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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—June 19, 2010

  • Live Mint Lounge and the Wall Street Journal: IBM is looking for acquisitions in India. By Lison Joseph. Excerpts: armed with a $20 billion (Rs93,660 crore) war chest, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is scouting for potential acquisitions in India and across the globe as it seeks to almost double earnings in five years by expanding in emerging economies and focusing on software and services. The push is in line with the acquisition-led growth strategy outlined by IBM’s chief executive officer Sam J. Palmisano at an investor meeting last month.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "General Orders" by "big.bertha92". Full excerpt: IBM doesn't value U.S. workers. Not news to current employees. The off shore mania has hit a fever pitch and seasoned professionals with YEARS of experience are being replaced with workers that have no knowledge of how IBM U.S. works and VERY little knowledge of the actual job that is being performed. U.S. employees that are left are unofficially responsible for the work that the off shore workers perform. Off Shore workers are held to a different performance standard and banding levels most certainly DON'T jive with U.S. band levels. A band 6 in India is a Band 3 in the U.S. Again, not new news to current employees. If U.S. workers performed at the level that most off shore workers did, we would be `3' performers and out the door in short order.

    It's an extremely toxic environment for U.S. workers and the handful of executives that actually run the company have no shame. Ex-IBMer, Bob Moffat is a prime example of what the average U.S. worker is dealing with – shameless self-interest at any cost, including your job.

    While, I won't preach on joining a Union to save our skin, I've taken the initiative to join. We are all powerless without some help. With evidence that off shoring does NOT work in many, many cases, the mission statement and business plans keep marching forward like an army with a command from their general.

    BTW, U.S. employees (at least in GBS) are leaving in droves and who can blame them.

  • Boston Herald: IBM debuts Littleton software complex. By Thomas Grillo. Excerpts: IBM employees and state officials celebrated the opening of Big Blue’s largest North American lab in Littleton yesterday. “Massachusetts is on the mend and on the move and IBM is part of it,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. The sprawling 500,000-square-foot complex off Interstate 495 that once housed computer giant Hewlett-Packard focuses its research on mobile computing. While company officials boasted about acquiring 14 software companies, Alistair Rennie, an IBM executive, declined to provide precise jobs numbers or information about more than $25 million in tax credits.

    For example, IBM said 3,400 employees have “access” to the lab. But the state said the company reported only 700 employees in Littleton as of July. Karen Lilla, an IBM spokeswoman, declined to reveal the number of IBM employees in the Bay State. She would only say that the company has 398,000 employees worldwide. She refused to answer questions about tax breaks. ...

    Lee Conrad, national coordinator for Alliance@IBM who is organizing workers, said the reason the company won’t divulge U.S. numbers is that the work force is shrinking and jobs are being shipped overseas. He said IBM’s U.S. jobs are expected to fall below 100,000 this year, down from nearly 134,000 in 2005. At the same time, he said, IBM is seeking tax breaks. “The offshore hiring has accelerated and they are catching heat from us and other organizations for abandoning the U.S. work force,” he said.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Sam - This is YOUR Katrina" by "hps2229". Full excerpt: Dear Sam: I left IBM a year ago - on good terms after 23 years with the company. I turned 55 years old and decided to join Peace Corps. I'm sending this from Africa, where I'll be serving for another 15 months at least. I have no axe to grind - I'm a stockholder.

    You have not asked for my advice, but indulge me anyway.

    It has been easy to see the result of BP's shortcuts in their Gulf drilling operations. Actions taken to maximize some short-term drilling quota will result in a devastating loss to BP's long-term business. You must feel that BP's CEO is seriously unhappy that the world watches HIS screw-up on a webcam 24/7 showing this massive plume of lost revenue and future liability flow into the gulf. Even President Obama is impacted - We call this situation his "Katrina".

    What I see happening at IBM these days is strangely analogous to the Gulf screw-up. I think what is happening at IBM is YOUR Katrina.

    I don't need to watch a webcam to see that loyalty, passion, innovation, and skills are spilling out of IBM like sweet crude from Deepwater Horizon under your watch. As I understand it, you even stated that in your eyes IBM is not an American company and that you'll make decisions on workforce when and where you see fit.

    My personal experience of the last 5 years of my service in IBM was to see a frightening transition from the building of a sustainable and profitable services business to one in which short-term quarter to quarter thinking prevailed. I had 2 quota periods per year and a sales cadence process more like a death march than a sales operation. Resource Actions loomed - Customers became less important than metrics - I saw less innovation - almost no risk taking - less satisfaction all around.

    Sam - While it's true your responsibility is to increase shareholder value above all else, you also have a responsibility to provide a level of stewardship that enables the company to remain great after you leave. . Regarding the US workforce, I'm thinking that they are costly when compared to bright-eyed new BRIC kids, but I'm thinking you may have underestimated the value of your US team. You will never be able to replace the tangible skills they brought IBM, nor the intangible dedication and commitment that they have demonstrated year after year - often at the expense of their families and personal health. Once you lose these people don't assume they will come back.

    Financially, you will be leaving far richer than you had ever dreamed you would become. Some seem to suggest that your short term focus is simply to gut a once-great company for your personal gain. I don't agree with this cynical view - I'm glad you got rich. Good for you - honestly. But - best wishes aside, I think you will be leaving IBM a shell of its former greatness - just a great logo.

    In my opinion Sam, you are screwing up IBM - this is your Katrina - and I suggest you take another look at that brass paperweight on your desk that says THINK.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: IBM buying Coremetrics; company helps target ads. Excerpt: IBM said Tuesday it would buy Coremetrics Inc., an Internet research company company that helps businesses better target their online marketing campaigns. IBM didn't say how much it is paying for the privately held company, which is based in San Mateo, Calif.
  • Plan Sponsor: Non-Health Factors Could Drive Early Retirement. Poor health is the top reason why workers decide to take early retirement, but factors such as high work pressure and low job satisfaction also play a role.
  • eWeek: H-1B Recruiting Companies Sue USCIS, DHS over Changes. By Don E. Sears. Excerpts: Industry group TechServe Alliance, the American Staffing Association and three staffing companies specializing in H-1B visa holder candidates are pursuing a lawsuit in federal court to protest a ruling that they claim is killing business. At the heart of the matter is the government's effort to weed out fraud and abuse while making sure employers have daily supervision over H-1B visa workers.

    Staffing companies that specialize in recruiting H-1B visa holders for technology positions are pushing back at Uncle Sam with a lawsuit. A senior official of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Donald Neufield, published a memo in January changing the rules for what constituted a true employee-to-employer relationship for the H-1B category, and staffing companies that specialize in these visas are suffering unfairly, complainants claim. ...

    "USCIS' actions are a thinly veiled attack on the IT staffing industry and its business model," Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance, said in a statement. "IT staffing is a lawful business model that greatly benefits the U.S. economy, U.S. businesses and U.S. workers. The government should not be allowed to attack the industry by circumventing the rulemaking process and reversing longstanding policy by decree."

    "How have we come to a point in time where the H-1B category in and of itself is so disdained and mistrusted?" David Leopold, a leading immigration attorney, wrote Feb. 1 on the American Immigration Lawyers Association blog in reaction to the Neufield memo. "Of course I'm aware that instances of fraud have cast this category in a bad light. But I think that [the] vehemence of the administrative attack on the H-1B category is ... disproportionate to the actual statistics about fraud. And interestingly, the disproportionate heavy-handed administrative reaction comes not from the agency specifically tasked with H-1B enforcement—the Department of Labor—but from CIS, CBP and State. "Sometimes I just have to shake my head and ask myself what makes people so darn angry about a visa category that, at bottom, is designed to bring in relatively tiny number of really smart people to work in U.S. businesses of any size. It has to be a reaction against something else."

  • CNET News: Senate Moves to Keep 401(k) Fees Hidden. By Kathy Kristof. Excerpts: Participants in 401(k) plans pay billions of dollars in fees — but most of them don’t know it. And the U.S. Senate apparently would like to keep it that way. Five years ago, the Los Angeles Times investigated retirement plan fees and found that participants were getting nickeled and dimed out of as much as 20% of their investment returns by fees that were largely hidden from view. One participant who managed to ferret out the fees he was paying, estimated that the overcharges to his account would cost him some $300,000 over his working career. ...

    The ensuing brouhaha sparked Congressional hearings and led Congressman George Miller (D-California) to propose legislation that would demand disclosure of 401(k) fees and ensure that every employee got the chance to invest in a low-cost index fund if they wanted to. Not surprisingly, investment companies have been fighting the legislation ever since, but Miller has relentlessly pursued having the provisions added to related bills. ...

    The latest volley in this battle came this week, some four years after it started. Miller’s 401(k) disclosures had been included in the recently passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, but Senator Max Baucus, (D-Montana) pulled the provisions out of the legislation in the Senate. A spokesman from the Senate Finance Committee failed to return my calls to explain why, but Baucus was quoted in a recent Congressional Quarterly article as saying that there were “objections” and the issue had “not been fully vetted.”

  • Washington Post: China's workers learn to speak up -- but carefully. By Harold Meyerson. Excerpts: The workers are rising in the workers' republic. In China's south coastal provinces, which long ago supplanted the American Midwest as the world's premier manufacturing belt, employees have gone on strike at a series of factories. Nobody knows how many plants have been threatened with shutdowns or have ground to a halt; one American attorney who's spent a good deal of time with such workers estimates that it may be close to 1,000.

    The cause of the unrest is no mystery. China's rise to industrial preeminence (in a quantitative if not qualitative sense) has come on the backs of workers whose wages the government has, until recently, suppressed to keep the price of exports artificially low. The official Communist Party-dominated All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) is not really a union. Workers do not choose its leaders, who most frequently come from management. "The union," says the attorney, "is less state-dominated than employer-dominated." That is a logical consequence of two party priorities: to build an industrial sector that dominates global markets through low prices; and to prohibit the existence of any organizations that could eventually challenge party control. ...

    I wonder, though, whether the declining power of American workers over the past 40 years hasn't increased U.S. union leaders' understanding of the constricted options that Chinese workers confront. In both countries, workers who agitate for unions or for better conditions are frequently fired. In China, to be sure, the consequences seldom stop there; in the United States, employers' penalties for such nominally illegal firings are negligible. No other major industrial nations are as hostile to independent unions as China and the United States. In a 2009 survey of more than 1,000 union elections over the preceding five years, Cornell University professor Kate Bronfenbrenner found that union activists were fired in 34 percent of the campaigns. Efforts to effectively ban such firings foundered this year when the Senate couldn't muster the votes to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

    Chinese communism and American capitalism may be two very different systems, but under both, workers assert their rights at their peril.

  • Taking Note: A Brief History of Attacks on Social Security. By Ted Marmor. Excerpts: But this commentary is about ideology. It is to remind readers that the same attacks on Social Security have been going on — in different guises — for at least four decades. The stagflation of the 1970s, precipitated by the oil crisis of 1973-74, provided long-term, ideological critics of social insurance an opportunity to argue that such programs — retirement, survivors’ insurance, Medicare, disability coverage, unemployment — were unaffordable. Critics from the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and increasingly, in the 1980s, in publications financed by the Wall Street financier Peter Peterson, were not prepared to attack the desirability of social insurance programs directly. Instead, claims varied from how ungovernable such programs seemed during the 70s to the follow-up charge of affordability. ...

    It is ironic — and infuriating — to have a debate in 2010 about Social Security when that program had nothing to do with the transformation of the nation’s fiscal policy from surplus to deficit since 2000. Two wars, Bush tax cuts, and the fiscal consequences of the economic crash of 2008-9 explain the size of the deficit. Why are we even talking about reducing Social Security at this time? It is not because there is a good rationale, but because of the money behind the rationalizers of a smaller government.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • IBM Anonymous: (Past Employee - 2009) “fading glory.” Pros: There are really some top notch people working in IBM. They are smart, they work hard, and they are easy to work with. Some of the products are very competitive in the market place so you can be proud of working on them. Cons: Company is focused on acquisitions to grow revenue and cutting costs. Not much real innovation occurring, just a lot of rehashing of old technology. Too much offshoring of technical resources. The reasons why this was such a great company to work for is fading. Advice to Senior Management: Simplify. Get rid of those 50-slide decks that are used for product decision-making. No one reads them, and the decisions are based on other factors that aren't even in the decks. Next, trim the fat out of your architecture frameworks. A person should be able to read the slide showing your framework from the back of a 20-person conference room. Flatten your organization. All those acquisitions brought in too many executives, meaning no growth for existing employees.
    • IBM Anonymous in Poughkeepsie, NY: (Current Employee) “IBM -3 years in.” Pros: Very smart people, Ability to work remote. Cons: Method of determining raises and personal growth. Advice to Senior Management: IBM is a fine company, but over the years it has made a drastic change. Work morale is low now. Something needs to be done about it, there is no incentive. People are more concern about losing their job than doing work to be proud of. The way of determining performance needs to be dismantle and reconstruct. Go back to the basic and make sure every knows and understand the values of IBM.
    • IBM Software Engineer in Taipei (Taiwan): (Current Employee) “Used to be good. Now ... questionable.” Pros: Work in multi-cultural env. to broad the sights The governance (Matrix) Work with talents. Cons: Work/Life distortion (12+ hours per day.) Budget shrinks year over year, being stingy to all employees, but asking technical people to create more and more innovative deliverables Then it means it is generous to shareholders (but not to employees, only 5% discounts of subscribing stock option.) Punish young and new hires (taking longer and longer for promotion, less and less raise while being promoted.) The ROI is low when working on a hot product/project (no more bonus, no clever rating rules.) Boring office layout (while the office layout is somewhere the creative works root.) Advice to Senior Management: Stop talking cliche, more about things which can really help people. Put himself in the side with his team and the team's vision, not with the cost-saving policy from the company.
    • IBM IT Specialist in Houston, TX: (Current Employee) “Don't make the mistake of planning a career at IBM or it will cost you dearly.” Pros: Recognition in marketplace. All the Computer Base Training you want. Cons: There is not any "off" time. There is an expectation for additional work and your professional training to be done on your personal time. The tenet of "Respect for Individual" may come from the top but it is mocked by the first line managers in their execution. Diversity forced down your throat. Advice to Senior Management: The managers should have an incentive in their compensation structure, validated by their reports, that they are actually supporting the work/life balance. As opposed to the tongue in cheek message that is clearly conveyed.
    • IBM Manager: (Current Employee) “IBM Careers.” Pros: IBM is a prestigious company to have on your resume, but have a career there would be a challenge for even the best of employees. The stock has done well. Cons: Quality US employees are finding they are underpaid and over worked. Outsourcing is bringing in under skilled workers, with customer satisfaction going down hill. Advice to Senior Management: Pay your top performers a lot more than they are currently getting or they will find jobs else where. Have stock options be part of the pay package for the top performers instead of variable pay.
    • IBM Sales Manager in Chicago, IL: (Current Employee) “View Into Sales.” Pros: IBM has the technology and resources to win MANY of their competitive battles. Technology innovation is strong. Cons: Too large at times. Compensation not suited for top sales talent. Advice to Senior Management: There is an obvious disconnect between executives/leadership and sellers/first line managers. I've never seen morale in the sales ranks this bad (7 years) and my peers who have been here longer agree. We all feel IBM does not want a bunch of overachievers but a group of middle of the pack contributors. The current compensation plan and quotas are a testament to this.
    • IBM Anonymous in Gaithersburg, MD: (Past Employee - 2010) “IBM Employment Assessment.” Pros: IBM Brand is second to none. Competitive benefits package. Opportunities to learn new technologies. Collaboration with talented members of cross-functional teams. Cons: Senior management out of touch with employees; something is wrong if you need annual surveys to understand your teams. Reorganization every two years, for reasons not always clearly articulated by management. Individual performance not always recognized by management unless you are a shameless self-promoter. Advice to Senior Management: Get out of the tower, and interact directly with employees
    • IBM Project Manager: (Current Employee) “Lost the plot.” Pros: Work from home. Almost continuous leaving drinks on a Friday. Cons: Too political. Very difficult to get things done. Dog eat dog environment. Exploited at review time. Political reviews to manage people out of the company. PBC's are just a joke. Living on past reputation. Remember the only assets are the executives and managers being groomed for promotion. All the rest are resources. So think of yourself as a bit of kit that is to be used and disposed of as cheaply as possible. -Bottom line is the $ and the CEO's love of EPS. Poor rewards. Very poor morale. Advice to Senior Management" Stop living on past reputation. Dump the PBC process, or be honest that you're using it to reduce headcount on the cheap. Remember the people you dump today are likely to be potential customers in the future.
    • IBM Project Manager: (Past Employee - 2010) “Great place to work until 4 times yearly RA's.” Pros: You do get a sense of pride working there, it can be exciting seeing all the cool technology and the sheer size of the projects. Lots of great free training online. The Team I worked with were great. Good life work balance. Cons: ZERO job security. When the Resource Actions are slated for your department, good luck. I was resource actioned 1 day after my 3 year anniversary lunch. Severance was fair and they did give me 4 weeks notice. I left a very successful career at another company 3 years prior to come join big blue... They seem bent on having every available job offshored other than senior management. Advice to Senior Management: Off shoring looks sexy on the annual report, but if you are the person who has to deal with these teams, you might think otherwise.
    • IBM Project Manager: (Past Employee - 2010) “Great place to work until 4 times yearly RA's” 1 of 1 people found this helpful Pros You do get a sense of pride working there, it can be exciting seeing all the cool technology and the sheer size of the projects. Lots of great free training online. The Team I worked with were great. Good life work balance. Cons ZERO job security. When the Resource Actions are slated for your department, good luck. I was resource actioned 1 day after my 3 year anniversary lunch. Severance was fair and they did give me 4 weeks notice. I left a very successful career at another company 3 years prior to come join big blue... They seem bent on having every available job offshored other than senior management. Advice to Senior Management Off shoring looks sexy on the annual report, but if you are the person who has to deal with these teams, you might think otherwise. IBM Regarding Career and Compensation in Kolkata (India): (Current Employee) “Regarding Career and Compensation.” Pros: Technology oriented company. Has huge number of complex technical projects. Working in IBM technologies is always a plus point as it has good demand in the market Cons: Salary is not good. The salary of different people working with the same roles & responsibilities varies to some large extent. Annual salary revision is worst in the Indian IT industry. Management sometimes tends to favor relationship rather than merit Advice to Senior Management: IBM would do better by giving importance to the existing employee rather than hiring new one from the market by offering double
    • IBM Verification Engineer: (Past Employee - 2008) “Lack of Honesty.” Pros: Great benefits at that time. Huge options for education within company. Cons: Frequent layoffs and management dishonesty. Advice to Senior Management: Provide more insight to your employees about where their careers can go and be honest about up coming changes. Honesty goes a long way when dealing with employees.
    • IBM Anonymous in Austin, TX: (Current Employee) “Solid company, but uninspiring.” Pros: There's not denying that IBM is a large company with a very wide portfolio of jobs. In theory, one could stay with IBM and experience any number of roles. The benefits package is pretty comprehensive. Cons: IBM pay 'the market rate', but prevailing wisdom is that most competitors will pay you more to do the same job. IBM has a very poor support strategy which undermines the good wok of many engineers. This leads to a great deal of dissatisfaction on the part of customers and IBMers alike. IBM does amazing research, but it's development vision seems to be pretty lackluster. There's a lot of talk about Smarter Planet and Business On Demand and whatever the next buzzword is, but technological excitement never seems to permeate the business. Advice to Senior Management: Decide whether you are a services or a technology company and then start acting like one.
    • IBM Anonymous: (Current Employee) “ibm review.” Pros: IBM is the leader in IT, an innovator and a globally integrated enterprise. It offers solutions that cover most industry sectors. Cons: Too much bureaucracy, unrealistic process overhead and non-existing back-office automation systems. has not implemented internally what is selling to clients. Advice to Senior Management: provide a clear career path to employees, guide them though with support. allow work-life balance and execution of all nominal vacation days
  • CNET News: When It Comes To Retirement, 67 Is The New 55. By Alan Greenblatt. Excerpt: Looking forward to retirement? You may have to wait a bit longer. Financial pressures are pushing up retirement ages all over. On Wednesday, France, which was the last holdout in Western Europe maintaining an official retirement age of 60, proposed increasing it to 62 by 2018. On the same day, California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a deal with four state public employee unions to raise the retirement age by five years for newly hired workers. These moves follow several recent age increases across Europe and among U.S. states. Faced with one of the worst pension shortfalls in the country, Illinois in March lifted the retirement age for new state workers from as low as 55 all the way to 67.
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  • Job Cut Reports
    • Comment 6/12/10: Bridging people with a frozen pension is cheaper than how the old bridges used to work. The bump at eligibility could be just a few extra K a year for me. The savings are years of salary, benefits, the SS 6% tax that IBM pays for the employed. Freezing our pensions meant that the lifetime cost of our pensions is considerably less than those who were at or near eligibility at the time of the freeze. The idea is that if you feel lucky, go ahead, stay on. See if you survive the next round of RAs. It's a tiny incentive but if it gets you to leave 15 months early, IBM saves a fortune especially if you already have a tiny pension due to the freeze of Dec 2007. Working 3 or 4 more years to reach eligibility could cost IBM more than a bridge. And getting us to commit by EOY means we leave with no severance needed... another savings that helps Sam look better as he retires. And he ditches higher paid old employees of their own accord, and can replace us with more low-banded people in Dubuque. Sure they could go through the trouble to cash balance us as our numbers are small. Only a few thousand of us. Divide and conquer. Please tell me when it's over, I've been poor before, I'm not afraid to dumpster dive! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 6/14/10: Montreal was hit pretty hard since March 2010. As a contractor I have watched ibm colleagues given the boot & forced to train their contractor replacements. In May several managers & team leads were let go, which was a surprise to many of us. Insourcing has also caused a lot of layoffs. Resource actioning is happening on certain accounts (remember that customer has to sign off any offshoring). Basically every time they move a team over there are all sorts of escalations and it is NEVER transparent to the customer. These indian workers are trained by their reluctant Canadian employees, who come the end of the month, if there are any unresolved issued, don't care as its not their problem anymore.

      On my last contract with the company IBM converted 9 contractors to permanent ibmers, only 2 remain due to ties at the executive level, the rest were fired with the "3" rating. Other ibmers who still remain have expressed dissatisfaction with their salary, many stating no raise for last 6 years. Others who have been given titles of team leads are not receiving the promised bonus, literally having the carrot dangling in their face for months on end. Working at home is also coming to an end, they are hoping this action will force some ibmers to quit/find other jobs. From talking to them they stayed with the company only because of the work from home option so they can manage their family & work better.

      I have little sympathy for then, as an underpayed contractor who commutes to work every day, but i digress. I don't see a future for myself in this company & would not recommend anyone buy their stocks, just use them until you can find a better job. If you listen to the shareholder meeting broadcasted on w3, it is clear IBM are launching their resources into growth markets at alarming rates. Its just a matter of time before INDIA's economy becomes too expensive and the cycle continues elsewhere. When will this stupidity end? -lonely_cntr-

    • Comment 6/14/10: Commenting on the rumor of the termination of the pension plan to cash balance. Any idea if retirement eligible employees would be given the standard separation package as an incentive to retire before the cut over? -Maywanttogo-
    • Comment 6/15/10: -RAed Jan 09- is giving a good opinion on this. The CB plan is only making 1.4% for this year. You can probably get a better rate of return cashing out the CB and rolling over it all in your own long term IRA. IBM did the great pension heist once before in 1999 and I'm sure if IBM can add more free cash to add to the current $15,000,000,000 IBM has and grease the lobbyists, lawmakers, and judges concerning ERISA you can be sure as the sun rises in the east each morning that IBM will pursue it. If IBM can no longer report the pension "vapor profit" to it's reported profits they probably would terminate all the pension plans. The vapor profits IBM gets might be the only reason IBM still has pensioners. Life (in IBM) is not good. -trexibmer-
    • Comment 6/15/10: To Maywanttogo: I only heard the rumor of the conversion, which supposedly came from a real, honest-to-goodness HR person. Don't know any details beyond that but for me in my situation, the incentive is the loss of the pension. I'd rather have a guaranteed amount then trust IBM's estimate of what my pension is worth to this crazy market. Don't get me wrong, I would love a separation package if they offer ..but I doubt it. -LeavingIfTrue-
    • Comment 6/15/10: "Just curious: but has IBM put out an unofficial gag order of sorts to IBM managers so they are not allowed to speak to or associate with RAed employees? -anonymously- " No, there isn't anonymously. In most cases, first line managers don't even participate in 'picking' the employees for a RA. Decisions are made from PBC ratings (usually 3s are a kiss of death), internal vs. external accounts, skill set or job category (IT Specialists vs. Consultant, etc.), and upper managements personal opinion of the employee. When fist lines need to deliver the message, they have a script to read from, then for the next 30 days they do the best they can to ignore the RA employee. The RA employee is a pariah. My experience is in GBS. BTW, RARELY have I've seen managers get the axe. -Darwin's Radio-
    • Comment 6/16/10: I was RA'd in the March 2010 timeframe, but was given 7 months notice because I was working on an active, multi-year commercial project at the client location. Stupid, huh? About a month before I was supposed to leave in October, I SUCCESSFULLY got removed from the RA list through the efforts of some big guns on the commercial IBM team. It went to the Senior Global Vice-president for approval, after all the dumb ass managers along the way deferred. It was a no-brainer, as I was bringing in a third of a million dollars a year for Sam. Luckily, my management on the account released me from our pre-nup with the commercial client so they could talk to me about working there. It came down to 2 days before I was scheduled to leave, and my manager had my severance checks in hand. Immediately after I was informed that I had been "saved", my idiot manager told me that I would have to make up 200 hours of time by the end of the year (this in November) in order to be competitive with my peers for PBC purposes. This was a 40 hour capped account by contract, so I didn't have much chance of doing that. It pissed me off, and I went to the client and indicated that I would still like to go to work for them. As I had been released, and hiring me would save them $200k per year, they jumped at the chance to hire me. A month later, I told my manager that I was leaving. Never felt so good in my life. I have now sprung another person that was on my team from IBM after another dumb manager offered to help us in any way after we ended the contract for another IBM person. He starts with his ex-client next week. Thanks IBM for being so stupid. I\'m having a great time with my "new" company -Moronssaywhat-
    • Comment 6/17/10: IBM NZ have made approx 34 people redundant in NZ in April 2010 in a number of roles, They are now saying they are employing PM's & Technical architects from India to cover work in NZ from 20th June. Also they are now advertising for contract Technical Architects to work in NZ on projects for 6 month contracts.They are sticking two fingers up to Labour laws and believe that can get away with what they are doing.The manager behind this is a Dave Kent in Wellington whose name is associated to all the above. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 6/17/10: "C'mon -Maywanttogo- your asking too much! Folks like you just crack me up. No wonder the poor Alliance can't get enough of retire-eligible employees to join. It's just sad." Unfortunately Maywanttogo is on to something. I am hearing more and more reports of retirement eligible ( or within a year eligible) folks going to their manager and essentially "winking" and saying if they are tapped for the next RA they will not be upset. There were also some who were willing to go to save someone not retirement eligible but were not allowed. Many folks in the upper bands (8 and higher) who are retirement eligible are in a good financial situation and they see the separation pay as a "bonus", and to be honest if I were in that situation I might look at it the same way. getting $50K-$100K, even before taxes, can finance a lot of things in retirement. One guy told me he would use it to pay for health insurance above and beyond the FHA for more than a few year. These are the folks IBM really uses to gauge the attitude of the employees. The current RA pay is much more generous than a lot of companies give, and if that is what it takes to keep a groundswell of union support from coming from these folks, IBM will keep doing it. -NotThereYet-
    • Comment 6/19/10: To save money, BP opted to cut costs hence cut corner in its infamous drilling rig. Several millions saving now is consuming the entire company, costing the company ten of billions if it can survive at all. Does this sound familiar? Relentless cost cutting at IBM someday might cripple this company, just like BP. Current IBM strategy is - BUY, MILK and DISCARD. 1) buy smaller companies with better products; 2) milk it as much as possible and feed it as less as possible; 3) Then transfer the maintenance to oversea and fire all US employees. No more in house development in US. For those that still hold dev jobs today, you have no tomorrow with IBM. -ibm2bp-
    • Comment 6/20/10: I was laid off on Jan 28th 09' from the EFK site in the mfg division. I did not get upset the day I left, nor did I shed one tear at the thought of never going back to work there again. Sure, I was nervous about finding another job especially in this economy, but I started out as a temp for a medical company and six months later was converted to perm status. I sleep better at night. I love my job. The people I work with are awesome. The morale is wonderful. Sure, just like any company there are pluses and minuses but I am better off now than I was with IBM. The point I am making is as follow: Hold your head high, don't give up. There IS life after IBM and I have not looked back since. Good luck to all and God bless. -Glad2BGone-
    • Comment 6/20/10: A lot of us have information concerning the way IBM has cheating customers out of big bucks. We should start holding IBM accountable for the millions of dollars that they have cheated out of customers. I personally have information as to how IBM cheated a customer in Louisville out of millions of dollars. In fact, I cannot believe how many projects IBM has been involved with that have failed -- and IBM thinks it can build a smarter planet :) BTW is anyone beside me disgusted with IBM's commercials in such American sporting events such as the US Open? I hope IBM contributes just as much to the Chinese Open. -Anonymous-
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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