"IBM re-balances its skills and resources throughout the year to ensure that we meet the evolving needs of our clients," said Doug Shelton, IBM's director of corporate media relations. "IBM does not comment publicly on details of its staffing plans or headcount." ...
One affected employee described the moves in RTP as a "bunch of layoffs." Lee Conrad, a retired IBM employee who is the national coordinator for the Alliance, said cuts were made Tuesday in the STG and GTS divisions. ...
Employees reported cuts in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Rochester, Minn., and California. One IBM worker based in Charlotte also said he was cut. "RA'd in Charlotte, N.C., in Global Technology Services," the worker said. "Informed by telephone and told that final day is June 23 ... Manager said 'Don't bother to look for another job, there aren't any.'" "Looks as if there were about 70 layoffs in this division and mostly skewed towards age 45+," the employee added.
Selected reader comments follow:
As the celebration gears up, the media and the country are seeing IBM presented through the eyes of the corporate executives, not the rank and file IBMer. A recent article in Fortune magazine painted a very rosy picture of Sam Palmisano as head of IBM. The article lauded Sam for his leading IBM into the 21st century.
Comments from IBM employees that were posted to the article were not very flattering and took Palmisano to task for IBM's poor treatment of employees, the decline in working conditions, the decline in salaries and pensions, and the constant job cuts that have devastated the US workforce as work is off-shored. And it wasn't just US IBM employees who were taking Sam to task. Many comments came from IBMer's around the world.
Typical comments posted to the article:
"As a UK IBM employee, and soon to be ex-employee (I'm getting out now), my main reason for leaving is lack of respect and lack of reward; no pay rise since 2007; a stunning performance by IBM. My team and personally was very poorly rewarded. I have key skills in a growing technical area and would have personally brought in £250K revenue in just normal work let alone additional new business. Did anyone at the high-levels bother about this. Nope. Not one bit. The modern IBM does not care about employees; just costs and profit."
"As a retired 30-year IBM veteran, I have worked with some wonderful people during my career and can honestly say that IBM has some awesomely talented people in their technical ranks and that they have arguably the best workforce in the world right here in the U.S.A. On the other hand, IBM Management 'led' by Sam Palmisellout is totally clandestine and self-serving and are completely out of touch with the general IBM Employee Population. Employee morale at IBM is at 'rock-bottom' since they are generally overworked, underpaid, are totally disrespected by Management, are no longer provided with any sense of job security, and have seen many of their talented fellow IBM employees fired and their jobs moved to offshore locations (Brazil, India, China, etc.) simply for cheaper labor and definitely not for technical advantage. Their Raises and Promotions are rare and realistic career paths are non-existent for non-executive personnel. Many IBM'ers I know totally despise those pompous and greedy ARMONK-EY Executives and would hardly call them 'leaders' since they don't have a clue how to grow revenue and rely on perpetual cost cutting (offshoring, layoffs, salary rebanding, benefit reductions, etc.) as the primary means of profitability. The Technical folks are the major reason why IBM is a successful Corporation and they deserve the utmost respect from those IBM Corporate Executives."
So how did Fortune magazine react to the 200 plus critical comments? Did the editors commission a story on what IBM workers are going through working at the new IBM? No. They simply deleted all the comments. To many this was simply a whitewash. Can't upset the celebration with a little truth.
IBM employees around the world are proud of the work they do for the company. IBM employees are also civic minded, giving back to the communities where they work and live.
IBM employees are simply saying to the CEO and the world--give us some respect, not empty words and public relations campaigns. Treat us as assets not liabilities. Call us people not "resources". Reward loyalty with concern for employees well being. Let us have a true voice in the workplace. Let us join our unions and the global union alliance free from intimidation. Do all that and more and there will be cause to celebrate.
Lee Conrad, national organizer for the Alliance@IBM, a union group, said that the cuts "seem widespread," and are in the Systems and Technology division and in Global Technology Services. ...
The company has not announced anything, and no longer does, as a matter of policy. Tom Midgley, president of the Alliance@IBM, confirmed that a "resource action" is under way and that it has reached into local sites, though he did not have specific numbers. ...
"I don't think people are feeling too jubilant about the 100th anniversary while their jobs are being cut and the company is making record profits," said Midgley, who works at the East Fishkill IBM site. "It seems to most US employees that the 'churn and burn' in IBM just never stops, and it doesn't," said an online article posted by the group.
Selected reader comments concerning the article follow:
IBM employs more than 6,000 people in Austin, which remains one of the company's most productive research and development operations. Much of the company's work in Austin is tied to Unix software and hardware development, development of the Power family of microprocessors, Tivoli Systems software, and Linux development. ...
"The number of IBM jobs has declined dramatically over the last five years in the U.S.," Conrad said. "A lot of jobs have been off-shored and outsourced to India, China and South America."
The group said that IBM's in this country declined from 133,789 in 2005 to 105,000 in 2009 before the company stopped providing a U.S. headcount. In recent years, it said, IBM's hiring has been heaviest in India, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, where wages are generally lower. The organization believes that IBM's U.S. job total now is below 100,000.
Selected reader comments concerning the above article follow:
"IBM re-balances its skills and resources throughout the year to ensure that we meet the evolving needs of our clients," said Doug Shelton, IBM's director of corporate media relations. "IBM does not comment publicly on details of its staffing plans or headcount."
Doug Shelton. Is he actually a person? Or is he the voice of the Watson Jeopardy! computer? Is he just a tape recording released to the media?
He always and only comments with the same remarks above.
Does anyone have any other comment Shelton has made, other than not or declining to comment?
Being IBM director of corporate media relations seems an real easy and cozy job: you don't have to say much; and you just have to say the same thing all the time.
IBM should eliminate IBM director of corporate media relations and save the stockholders the equivalent of his salary and benefits as an effective cost cutting measure.
The U.S. has some of the longest working hours in the developed world. On top of that, Americans also have some of the shortest paid vacation leave. And although many European countries have seen increases in their working hours -- particularly the UK -- employees are typically given between four and six weeks' paid vacation time by their employer.
So what drives Americans to work such long hours and take few, if any, vacations?
One explanation is that Americans are intrinsically "workaholic." Getting ahead at work is fundamental to their self image, and to the image they like to project to their employer, and, indeed, to the outside world -- America is open for business 24/7! And this is not only about individual behavior, but also about corporate culture.
Another explanation, which is more psychological in orientation, is that American workers are intrinsically more insecure than their counterparts in other countries. Many European countries have better employment protection for workers, including legislation about redundancy pay, or sick leave, or hours of work, or break times at work.
Indeed, in the European Union there is the Working Time Directive that specifies that workers are not allowed to work over an average of 48 hours per week over a specified number of weeks, together with other specific constraints about breaks and length of shifts. Most E.U. countries have signed up to this Directive.
In the U.S., with less employment protection and employees more vulnerable to instant job loss if they don't deliver, I suspect that many workers are frightened of taking up their holiday entitlement, as meager as it is, because they fear it sends the message that "I will not be perceived as fully committed or giving 100%." ...
Recent research is showing that consistently working long hours and not taking respite away from work, can have a damaging effect on health, and can negatively affect family life.
The notion that working long hours and not taking holidays makes for a more productive workforce is, in my view, a managerial myth, with no foundation in organizational or psychological science. The human body is a biological machine, and like all machines can wear out.
The seed of one of those bad ideas choking our country, Clinton said, has been sown in our business schools for some time now, that of a shareholder-only vision of the world.
I was probably the last generation of Americans until the present day who could have gotten an MBA, if I went to business school instead of law school, with the prevailing theory being that American corporations had obligations primarily to all their stakeholders.
Ever since then we've been teaching our young people that your primary obligation is only to the shareholders. The problem is that if you do that you ignore the other stakeholders.
That could be why wages have been virtually stagnant for 30 years—because the workers are stakeholders. It could be why communities haven't been able to undertake economic transformations in many places—because communities are stakeholders. It could be why customers don't care so much what the source of their purchases are—they're stakeholders. I think we have to move back to a stakeholder not just a shareholder-only society in the United States and throughout the world.
Old man Watson would roll over in his grave if he knew what this bunch of Money Grubing Ass holes have done to this company. Smart Planet my ass. That bunch in India cant grab their butt with both hands and don't have the skills to procreate. And don't get me started on the GDF initiative.
Beth Purdue is a lunatic, she has no idea they are laying off the experienced Real IBMers for dip sticks and call that creating jobs, Ha. I am bridging and saying the Hell with ya , your Merit Raises, haven't seen one of those since 2003, your dictated PBC crap and excessive work schedule e.g. 60+ hours and get me a job at Walmart as a Greater. I figure with the hours I put in, the pay is about the same.
IBM and your Blackberries, you are going down. Apple is gonna kick your Butt. American Born, American Raised and Damn proud of it. -Anonymous-
Among Vermont's challenges: getting waivers from the federal government at a time when the U.S. House has come out strongly against the less ambitious federal health care bill passed last year. ...
"We're going to hear all kinds of scare stories that this is a thoughtless experiment or that it is too bold," said Dr. Deb Richter, a longtime advocate of a single-payer health care system. "But I would remind you that every other industrialized country is doing what we are trying to do. And they do it for far less money, they live longer and they get better-quality care." ...
One of those who said she was glad to see the law taking effect was Jennifer Schneider, a 41-year-old Burlington woman who was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer in 2009 and detailed her troubles getting insurance and understanding the coverage she got. A person in that situation should be able to focus on fighting her illness, not her health insurer, Schneider said. "You shouldn't have to worry about whether you're covered," she said.
If the new healthcare law is defunded, the changes to the prescription drug program could not be implemented and Medicare would be unable to offer the benefit, CBO said.
The new program might still be called Medicare — hey, we could replace government coverage of major expenses with an allowance of two free aspirins a day, and still call it "Medicare" — but it wouldn't be the same program. And if the cost estimates of the Congressional Budget Office are at all right, the inadequate size of the vouchers — which by 2030 would cover only about a third of seniors' health costs — would leave many if not most older Americans unable to afford essential care.
If anyone is lying here, it's Mr. Ryan himself, who has claimed that his plan would give seniors the same kind of coverage that members of Congress receive — an assertion that is completely false. ...
Anyway, the underlying premise behind statements like that is the assumption that the Ryan plan represents a serious effort to come to grip with America's long-run fiscal problems. But what became clear soon after that plan was unveiled was that it was no such thing. In fact, it wasn't really a deficit-reduction plan. Once you remove the absurd assumptions — discretionary spending, including defense, falling to Calvin Coolidge levels, and huge tax cuts for corporations and the rich, with no loss in revenue? — it's highly questionable whether it would reduce the deficit at all.
"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.
Obama's idea is simply to require that those corporations trying to get federal contracts disclose all of their campaign donations for the previous two years, including money they launder through such front groups as the Chamber of Commerce. ...
Neat. It would be a clean, direct, and effective reform — so, of course, the corporate powers and their apologists are squealing like stuck pigs. Steven Law, a Bush-Cheney operative who is now both a Wall Street Journal editorialist and the head of a secret corporate money fund, recently decried the very idea of public disclosure of contractor campaign contributions: "When I was in the executive branch," he sniffed, "mixing politics with procurement was called corruption."
Yes, Steve, and y'all were corruption experts. Perhaps you've forgotten about Halliburton, the Cheney-run corporation that helped put Bush in office and then snagged tens of billions in contracts, becoming the poster child of corrupt, no-bid procurement. Come on, Obama, don't back down under pressure from these corporate sleazes — sign that disclosure order. If they're going to steal our elections, let's at least make them admit it.
Then there are megalomaniacal mega-billionaires like the Koch brothers. Using money from their industrial conglomerate, their foundation, and their personal fortunes, these two far-out, laissez-faire extremists are literally buying public policy. Their purchases of everything from politicians to the tea party help them push the privatization of all things public and the elimination of pesky regulations and taxes that crimp their style.
To advance their plutocratic cause, brother Charles has gone on a shopping spree for an invaluable bauble that most of us didn't even know was for sale: academic freedom. And it's surprisingly cheap!
For only $1.5 million, Koch bought a big chunk of the economics department of Florida State University. His donation gives him control of a new "academic" program at this public institution to indoctrinate students in his self-serving political theories. The billionaire gets to screen all applicants, veto any he deems insufficiently ideological, and sign off on all hires. Also, the department head must submit yearly reports to Koch about the faculty's speeches, publications, and classes, and he evaluates the faculty based on "objectives" that he sets.
Charles has made similar purchases of academic freedom at two other state universities, Clemson and West Virginia. Imagine the screams of outrage we'd hear from the Kochs if a labor union was doing this.
How quaint. Today, the riches are massive, but the embarrassment gene seems to have been completely bred out of corporate chieftains. They have no shame at producing negative results and offing thousands of underlings, then wheeling in a front-end loader to haul their own pay to the bank. The head man at Estée Lauder, for example, recently cut 2,000 employees but grabbed a huge salary increase and new stock payments worth more than $24 million.
Are there no adults to supervise these corporate playgrounds and teach such concepts as humility and sharing,? Well, technically, the board of directors is supposed to provide corporate governance, including the setting of CEO pay. But who's on these boards? Mostly other members of the corporate brotherhood who want to keep executive pay levels rising. And, of course, the chiefs themselves sit on their boards, usually chairing them.
The tale of boardroom coziness between directors and the bosses they supposedly govern was vividly revealed in the Wall Street crash of 2008. Far from providing any reasonable restraints, few board members even questioned the casino games the banks were running, and fewer yet objected to giving reckless bankers billions of dollars in unwarranted bonuses.
Now after the collapse, what has changed? Nothing. One survey of nine of the big banks we taxpayers bailed out shows that two-thirds of their failed board members are still there, and, once again, they're shoveling inexplicably-huge bonuses at the same old CEOs.
A system that enriches executive elites while crushing the middle class is worse than an embarrassment – it's morally untenable.
In a ruling issued late Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Cacheris tossed out part of the indictment against two men accused of illegally reimbursing donors to Hillary Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns.
Cacheris says that under last year's Citizens United Supreme Court case, corporations enjoy the same right as people to contribute to campaigns.
The ruling is the first of its kind. The Citizens United case had applied only to independent corporate expenditures, not to actual campaign contributions.
Today's decision extends beyond the egregious Citizen United decision because Citizens United only permits corporations to run their own ads supporting a candidate or otherwise act independently of a candidate's campaign. Cacheris' opinion would also allow the Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries, for instance, to contribute directly to political campaigns.
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