One worker, who asked not to be identified, said that protests began on Monday and production remained suspended at the IBM manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, the industrial centre bordering Hong Kong. The factory will be taken over by Lenovo as part of the Chinese company’s planned purchase of IBM’s low-end server business, announced in January. ...
“Employees currently involved in x86 operations in Shenzhen have a personal choice of going to Lenovo under terms and conditions comparable . . . to what they currently are receiving, or they can voluntarily choose what we believe is an equitable severance package,” IBM said. “While it is entirely an individual’s choice, we are hoping employees will decide to go to Lenovo.”
The Chinese computer company said it was aware of the industrial action but declined to comment further, noting that IBM was handling negotiations with the workers. The x86 transaction is expected to close this year.
According to a blog post, which showed pictures of IBM workers massed outside the factory, employees had been offered redundancy terms that included an Rmb6,000 ($980) lump sum payment if they signed by March 7.
The factory’s workers are demanding higher payments both for workers who agree to transfer to Lenovo and for those who decide to leave.
Unlike at the Research Triangle Park complex where layoffs spark little if any public protest, including layoffs that started last week, the IBM facility in Shenzhen City was blocked with hundreds of protesters gathered at the entrance.
A fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese and a native of China reviewed two protest videos and translated for WRALTechWire.
Many people carried signs and banners while at one time they also sang the Chinese national anthem.
Slogans on the banners included:
Chinese news site NTDTV also carried coverage of the strike. ...
In a statement last week, IBM confirmed the layoffs and defended the need for them.
“IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients and to pioneer new, high- value segments of the IT industry,” the company said.
But IBM is now going through a major restructuring after sustaining years of losses. These changes could result in some 13,000 layoffs, both in the U.S. and abroad. Some of these layoffs have already started, but the company will not confirm any numbers.
The Guardian’s Heidi Moore has been covering this story and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.
Editor's note: The synopsis here doesn't do justice to the actual content of the show. In the audio for the show, Heidi Moore speaks of how IBM's Roadmap 2015 goal is "not achievable" and talks extensively about how IBM is laying people off in an attempt to reach the $20 earning per share goal. After going to the link (IBM Slashes Jobs), click on the "play" icon to listen to the audio of the broadcast.
Laura Roberts is the rapid response coordinator for the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, the agency that provides services to workers after mass layoffs and plant closures. Roberts says her agency is required by law to respond within 48 hours to reports of layoffs. On Friday, one of her staff went to the Seterus office in person to discuss the layoffs with the human resource team.
“He was turned down flat. They were too busy to meet with him, he was told,” Roberts says.
According to local newspaper Greenock Telegraph, workers at the plant are bracing themselves for closure with manufacturing set to move to China once the sale of the volume server biz is concluded.
Employees are fearful that with only a storage line made at the facility there will be no economies of scale to keep the lights on and, "this will eventually go too," said one source quoted by the paper. ...
IBM, which is currently jettisoning 15k warm bodies according to unions, told us "change is a constant in our industry and transformation is a permanent feature of our business model". ...
The company said that given the "competitive nature" of its business it does not discuss staffing plans publicly, and IBM refused to deny it is set to make redundancies north of the border in Greenock.
“The latest deal between IBM and New York State seems to have raised more questions than it answers,” said Lalor. “Now we’re hearing reports about layoffs at IBM across the state. How did these layoffs figure into the deal? Both the state and IBM have been short on details about this agreement. The public can’t adequately assess the plan unless the details are available. This has been a long-standing problem in the State’s dealings with IBM and other companies receiving special tax benefits or other deals from the state.”
Lalor continued, “Right now IBM has about 7,000 employees in Dutchess County. Governor Cuomo’s office says the new agreement requires IBM to maintain 3,100 jobs in Dutchess County, Albany and Yorktown Heights. What does that mean for the remaining 3,900 just in Dutchess County? When the governor and IBM announce a deal, but offer few details, it raises these kinds of questions and concerns. The governor should release all of the details from the IBM agreement immediately.”
Workers were given assurances late last year that no further cuts would be warranted so early in the year. Sources said morale was low within IBM, due to the ongoing job losses.
An IBM Australia spokeswoman declined to directly comment on the job cuts.
She said that as reported in its recent earnings briefing, “IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high-value segments of the IT industry”. ...
Unions in the US have urged authorities to look into IBM’s headcount reduction practices.
The IBM Global Union Alliance said that in the past when resource actions took place, IBM would furnish a section called the OWBPA report that would list ages, titles, business unit and number of employees selected for a job cut.
The union said that IBM had eliminated that section with this round of cuts, claiming employee privacy concerns, which its spokesman Lee Conrad described as absurd.
Mr Conrad said this was IBM’s way of suppressing data used to verify and count the number of workers losing their jobs as well as exposing age discrimination in job cuts.
“We were given this information freely by employees with the sole purpose of breaking the secrecy of IBM job cuts,” Mr Conrad said. “Employees who were terminated understood how important this information was to their co-workers, their communities and to the media.
“This is just another attempt by IBM to hide the number of job cuts taking place and the continued destruction of the IBM employee population in the US.”
If the employees -- who all work in IBM's Systems and Technology Group, sometimes called the "hardware" division -- decide to leave IBM instead of moving to Lenovo, they will not be able to work for either company for a two year period, sources told CRN.
Lenovo, which acquired IBM's x86 server business for $2.3 billion earlier this month, is expected to offer jobs to some 7,500 IBM STG employees as part of that deal, which is still under regulatory review. Around 2,000 of these employees work at IBM's Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based facilities, WRAL Techwire reported last month.
Lenovo referred CRN's request for comment to an IBM spokesperson. "It is standard information technology industry practice to have a non-solicitation, no-hire provision in M&A contracts," IBM spokesperson Jeff Cross said in an email, declining to discuss further specifics of the contract. ...
The 7,500 IBM employees could face an uncertain future at their new employer. When Lenovo bought IBM's PC business in 2004, at least half of the IBM employees that moved over were terminated within two years, Lee Conrad, national coordinator of Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701, told CRN Friday.
One former IBM employee, who requested anonymity, told CRN the situation will probably turn out "nasty" for the IBM field sales and channel reps that move to Lenovo. "Lenovo runs very lean, and it will not need most of the IBM people," the source said.
Under normal circumstances, as each employee is subject to a "resource action," as a layoff is called in the IBM lingo, the paperwork has the location of each employee their titles, and their age. Many people who are let go from IBM share this paperwork with the Alliance@IBM, which under the effort of former IBMer Lee Conrad, who hails from the Endicott, New York, founding grounds of Big Blue, has been trying to unionize IBM workers for longer than I can remember. (It seems to be a thankless job, like being a co-op board president--something I know a thing or two about--but Conrad keeps at it in Local 1701 of the Communications Workers of America union.) Using these submitted documents, Conrad could track the layoffs by company division and group, which was useful. IBM has stopped putting this data on the paperwork because of privacy concerns, according to a report from WRAL TechWire down in North Carolina. ...
No one knows for sure how many jobs IBM plans to cut, and the estimates vary wildly from anywhere from several thousand to as many as 13,000 to 15,000. There were thousands of cuts rumored a few weeks ago in India, and presumably the pay is a lot lower there and therefore the layoff numbers could be very high. There was talk it was as high as 6,000 layoffs, but with a workforce in India that is rumored to have be over 100,000 people in it, this is not a huge amount. IBM has well under 100,000 employees in the United States these days, although how many is unclear because the company has not provided a breakdown of workers by country for many years.
Pros: Pay was above average for equivalent jobs.
Cons: Company is very unstable. Constant furloughs and layoffs. Project managers are very pushy. Managers always expect the impossible and no matter how many hours you give them, they want more, more, more. Worst company I ever worked for.
Advice to Senior Management: Grow a heart and invest in your people. Your company will sink if you don't grow employees that care about your company.
Pros: IBM is a very moral company. Similar to most companies the best part of being an IBMer is the other IBMers you get to work with.
Cons: Upper level management within STG is extremely out of touch with what is actually going on at basic technical levels. This is likely finally being noticed at higher levels with the recent layoffs.
Advice to Senior Management: Same as so many management books advise. Once senior management stops listening to the teams below them all is lost. As Lou Gerstner said, "don't be a presiding manager". Get into the details and understand why your people are telling you what they are telling you.
Pros: Focus is on results and customers. You work hard but the hours are somewhat flexible. Much of the work force is decentralized with many working from home which makes for a better work-life balance.
Cons: Has become much more billable hours focused. One feels like one is working at a law firm. If you're not putting in at least 25-50% overtime, you're not working hard enough. Many positions require 80% travel. Raises are 1-2% and sometimes skip years.
Pros: None None None and None whatsoever.
Cons: Management will use you and abuse you. give you meager pay and no raises/bonuses. (Even if there was, it'll be divided worldwide, which is about $50 after taxes). IBM will micromanage you to death and constantly increase your workload and place you on a quota system. Meet your quota of 3 tickets a day, then it automatically increases to 4 then 5 'till they cut down your department to bare bone. You'll be rated every quarter.
Your 401k will only be matched if you survive a whole year. Never have I experience so poor treatment and subjected to yearly sessions to belittle you on how easily replaceable you are and worthless. For those that got outsourced to IBM, well start looking for another job; it's a dead end. I had no choice when my previous company outsourced us to IBM.
Advice to Senior Management: Please continue your cost saving tactics and take your golden parachutes cause you'll be replaced and layoff eventually.
Pros: Big company, tons of resources, large client base. IBM has some of everything making them capable of competing with anyone in any space.
Cons: The pay is lower than industry average and the amazing benefits are starting to be watered down. Management is under ridiculous targets which can't be met, leading to negative feelings in the rank and file as we are very short sighted and cheap. Many managers and partners are not good consultants; they have just stayed for many years. Tons of politics.
Advice to Senior Management: Become a meritocracy, reduce regulation, reward and pay top contributors and stop bringing in new hires for tons of money then laying them off. Walk the talk. Look to new/younger resources who want to drive change--we must adapt!
Pros: - Opportunities for growth and career change. There are some 400,000 jobs at IBM and if you can fight through red tape you can get to one you really want. - Work/life balance is good from some positions, though it varies wildly. Some people do almost no work while others put in constant 80 hour weeks. - Well respected company with some good products.
Cons: I'm sure this is a problem with lots of large companies, but having everything driven by shareholders is ruining IBM.
I'll get some minor gripes out of the way. When I started 10+ years ago there were pensions and free healthcare. Of course pensions were phased out long ago and a good health plan now costs $600+/m for a small family.
The company continues to cut costs everywhere they can. In the time I have been there they phased out free sodas, then free coffee, then paid coffee in break rooms, then water coolers. We do still have running water in the sinks, though. Cafeteria food is extremely high priced. There are no office supplies.
Another major gripe is the 401K matching. They moved the date of matching to late December. So even though they say they are matching the 401K plan if you leave the company in November you don't get any matching.
The PBC ratings for employees needs an overhaul. I feel you should be motivated by doing a good job, not competing and undercutting your teammates. Pay is average at best. Raises are almost non-existent and can be influenced by other teams all over the world you've never heard of but are lumped into your group.
Too many layers of management. Management seems to think their job is to be on conference calls 8 hours a day that go nowhere. Projects that everyone knows are meaningless and fail are fast tracked while important ones are lost over years of feet dragging.
Innovation is suppressed by bureaucracy and red tape.
All that being said, there are some good jobs at IBM if you can find them. As always, if you know how to/are willing to play the game you'll get ahead.
Pros: Working at IBM has provided me the opportunity to work in team environments with individuals all across the world. IBM also (depending on your management) extends great flexibility as to your workplace—giving employees the opportunity to work from home as opposed to a traditional office environment.
Cons: The Company does not compensate its employees accordingly. One's starting salary is very competitive; however, after that, significant salary increases are few and far between. Performance bonuses are not substantial and only given to "top performers". The unfortunate part is, it is remotely impossible to achieve a "top performer" evaluation rating without completely selling your life out to the company.
There is also the constant threat of your job being moved out of the US, leaving you seeking work elsewhere. As far as workload, on average, I work 10-12 hour days every week, sometimes on Saturday, and still can never keep up with the demands.
Advice to Senior Management: I believe management needs to somehow refocus its attention on the talent it has at hand and providing incentives to cut costs through improving business processes as opposed to always cutting talent to cut cost. The loss of talent due to the transition of work to lower cost countries is going to be bring about the downfall of IBM very soon.
Pros: A lot of opportunity within the company. Allowing you to move around over the years.
Cons: Terrible communication and culture fueled my Sr. Management. Weekly focus on numbers causes a crazy number of sales cadence calls. A toxic attitude has become pervasive after years of lay offs with little to no communication. EPS goals for Wall Street are hurting morale and customer satisfaction.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop focusing week to week and work on strategy. Let 1st and 2nd line management manage the day to day. Stop the cursing. Somehow we need to adjust the style from one where screaming every week is accepted. Management through intimidation is out of control at all levels of the organization.
Pros: Great collaboration amongst employees. Dealing with bleeding edge technology .Plenty of learning to do, if you want it. Flexibility on when you come in and leave, working from home, as long as you get your work done.
Cons: Too many meetings. Dated buildings. Poor management structure. Little to no hope of receiving a bonus/raise and if you do, it's insignificant at that. Too much work for too little employees, and still cutting. No loyalty to employees.
Pros: Work with some good people.
Advice to Senior Management: Not enough space to tell management how to improve. When IBM stopped becoming a technology leader and focused on the stock price, then it was doomed! Anyone remember Sun Microsystems, WorldCom, SGI, etc?
Pros: Work with talented people and represent high quality products/solutions.
Cons: Company has changed in 2014; desperate atmosphere; high pressure sales. Must make 2015 corporate plan. Many scared next round layoffs.
Advice to Senior Management: OK, so you need to grow sales after pulling the layoff and stock buy back levers, but you have too long sales cycles, so cut cost for new client coming to the cloud. Make it cheap to start, like all of Microsoft's software, clients use to always say it was "free" to start.
Pros: The benefits, learning, having IBM on the resume?
Cons: Pay, pressure, employees are treated like a cancer. 401k matches now only at end of year, no raises again, constant firings with 13,000 fired last week. The upside is to leave, which is what they want anyway.
Advice to Senior Management: The extreme mathematical focus on the earnings per share has clearly backfired in the last two+ years with IBM stock price flat while the S&P 500 is up 60%. (Oct '11 - March '14) Perhaps focus on making clients happy instead?
Pros: For the most part, IBM employees are exceptional; bright, driven, hard working, conscientious, productive.
Cons: In the years that I have been with IBM, it has gone from a company that seemingly valued its employees to a company that only values its bottom line. IBM no longer provides money for continued education, no longer provides work-from-home employees with necessities such as printers, monitors, keyboards, etc.
Raises are minimal and do not meet cost of living increases. Bonuses have shrunk over the years to being nearly non-existent. Employees work together for years and never meet their fellow department members or managers. There are several resource actions every year and the employees who remain are expected to pick up the resulting unassigned work load.
Pros: Great work/life balance. Decent salary. Lots of opportunity if you are in the right business.
Cons: If you are in a division where IBM is trying to reduce its footprint, you will get laid off. Is cutting costs to reach its $20 EPS 2015 goal instead of investing in the company; this is causing IBM to eat itself and manipulate its earning numbers. This is not a plan for long term growth.
Advice to Senior Management: Invest in your employees, increase morale.
Pros: If you have friends in high places that can always give high ratings and nepotism doesn't bother you, I guess those are pros.
Cons: - Does not recognize excellent work at the individual contributor level unless you have friends in high places. Exploits employees. Only worried about quarterly financial results for Wall Street. Pro off-shoring jobs.
Advice to Senior Management: Treat your employees with respect.
Pros: Knowledgeable people. Wonderful colleagues who wants to do what is right. Team level is cooperation is good.
Cons: The top brass has no strategy other than firing people to get their own mega bonuses for their own Earnings per Share 2015 road-map. Instead of firing people and investing in people and new products they are consumed by financial engineering and they don't see that the ship is sinking (or perhaps they are and just want to squeeze out the last pennies from the corpse).
Everyone is consumed by fear that they might be the next layoff. All divisions are cut to the bone and mgmt still demands growth. There is a total disconnect between top management and the people below on why sales are not working. The reason why sales aren't working is the fact the poor sales and pre-sales people are having 10 layers of management trying control every move with red tape while competition is fast and nimble. IBM is its own worst enemy at the moment.
Advice to Senior Management: Skip the EPS2015 roadmap (which is clearly only your own bonus interests) and start building the company again with long term investments in people and cutting edge products. Your employees have lost all trust in you and are just waiting for your next cull. This is not the IBM we were proud of. Cut management layers and red tape so the employees can be productive and busy trying to report upwards all the time and you might actually get some revenue growth again.
Pros: I enjoyed a wide variety of work experiences with IBM, giving me the opportunity to learn many new things quickly and be placed in challenging learning situations. Huge company with the power to send you many places and do many things.
Cons: "Blue Goo"- Sometimes it is incredibly difficult or frustrating to get your problems fixed or questions answered because of the vast bureaucracy. My first day I was issued a lemon for a work computer, the process to get it replaced was difficult and extremely inconvenient as a traveling consultant, and after I finally got it replaced the 'new' machine had it's own host of issues.
Advice to Senior Management: Streamline internal processes to make life easier on employees (software licensing, hardware issues, etc.). Ensure all business units have common goals and aren't getting in each others way while going to market. (I believe this has begun to be addressed).
Pros: IBM has a reputation of innovation.
Cons: The Lenexa site is small and you are at a small outpost away from a lot of action in the company. Support is considered a cost center. Due to this promotions and raises are few and far between. With IBM's finances as they are, even bonuses are now not a sure deal. Performance partly depends on feedback received from customer surveys and you can get poor feedback (without your fault) due to IBM product support policies.
Advice to Senior Management: Do not treat support as a cost center. It is an important part of software development life cycle.
Pros: Tons of smart people to work with. Looks good on your resume.
Cons: Employees considered "resources" by upper management. Executive focus is on higher earnings per share & stock price growth. Employee benefits are reduced each year, with virtually no salary increases and frequent rounds of layoffs targeting senior positions.
Advice to Senior Management: Look at successful, growing companies and see how they value employees...the source of their innovation and growth. They are people with families, not resources.
Pros: They have an official work from home policy. Flexible work hours.
Cons: Constant cutting of benefits. First, they took 15% of our pay. Then they took overtime. Then they took away reimbursement for needed items. Then they changed the work week to start on Saturday to prevent overtime. Lastly, they changed 401k matching to end of year lump sum. So if you leave early, you forgo all matching for the year.
Advice to Senior Management: Take care of your employees. Most of us are happy to work our butts off if it means we are taken care of. Instead, you expect us to work for peanuts and then treat us like we're all disposable.
Pros: - Still some good people left working here; - A commitment to provide quality to the customer where possible (Despite lack of tools to do so).
Cons: Where to begin? Do not buy into these rainbow and sunshine planted reviews the last few years. Across the board, the company's treatment of employees has really hit rock bottom. The chase for 2015 EPS target has the company consuming itself to reach this goal which is unattainable save for massive stock buyback and tax code manipulation.
Everyone is a number on a spreadsheet these days, and everyone feels it/knows it. While never paradise by any means, the company used to be better to work for (and not that far back in the past either). This company is churning underneath to keep the top execs aloft, but it is getting worse and worse.
Advice to Senior Management: Viewpoint needs to move from beyond just this quarter. Long term plans (in so much is possible in IT) need to be put down and stuck to (and I mean real world plans, not EPS target). No one wants to work with us these days as they know that any commitment will be quickly abandoned a few months down the road.
Pros: Can't think of any; used to be a good resume builder, not anymore.
Cons: Lost their vision. Too much nepotism. Poor pay, too many chiefs, not enough "producing" Indians. A 1% return paid on my pension after all my years of service? Talk about a slap in the face. It was bad enough when you took it away, but with all your profits to only pay 1%? Worthless.
Advice to Senior Management: Keep cutting to the bone and treating your employees like crap. I'm sure you'll land safely with your golden parachute, but you'll be known as captains of the Titanic.
Pros: As you move up in band, you get some cooler projects, bu that will take 4+ years to start getting the more interesting jobs.
With that said, working from home is a great option; you can work pretty much anywhere in the world. They give you a fair amount of vacation days. My health insurance is essentially free.
Cons: Unfortunately the company is shifting into less profitable business that are driving market shift, and when your bonus pool (albeit small) is tied to profit growth, kinda makes it hard to get compensated well.
You get 15 vacation days a year and 5 personal choice holidays on top of the regular holidays to use whenever you want. Unfortunately last year of my 20 days, I used 4.
Advice to Senior Management: Be appreciative of your employees, thank you's are nice, but when you won't even fund a holiday party, and just organize a potluck, pretty bad.
Stop creating more VP jobs and cutting staff to fund them. What is the point of added VPs if the people who they are going to ask questions of no longer exist?
Pros: Great technology with good technical people; emphasis on education and training; Well respected by customers; Global resources; Good tools; Home office; Good 401K benefits.
Cons: Stockholder, not employee friendly; Constant layoffs; Small miracle to get any salary increase; Half competent middle managers; Stagnant careers; Difficult to move around in company.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop fixation on 2015 earnings roadmap instead focus on growing sales; Apply more effort on employee development and retention.
Pros: The culture is fairly laid back compared to other companies in the industry, definitely a plus if looking for good work/life balance. The management team is usually picked internally so they are understanding of your needs.
Cons: There is too much bureaucracy where everything needs some sort of sign off, no matter how trivial. In addition, there are simply too many meetings that start to hurt productivity. Due to the recent financial results, the future of the hardware division is in question.
Pros: For many years at IBM, I would have raved about the respect for the individual; the sane work-life balance; the collegial work environment. These have all been deteriorating since 2007 or so.
Cons: Lawyers are viewed as a cost center. The compensation is a joke. They expect lawyers to run their deals, be the cruise directors, always be the go-to expert on virtually any topic that is not purely product/technology-based — but all the money goes to the sales people. Never has been a clear career path enunciated for attorneys.
Pros: Amazingly smart people! If you have a chance to work with IBM Research, take it! Fantastic organization. IBMers are wicked smart and very professional. IBM really gets behind clients if they are hired. Great job experience for Band 7, 8 and 9's (younger less experienced resources) but plan an exit strategy.
Cons: 1) IBM is very hard to do business with as far as clients are concerned (from a contracting perspective as they expect everyone to bend to their Ts&Cs; 2) Sales teams are cutthroat and will run you over for deal credit—make sure if you get involved in a "deal" that you have in writing what our "cut" is up front—sometimes even that won't matter; and 3) make your sales target EVERY YEAR or you will be fired immediately. No "performance improvement plan"; just good bye and so long.
Advice to Senior Management: Ditch the 2015 Roadmap and stop prostrating yourselves and the brand to the Street.
Pros: Very good opportunity to learn how to make things right: management processes, technologies. You can get a very good experience and references for building your future career. It is very nice to work in some teams, and nobody would leave unless the Cons.
Cons: Senior management does not care much about their people; you can work day and night, never get paid overtime and never get appreciation for your extra contribution, not monetary, not verbally. Some managers are very bossy and unreasonably unprofessionally mean with their subordinates—you feel unprotected, as they can get rid of you easily. Formal training was always a problem. Too many jobs are outsourced to global resources, and it is very hard to get the required quality from them—you spend two-four more of your time on explanation, re-testing, and rework, rather than do things by yourself or other local people, and they never work overtime.
Advice to Senior Management: Take better care about your employees; get attention to any sign of unprofessional or rude behaviour from middle management to their subordinates; get them trained in team building and professional conduct; provide a better training to your sales team on reasonable estimations of work, rather than demanding from your employees to matching their mistaken proposals by working double-time without being paid accordingly.
For those at the leading edge of the baby boom, the prospect of an extended retirement with limited means leaves few options. Many will have to work longer than they'd wished, in jobs they don't like. Many will sell homes they'd hoped to keep -- to tap the equity, such as it is. Household budgets will be squeezed, then squeezed again. Workers further from retirement, though, still have time to address the problem -- and public policy must start encouraging them to do so.
The retirement-savings deficit has grown so large partly because U.S. employers have stopped providing adequate pensions. Between 1980 and 2006, the share of U.S. private-sector workers covered by an employer's defined-benefit plan fell from an already low 40 percent to just 15 percent. A savings vehicle intended to supplement traditional pensions -- the defined-contribution 401(k) retirement plan -- has instead replaced them. This diminished the stock of retirement savings in itself; now, many companies are scaling back their contributions to 401(k) plans, too. Roughly half of all Americans have no private retirement savings at all.
Employers looking at exchange options: Two-thirds of companies believe that private exchanges will offer a viable alternative to employer-sponsored coverage for active employees as early as 2015.
Retiree health: Nearly two-thirds of employers that offer access to a sponsored plan today say they are likely to eliminate those programs in the next few years and steer their pre-Medicare-age population to public exchanges. ...
Comment: By Don McCanne, M.D. The most important reason that a more effective model of social insurance, such as single payer, was rejected in favor of a fragmented model of reform based on private health plans and public programs was that a majority of Americans were receiving their coverage through their employment and that was perceived as a segment of the market that was working well and should not be disrupted. “If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.” ...
In the last half century, the best coverage has been provided mostly through large employers - those represented by the National Business Group on Health (employers with over 1,000 employees each and 55 million employees in total). These employers have been very concerned about rising health care costs, and now they know that they will have to live with our highly flawed version of comprehensive reform - the Affordable Care Act. They see very little in this Act that will provide them relief, so they are moving forward with their own measures.
We can now see where employers have been, where they have taken us, and where they are headed - on a downward spiral of ever inferior employer-sponsored health plans.
Some of the changes we are seeing, according to this and other reports:
How could employers be so crass as to dump on their employees like this? Quite simple. They now have a new standard to point to - the low actuarial value private plans that are being offered through the government exchanges - plans that are using many of of the same strategies that will be harming the physical and financial health of plan enrollees. In fact, two-thirds of employers believe that “private exchanges will offer a viable alternative to employer-sponsored coverage for active employees as early as 2015” - next year! These private exchanges will offer plans using the same devious measures that will shift more costs to patients, thereby impairing access.
Our observation of this rapid deterioration in plans offered by the nation’s largest employers should cause us to sound the alarms. We need to begin immediately preparation for transition into a single payer national health program - an improved Medicare that covers all of us. The Fortune 500 employers are not going to do it for us.
The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2016, the Chicago-based company said today in a statement. Employees will be able to keep any accruals already made to their pensions provided in Boeing’s defined benefit plan as the company shifts payments to a defined contribution plan. Employees hired since 2009 and new members of 28 unions are already on this plan. ...
Companies’ 401(k) plans were originally conceived as a supplement to pensions, which they have mostly replaced over the past three decades. Workers can direct as much as $17,500 of pretax income toward their 401(k)s in 2014. Employees 50 and older can set aside an additional $5,500 of pay.
Make customer lists this week and call them ALL!!! Make it hurt them. Let their customers know that IBM has no concern for existing contracts or obligations to customers. And for Gods sake get off your butts and join the Alliance. And please take a pass on the severance pay and sue IBM for the blatant age discrimination they are culpable of. There has to be grounds for class action age discrimination suit here. We need to demand the OWBPA is followed. Your attorney needs that information for the lawsuit. It is obvious IBM is trying to break the law and will likely get away with it if we don't stand up. It is our only chance for change. I've Been Misled-IBM. -Anonymous-
I inadvertently overheard from one manager that the hiring organization needs to compensate the firing organization by financially compensating that org by doing something like laying off 1 or 2 additional people to make room for you. Internal transfers also requires Ginny-level sign off. So, that's not easy—your transfer odds are pretty close to impossible. You're better off immediately investing all of your time and focus outside of IBM. I regret losing those 30 days, and hope you don't. -clueless in 2013-
The good news is that even Wall Street and the mainstream press is catching on...there have been several articles in the past month that use the term "financial engineering" in a less than complementary fashion. IBM has been on a downward path since at least the mid-90's, putting H.R. and Finance in control of the company at the expense of innovation. I've tried to do my part to publicize the company's shenanigans on my http://www.ibmemployee.com site. Please check it out.
I also encourage current and former employees to submit IBM reviews to Glassdoor. See http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/IBM-Reviews-E354.htm. With one review, you'll have access to the full history of all of the IBM Glassdoor reviews. (I do select some of the Glassdoor reviews for inclusion in the weekly www.ibmemployee.com updates.) -no_longer_alwaysontheroad4bigblue-
In any case, I was told to accept the "offer" immediately (leave premises within 1-2 hours, take backup - no issues), or I could stay on for another 7 days and the "offer" would not be valid in that case. Other than these, I felt they treated the matter quite fairly. Though I took the "immediate termination" option, I was told that I would remain on the payroll for another 22 days, which is in addition to the "offer". -Resign after 17 years @IBM, or is it?-
Alliance reply: UK and other international IBMers can join only as associate members. Your membership helps keep the Alliance going and helps in the organizing. We are also part of the IBM Global Union Alliance of IBM unions in 21 countries. <link to Global union list>
Instead they teach you to value every asset you have and your greatest asset is people. Finance organizations in IBM have been quietly decimated over the years with overseas "centers of excellence". HR has gone through similar long term reductions that rarely make the news. If HR and Finance were in charge, that would never have happened.
We can be replaced with any of the other million HR or Finance people out there looking for a good job. Even our CFO could be replaced in an instant because contrary to what others may claim, his job is standardized. There are literally hundreds if not thousands who could step in and take his job in an instant.
Most of the people that run IBM and will be rewarded by roadkill 2015 are engineers. Anyone can be bought including HR and Finance people, but let's stop blaming finance and HR who are simply puppets doing what they are told. These decisions are being made by business unit heads who 99% are former engineers. -Don't Blame HR and Finance-
The Alliance has made it clear to us older workers for years now: organize IBM labor and fight or lose some or all of your after-IBM retirement benefits. I am still an Alliance member even though I was RAed a few years ago. I want to try to fight and protect what little IBM retirement benefits I have left! The Alliance will do that for us if we get more members (full and associate) and contributors to sign up. -sby_willie-
Life sure will be different when these managers come begging for a job later on at my new place of employment! They won't get my recommendation. So I had 30 days to complete the PIP. I immediately started looking for a new job and got an offer with even more pay! So I got laid off on 2/28 and started my new job on 3/3! I got lucky. I will NEVER go back to IBM. I'm sure Ginni will be looking for a new job soon. She is running the company into the dirt fast. Never before I have felt more relieved than I do today. -LifeAfterIBM-
I haven't read the package contents yet, but looks like I just got it. I supposedly will still get that great 6% bonus for 1 performers, but we'll see. I've had other opportunities with IBM and not sure I want any of them. I know the game on jobs now. They won't hire across division or those that have been RA'd. I'm sure we're black flagged somehow. It would only temporarily delay the inevitable. -Dumped in ATS-
When I hired on, I was offered the promise of a career, not a job. The first 6 years were a career. The next 5 years were a job. 3 years after that I thought I had a career again. Unfortunately, that is not the case, just a job. Anyone remaining needs to treat IBM as a job and watch out for yourself. Look externally for a job. Once you find one, give your 2 week notice, take all PC days and accumulated vacation, and don't train people your job. -BrokenPromises-
From what I read, it's not easy to win an age discrimination suit, particularly in a mass lay-off where the purpose is to cut costs. Selecting senior workers with higher salaries for termination is not illegal. Circuit City tried that strategy (it was disastrous).
If IBM goes and hires a younger worker to fill your position (same band and job description), then you might have a case. Bottom line is that you have to prove they're firing you because of your age, not because they're cutting costs by eliminating higher paid positions. But I'm not a lawyer and would be interested to hear a legal opinion about the OWPBA not being included. -STG_Pseries_RA-
What is deeply disturbing and a clear indication of very bad leadership, there was zero consideration for the current capabilities and skills of the RA'd employees. If someone had looked at my resume and skills profile they would have seen that I have many of the skills IBM needs to grow; Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, Power Systems, software. No one even looked and no one evened cared to look.
Of course, IBM ordered their managers to pull all of their non-critical job postings off the job board—making it next to impossible to find another role within area where skills are needed. Oh well, it's now IBM's loss and a competitor's gain!! -BigBlueScrewed-
Even the head of Watson bailed out recently. The only thing that is proprietary to IBM and will be hard to duplicate and has a high cost barrier to entry for competitors and has high margins is the tried and true Mainframe/System Z and its software (IMS, DB2 etc). Unfortunately IBM management has their heads so far up their a**es looting IBM; that they will not see it until its too late.
"I can't help but wonder if Saxena bailed because he knew this wasn't going to work and he decided to get out while the getting is good. With The Entrepreneur's Fund, he's back on familiar territory - supporting and nurturing start-ups. But now he doesn't have to get Watson to an unrealistic level of income." http://www.itworld.com/big-data/407957/ibms-watson-loses-its-head -IBM Watcher-
Managers/Execs get RA'ed...there's just less due to about a 30:1 or higher ratio of non-managers. All that matters are the numbers to meet the cost take out.
You're also seeing higher proportion of over 40/50 age groups with high years of service because that's the predominant demographic left. Outside of delivery centers in the US very little younger; new hires have been brought on board in the last decade. All of you have a choice... organize or take your chances. Remember the odds always favor the house. Best of luck to all of you. -Anon-
Putin just threatened to confiscate all US assets in Russia. He did us all a favor showing how globalism has weakened us all because part of that threat would be IBM assets and jobs. OK let them have a few IBM assets and McDs but China is another threat. There both nations would have a gun to each other's head. The cold war has been replaced with economic and cyber forms and the middle class has been caught right in the middle; what we did to Iran is now coming home. If you are stuck in IBM with high service time you have only two options quit or join the union because you are walking the last mile right now. -ctman2-
The Alliance communicates. And has been communicating quite well with what they have since 1999. But you have to listen and take heed their message and JOIN for them to remain as this communicating force. Let's try to work to get IBM to call off an entire RA, better employment for IBMers, and preserve retiree benefits before we lose them. We can try to do this but only through the Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701! -sby_willie-
The microelectronics division is gone. IBM doesn't have the volume of server sales to amortize the cost of new generations of microprocessor designs. You can't compete with companies that sell 100 million processor chips a year if you only make a few tens of thousands. Your costs price you out of the market. So all of us that remain in those areas need to plan for the upcoming changes. At least if we join the Alliance we will have some say in how those changes are implemented. -LostInBand10-
Where is the organic revenue growth? What happened to the revenue from 100+ acquisition addiction. Were they just done to financially engineer results. How about being a company that provides what customers need/want and that people want to work for? Writing is on the wall.
The Board needs to take action soon to sweep Armonk and restore vision, employee and client confidence. SW being commoditized. Services is labor constrained and going to 3rd world delivery. Financial engineering the earnings works well doesn't it. When there is 1 share of stock left and $40 of earnings there will be a lot of empty buildings and ruined lives. -hardware guru-
I never worked at such a company before loathed by employees and begrudging customers. 2.5 years wasted but glad to be emancipated. Don't trust any commitment from IBM; their 'values' (ha ha) mean absolutely nothing when it comes to screwing employees and customers. Truly a disgusting and morally retarded organization! -Happilygone-
Alliance reply: There has been some critical comments about Chinese workers, Indian workers and others since the job cuts started a few weeks ago. Chinese workers and other offshore workers didn't "take" our jobs.
These jobs were sent by corporate executives who saw a way to make bigger bucks for themselves and stockholders. These workers are in the same boat as American workers or worse. They are not the enemy. We are all being used as pawns to further corporate wealth that does not trickle down to working people.
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