shot itself in the foot with the untimely layoffs last year, pulling people out of projects before they were complete. It was a mess. They might be giving middle management more flexibility of the timing of the RAs. -QTR_CENTURY-
    • Comment 6/04/10: I f'ing hate this company. They're laying off people in droves in the so-called 'GDF' sites, after they conned the White House into free money, and the US taxpayer into supporting offshoring. This complete and total f'ing insanity has to stop. Keep pushing IBM execs...you dumb ass***es. -Company-of-Swine-
    • Comment 6/04/10: With more RA's still to make Sam more fatter figuratively, literally, and financially why should he quit next year? He continues to get fatter on all on us, the IBM employees, retirees, and RA ex-employees. All of you who look at this web site and are doing NOTHING only help him become fatter. He would quit and quit sooner if we had a union vote and had our contract by now. -anonymous-
    • Comment 6/04/10: Rumors are now out that IBM is planning on another RA, notifications can be going out as early as this June. Hopefully, this time around they will let go some of this worthless management and PM's! We are already down to minimal technical personnel, what gives? -Current IBMr-
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.

  • Rolling Stone: Wall Street's War. Congress looked serious about finance reform – until America's biggest banks unleashed an army of 2,000 paid lobbyists. By Matt Taibbi. Excerpts: It's early May in Washington, and something very weird is in the air. As Chris Dodd, Harry Reid and the rest of the compulsive dealmakers in the Senate barrel toward the finish line of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act – the massive, year-in-the-making effort to clean up the Wall Street crime swamp – word starts to spread on Capitol Hill that somebody forgot to kill the important reforms in the bill. As of the first week in May, the legislation still contains aggressive measures that could cost once- indomitable behemoths like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase tens of billions of dollars. Somehow, the bill has escaped the usual Senate-whorehouse orgy of mutual back-scratching, fine-print compromises and freeway-wide loopholes that screw any chance of meaningful change.

    The real shocker is a thing known among Senate insiders as "716." This section of an amendment would force America's banking giants to either forgo their access to the public teat they receive through the Federal Reserve's discount window, or give up the insanely risky, casino-style bets they've been making on derivatives. That means no more pawning off predatory interest-rate swaps on suckers in Greece, no more gathering balls of subprime shit into incomprehensible debt deals, no more getting idiot bookies like AIG to wrap the crappy mortgages in phony insurance. In short, 716 would take a chain saw to one of Wall Street's most lucrative profit centers: Five of America's biggest banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup) raked in some $30 billion in over-the-counter derivatives last year. By some estimates, more than half of JP Morgan's trading revenue between 2006 and 2008 came from such derivatives. If 716 goes through, it would be a veritable Hiroshima to the era of greed.

    As it neared the finish line, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act was almost unprecedentedly broad in scope, in some ways surpassing even the health care bill in size and societal impact. It would rein in $600 trillion in derivatives, create a giant new federal agency to protect financial consumers, open up the books of the Federal Reserve for the first time in history and perhaps even break up the so-called "Too Big to Fail" giants on Wall Street. The recent history of the U.S. Congress suggests that it was almost a given that they would fuck up this one real shot at slaying the dragon of corruption that has been slowly devouring not just our economy but our whole way of life over the past 20 years. Yet with just weeks left in the nearly year-long process at hammering out this huge new law, the bad guys were still on the run. Even the senators themselves seemed surprised at what assholes they weren't being. This new baby of theirs, finance reform, was going to be that one rare kid who made it out of the filth and the crime of the hood for everybody to be proud of.

    Then reality set in. ...

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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