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.
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.
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.
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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-
"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.
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