On Friday, in a 7-2 decision the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal brought by IBM Canada in IBM v Waterman which looked at whether pension benefits received by Waterman during his wrongful dismissal notice period should be deducted from his damages award.
“This means older workers can breathe a sigh of relief that they won’t be summarily dismissed and forced to take their pension,” says Clio Godkewitsch, an associate with Koskie Minsky LLP.
“It’s the correct decision and it affirms the law at least in Ontario that we have understood forever that pension benefits are a form of deferred compensation,” says Godkewitsch. “It shouldn’t be such a shocker to employers. This doesn’t change anything for employers but it’s always good to have the highest court in the land give its nod of approval to the existing law.”
Richard Waterman was employed by IBM (U.K.) Ltd. and then IBM Canada Ltd. for more than 40 years as a software services specialist before being terminated at the height of the recession in 2009 — without cause and with two months notice.
When his employment ended, he was 65 and eligible to receive benefits under IBM’s employer-funded pension plan. He had no intention of retiring, declined the severance package offered by IBM and sued for wrongful dismissal. Following a summary trial, he was awarded damages in the amount of $93,305.32, based on a reasonable notice period of 20 months.
IBM's latest $1 billion "rebalancing," as described by its CFO last month, is underway. And the first country hit is India, based on reports from Blue Blue workers there on Tuesday. The so-called "Resource Action" struck in the country where IBM reportedly employs its greatest number of workers.
Workers were given little notice. Reads one note just sent to the union seeking to represent IBM workers:
"Job cuts in India STG announced today including managers. Asked to return laptops within 2 hours and leave premises."
One analyst has estimated that IBM will cut 13,000 of its more than 434,000 workers, based on the amount of money set aside for the rebalancing IBM disclosed after another quarter of disappointing earnings. A similar action in 2013 led to some 3,500 job cuts in North America alone, with several hundred hitting IBM's North Carolina work force.
Lee Conrad, head of union efforts to unionize IBMers, has received emails from workers as well as a reporter in India. The "RA" is expected to hit IBMers in North America as early as Feb. 19, based on internal speculation. "Still waiting here in the U.S.," Conrad wrote.
IBMers have described the rebalancing as "Project Apollo." The 2013 action was called "Project Phoenix."
IBM has begun slicing away at its workforce in India and Europe, as the company tries to shift its business to more lucrative, higher-margin technologies.
"We have been getting reports from IBM India employees for the past 2 days," Lee Conrad, the international coordinator for the IBM Global Union Alliance, told us. "They say the cuts are very large, although we do not have any numbers yet."
In addition to the large-scale Indian job cuts, Conrad told us that job cuts were ongoing in Europe, with countries hit so far including Norway (35 jobs), France (between 438 and 500), Belgium (105), Italy (430), and the Netherlands (240).
"We expect more in other countries. The number could reach 15,000 world wide," he said.
In related news, IBM was recently rumored to have retained Goldman Sachs to help it price up its chip division for a possible sale. If true, by the end of this year IBM's grim redundancy reaper will likely need a lie down to recover from its bleak "returning value to shareholders" scything.
Selected reader comments follow:
They are carrying out stack ranking to work out who to keep in the Australian part of the business and the only good news on my part is that I'm not on the radar for this quarter... My team is down to our last 6 members (of a team that peaked at 24) while my Indian counterparts number at 64 (with them managing less than half the server fleet we managed previously). The directive is that all the Australian teams lose minimum one person per quarter as part of 'rebalancing' so by the end of the year it would be down to 2 technical staff here.
According to Israeli biz news site Calcalist, Diligent, XIV, and Storwize – all three Israeli companies acquired by Big Blue – were housed by the firm in the R&D division of its Storage Technologies Group in Haifa, Israel.
Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter told analysts the company will take a “workforce re-balancing” charge of about $1 billion this year, roughly the same charge it took in 2013.
Tony Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein Research in New York City, said it costs IBM about $70,000 to let an employee go, meaning if the latest re-organization mostly is related to staff reductions, the $1 billion charge suggests the company could be cutting 10,000 to 15,000 workers. IBM has about 400,000 employees total in more than 170 countries.
A selected comments follows:
If, the U.S. falters, so does the rest of the world. Emerging markets are slumping and will continue stagnant growth as America struggles with unemployment and slow sales.
The wealthy 1% can only buy so many socks, cars and meals etc. The middle class of America is key to growth and the middle class is being destroyed.
“This is no surprise to IBM employees,” Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the union, wrote in an email Wednesday to its mailing list, which includes members, company workers and journalists. “Employees are being pushed out the door in order for executives to reach their goal of $20 earnings per share and greater wealth for them and large stockholders.”
IBM Spokesman Doug Shelton declined to comment. ...
Alliance@IBM is calling for employees to wear black and blue every Wednesday to “signify the bad treatment of employees by executive management.” The workers’ group also is calling for informational picket lines, off company premises, with the message: “No job cuts, Halt Roadmap 2015.”
IBM once employed more than 30,000 people in the mid-Hudson Valley, but that number is down to about 7,000 workers, and it seems obvious the downward spiral will continue. ...
Public-private partnerships in luring more companies here are part of the equation. The tax incentives that have gone to IBM clearly have not created jobs over the last decade or so — but it’s a bit harder to determine how many they have saved from vanishing earlier.
AOL had recently altered its 401(k) program, switching its matching payments to one lump sum at year-end instead of throughout the year. The change would have disadvantaged AOL employees, especially those who left the company before Dec. 31. On an internal call last Thursday discussing the new policy, he had attributed the change partly to soaring medical costs associated with two families’ “distressed babies.”
In an email to employees late on Saturday, Mr. Armstrong announced the company’s reversal.
“The leadership team and I listened to your feedback over the last week,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “We heard you on this topic. And as we discussed the matter over several days, with management and employees, we have decided to change the policy back to a per-pay-period matching contribution.”
Selected reader comments follow:
The trend is to cut skilled older workers, replace them with inexperienced younger workers who can be underpaid, overworked and afforded essentially no benefits at all.
How ironic is it that many around my age, late 50s, that still have to work, are left to scramble to try to hang onto what we have built, only to look forward to having to deal with the attitude displayed by guys like Mr. Armstrong. We are problems, sick kids are problems, employees are problems in general.
Except for the fact, if it were not for all those problem folks, guys like this arrogant CEO wouldn't have the keys to the bank.
Armstrong would be nothing without his employees, but he clearly is of the ranks of CEOs who see their workers as peons who should be beholden to him and his entourage for even having a job. This attitude is all too pervasive in the United States today.
I bet Armstrong votes Republican and supports ALEC.
Employees are not valued. After all, the more benefits cut and the lower the pay, the more millions for the top execs. Thus employees' life situations are not important nor a consideration.
Anyone in their fifties is facing a lay-off at anytime. Due to their age they will also find it difficult to impossible to find a new job that remotely compares to the old job. That is unless they are a member of the we-DESERVE-to-be-super-rich executives club. They make millions and millions while decrying the very thought of a minimum wage of $10/hr.
Who cares if employees can feed their children? The club where even the worst performers are assured they will be given millions to move on to their new job and new huge pay package.
Too bad so many employees are opposed to forming unions. Their chances of climbing the financial ladder are dimming, as are their chances (and their children's) of having a middle-class to hang onto.
The list includes Deutsche Bank, IBM (which drew some attention when it made the change in late 2012), Charles Schwab and Advocate Health Care, the largest health system in Illinois. According to several emails from readers, it seems that the trend has recently caught on among federal government contractors, too.
Charles Schwab is especially striking since the company advises investors to make regular contributions to their investments, a method known as "dollar cost averaging." The firm's web site offers as good an explanation as any for why matching with every paycheck is superior to getting a lump sum. ...
For all workers, the annual lump-sum can also be bad for another reason. Companies that hand out annual matches often require employees to be at the company in December to qualify for the pay, except if they retired, become disabled, or died during the year. But based on recent history, layoffs are most likely to occur in the fourth quarter of the year, right when employees could have the most to lose if their firm pays out its match annually.
Selected reader comments:
IBM and Schwab didn't get that same publicity so they got away with it. It shows just how little say average working men and working women have in this economic system. The only time working men and women are referred to these days occurs when the monthly unemployment statistics are reported. And, then they are not referred to as working men or women but "the labor market" not unlike the cattle market or the hog market.
We need a new "Square Deal" for working men and women. It's in the national interest to do so. When we were a successful economic nation workers had a seat at the table with representation from labor leaders such as George Meany, Walter Reuther, and, I.W. Able.
You can call what we have now as a post-Civil War "sharecropper" economy , or, a "Banana Republic" economy, or, it you prefer, a "Banana Republican" economy.
In doing so, the company was following the example of several large companies, like IBM and Charles Schwab. About 17 percent of employers matched 401(k) contributions in an annual lump sum in 2012, up from 12.9 percent in 2009, according to the Plan Sponsor Council of America.
It is easy to see why companies are switching to lump-sum contributions: It saves them money. They get to keep until the end of the year the money they would have ordinarily put into workers’ accounts every week or every two weeks. Businesses that choose this approach also get to keep the money that they would have contributed to the retirement accounts of workers who leave for other jobs or are unfortunate enough to be laid off before the end of the year. ...
Lump-sum payments expose workers to potentially greater financial risk, because retirement funds that would have been invested in stocks and bonds over the course of a year when companies matched contributions with every paycheck will, under these new policies, be invested all at once at the end of the year. If stocks are rising, as they have been in the last few years, that means the lump sum will be invested in the market when stocks are more expensive than if they were purchased throughout the year.
Last Saturday, Mr. Armstrong, along with apologizing, did the right thing in announcing that AOL would reverse the change in its 401(k) policy. Other companies using this kind of contribution approach or considering adopting it should think twice about the damage it does to employee retirement plans.
The answer? Close to $50,000 in today’s dollars by the time they retired, according to calculations that the 401(k) and mutual fund giant Vanguard made this week. That buys a lot of trips to see the grandchildren — or scores of nights in a nursing home.
Mr. Armstrong ultimately reversed the change after the uproar over the singling out of particular employees. Still, everyone who saves in a 401(k) or similar plan needs to take a close look at what AOL was trying to do, so they can recognize it and protest if their employer tries to do something like it. While there are plenty of federal regulations governing the basic administration and safeguarding of employer-provided retirement accounts, companies have a lot of leeway to alter their own plans in ways that can cost employees plenty. AOL’s attempt is an unpleasant reminder that employers can and will make changes to employee benefits programs for any reason at all. ...
Second, the change at AOL might well have simply sailed through had Mr. Armstrong not tried to pin it partly on a couple of infants. He may have done us all a favor, though. In an Aon Hewitt survey of employers taken right after IBM announced its change, 22 percent of them said that the primary barrier to moving to a last-day rule was concern about their own employees reacting badly.
Selected reader comments follow:
Private sector employees bought into the 401(k) myth as the third leg of a secure retirement. Then, corporations took away pensions and now they are whittling away at the 401(k). Meanwhile, the political arm of corporate America -- the GOP -- wants to "privatize" Social Security.
The elite executive class doesn't feel this pain -- they impose it.
In the last ten years, employees of all stripes have seen salaries stagnate, health care benefits decline, 401K matches diminish, and other indirect benefits on the job disappear. And, during the same time, executive compensation in their companies have often skyrocketed.
Many times, these cuts aren't precipitated by dire financial consequences within the entity; instead, employers initiate them simply because they can...given the weak job market coupled with similar trends followed by other employers.
The head of the world's biggest technology services company arrives in China's capital on Wednesday for three days of meetings with government leaders, according to people familiar with her visit. The visit comes as U.S. firms like IBM and Cisco Systems Inc seek to restore trust with Chinese regulators and reverse slumping sales. ...
In Beijing, Rometty will have meetings with Chinese officials including Vice Premier Wang Yang, responsible for helping to formulate China's economic policy. The IBM chief also is expected to meet officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and top state-backed customers. ...
Rometty is the second top IBM executive to travel to Beijing in the last four months to meet Chinese officials.
In November, IBM dispatched its head of governmental programs, Christopher Padilla, the former Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Commerce Department, following announcement of the company's third-quarter earnings. ...
In December, Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund sued IBM at U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accusing the firm of concealing how the U.S. spying scandal would reduce its China business. IBM had lobbied Congress to pass legislation allowing it to share personal data of customers in China and elsewhere with the NSA, the lawsuit claimed.
"These allegations are ludicrous and irresponsible and IBM will vigorously defend itself in court," IBM spokesman Doug Shelton said in an e-mail.
"It's really sad to see this happen," said Earl Mongeon of Alliance@IBM.
The workers union Alliance@IBM received an anonymous tip the company will be laying off workers by the end of February.
"That the job cuts are coming and this time around I guess they're going to notify the state. Any time they notify the state that usually triggers the WARN Act, which means it's going to be over 500 employees," Mongeon said.
A few decades ago, pensions were almost taken for granted by both public and private employees. They promised that people who worked a specified number of years for one employer would receive a certain amount each month, for life, after they retired. That amount was usually based on their income in the years before retirement.
As I’ve written before, the concurrent trends of slashing public workers’ pensions and increasing taxpayer subsidies for corporations are not unrelated. To the contrary, the Ocean State is the latest to show how those two capers are operating in tandem to convert retiree nest eggs into yet more handouts to the super-rich.
The latest twist in this already rancid grotesquerie involves a $100,000 check passed from a former Enron trader to a front-group helping a politician billed as a rising national star in her party. Before I get to that, though, we need to travel back four years when this cartoonish tale began with two seemingly disparate events: the rise and fall of a major league baseball player’s software firm, and the low-key election of a treasurer in the smallest state in the country. ...
Raimondo was certainly correct in noting that Rhode Island was facing shortfalls in its pension system. However, as the Economic Policy Institute documents, those shortfalls were “largely due not to overly generous benefits, but to the failure of state and local government employers to pay their required share of pensions’ cost.” Instead of making those contributions, the state (like many others) had been using money owed to pension funds to pay for stuff like the $356 million a year in corporate subsidies, even though there is little proof that they are a solid job-creating investment. Put another way, politicians have been taking money needed to fulfill negotiated pension-fund commitments and instead using the cash to subsidize the corporate class – aka the elite constituency that disproportionately finances those politicians’ reelection campaigns. ...
More broadly, the entire episode reveals that while polls suggest that both pension cuts and corporate welfare are unpopular, there is plenty of oligarch money mobilized to support the politicians who most loyally aid the Great American Pension Heist. That’s because the heist isn’t just a crime against retirees in a vacuum. It is a wealth transfer from those retirees to the richest of the rich.
There have been 356,765 shares sold, and there have been 1,000 shares purchased by insiders since January 2013. ...
There have been four different insiders selling IBM, and there have not been any insiders buying IBM during the last 30 days. All four of these insiders decreased their holdings by more than 10%. IBM has an insider ownership of 0.10%.
To be considered for NAFE’s list, companies need a minimum of two women on their boards and at least 1,000 employees in the U.S. NAFE chooses the top 50 based on women’s representation at all levels, employees’ access to and use of programs and policies that promote women’s advancement, training opportunities and managers’ accountability. NAFE sends out invitations to 1,000 companies. To participate, a firm must fill out a lengthy form with some 200 questions. NAFE chose the 50 best companies from 250 firms that responded.
IBM stands out because it’s the only one of the top 10 with a female CEO. In 2011 the century-old tech giant tapped Virginia Rometty for the top job. IBM also has an impressive share of female senior managers, 26%, and 22% of its executives are women, according to NAFE. Those are strong numbers, given that 30% of its 433,000 employees are women. IBM even goes after female executives who have left the company through something called the Reconnections initiative, which offers continuing education and networking
“It’s an early signal that bondholders want a slightly larger premium to hold IBM because of the disappointing results, the challenges it’s facing in the hardware business and favoring shareholder returns over improving balance-sheet fundamentals,” said Nikhill Patel, an analyst at San Antonio-based Frost Investment Advisors LLC, which oversees about $10 billion and doesn’t own IBM bonds.
Debt investors are demanding higher interest rates about two months after money manager Stan Druckenmiller said he’s betting against the stock of IBM, the only company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to deliver a loss to shareholders last year. The century-old Armonk, New York-based business has attempted to support its equity by selling assets, using tax havens and repurchasing shares, which has coincided with an increase in its ratio of debt to cash flow.
Cons: As usual with big companies, too many processes, takes too many approvals to get things done. You have to work hard to stand out, But that is true for any other company. Don't expect big bonuses or stock options.
Advice to Senior Management: Get rid of the slackers, and drive individual product teams like a startup culture, While leveraging the IBM branding, Sales and marketing machine to drive growth and revenue.
Cons: Focus on EPS benefits senior management's compensation, but clouds management's perceptions of what is required to compete against Amazon, Google, and startups. Management doesn't get innovation and how to create an environment where individuals take ownership. Stovepipes prevent communication and collaboration. Comp plans actually incentivize groups NOT to cooperate. Rounds of layoffs have lead to demotivation, and lack of CEO communications leads to more FUD.
Advice to Senior Management: Focus on solving customer business issues, not providing technology components (Watson, big data, mobile, etc.) IBM's cost structures will never be competitive with startups, so value is paramount. For each focus, create small SWAT teams lead by a "Steve Jobs" visionary who can handle technical/sales/product management, and give that person access to Ginny to get the job done, with a hand-picked team of maybe another 5 people. Define metrics that address the real issue of customer wins that lead to repeatable sales. And support whatever s/he (leader) needs, even if that means double-compensation across divisions, pulling senior techies out of different divisions, etc. Need to break a lot of glass to move IBM into a lead position.
Cons: Lack of responsibility, lack of purpose, lack of career guidance, 'training' is entirely misdirected, people outside of CdB don't respect the program, the program is constantly over-hiring leaving people on the bench for MONTHS at a time, the 100-year-old culture, etc...
Advice to Senior Management: Stop lying. This isn't McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, Accenture, etc. and it never will be. You sell the program to be of pure strategy consulting when in reality, that is the last way I'd describe it to be. The flashy trip to Orlando with the 10% of people who have positive experiences in the program only leaves us more disappointed when we find out it's all a lie.
Stop hiring business majors who have no interested in IT, stop hiring pre-med majors, stop hiring international relations majors and START hiring IT-focused students and only IT-focused students.
A supply chain major does not want to work on a software implementation project as a glorified secretary for 9 months. Reevaluate everything about your recruiting strategy. Having a mass exodus of consultants in the 1.5 to 2.5 year time frame after hiring is wasting money.
The idea that corporations exist to reward their shareholders arose not in a body of law but from the work of ideologically driven economists. In 1970, Milton Friedman wrote that business properly had but one goal: to maximize profits. The same year, Friedman’s University of Chicago colleague Eugene Fama argued that a corporation’s share price was always the accurate reflection of the enterprise’s worth, an idea that trickled down into the belief that the proper goal of a corporation was to boost its share value — particularly after most CEO salaries and bonuses became linked to that value.
Beginning in the 1980s, when General Electric chief executive Jack Welch laid off more than a quarter of GE’s employees while driving its share value higher, American business abandoned its earlier “stakeholder” model — in which it sought to balance the interests of workers, shareholders and the larger community — in favor of the shareholder model, under which investment in promising new ventures and the pay and benefits of employees were sacrificed on the altar of short-term profits and share value.
So stocks soar — the share value of the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 30 percent last year — while wages and investment languish. ...
Apologists for the 1 percent generally argue that our rising levels of inequality are the consequence of globalization and technological change — forces of nature over which mere people and nations have had no control. They often blame U.S. workers for lacking sufficient training. But they omit from their diagnosis the shift from stakeholder to shareholder capitalism. This is not surprising, as it’s a shift that Wall Street and corporate executives brought about.
Indeed, the German economy is every bit as subject to the forces of globalization and technology as ours, but inequality is lower there, and German workers have more security and opportunity than ours, because German capitalism still adheres to the stakeholder model.
If we think, as Wales apparently does, that our own form of capitalism is required by the legal obligations on corporations, we’re sadly misinformed. Shareholder capitalism is sustained not by law but by an institutional edifice of greed. The U.S. economy will not work again for the American people until they tear down that edifice.
Okay, there was one other area of significant innovation: *talking* about innovation. The IBM I joined in 1985 slowly morphed into what might be called "Innovative Blathering Machine", clinging fiercely to corporate political correctness in the form of hollow phrases like"Six Sigma Quality", "Innovation that Matters", "Smarter Planet". LOL! I was constantly astounded by what a stupid planet IBM *itself* was, quashing innovation in the name of org charts every possible opportunity. The dichotomy between how IBM portrayed itself and what I knew about it was a perpetual source of fear, loathing, and insecurity, as in "just when *is* the other shoe going to drop?" Well, for me it dropped last summer when they kept younger slogan chatterers and got rid of the only person in the shop who could make machines sing.
Word to the wise who make it through the next RA. If you want to innovate, go somewhere else. If you want to stay with Innovating Blathering Machine, put your finger on the pulse of business phrases in vogue, and chatter up that nonsense every chance you get in earshot of those who've come to equate innovation with being able to parrot that crap. And hope the ship doesn't completely sink before you reach retirement age, which for IBM is more like 50 these days. -truth-of-the-matter-
Basically in IBM, with these utilization rates you have no 'earned vacation', holidays, personal choice days or sick time since you are 'expected' to work extra hours for any time off. You are also being evaluated on your achieving this 100% plus utilization rate.
Since the older employee has more vacation time it appears to me that IBM is openly and clearly practicing age discrimination since the employee with more vacation time has to work more hours to compensate for their 'earned vacation'. For example, am employee who attempts to take their 4 weeks or 5 weeks vacation has to work an additional 132 (3 weeks time 44 hours at 110% utilization) or 144 hours (3 weeks times 48 at 120% utilization) over the employee who only has 2 weeks vacation. Join the union...one thing is for sure, IBM is not going to treat you any better in the future. -Joe-
They called the IBM grants "corporate welfare" and promoted transparency and accountability for large corporations. The activists said Big Blue has laid off or outsourced an estimated 4,000 jobs in New York. State Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck, said,
"I think we"d be better off taking a lot of that money that we're giving IBM and other corporations like that and then investing it in the entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them create jobs. I have a bill, "Hire New York," that does just that."
Managers whom you may have considered mentors will avoid you. Coworkers who were less effective than you will remain because of their age or other factors unrelated to skills and contributions. Furthermore, you will need to account for where you were with any ongoing intellectual property, package it, and turn it over to those same coworkers. If you work remotely, you will have to play the executioner to wiping your workstation clean, packaging it up, and sending it back. The joy you once knew in balancing work and life via that workstation, and being able to jump back into the ongoing action at all hours of the day and night will be gone.
You will learn the hard, cold truth that IBM couldn't care less about innovation that matters or creating a smarter planet. Rather, it cares only about creating a more attractive stock. That is IBM's one true product. And oh, what a fool you've been for imagining that your participation was in the service of anything more than that purely abstract product. It's going to sting, and sting hard as the more-significant-than-you-could-have-imagined component of your proud identity known as "being an IBMer" is ripped from your chest. Welcome to the underbelly of the American Dream, the old and chipped lead paint beneath the thin veneer of corporate slogans. And good luck. -empathetic-
There are a host of other considerations that go into formulating skews, which are reviewed and re-reviewed by HR and Finance many times before they are finalized. Historically, the skew has been around 10% 1's, 25% 2+'s, 30% 2's, and 35% 3's. However, I have heard about VERY few 1's this cycle, so that may be as low as 1 or 2%, especially in light of Ginni's recent announcement that only 1's will receive GDP payments this year. -Voting Alliance Member-
In that same presentation, she went on to say that the vast majority of IBM Employees would also not be receiving Growth Driven Profit-Sharing Program (GDP) payments. Payments under both of these programs are often referred to as a "bonus" in the vernacular. The point of the original post was that just days after Ginni said "we did not generate a pool for GDP payments", she turned around and took $6M in zero-cost basis stock grants.
Moreover, if you'll examine the 2011 Summary Compensation Table on Pages 42 and 43 a bit further, particularly Column "j", you'll see that Ginni's predecessor received almost $88M in Total Compensation for just the 3 years reported in that document. So, with apologies to William Shakespeare: That which we call an Executive Bonus by any other name would smell as foul. -Something's Rotten and its Stench is Getting Worse-
Moreover, you would also have a Shop Steward (who is NOT an IBM Manager and has the best interests of the Employees she or he represents at heart) available to answer questions and take grievances to Management. As has been mentioned before, having Union Representation may not be a perfect solution, but it is the ONLY ... I repeat, THE ONLY solution available to IBM Employees who fall under the jurisdiction of US Labor Law to get us out of our current predicament.
Join the Alliance TODAY!!! The sooner we have enough IBM Employees join the Alliance, the sooner we can petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a vote and begin negotiations for your wages and benefits that will be set forth IN WRITING, and not what some crooked IBM Senior Manager decides they're going to be! -Voting Alliance Member-
Sales reps will be fired en mass but will be allowed to be hired by business partners, just not for the same product/territory. Info Mgmt and Analytics will be the last to be sold off but all are vulnerable. You may get hired by the business partner, but at 2/3 your current pay. However, bonuses and commissions might be better...or at least easier to understand.
STG is the first salvo but won't be the last. I suspect SWG CTP's will be spared, at least for awhile, since technical resources are hard to come by and are still needed. -Anonymous-
The general perception here is that if you are still with IBM, it is because you did not find a job elsewhere. Phew !! that just means to say IBM STG is being considered the worst place to be at this time. We all at STG India would like to express solidarity with the IBM USA work force preparing for yet another RA in the coming weeks. Rest assured we do not feel any better being employed with IBM either. The flood gates are opening and I anticipate that we will lose all our above average work force in the next 3 months. Good luck to you all, I am sure there is life outside of IBM. bye for now, time to update my resume, keep in touch. -STG INDIA-
When I became ill again in 2011 after changing jobs I decided to go the STD route to protect myself and to give myself the grace to be able to get better after 13 years of service. My 2nd line told me that I hadn't "given him enough headlights" and got really annoyed when I wouldn't tell him what I had. I had to get HR involved on that one.
I came back full power after a 6 week leave and worked my tail off until I was let go without warning in 2013. No severance. PBC 2+ for 2011 and 2012. I figure that my 2nd line cut me as soon he could without it looking like it was directly tied to my leave. The crazy part is that I was an extremely high performing employee as soon as I got better. There is no empathy for someone dealing with anything personal - health, family issues, etc. It is very sad and I am so glad that I am gone. IBM has no heart. -BlindSidedinRTP-
RAs expected to last till Friday. The fear is that HCM might be wiped off totally in a day or two. EDA and methodology numbers not yet available.
People broke down after seeing the inhuman treatment. Laptops along with the cases were confiscated, so several employees were seen crying and exiting building carrying and balancing their personal belongings with their two hands -STG INDIA-
She says we have to focus on the customer. I work hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime and yet, I don't see a raise nor a bonus.
Then there is the novel idea of keeping the 401K match, till the end of the year. They are using our money to fund the salaries of the top execs.
The regular IBMer is slogging and struggling and does not even get the wages he/she deserves. IBM is pathetic. And to push up the stock they will start laying off more. Makes no sense, when the regular IBM employees don't make the market wages and yet the company comes out with some stupid formula to say that we are some of the best paid, to deny raises. -Worried_at_IBM-
Despite having far exceeded my business commitments, I was charged with being "distracted". Well, my"distractions" consisted of leveraging my software development skills to automate creation and testing of technical information deliverables, as well as automatically monitoring search engine rankings, and picking up additional skills to that end. Mostly on my own time, mind you, which is why I still managed to far exceed my business commitments.
Had that happened in 2013 instead of 2012, it might have been called "Think 40". Instead, it was called "being distracted". Coworkers without such skills, or who didn't expand the scope of their skills in ways that could amplify their contributions were retained.
Given that microcosmic snafu, it makes sense that IBM can't compete with companies that value "skilling outside the box", so to speak. IBM will cling to its obedient servants who are careful to not stray too far from doing things the same old IBM ways to the very end, which is clearly fast approaching - at least in ecosystems where innovation truly matters, and where the market is no longer fooled by abstract mumbo jumbo like "creating a smarter planet". The proof is in the pudding, and IBM's pudding is now no more than powder and water.
Also, my condolences to Indian IBMers (well, *former* IBMers) who are now experiencing IBM's callous indifference. Seems like just yesterday (it was 4 years ago, actually) that my career shifted from software development to being shuffled between organizations that didn't really want me after my software development project was moved to India. Apparently it's your turn to be seen more as a commodity than a creative human being. -skills-be-damned-
You see, we have IBM equipment installed but since they have made it very clear they want out of the hardware business, we have decided for the good of our own company that we will help them get out of the hardware business even quicker. Which is why we are replacing IBM blades and Power machines with DELL blades, IBM DS8* storage units with EMC symmetrix, and IBM tape libraries with HP everstor.
We can no longer bet the company on IBM's dismal long term prospects. Many of our business partners are doing the same thing. As for their services, mobile, cloud and data analytics, NO THANKS! You can keep your Watson and go play some more jeopardy. -misty-
When I joined IBM through an acquisition I thought it was a great career move with fantastic opportunities. Instead it became a millstone. I don't regret my time there, wonderful and talented people, some great products but overall it was a soul sucking experience that I am happy to have put an end to.
It's sad but IBM has become a company run by accountants and accountants have little interest in real technological innovation. Overall I am sure IBM will survive in some form but I suspect that eventually it will become just another also ran in the technological race. -glad-to-be-gone-
Hence, it is important you also do what is best for you. This means slaving away for more than 40 hours is ill advised. PBCs and utilization ratings are designed to extract all your paid vacation time back to IBM. To hit the utilization that is required of you, you would have to work 44 hours or more. IBM would have gained back your paid vacation time. In the end, when you are old, IBM will have separated from you but the same will be said for your neglected family and life. PBC is a fraud that is used to discard you when needed or to make you needlessly work harder like the galley slaves on a Ben Hur Roman ship.
People, without some form of collective bargaining/union you will just keep playing musical chairs and be abused by companies run by shareholders and crooked management - like IBM. Make sure to encourage others that will be staying to join the Alliance. Anyone try complaining to Buffet? Where is that much ballyhooed and supposed mid-western ethic, character and honesty when we need it?
Indian Government and entrepreneurs + actors and cricketers have looted the country for decades. Not many jobs have been created in India and without the IT boom, many of us would have been doomed without jobs.
IT companies in India suck everything out of you - the life and what is left of the dead body. Working hours are long. Some companies even keep track of physical access to compute working time. Salaries are very low, rewards low. The top management and yes-men reap all the rewards. We are entitled to approx 20 vacation days per year but are seldom allowed to use them. >90% of Indian managers are junk and are just not fit for the job. There is lot of back stabbing and mutual welfare is very rare.
A couple of years back, a new social movement promised much but we have not seen much yet - such deep rooted is corruption.
Just as executives get paid well, our actors and cricketers are paid mammoth amounts. These people endorse products as well and our product prices are much higher because of it. Inflation is in double digit. Sometimes it is distressing to know that half the population is dishonest - we got the leaders we deserved. Government employees do not do their jobs without bribes. We have poor teachers in educational institutes. Another debatable point is the existence of reservation based on caste in education as well as jobs. How many know all about India? -An Indian dreaming for a better India-
Alliance reply: There is significant value in IBM's operations in China, and consider what amount of other (Global) US corporations have vested there, (many of IBM's customers) and the fact that China holds more than a $Trillion worth of US Treasury bonds that play a big role in the global market's "breathing apparatus". IBM Execs know which side their bread is buttered on, despite what they seem to do. IBM does not care as much about India as they do China. No uprising is allowed by workers in China.
After a while it became kind of a game of chicken with reality, knowing that innovating would cast one in a bad light, thus making skill acquisition mostly a waste of time, and yet suspecting that there would have to be competitive marketplace consequences *somewhere* along the line. And so now there's this glut of RA'd IBMers looking for work who didn't have to be much more than sheep to succeed within IBM, and thus are wholly unprepared to compete with those who worked in truly innovation-driven environments.
The IBM tech stigma/stain is painfully valid. At 52, I can only hope to catch a break and be able to personally demonstrate the skills that I acquired independent of the IBM internal games demanded by managers and project managers, which I mostly had to hide/bury while with IBM in order to not be labeled and penalized as "distracted" or otherwise not as much of a "team player". -sadly-concurring-
Alliance reply: There is a 3rd possibility: IBM realizes that their "offshoring" strategy since 1999 was never really designed for any long term stockholders other than their own executives. Their business model of destroying hardware and buying other small software and services companies to boost their revenue and stock price is showing the weak fibers of its fabric.
IBM employees have been the "whipping boys & girls" at every turn in their quest. As a stock holder, you must have seen this in the past 15 years.
Our mission has always been to get the US IBMers to see this and step yup to the plate and do something about it. It's the "same ole same old". The stock holders (not the executive ones) should also organize as a share voting block and demand that IBM cease the idiocy that it continues to practice. Just a suggestion.
Also, heard that 50% of PBC reviews including management were only rated a two and we would not be receiving our usual yearly variable pay. Interesting part is that upper management wasn't signed or closed out anyone's 2013 PBC and the link from PBC Blue pages is no longer available.
No talk about this Year's 2014 objectives. Serious manpower and morale issues here and with the new pending layoff have never recovered from the last STG layoff.
Our site also had a complete reorganization and our new micro manager never as much looks you in the eye and we haven't had a department status meeting since then. Told another employee that before his second line told him about the previous layoff he had already heard about it from a member of the Alliance!
They just don't care; no longer in the PC business with the manufacture of computer micro chips up for grabs. Main interest now is for their corporate shareholders. Using expendable employees as blood money and everything going down the drain!! -Corporate Greed
Alliance reply: There is an organization in India that is affiliated with the IBM Global Union alliance. It is UNITES Professionals and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org We encourage all IBM India workers to contact them.
Unfortunately he managed up the same way he managed down, and he equally challenged his management and championed his employees. This did not sit well with the IBM senior management who simply want to issue orders, not be part of a conversation. Ultimately he left in frustration, even though IBM didn't want him to (probably because customers loved him, due to his refusal to up-sell anything until the stuff they'd already paid for was working as the sales guy promised).
Every single communication I see from senior management is about numbers or vague high-level abstract ideas with nothing tangible attached to them. IBM is sinking because of the obsession with saving a penny now, even if it means giving up a dollar down the road. -On the way out-
I was not unemployed for a single day and I had multiple job offers and interviews almost every day. Many RA'd people with good skills don't have to worry...you may be thankful later on that IBM gave you that push in the back to find a better life. That's how I see it. A lot of folks have to focus on a life outside of IBM...don't assume it is your destiny to stick around in IBM until you retire.
If you are still in IBM, it is critical to do projects and sharpen skills that you really need in your interviews. So, cut down on anything Microsoft Office related and meetings...do design work, or even programming. Also, get in the faces of clients as much as possible and show what you can do. Remember, it is NOT important what IBMers think of you, as it really does NOT matter, but make sure you look good to clients and business partners you work with. -Fairness101-
I also saw many friends who were laid off, struggle to find jobs and that really bothered me. I spent the better part of six months studying and applying for jobs outside of IBM. I frequently encountered negative comments and stereotypes about IBMers from recruiters, HR personnel, and other engineers. Unfortunately, regardless of your skill set there is a general pessimism towards IBMers. I think the longer your tenure at any company, the more skepticism people will have towards your skill set.
Looking back I think I thought the severance package was worth waiting for mainly because I had started to believe what some managers at IBM had instilled in me: fear and self-doubt. Many times when I complained about pay, bonus money, or ratings, I got the good old "you should be happy you have a job". The last one my manager gave me was,"IBM offers a lot of flexibility for you and your family".
It is not IBM's responsibility to keep you skilled, but it?s usually good question to ask yourself: can this job/company help me grow professionally? I feel pretty blessed that I left and I think it was a smart move emotionally and professionally. I have encouraged friends to leave as well, but for some that just seems impossible. I don't think you can right the ship, there are just too many messed up things going on there. I hope the best for all IBMers and hope that I am wrong about IBM. Good Luck IBMers. -goodluck and goodbye-
As people are under employed or unemployed they lack the buying power to purchase goods or services which, in the end will comeback to affect US corporations - as it is already. For example, if fewer people are coming to the malls or shops, IBM will sell less Informix-based retail equipment to retailers, etc. Of course, the idiots in IBM management and Wall Street do not think deeply. They rule by Cognos reports and metrics in an ivory tower. -Think Deep-
I saw one post from an Indian employee on here saying how much more talented and skilled they were than their US counter emps. Well, the skill sets have leveled out now, huh? IBM just axed 2000 in India not-a-star hit it spot on. Listen to what he said.
Remember the drive that got you here because that is the drive you will need for sitting back in your chair soaking up the temporary employee benefits. Do something to make others proud. Stand up for yourselves and Unionize. You have already proven to management you are not worth fighting for, thus the layoffs. Make them put their focus on making more money and not cutting costs by standing up and being brave.
I left IBM for a better job, but I will be the first to admit, there are not a lot of "better jobs" out there. The corporation I work for has the same push on its employees, long hours, 24x7 availability expectations, carry a cell phone for the company, good pay, skimpy benefits, and a non caring jerk for a manager. No greener grass on the other side. -not-a-star 2-
There is a sense of pride over being able to state that we worked an exorbitant amount of hours this week, last week, or last month. I know because I've done it in the past, and probably still do it *sigh*. After all, saying you worked a 60 hour week is indirectly telling the listener how busy your design firm is; how successful your product is; how important you are to your employer. It's essentially a humble brag.
But as you dig into the 60-hour work week, you realize it is a problem. Not just for the obvious reasons either, like work/life balance, burnout, how unhealthy it is, errors that come with being tired and so forth. http://jeffarchibald.ca/60-hour-work-week-badge-honour/ -anonymous-
HubG Precisely. But we should not be too soft on Boeing: It was the bean counters at Boeing that heard about the general malicious rumour that 'you can get rid of your top employees, to whom you pay "too much", and let your other employees "rise to the occasion" - do their jobs for less pay.'
It was the mentally challenged bean counters who offered early retirement packages, and got rid of the people who knew how to do the job. And so the time came that production at Boeing ground to a halt! The guys that knew the proper work-arounds to assembly problems had gone. Obviously, the same false propaganda was applied to the designing and engineering personnel. These basic faults should have never been there in the first place. It puts Boeing at the level of technically challenged Chinese car makers." http://news.sky.com/story/1195209/dreamliner-grounded-as-white-smoke-spotted -Boeing-
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