The IBM fleet landed 66 times in Stuart, Fla. over the four years ended last December, and 48 times on the resort island of Nantucket, according to Federal Aviation Administration flight records. The Nantucket trips were clustered in the summer; the Florida journeys generally came during the cooler months up north and included flights to and from golf haven Augusta, Ga.
Counting travel both to and from Stuart and Nantucket, the approximate cost to IBM shareholders for those flights was $1.1 million, according to Wall Street Journal estimates. The estimates are based on hourly operating-cost figures supplied by consulting firm Conklin & de Decker Aviation Information. ...
Mr. Gerstner, now 69, retired at the end of 2002 and is credited with pulling IBM out of a deep slide in a celebrated corporate turnaround. According to a revised employment agreement signed that year, he was given a 10-year post-retirement consulting contract that entitled him to a range of perks, including access to IBM cars, an office and apartment.
He also was given "preferred" access to IBM aircraft, with his priority in ordering up the planes outranked only by current Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano. ...
The airport in Stuart is about a dozen miles from Mr. Gerstner's beachfront residence in Hobe Sound, Fla., which according to county property records has two main buildings, a pool, a fountain and a market value of $8.2 million. Mr. Gerstner's waterfront residence in Nantucket has a 5,500 sq. ft, 4-bedroom main house and a separate guest house, and is assessed at $10.4 million.
Maybe 2011 is the technical centennial but maybe 2014 should be seen as the centennial of when IBM once acquired its heart and soul from its founder - only to abandon it less than one hundred years later?
By celebrating 2011, the current executive staff has successfully evaded being compared to the IBM leadership (Watson Sr. and Jr.) that set the foundation for them to take credit for the past 100 years.
About the only thing you could do is talk to your manager and volunteer to leave if they were to give you a bridge. Again, they almost certainly would give you a bridge. But you wouldn't get any severance pay, or the transitional medical coverage. Volunteering to leave seems like a poor bet to me. You'd be leaving a lot of money on the table by not waiting for the RA to happen.
I'm sure this a stressful position to be in and it is hard not to worry about it. I hope everything works out for you.
It started on the 20th with a note from Sam Palmisano that stated, "We should all feel good about the company's ability to invest in people in these very concrete ways."
It ended with a note on the evening of the 21st of January from the General Manager of Tivoli saying, "Perhaps the best part of a new year is the fresh start we get to refocus on our strategy and goals. SWG revenues were up 11 percent in 2008, and up 3 percent in the fourth quarter (both at actual rates). Unfortunately, the Tivoli team struggled to reach our double-digit revenue growth goals throughout 2008. I am proud to say that the team did a great job of reducing expenses -- a continuing high priority for 2009."
The worst I ever saw was this twenty-four period. It was a blood bath that caught my manager, two friends on my direct team and too many to count that I knew across the company and around the world.
In fact, just last week at at retirement gathering in Austin, I heard of two others caught that day. One after 45 years just retired; the other was caught before he could qualify for the full IBM retirement as a second choicer.
It is like reliving a bad dream over and over again. I know that a lot of "old timers" just don't understand how much IBM has changed. This is a small example of how disconnected the corporate staff is from reality. No cheers on this note. Pete.
These days with frequent resource actions, managers will try to avoid all the work and headache involved with letting an individual go (especially if they are an EO counter) via MIS but will manage their rating to be the bottom of the group so the people they want to get rid of will be able to be let go easily when there is a directed resource action.
Some managers also play games and keep giving moving targets to people that are retirement eligible in the hope that they will tire of the games and decide to retire on their own - which is much cheaper for the company and they may be able to backfill with a person of considerably lower pay level.
If you think that you are on the list for an MIS / RA you need to play your cards right. Make sure you are in on time and put in an honest days work. Make sure all your paperwork is clean and on time. Save all communications from your manager on your performance and request all counseling in writing. Log all ( and solicit ) positive feedback from peers and customers. Keep up a positive attitude with your coworkers and customers. And be aware that anything you say can and will be used against you if they wish. Make it as hard as possible for them to let you go and to explain to anyone why they did.
The title is Turbulence: Boeing and the State of American Workers and Managers, by Edward S. Greenberg, Leon Grunberg, Sarah Moore, and Patrica B Sikora.
There were four surveys run on a pseudo random group of Boeing employees, one every three years. About 2000 to 3000 employees were contacted- with the help of Boeing lists. Efforts were made to contact managers, shop, technical, and engineers.
I've read about 1/2 of it so far, and I believe, except for obvious ' manufacturing' differences between computers and airplanes, every mention of Boeing could probably be changed to IBM with little change in the story or results or observations.
Accusations that the company, Infosys Technologies, repeatedly violated the terms of business visitor visas were first raised in a lawsuit filed in February in Alabama by Jack Palmer, an Infosys project manager. Aside from Mr. Palmer, at least two other Infosys managers in the United States have submitted internal whistle-blower reports pointing to Indians on business visitor visas who were performing longer-term work not authorized under those visas, according to internal documents and current Infosys managers. ...
The Infosys inquiry coincides with a broader attack in Congress on longer-term visas, known as H-1B, that Infosys and other Indian companies rely on to bring Indian technology workers to the United States. With unemployment for Americans stubbornly high, lawmakers have become increasingly reluctant to defend H-1B visas, which give temporary residence to highly skilled foreigners. In recent years, the top companies receiving those visas were not American names, but Infosys and another big Indian outsourcing company, Wipro. ...
The events began with Mr. Palmer, 43, a project manager from Alabama who was hired by the company in 2008. In a sworn affidavit he submitted to the federal court, Mr. Palmer said his differences with Infosys management began after he was summoned to a meeting in Bangalore in March 2010. Top executives, he said, discussed ways to “creatively” get around H-1B visa limitations “to fulfill the high demand for its customers at lower cost.”
Even in good economic times the current programmes would be bad for American workers, but given the current jobs crisis gripping America they are especially harmful for American workers. The depth and severity of the American jobs crisis has been understated by most commentators, many of whom point to the eight million jobs lost in the Great Recession beginning in 2007. The reality is that the American economy hasn’t been creating enough jobs for more than a decade and has a shortfall of at least 18 million jobs. This protracted jobs malaise is a historic first. ...
Given the current American labour market, try placing yourself in the shoes of one of those American IT workers en route to the unemployment line by way of training his foreign replacement? His future will likely be long-term joblessness and if he is lucky enough to get one of the few jobs available it will come at a significantly lower salary.
The lobbying effort began more than a year ago. It involved some of the biggest names in corporate America and meetings with members of both parties on the House Financial Services Committee and Senate banking committee.
The companies and their Republican allies in Congress call comparisons between the chief and everyone else in the company “useless.” ...
“The real reason House Republicans want to keep the typical worker’s pay secret is that it may embarrass some companies to reveal that they pay their CEO in the range of 400 times what they pay their typical worker,” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who added the requirement to the financial regulatory overhaul bill that passed last year.
Advice to Senior Management: Invest in America. Stop outsourcing and stomping on American workers. Stop whining about corp tax cuts. Be the IBM of Watson and not the A$$ holes that you currently are.
Cons: The layoffs and expense cuts have gone too deep. Those that remain often work 60+hrs a week just to keep up. No incentive to do a good job. The top performers are only rewarded with 1% to 2% pay increases which is hardly worth the effort it takes to be considered a top performer. Overall, company morale is at an all time low.
Advice to Senior Management: Senior Management needs to wake up and recognize that every day IBM's top talent is walking out the door for a better opportunities. They need to start treating their employees like indispensable assets rather than a drag on their bottom line.
Cons: Most of the top talent will be retiring soon. Benefit plans repeatedly raided, older employees lost big-time from retirement plan bait and switch. Little or no salary increases year after year. Employee profit sharing is a joke since only the executives see anything even in an outstanding year.
Advice to Senior Management: Cost cutting has helped the financials short term but its taken a huge toll on technology and ability to compete in the future. You need to get rid of the bean counters and invest in retention policies and competitive analysis.
Cons: Career paths and mentoring that used to exist, have all disappeared in truth, but are still praised and lauded as real (this can be very confusing). Unless you are one of the extreme performers (aka selling madly for them), you will NOT be praised or rewarded and WILL treated as a cost to be minimized. In a company of excellent people, it is very disconcerting to be called 'OK' when you are in fact world class and perform at that level daily. Company is now going out of its way to hide where employment is taking place and where it is getting moved from and to (aka no longer publishing employment by country, only overall employment, and NOT commenting on layoff's unless required by outdated local law).
Advice to Senior Management: Be honest and open about the labor sourcing direction you are taking, EVEN to the labor you are using. The fiction of 'mutual commitment' is distressing and hard to swallow. It in fact has a greater impact of quality of product than almost anything else. Your people can't be BOTH world class intellects AND stupid enough to not see their treatment for what it is.
The special equity grants mean that the executives are ready to unload stock as it goes down in value. The last time HR and management pushed "options" and "stock grants" for non-executives was just before the stock hit its peak. Crashing stock prices plus layoffs meant few, if any, of the employees got anything of value. In the late 90's, managers were given the option to offer employees options instead of a salary increase. The old sage guys and gals immediately opted for salary. That increased their pension (for those lucky enough to have it) and their 401(k) contributions. Most of those who took options never vested due to RAs or the stock went down below levels where they had to pay to get their options issued! A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, in IBM it's more like 3 or 4! Always look for the story behind the management line. Then act on your best interests solely! -Active Measues Guy-
In posting “details regarding the survey” on its Web site Monday, McKinsey acknowledged that its survey was “not comparable” to the studies by the budget office, Urban Institute or others using economic modeling. Rather, it surveyed business owners using an online panel. McKinsey said it paid for the survey by Ipsos, a French marketing firm, “to capture the attitudes of employers,” large and small.
“We can get better coverage, get all of us covered and save billions by having New York provide publicly sponsored single-payer health coverage,” Gottfried said. He said this may be the closest New York could get to an economic silver bullet, making the state much more “job friendly” by eliminating the need for employers to pay for health insurance.
Right now, the state is in the cellar as a place to do business. Health care costs are at least 16 percent of all goods and services produced statewide, or nationally. Most other industrialized nations spend 8 percent to 10 percent on health care and get better quality.
More importantly, a single-payer system would provide coverage for individuals, as more and more private employers say they are planning to end paying for this defined benefit when the weaker federal plan becomes effective in 2014.
New York entertainment attorney Mark D. Sendroff says he knew he'd get a bill when he went to an out-of-network surgeon for a shoulder operation last summer. But he was shocked when his Aetna health-insurance plan paid only around $1,000 of the surgeon's approximately $30,000 charge -- and part of the payment was his deductible. "It was absolutely crazy," he says.
Mr. Sendroff thought the plan was going to pay his doctor based on a "usual and customary" rate that's supposed to represent a typical charge for his area. Instead, the insurer pegged the doctor's reimbursement to 110% of the fee paid by Medicare. Mr. Sendroff appealed the decision, and after he contacted the New York attorney general's office, Aetna agreed to pay more, he says.
2007 Vermont law effectively banned the practice in the state. It said data-mining companies can't sell the prescription information for marketing purposes, and drug makers can't use it, unless the prescribing doctor consents. Vermont lawmakers said the measure would protect the privacy of doctors and patients and help to control health-care costs on expensive brand-name drugs.
The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, said the law was an unconstitutional restriction on drug makers' free-speech rights.
"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.
Forty years later, the trappings at the top of Dean Foods, as at most U.S. big companies, are more lavish. The current chief executive, Gregg L. Engles, averages 10 times as much in compensation as Douglas did, or about $10 million in a typical year. He owns a $6 million home in an elite suburb of Dallas and 64 acres near Vail, Colo., an area he frequently visits. He belongs to as many as four golf clubs at a time — two in Texas and two in Colorado. While Douglas’s office sat on the second floor of a milk distribution center, Engles’s stylish new headquarters occupies the top nine floors of a 41-story Dallas office tower. When Engles leaves town, he takes the company’s $10 million Challenger 604 jet, which is largely dedicated to his needs, both business and personal. ...
For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. In 2008, the last year for which data are available, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners took in more than 10 percent of the personal income in the United States, including capital gains, and the top 1 percent took in more than 20 percent. But economists had little idea who these people were. How many were Wall street financiers? Sports stars? Entrepreneurs? Economists could only speculate, and debates over what is fair stalled.
Now a mounting body of economic research indicates that the rise in pay for company executives is a critical feature in the widening income gap. The largest single chunk of the highest-income earners, it turns out, are executives and other managers in firms, according to a landmark analysis of tax returns by economists Jon Bakija, Adam Cole and Bradley T. Heim. These are not just executives from Wall Street, either, but from companies in even relatively mundane fields such as the milk business. ...
In world rankings of income inequality, the United States now falls among some of the world’s less-developed economies. According to the CIA’s World Factbook, which uses the so-called “Gini coefficient,” a common economic indicator of inequality, the United States ranks as far more unequal than the European Union and the United Kingdom. The United States is in the company of developing countries — just behind Cameroon and Ivory Coast and just ahead of Uganda and Jamaica.
Walmart workers, meanwhile, make around $8.75 an hour—about $18,000 a year. They'd have to work over a million years to approach what the chairman of Walmart Stores is sitting on. Alice and Jim Walton each have about $20 billion, and Christy Walton has $24 billion.
Last year Jonathan Turley noted that the CEO of Walmart, Michael Duke, makes his average employee's yearly salary every hour. ...
The news that the income gap is growing in the United States is probably not news at all to most working people. But this data throws the trend into sharp relief. Surprise, surprise, they're mostly not media personalities or athletes (just 3 percent). They're chief executives and managers (41 percent), and of course they work in finance (18 percent)--the same executives who are benefiting nicely from policies that have favored the rich and tilted the playing field in their favor, maintaining low personal and corporate tax rates and in some cases actually bailed their companies out with government funds. ...
Another new report, this one in Mother Jones, points out some more maddening statistics. Productivity is up 80 percent since 1979, but workers' wages have hardly risen at all. The number of people working more than 50 hours a week has steadily increased, and workers are now expected to be available and responsive to email communications when not at the office. The report charts the return of growth in gross domestic product (GDP), but not jobs to match. And those multinational corporations with multimillionaire CEOs are hiring more people overseas than they are at home. ...
Whether it's social norms or political decisions that have changed, the system that we've got is working everyday people harder and harder for a smaller and smaller share of the pie. There may not be an obvious alternative yet, but how long will 90 percent of Americans be content with the squeeze?
The majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia will make it substantially more difficult for class-action suits in all manner of cases to move forward. For 45 years, since Congress approved the criteria for class actions, the threshold for certification of a class has been low, with good reason because certification is merely the first step in a suit. Members of a potential class have had to show that they were numerous, had questions of law or fact in common and had representatives with typical claims who would protect the interests of the class.
The underlying issue, which the Supreme Court has now ratified, is Wal-Mart’s authoritarian style, by which executives pressure store-level management to squeeze more and more from millions of clerks, stockers and lower-tier managers.
Indeed, the sex discrimination at Wal-Mart that drove the recent suit is the product not merely of managerial bias and prejudice, but also of a corporate culture and business model that sustains it, rooted in the company’s very beginnings. ...
But that avoids the more essential point, namely that Wal-Mart views low labor costs and a high degree of workplace flexibility as a signal competitive advantage. It is a militantly anti-union company that has been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to current and former employees for violations of state wage and hour laws.
In other words, the patriarchy of old has been reconfigured into a more systematically authoritarian structure, one that deploys a communitarian ethos to sustain a high degree of corporate loyalty even as wages and working conditions are put under continual downward pressure — especially in recent years, as Wal-Mart’s same-store sales have declined. Workers of both sexes pay the price, but women, who constitute more than 70 percent of hourly employees, pay more.
There are tens of thousands of experienced Wal-Mart women who would like to be promoted to the first managerial rung, salaried assistant store manager. But Wal-Mart makes it impossible for many of them to take that post, because its ruthless management style structures the job itself as one that most women, and especially those with young children or a relative to care for, would find difficult to accept.
Why? Because, for all the change that has swept over the company, at the store level there is still a fair amount of the old communal sociability. Recognizing that workers steeped in that culture make poor candidates for assistant managers, who are the front lines in enforcing labor discipline, Wal-Mart insists that almost all workers promoted to the managerial ranks move to a new store, often hundreds of miles away.
For young men in a hurry, that’s an inconvenience; for middle-aged women caring for families, this corporate reassignment policy amounts to sex discrimination. True, Wal-Mart is hardly alone in demanding that rising managers sacrifice family life, but few companies make relocation such a fixed policy, and few have employment rolls even a third the size.
Negative job growth for eleven years is the best evidence concerning our economic troubles. There were 135 million jobs in 2000 for a workforce of 144 million. Today, there are 139 million jobs for a workforce of 154 million. That represents negative job growth when you factor in population growth. Job growth in this economy hit a dead calm in 2000 and is now moving backwards. If the issue isn’t raised, how can we address the phenomena?
The solutions offered by congressional Republicans are packed with their favorite programs (House and Senate versions). Unfortunately, their proposals don’t have much to do with increasing jobs. The first recommendation calls for the federal government to “start living within [its] means.” How does that happen? Pass a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget and put the budget process in a “straight jacket” through fixed spending limits. We are told that this will “cut spending to immediately and substantially reduce deficits.” The Republicans fail to mention how many jobs will be created. Their program makes rules on spending but, with one exception, it neglects to mention any specific programs that should be cut. Guess which program they mentioned? Their manifesto suggests that we must “control entitlement spending”. e.g., Social Security. How convenient. They cite the one program running a substantial surplus, the lifeline for seniors.
The Republican jobs program eliminates all those regulations they love to hate. Generating more jobs by eliminating regulations is laughable. Since 2001, rules and regulations for business (e.g., Wall Street) have been tossed overboard at a record pace. No new jobs were created during this period. The collapse of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed are the main effect of eliminating regulations. ...
Both parties go on ad nauseam about job training and make the compulsory references to community colleges as the key element. Community colleges are outstanding resources. They need more funding. But the notion that there is a skills gap between the employees and available jobs was totally debunked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent BLS revision of its new jobs data showed that all those new jobs simply don’t exist.
Neither party addresses the ravages of free trade. They talk about export growth but forget the reciprocal, friendly free trade deals plus the import of skilled professionals that end jobs here while creating them over there. The Money Party has done nothing about negative job growth. The party’s Republican and Democratic factions won’t even mention that this has gone on for eleven years. ...
The Money Party is short on imagination. It won’t allow its minions, the servants of power, to think outside the box of the status quo. The party is a one trick pony. The party is also short on compassion or even the most elementary forms of common decency. It’s OK to see millions of people evicted, jobless, without health care, etc., as long as short term profits are maintained for those CEO bonuses and other enrichment for a tiny minority. It’s perfectly acceptable for this to go on despite available solutions. If you don’t look, it’s not there should be their motto.
The American economy can’t get out of neutral until American workers have more money in their pockets to buy what they produce. And unions are the best way to give them the bargaining power to get better pay.
For three decades after World War II – I call it the “Great Prosperity” – wages rose in tandem with productivity. Americans shared the gains of growth, and had enough money to buy what they produced. That’s largely due to the role of labor unions. In 1955, over a third of American workers in the private sector were unionized. Today, fewer than 7 percent are.
With the decline of unions has come the stagnation of American wages. More and more of the total income and wealth of America has gone to the very top. The middle class’s purchasing power has depended on mothers going into paid work, everyone working longer hours, and, finally, the middle class going deep into debt, using their homes as collateral. But now all these coping mechanisms are exhausted — and we’re living with the consequence. ...
Germany is growing much faster than the United States. Its unemployment rate is now only 6.1 percent (we’re now at 9.1 percent). What’s Germany’s secret? In sharp contrast to the decades of stagnant wages in America, real average hourly pay has risen almost 30 percent there since 1985. Germany has been investing substantially in education and infrastructure.
How did German workers do it? A big part of the story is German labor unions are still powerful enough to insist that German workers get their fair share of the economy’s gains. That’s why pay at the top in Germany hasn’t risen any faster than pay in the middle. As David Leonhardt reported in the New York Times recently, the top 1 percent of German households earns about 11 percent of all income – a percent that hasn’t changed in four decades.
Contrast this with the United States, where the top 1 percent went from getting 9 percent of total income in the late 1970s to more than 20 percent today. ...
The current Republican assault on workers’ rights continues a thirty-year war on American workers’ wages. That long-term war has finally taken its toll on the American economy. It’s time to fight back.
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