When originally implemented it was a very clever ploy... HR/mgmt tried to keep the people happy (confused) by claiming the 2+ was just to differentiate high performing 2's. When in reality, they moved the pay grids. So for example, people who were 2 under the old system and stayed 2 under the new system were actually now in the 3 pay grid (old system) which is now labeled 2. Most people were oblivious to this change until years of no raises. "just be happy you have a job"...lol
A friend of mine was given a PBC goal of reducing overtime expense. He did significantly reduce his overtime. He was dropped from a 2 to a 3 because he didn't work enough overtime.???. Management will decide what your rating will be, based on things that have nothing to do with you, and then invents a reason to make it so.
In the UK, a good friend had to retire and move half-way around the world on almost 30 days notice. They burned IBM quarter century club certificates there. I believe that this was posted before, but for those that missed it here it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhnceE5gmJk.
You won't catch me defending many current IBM practices. Now there is a new term circulating - 2-3's and out (kind of like three strikes and you are out). Means in sales, get dropped at mid year to a "3" for not making quota, then get a "3" in January and told to find another job. Saves half the severance package for IBM.
Anyone that has been in sales understands that this doesn't work. There are always bad years in any territory. Consistency is what matters and year-to-year performance.
That is the reason I am leaving. There is only so much pain you can watch on a day-to-day basis. So many times you can listen to a good friend talk about family and security and changes being forced on good hard working people that deserve better. Especially when earnings are what they are. Only so many times you can feel guilty for being one of those that "survived" for thirty years.
I just want to be sure that we keep an eye on the past and how it was handled through a time when there was a worldwide depression. IBM kept hiring (US and Worldwide), IBM formed its beliefs during the worst of times (and applied them on a worldwide basis) that set it up for success when the economy kicked off again. The feeling I get is that as soon as this economy turns this time - IBM will leak its best and strongest people like the Titanic did water or really, really pay dearly to retain them. Why? Because all they offer today is a paycheck and a "take it with you" 401K plan.
Another Thos. J. Watson quote from the depression, "a good company won't keep a poor man long, neither will a good man stay with a poor company long." How true.... I may not be as good a man as Thos. J. Watson envisioned being an IBMer, but I am getting out now and moving on. I was one of the fortunate ones where qualifying for retirement and making it still means something - a pension. I know that Kathi had a lot to do with that. IBM kept me longer than they should have because of it. They don't have such a hold on anyone anymore with 401K's.
The early history of IBM should serve as an example for today. They couldn't make a film about that evolution like they did the technology film. The IBM technology 100 years video I can watch and be proud because it was the individuals, some my friends, that pulled that off. Books like "The Romance Division" still capture some of that old drive and innovation.
The old IBM Sales Branch Office was a wonderful place to work.
If they tried to produce a different video - one along the same lines about how progressive they have been on the personnel side - then I would have get violently ill if they tried to push it past the mid-1980's because we all know that IBM hit a wall in the late 80's and has been getting progressively worse ever since. Well, I guess I shouldn't speak for "yall"... That is my belief anyway. :)
I've seen it before. Back in the 60's, an accountant made really good money. But about that time women started graduating from college with degrees in accounting in large numbers. The wages for accountants went down for men and up for women, to the new lower norm for the profession.
What makes our situation worse than the simple case above is the fact that our jobs are being exchanged for those overseas. Not only are our wages being lowered, but our jobs are being eliminated! We are not even allowed to compete.
As I watch Obama talk to the Chinese about jobs, but not discuss jobs with our own labor, I feel angry! He is not a liberal! Kathi Cooper.
Americans hear constantly how much we want 'cheap goods' but consistently we vote against such policies when given a chance. The problem is the elites like it when unions are weak and people are poor so that they can live large and more easily control them. ITM, the corporations are reaping their corporate welfare at the expense of the rest of society. The elites control the media so there is no real debate about this. Look at the silence in the media about the real costs of out-sourcing in the U.S. There is no daily 'Labor Report' on public television in the U.S., but there are multiple 'Business' reports. As I said, the Democratic Party is actually to the right of Eisenhower Republicans in policy. Were they not the Democratic Party would be hyping up Labor as the [re]publicans hype up the Tea Baggers.
Cons: Legacy IBMers are for the most part professionals at utilizing the newcomer's knowledge for their benefit. At IBM, the intra-net sites are designed for any employee to procure, inquire, and follow through with individual as well as team projects. Well, the legacy IBMer will not train the newcomer, but will wait for the newcomer to learn his or her way and then follow up with that newcomer who is bullied/used to procure their product, help the legacy IBMer to reach their goals (while the newcomer's goals are not met). If the legacy IBMer is not assisted, they will escalate to management until you not just assist them, but take on their project only to resurface at the end of the project to take it off your hands. You are then to account for why your own projects are behind. At this point you work 24/7 to stay abreast of your work.
I would like to forewarn any IBM acquisitioned company employee/manager/director, no matter how great you are with burning the candle at both ends to get the job done, hard work, due diligence, following processes and procedures, if IBM has someone in line for your job whether out-sourcing to India, China, or Boulder Colorado, you will have to start to look elsewhere for work. IBM can acquisition a whole company simply to acquire what some may deem a small hub and then to dismantle departments until all is gone and the hub to be re-named giving it a new iBM-related Acronym. AS you and your company applications will be sun-setted into the wild BLUE Yonder!!!!
Advice to Senior Management: IBM Management should stop sugar-coating acquisitioned company employees, which is designed to retain and not scare the acquisitioned company employees until IBM is ready to let them go. Upon acquisitioning a company, IBM can start to learn the culture of that company to avoid bullying there way to obtain information otherwise could have been readily available to them. This way, the employees won't be ready to quit before you obtain necessary information from employees left behind for the clean-up. As a result of this action, IBM is misinformed, due to the last employees and retained to the end-of acquisition work-a-bees who are forced to research internal vendor, financial and asset information. IBM just writes it off as losses in the end.
In short, management can stand to learn the culture by listening and watching the employee to keep the company steady-state and respect the newly acquistioned company's employees by not treating them in a condescending manner. Be forth-coming an as honest as possible without the bullying. Please.
I love my wife because she is so temperate. But she's also not much of a planner. What if I get hit by a bus tomorrow? What if we suffer another market meltdown and her 401(k) plan goes up in smoke? Would this so-called social insurance actually provide for her if she had no other option, or would she be better off if the government just stopped taking its 6.2% and left her the heck alone?
There had to be a point where an individual could better provide for himself or herself than Social Security would. So using my wife's income and payroll taxes as a case study, I set out to find it.
I did. But where it was surprised me, not only by proving how well Social Security works in its current form, but how it will even work well in a diminished form should our politicians fail to act. ...
Even though the data show Social Security is a decent "investment," by it's very name we should know that the program was never meant to be a substitute for your 401(k) — it's a safety net, not a retirement plan. That's why the SSA also pays disability payments to younger Americans who are unable to work on top of its flagship payments to seniors that get all the attention.
In short, as a social safety net for older Americans, the outlook for Social Security is strong. And for Americans like my wife who — knock on wood — will have other sources of cash, the SSA not only makes them whole but has a good chance of delivering more than it took in taxes. To me, that means this program is a success. But then again, I'm only 30. What do I know about retirement?
"We spent a lot more money in trying to recover than we ever would have spent if we'd tried to keep the key technologies closer to home," Albaugh told his large audience of students and faculty. ...
The 787 outsourcing strategy was put place in 2003 by then-Boeing Chairman Harry Stonecipher, who was ousted in 2005, and Commercial Airplanes Chief Alan Mulally, now chief executive at Ford. "It's easy to look in the rear-view mirror and see things that could have been done differently," Albaugh said. "I wasn't sitting in the room and I don't know what they were facing." And yet, at least one senior technical engineer within Boeing predicted the outcome of the extensive outsourcing strategy with remarkable foresight a decade ago. ...
Albaugh and other senior leaders within Boeing may be belatedly paying attention to a paper presented at an internal company symposium in 2001 by John Hart-Smith, a world-renowned airplane structures engineer. Hart-Smith, who had worked for Douglas Aircraft and joined Boeing when it merged in 1997 with McDonnell Douglas, was one of the elite engineers designated within the company as Senior Technical Fellows. His paper was a biting critique of excessive outsourcing, a warning to Boeing not to go down the path that had led Douglas Aircraft to virtual obsolescence by the mid-1990s. advertising The paper laid out the extreme risks of outsourcing core technology and predicted it would bring massive additional costs and require Boeing to buy out partners who could not perform. ...
Albaugh said that part of what had led Boeing astray was the chasing of a financial measure called RONA, for Return on Net Assets. This is essentially a ratio of income to assets and one way to make that ratio bigger is to reduce your assets. The drive to increase RONA thus spurred a push within Boeing to do less work in-house — hence reducing assets in the form of facilities and employees — and have others do the work. Hart-Smith argued that it was wrong to use that financial measure as a gauge of performance and that outsourcing would only slash profits and hollow out the company.
The case had become a test of how much latitude employees may have when posting comments about work matters from their home computers on social media sites such as Facebook. When the National Labor Relations Board issued its complaint about the firing last fall, it alleged the firing was illegal because the online posting constituted "protected concerted activity" under the National Labor Relations Act. That law allows employees to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment with co-workers and others, and the employee involved in the case had posted comments about her supervisor and responded to further comments from her co-workers, the NLRB said.
The NLRB had also alleged the company maintained and enforced overly broad rules in its employee handbook regarding blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees.
Can it be proven IBM moves utilization numbers (billable hours) around from business units (divisions or LOBs) and from one QTR to the next to make quarterly numbers look better?The USA government should know about this. If enough of us stand together and say IBM is reporting OT as billable that is not actually being worked by us week-to-week, quarter-to-quarter, there has to be a case I'm sure can catch the ear of the US government. Also, the Alliance here is your real voice in dealing with IBM. Listen to them. Support them. We need this union to quell IBM abuses that hurt us employees (and retirees), our customers, and our economy. -anonymous-
But Hatch's opposition is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it. In fact, says Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea. "It was invented by Mark Pauly to give to George Bush Sr. back in the day, as a competition to the employer mandate focus of the Democrats at the time."
55 countries have some form of universal health care. Canada's system is a patchwork of province-specific plans, different in most every province. The USA is FIFTIETH on the list of longevity, right next to Albania, the poorest country in Europe. That means 50 countries in the world have higher longevity rates. Most of these higher longevity rates are in the countries *with* that universal healthcare. But of course the USA has some issues with lifestyle.
I heard that Peru was instituting medical coverage for its poorest citizens ... from a Peruvian friend.
So is Obama Care the signature work of a "socialist liberal"? Most would consider it a huge gift to the private sector. And IMHO, the private sector is the reason why Medical Care is so expensive in this country - profit-mongering run amuck. Please don't tell me we're paying for R&D because we should as the wealthiest country.
Socialist? Well Germany, Italy, France, Canada - all with universal healthcare and ALL (even Italy) with lower unemployment than the USA. Germany at 7.2%, Canada at 7.4%. Italy at 8.4%.
Now hiring may be slower in those countries but unions and country laws make mandatory severance packages nice and punitive for corporations. As a result they don't destroy quite so many dreams just to make ever increasing profits. On the other hand they are slower to hire a permanent employee too, so there is a downside, and maybe there is a middle-ground too.
To those who think more corporate-conservatism is the only answer, I don't know what to tell you. I'm thanking LBJ, FDR and Thomas J Watson for taking care of my parents - otherwise they would be living in my spare bedroom with no medical coverage. When I keep hearing we can't afford our safety net - I say only that democracy needs to apply to corporations as well. Ever-increasing profits mean only one thing. More for the corporate-landed gentry, less for the other 398 million people in the USA. We can't afford our safety net because US firms can outsource not only with impunity but with tax-breaks that favor outsourcing and offshoring. Another hard-right political turn ain't gonna fix it. 36% of all manufacturing jobs went overseas or belly-up during Bush/Cheney. Yah I'm sure ready for more Corporate rule of government!
Obama socialist? My foot!
But talk to some of the 16 freshman lawmakers who have declined their government health benefits, and you'll hear a different side of the story — about tough out-of-pocket expenses, pre-existing conditions and support for health reforms that would help those who struggle with their coverage. As they venture into the free market for health insurance, these lawmakers — many of whom swept into office fueled by tea party anger over the health care law — are facing monthly premiums of $1,200 and fears of double-digit rate hikes.
The experience has caused some of them to think harder about the "replace" part of the "repeal and replace" mantra the GOP has adopted regarding the health care law.
"I have a niece who has pre-existing conditions, and I worry about her if she was ever to lose her job," said Florida Rep. Richard Nugent, one of the freshman lawmakers who declined federal health insurance benefits. ...
"I can simply, honestly say that this is going to impact my wife and I to a fairly serious degree, like it would any average American out there," said first-time Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois. Walsh's wife has a pre-existing condition and will need a procedure in the coming months, but because he declined federal benefits, they're paying for it out of pocket. Meanwhile, Walsh is contributing to a health savings account to cover his expenses. "It's a cost we will feel, a cost I will have to pick up. I won't turn down benefits because I have something to fall back on or because I'm independently wealthy," he said.
"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.
Bankers are done with contrition. Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, paid himself a $12.6 million stock bonus for 2010, 40 percent more than in 2009, despite plummeting profits. Brian Moynihan of Bank of America got $9 million in restricted stock despite the bank's $2.2 billion loss. ...
Bankers and their banks need to be made more risk averse. That means banks must be made smaller and less profitable. Bankers' eagerness to recapture the lavish paydays suggests how far we still need to go.
Meanwhile, corporate profits continue to set records. Profits in the third quarter of 2010 were 1.659 trillion, about 28 percent higher than a year before, and the highest year-to-year increase on record.
What's going on? Very simply, America's corporations no longer need America's workers.
As Harold Meyerson documents in a brilliant piece for The American Prospect, our most admired corporations -- GE, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Intel -- are creating ever more jobs overseas and relatively fewer at home. This has the double benefit of taking advantage of cheap labor abroad and disciplining workers to accept low wages at home. Along with the high unemployment rates have come declining earnings. ...
This record contrasts dramatically with that of the right's favorite whipping boy -- Western Europe. Germany is gaining jobs at a rapid clip. Its industrialists are committed to producing at home, and just in case they get ideas of making outsourcing a way of life, they have strong unions who negotiate agreements on where production is located. Germany's labor costs are the highest in the world, but Germany nonetheless runs the world's largest export surplus -- 7 percent of GDP -- while America runs chronic trade deficits. ...
The Obama administration is not about to take issue with American companies that profit from locating ever more production abroad. The corporate elite is fiercely opposed to any limits on its freedom to relocate, and Obama is on a mission to make peace with big business. The administration continues to promote "free trade" deals on the premise that they will create jobs -- but more and more of those jobs get created offshore.
Both political parties are in denial about the plain fact that American industry is competing against an industrial system in China radically different from our own. If a company like GE wants to operate in China, the Beijing regime extracts conditions that violate the spirit if not the letter of the World Trade Organization. Companies are made to take on Chinese partners, to transfer sensitive proprietary technology, and to shift their production and R&D to China. In exchange, they get government subsidies and docile workers. Eventually, much of their production is displaced by their Chinese partners, but in the meantime they make a lot of money. ...
So if you want to know why the Democratic Party did so badly in the 2010 midterms, it's because the administration lacked a plausible story about how to alter these basic dynamics. And it lacked that story because it was unwilling to challenge the corporate business model that disdains American workers. In light of that reality, the latest gestures by the president to show the business elite just what a good fellow he is are not just disappointing, but they are foolish politics.
When the 85 freshman GOP lawmakers marched into the Capitol on Jan. 5 as part of the new Republican House majority, David Koch was there too. The 70-year-old had an appointment with a staff member of the new speaker, Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). At the same time, the head of Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, had an appointment with Upton. They used the opportunity to introduce themselves to some of the new legislators and invited them to a welcome party at the Capitol Hill Club, a favorite wine-and-cheese venue for Republican power players in Washington.
Alas, it never happened. The source of all this hysteria was a sketchy story told by Daniel Halloran, a rookie councilman and Tea Party Republican—who is also an adherent of the neo-pagan religion Theodicism. A New York Times investigation weeks later found no evidence to support the allegation, and it turns out that Halloran isn't so sure about what he thought he heard after all. But the damage is done. (Murdoch properties are not exactly famous for correcting their errors; though, to be fair, if they did, there would hardly be time or space for anything else.)
Can it be mere coincidence that the right-wing media promoted this phony-baloney story at a moment when, as Charles Loveless, legislative director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, points out, conservatives are "readying a massive assault" on the pensions and benefits of these same employees? ...
The assault on public employee unions is the next phase of a forty-year class war in America by the rich against the rest of us. It is of a piece with the steady dismantling of our progressive taxation system and the explosion of economic inequality. Total income going to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans has risen from about 8 percent in the 1960s to more than 20 percent today. As Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate in their recent book, Winner-Take-All Politics, this is the result of deliberate policy choices made by politicians in the service of those who fund their campaigns. Congress has repeatedly cut tax rates on top earners, along with capital gains and estate taxes. And as Robert Lieberman, writing in Foreign Affairs, recalls, during the 1990s the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which regulates accounting practices, attempted to put a stop to the practice of allowing corporate CEOs to compensate themselves with massive stock-option packages, correctly predicting that it would lead to an epidemic of deceptive accounting practices. "But Congress, spurred on by the lobbying efforts of major corporations, stopped the FASB in its tracks." The result? For the past twenty years we've allowed CEOs to enrich themselves at the expense of employees and stockholders "through the mutual back-scratching habits of corporate boards."
Income tax payments this year will be nearly 13 percent lower than they were in 2008, the last full year of the Bush presidency. Corporate taxes will be lower by a third, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The poor economy is largely to blame, with corporate profits down and unemployment up. But so is a tax code that grows each year with new deductions, credits and exemptions. The result is that families making as much as $50,000 can avoid paying federal income taxes, if they have at least two dependent children. Low-income families can actually make a profit from the income tax, and the wealthy can significantly cut their payments.
"The current state of the tax code is simply indefensible," says Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. "It is hemorrhaging revenue."
Robert Schlesinger, opinion editor at U.S. News and World Report, breaks down the numbers: "...Federal tax receipts this year are expected to be about 14.8 percent of GDP. By contrast that figure was 17.5 percent in tax cut warrior George W. Bush's last full year in office."
Employer-based pensions, paid vacations, health benefits and the like are going the way of phone booths and VCRs. As poverty increases and reliable employment becomes less and less the norm, the dwindling number of workers with any sort of job security or guaranteed pensions (think teachers and other modestly compensated public employees) are being viewed with increasing contempt. How dare they enjoy a modicum of economic comfort? ...
Standards of living for the people on the wrong side of the economic divide are being ratcheted lower and will remain that way for many years to come. Forget the fairy tales being spun by politicians in both parties — that somehow they can impose service cuts that are drastic enough to bring federal and local budgets into balance while at the same time developing economic growth strong enough to support a robust middle class. It would take a Bernie Madoff to do that. ...
For a variety of reasons, there are not enough tax revenues being generated to pay for the basic public services that one would expect in an advanced country like the United States. The rich are not shouldering their fair share of the tax burden. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to consume an insane amount of revenue. And there are not enough jobs available at decent enough pay to ease some of the demand for public services while at the same time increasing the amount of taxes paid by ordinary workers. ...
The U.S. cannot cut its way out of this crisis. Instead of trying to figure out how to keep 4-year-olds out of pre-kindergarten classes, or how to withhold life-saving treatments from Medicaid recipients, or how to cheat the elderly out of their Social Security, the nation's leaders should be trying seriously to figure out what to do about the future of the American work force. ...
Corporate profits and the stock markets are way up. Businesses are sitting atop mountains of cash. Put people back to work? Forget about it. Has anyone bothered to notice that much of those profits are the result of aggressive payroll-cutting — companies making do with fewer, less well-paid and harder-working employees?
For American corporations, the action is increasingly elsewhere. Their interests are not the same as those of workers, or the country as a whole. As Harold Meyerson put it in The American Prospect: "Our corporations don't need us anymore. Half their revenues come from abroad. Their products, increasingly, come from abroad as well." American workers are in a world of hurt. Anyone who thinks that politicians can improve this sorry state of affairs by hacking away at Social Security, Medicare and the public schools are great candidates for involuntary commitment.
I'm going to focus on the data from 2008, not 2009. In 2009, businesses in the United States laid off a lot of workers, while European firms did not. That produced a divergence in productivity that had more to do with short-run business cycle events than with fundamental trends. Data from 2008 allows for a better sense of the underlying differences:
So French workers are roughly as productive as American workers. But fewer French people have jobs, and when they have jobs, they work fewer hours. So why is it that fewer people in France are employed? During their prime working years, the French are as likely to have jobs as Americans are. ...
And why do the French work shorter hours? For the most part, probably because government policies mandate that workers take vacation time. The bottom line is that France, which has the same levels of technology and productivity as the United States, has made different choices about retirement and leisure. Vive la difference!
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