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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—March 8, 2014

  • Financial Times:

    IBM workers strike in China over terms of Lenovo takeover. By Tom Mitchell and Charles Clover. Excerpts: More than 1,000 workers went on strike at an IBM factory in southern China to object to the terms of their transfer to Lenovo as part of its $2.3bn acquisition of the US technology group’s x86 server business. ...

    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.

  • WRAL TechWire (RTP, NC):

    Chinese IBM workers erupt in protests over layoffs, Lenovo deal. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: Thousands of IBM workers in China - some carrying banners describing IBM as a "Sweat Shop" and "We are not merchandise" and many wearing blue lab coats - launched protests Monday that continued Tuesday in reaction to layoffs and the sale of IBM's low-end server business to Lenovo.

    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:

    • "Sweat Shop"
    • "We are not merchandise; we have dignity; and we have human rights"
    • "Give me back my youth! Change the labor terms" ...

    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.

  • WBUR's (NPR) Here and Now: IBM Slashes Jobs. IBM was once one of the country’s largest employers. Considered a major innovator in the high tech world, IBM was also a place where workers could count on having a job throughout their entire career.

    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.

  • Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB):

    IBM Seterus Did Not Allow State Agents To Meet With Laid Off Workers. By Amelia Templeton. Excerpts: The Oregon agency that responds to large layoffs says it has not received information from IBM about layoffs in Beaverton last Friday. The layoffs took place at an IBM subsidiary called Seterus that handles mortgages for clients like banks. Anonymous sources say more than 100 workers at the Beaverton office lost their jobs, and that some have been asked to relocate to North Carolina.

    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.

  • The Channel (United Kingdom):

    IBM to shutter Greenock x86 line after sale to Lenovo - reports. MP seeks clarity, 'monitoring situation very closely'. By Paul Kunert. Excerpts: Mystery still surrounds one of the UK's last server production outposts in the Silicon Glen amid reports of IBM shuttering the Greenock site when Lenovo acquires its x86 division.

    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.

  • Hudson Valley Insider:

    Lalor Demands Details From Cuomo on New IBM Deal. Excerpts: Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – Fishkill) has written to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting more information from the governor’s office and IBM on the recent agreement between the New York State and IBM.

    “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.”

  • The Australian:

    IBM set to slash another 500 workers. By Fran Foo. IBM Australia has again begun slashing jobs, which could see about 500 people lose their positions following last year’s cull of more than 1500 workers. The layoffs, which IBM describes as “resource action”, are part of a global move to trim its workforce as Big Blue seeks to rekindle its glory days. ...

    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.”

  • CRN:

    IBM Putting Freeze On Server Unit Staff, Says It's Lenovo Or No Go. By Kevin McLaughlin. Excerpts: IBM is putting the freeze on several thousand employees involved in the sale of its server business to Lenovo, with an ultimatum to either accept the transfer to Lenovo or leave IBM, sources told CRN this week.

    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.

  • IT Jungle:

    IBM Layoffs Begin In The U.S. And Canada. By Timothy Prickett Morgan. Excerpts: Several weeks ago, IBM started a round of layoffs that it hopes to have completed by the end of the first quarter and from which it will book approximately $1 billion in charges. The next round of layoffs were expected to start on February 26, last Wednesday, but the rumors are that CEO Ginni Rometty was giving a big speech at the Mobile World Congress to talk about creating mobile Watson applications and the PR machine did not want to step on that story. So layoffs started in the United States and Canada on February 27.

    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.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Company does not care about employees at all. They will work you to death. Very unstable.”

      Senior Systems Engineer (Former Employee) Rancho Cordova, CA I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 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.

    • “Great for many years, terrible the last two.”

      Development Manager (Former Employee).

      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.

    • “Not your father's IBM”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      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.

    • “Insane expectations, they'll work you to death with lowest wages they can get away with.”

      Technical Support (Former Employee), San Ramon, CA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 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.

    • “Big Blue”

      Senior Consultant (Current Employee), New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      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!

    • “It's a big machine”

      Technical Support (Current Employee), Research Triangle Park, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “Not an employee friendly company”

      Senior Business Systems Analyst (Current Employee), Raleigh, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      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.

    • “Yikes”

      Sales (Current Employee), Raleigh, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “Two 'Resource Actions' in one year.”

      Test Engineer (Current Employee), Essex Junction, VT. I have been working at IBM full-time for less than a year.

      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.

    • “Senior IT Architect”

      Senior Architect (Former Employee), Austin, TX. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Work with some good people.


      • Company is run by bean counters.
      • Unless you can bill over 146%, you won't be able to take the 3 weeks of vacation due to you, cause you have to exceed your utilization goals!
      • Unless you are employee until December 15th each year, then you won't get any of the IBM matching on your 401k!
      • 1st line managers don't manage at all. Most are out trying to sell and meet their own goals. They only show interest in you when they have to.
      • IBM - I'm By Myself describes it best.

      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?

    • “Whatever it takes, we'll make 2015 CEO Plan”

      Sales Representative (Current Employee), Nashville, TN. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “Top performer treated like most employees, a cancer.”

      Senior Client Executive (Former Employee) Indianapolis, IN I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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?

    • “The increasing lack of employee appreciation has caused my enthusiasm to wane.”

      Executive Project Manager (Current Employee), New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “No longer your Father's IBM”

      Verification Engineer (Former Employee), Rochester, MN I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      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.

    • “Disheartening, almost made me not want to be a software engineer.”

      Staff Software Engineer (Former Employee), Littleton, MA I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      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.

    • “Big but vulnerable and no strategy worth the name”

      Architect (Current Employee), Melbourne (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      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.

    • “Great experience, but just a cog in the huge machine”

      Senior Consultant (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      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).

    • “Stuck in a cost center”

      Technical Support Engineer (Current Employee), Lenexa, KS I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      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.

    • “Great people but we are not valued by senior management”

      Market Research Analyst (Current Employee), Lexington-Fayette, KY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “Not the place is use to be”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time. Pros: None that come to mind. Cons: The environment has become extremely toxic; people are not motivated to innovate.
    • “Big blue is all about Big Blue.”

      Marketing Manager (Current Employee) I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Professionalism of colleagues, passion and focused group of people. Cons: Company doesn't treat their employees with any respect. They are all commodities. Management doesn't know how to retain talent. Advice to Senior Management: Don't just follow upper management lead. Stand up for your team and your employees.
    • “If you are homeless, apply. If not, look somewhere else”

      IT Specialist (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      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.

    • “Company has really gone downhill the last few years”

      GBS (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “Poor return on pension, really, after all my years of service 1%?”

      Storage Sales (Former Employee), Atlanta, GA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      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.

    • “Banker's hours, non profit pay”

      Senior Financial Analyst (Current Employee), Somers, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      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?

  • “Mixed experiences”

    Senior Managing Consultant (Current Employee), Boston, MA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

    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.

  • “Think twice before joining IBM STG”

    Process Engineer (Current Employee), Hopewell Junction, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

    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.

  • “No company for a lawyer”

    Attorney (Current Employee), New York, NY I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

    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.

  • “Associate Partner”

    Associate Partners (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

    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.

  • Glassdoor IBM Canada reviews
    • “Good step in your career building”

      Applications Services Consultant (Former Employee), Markham, ON (Canada). I worked at IBM Canada full-time for more than a year.

      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.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • House Budget Committee Chair Ryan Misrepresents Economists in Poverty Report
    • President Obama Releases His 2015 Budget
    • Affordable Senior Health Insurance to Supplement Medicare
    • Senators Introduce Legislation to Protect Medicare for Seniors
    • Bridge Project Reports on the Conservative Money Trail
  • Bloomberg:

    Too Many Retirement Plans, Too Little Savings. Excerpts: For an entirely predictable event, retirement is going to come as a shock to tens of millions of Americans -- a financial shock, that is. Many people in their 50s and 60s are about to find that the money they've set aside for retirement is too meager to support the standard of living they'd hoped for. Soon, the long-expected U.S. retirement crisis will no longer be a forecast; it's becoming a brutal fact.

    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.

  • Towers-Watson, courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Program:

    Progressive deterioration in health plans offered by major employers. Survey for the National Business Group on Health. Excerpts: Contribution strategy for spouses changing: Nearly half (49%) of employers have increased employee contributions for dependent tiers at higher rates than for individuals. Another 19% expect to make this move next year. Only 56% of companies believe that subsidized health care for spouses will be very important for 2015 and beyond — down from over 70% today, an indication that the trend toward increased cost sharing for spouses will likely continue. ...

    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:

    • Higher deductibles (shifting costs to those with health care needs)
    • Health savings accounts (not much help when they are underfunded or empty)
    • Increasing employees’ share of premiums
    • Reducing dependent coverage, especially spouses
    • Sending employees to private insurance exchanges (shifting to defined contribution)
    • Using narrower provider networks (taking away health care choices)
    • Using outcome-based incentives that effectively penalize those with health problems
    • Dumping retirees into public exchanges
    • Using value purchasing - a code term for managed care

    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.

  • Bloomberg:

    Boeing Will Freeze 68,000 Nonunion Workers’ Pensions by 2016. By Julie Johnsson. Excerpts: Boeing Co., the world’s largest planemaker, will freeze pensions for 68,000 nonunion employees and executives, shifting benefit payments to a 401(k)-style plan as it works to cut costs.

    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.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 03/01/14:

    Time to revolt. If you have been RA'd do NOT train your replacements. Offer no information to help them learn your job. Contact your customers. I see SSR's are slated for a March 31 dismissal date. They are the last face of IBM in front of the customer. We will lay off the older more experienced SSR's. Please inform the customers what IBM is doing. Customers love their SSR's and will leave in droves when they find out what IBM is doing to their only line of support.

    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-

  • Comment 03/01/14:

    To -ReleasedFromIBMPrisonCamp- "Well said", after 29 years I'm still here but miss the old days where we were all so energized and pumped to work here and so proud to be an IBMer. I'm hanging on in EFK STG and we heard we are good till 2016. I have many friends in BTV because my depot is split and just don't understand what is going on with this group. Though we are happy the lay off numbers were light in BTV and EFK.. we wonder why?? What is going on and what is next??? That is a horrid way to come into work each day. I AM a member of the union and encourage all to join, they have done a great job lately working to help us!!! -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    To those who just lost your job and are considering looking within IBM for another position, I strongly advise that it's not worth your time, effort, as well as anguish. You're better off immediately focusing elsewhere for a job. I got laid off in '13 and spent much energy and time in the 30-day notice period trying to remain with IBM. I had very desirable skills in an area IBM desperately needs, and two IBM managers tried extremely hard to hire me, and I had a lot of other interest too, but every move was eventually blocked.

    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-

  • Comment 03/01/14:

    I retired from IBM towards the end of last year. Couldn't take the environment. Yesterday, while the layoffs were occurring in Vermont, I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in returning to IBM as a contractor. Is it me, or does this seem bizarre and heartless to you? -Puzzled-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    I was "affected" by a resource action in pok in the supply chain group. Over 55 years old with 37 years of service and thrown out like daily trash. Looking forward to my next and better stage in life. Wishing all those left behind the best since it's just a matter of time now. -fedupanddone-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    Found out my son-in-law's brother was part of the rebalancing group. (He has never been in hardware). IBM plans to get out of all hardware and manufacturing. The new "IBM" will be a services company. He was told there will be no raises, no incentives, no transfers for three years. He couldn't say anything before, but he said writing is on the wall. He just left IBM and told my son-in-law to let me know. -it's over-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    When the last Watson (the man,not the machine) left IBM in late 80's, it all started going to hell. It has accelerated as time goes on. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    I left IBM voluntarily in Feb 2014 after working in STG on AIX for 2.5 years. I was a recent college graduate with a MS degree...when I put in my 2 weeks with my manager, he on the spot offered me a 25% raise to stay with IBM. It is sad that even in the midst of other people on my team being RAd, things like that can happen. When I put in my 2 weeks, it was right after the Alliance announced the dates for the RA, so I figured that I would be able to save someone else's job by leaving voluntarily before names were due to be submitted. I am happy I worked for IBM, but I honestly cannot be proud. IBM is not the same company that it once was, but it still looks good on a resume. -anonymous-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    I was told by a credible source (a manager) that it is indeed true that at the last second 250-300+ names (technical jobs) were pulled off this week's RA list in Poughkeepsie. These folks are spared for now until the NY deal with the governor is sorted out. Quite a few were indeed let go in Poughkeepsie this week but it was about half (or less) of what was targeted -PokLongTimer-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    STG Tucson—number so far is 100 and counting -none-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    It is becoming clearer by the day that there will be a regime change coming at IBM that will be every bit as sudden and dramatic as the change that occurred during the transition between Akers and Gerstner. All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. My heart goes out to all those good, dedicated employees let go by the current ruling elite. These dastardly deeds will not go unnoticed by our great creator. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    That would hypocritical of IBM to block all job transfers since the note I received implies that you can stay if you find a new job. Sounds like it's all a big fraud. Yeah, don't train your replacement...what are they going to do? Fire you? Haha. They are NOT going to give you a partial pbc rating, so just tell them to get lost and figure it out themselves, if they are so smart. Haha -bleck-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    clueless in 2013 - Thanks for the advise! I heard the same thing today from two former co-workers who were laid off in June. I was looking, but now I've decided to focus on the outside and take my severance and RUN! It's pretty insulting and a slap in the face that our managers tell us to look for a job internally when it's nearly impossible to get one after being RA'ed! What a joke! I also found out they can't give us professional recommendation letters with the IBM header on it! BUT, I we can use our PBC write ups as proof of our hard work. -LaidOffinTucson-
  • Comment 03/01/14:

    How does vacation work? I have 25 vacation days and 5 personal holidays. Can I use them up until the end of the month? -hmm-
  • Comment 03/02/14

    : @hmm: You can use the personal choice days immediately. Vacation days are earned throughout the year; if you take them all now, you will have to repay the value of the unearned days. Given a 3/31 departure date, 1/4 of your 25 days are earned, so 6 days could be used without any repayment. -LastManStanding-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    Regarding vacation...be sure to look at your online info and see how it accrues. You will have to repay if you use more than you have earned for the year. I would not use any more vacation. All your out time is you looking for a job at this point. See if you are entitled to use the personal days. If so use them so you don't feel like you should sign in but make sure you won't have to pay for them. Any unused earned vacation will be paid to you on separation day. -Brenda-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    To hmmm: They will pay you the vacation they owe you for the 3 months you were on the payroll. Assuming you have not used any yet this year, you will get 1/4 of your yearly vacation. PC days do not get compensated so you need to use them or lose them before your last day. -longtimebeemer-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    RA'ed on 2/28 from San Jose. Solid 2 and 2+ for last 5 yrs. It's a relief. I am moving on to places treasure my skills. I heard couple more got RA'd at San Jose. -Tried-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    @-Clueless in 2013-: You are right. It is a total waste of time to look for another job in IBM when RA'd. Even though it sometimes looks like other managers are interested, it won't happen. I had this situation last year when I was RA'd and I have plenty of examples that demonstrate how things work. On day 1 of your notification spend ALL energy on outside job hunting and don't get lured into false hope. Managers are lying everywhere. Remember, IBM just punched you in the face...be proud, take the money and leave. -Fairness101-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    It appears that a Director in the newly formed Cognitive Computing organization at T.J. Watson bailed last week. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    Relating to job postings. To replace a pending retiree, internally a high level (band 10) special skills technical position posting was created specifically for me. I went through the official process applying and never heard back. When I checked I was told that there was no funding so the position would be eliminated. The position was also posted externally. I applied using a fictitious name and was told that the position had been filled. It calls into question the 3K jobs corporate shill Doug Shelton puts forth. -What Jobs-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    To all those who were recently layed-off. It happened to me after almost 30 years with IBM when I got caught up in the 2013 RA. Everything will be OK. At first, you'll be upset/anguished/fearful. A whole range of emotions including relief. All normal. After this subsides, you'll start to regain your life. YOU are not 'owned' by IBM anymore. You'll start to do things with your family and friends; you wont be worried about that call in the middle of the night asking you to work once again. Good luck all! Enjoy your new life. I promise! You'll be amazed at how your personality changes for the better once you get this huge monkey off your back and you realize there are other employers out there that actually VALUE your skills and abilities. -miss_understanding-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    I confirm that the New York RA was not called off, just significantly reduced. IBM reduced it on Feb 26th, less than 24 hours prior to the RA. Governor Cuomo's announcement was on the 24th, and IBM execs took 2 days to decide they couldn't afford to lose their NY state tax breaks. Regarding what's next—IBM is trying to sell the fab, meaning that hundreds of additional RAs are on hold (including PBC 3's). If the sale doesn't happen, STG head Tom Rosamilia is going to execute another huge RA for his organization. -Rochester RA-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    I heard STG sales will get the ax next week. This makes sense because they would get to keep us around for 30 days and get through the quarter end. I read the comments about the CSRs, wondering if anyone can comment on the CSRs being told on 3/31 or 3/31 would be their last day. The CSRs I know have all been with IBM for decades, have priceless experience, work all hours of the night & weekends, and do an incredible job. I am not aware of any new hires to replace them. The acceleration of STG demise will start gaining speed. Look for weaker results going forward. -waiting-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    To Mea Culpa. As IBM's largest shareholder outside of its self he (Warren Buffet) may hold some sway telling the board what to do. If he starts selling IBM stock it will be disastrous for the price. Looking at Blue Pages one noticed that there have been some non-publicized high-profile demotions by push down in the management stack. They may still hold the title, but instead to direct reports, they are now several levels down. Executive wise there are things to keep an eye out for. Two SVPs that have turned or will turn 60—the standard IBM exec retirement age. Linda Sanford, who cashed in about $14M in stock towards end of 2013, and John Kelly. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    All of these RAs sounds like Lou laying off thousands of IBMers when he became CEO. IBM will continue to destroy the US IBMers and their families. IBM destroyed the economy of Endicott, just like they are doing today in the Hudson Valley. Without a union IBM will continue to destroy towns in upstate New York and families who work for IBM. -Former IBM Endicott Employee-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    Regards to finding an internal job once you've been RA'd. All transfer within GBS are frozen. Any exceptions need to be approved by old George Metz and HR maven Deb Butters. Don't expect any transfers to approved. They never are (unless you're connected to the Armonk mafia.) -Anon-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    About 200 laid off between Tucson and Boulder. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    Over 20 percent of San Jose DFSMS dev staff cut. 12 out of 60. Not good for the future of IBM storage or servers -STG tech-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    Just made a donation to the Alliance. I've never really been a union supporter because I've seen what can happen when they get out of control. But now I'm thinking the pendulum has swung too far the other way. -Sad in Vermont-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    There *is* life outside of IBM, and it's better than life inside IBM. I got tossed last year, and within a month I had a very cool job at a high-tech startup in Manhattan. And y'know? It's *much* nicer being at good company than at a dysfunctional hellblob like IBM. 'Cause any decent high-tech company will *care* about the people who work at it. -Bard Bloom-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    I was RA'd in 2012 after 35 years and responded by sending "thank you" e-mails to my first-, second-, and third-line managers. The IBM we knew no longer exists; it is now controlled by executives hell bent on achieving the RoadKill EPS goal while destroying the lives of the company's employees, and IMHO, ultimately the company itself.

    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-

  • Comment 03/02/14:

    To -hmm- It is my understanding that personal days are lost once you leave; i.e. I had been told many years ago to use personal days first, i.e. first 5 days you take off for the year are personal. Only then use your vacation days. For vacation days they will pay you for the portion you have earned and not used when you leave. Not sure what happens if you used more then you earned; your manager should be able to answer that one. I was 'RA'd' (fired) in July of 2013. I discovered this round 'triggered' the feelings from last summer, even though I am no longer part of the company. The sting after 32 years doesn't go away that soon. -GoneinVermont-
  • Comment 03/02/14:

    The Alliance needs to know how many workers were fired in last weeks resource action. If you have that information and details please email the information to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com Names will be confidential. -Alliance-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Bangalore - Manyata Tech Park. I was called for a meeting with mgr, senior mgr, and HR person on Thursday, and informed that my position is no longer required. I was asked to write a resignation letter on the spot, and the acceptance/relieving letter was handed to me immediately also, prepared and signed by the "Country Process Owner - Separations". I asked why it is being termed as Resignation when it is a RA, and was informed that this is due to the company's sensitivity towards its (ex) employees, so that they face no stigma (supposedly - is it true?) when applying elsewhere. I am not sure if that is the real reason or they want to make sure there is no documented evidence of layoffs in this country.

    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?-

  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Can UK employees join? Thanks -Anonymous-

    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>

  • Comment 03/03/14:

    I got RA'd Thursday, I am 52.5+ years old, I have over 15 years with IBM, I am less than 2.5 years from being able to take the early retirement package. After 15 years of 60-80 hour work weeks, working through holidays and vacations, no overtime, NOW they RA me? I only needed 2 years and 3 months for early retirement. I was hired Feb 1999, now I get zero for retirement? Can that be true? :( -FedUpwithIBM-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    To -FedUpwithIBM-. You should have your cash balance to be used for retirement. If you have a financial planner work with them on your options. Otherwise I've heard good things about Fidelity helping people out. I have a cash balance but was able to retire, for whatever that was worth. I wasn't 40 on 7/1/99 so I lost FHA money when I was RA'd last year. Utilize Right Management if they are still used by IBM to assist people with resume' writing, interview tips, etc. -Still_Blue-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    I just want to correct something I read over and over again which is IBM is being run by HR and Finance and that is why this is happening. Remember, that HR and Finance people had to go to business school and take all business classes. Engineers don't. SW developers don't. And in Business school they DO NOT teach you to focus on wall street numbers. Wall street is viewed as a funding source. Period.

    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-

  • Comment 03/03/14:

    -FedUpwithIBM- : I was RA'd at 52.5 with just 1.5 years until 30 years of service. My manager was RA'd with just months until joining the 25 Year Club. While no one ever said being 50 would be easy, I never imagined that being a 50-year-old in IBM would become nearly impossible. -all-too-true-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    -FedUpwithIBM-: It has happened to you as it happened to me. As a sick "BONUS" of your RA with severance package you also LOSE ALL your FHA since you are not 55 years old despite meeting the 15 years employment requirement. It has happened to you as it happened to me.

    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-

  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Just got called today, Monday 03/03/14 by manager saying that the group got affected. RA's in NA are still happening as of today. Feel sorry for the people that were let go. -Anonymous4G-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Just got the dreaded 15 minute invite from my manager for this afternoon. I have been with IBM for less then a year in a customer facing technical role. Spoke to a friend of mine who is a Storage CTS on the east coast and he has been RA'd along with 40% of his team. Great strategy to increase sales; get rid of almost half of your customer facing support. -Unreal-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Got axed last week after given a PBC 3, which included nothing but lies made up by mgr! No sense in contesting PBCs in IBM. I was given a 30-day Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), which was so widely written that they could use any excuse to say that I didn't complete it satisfactorily. I even got two emails from manager saying two different excuses for my failure on the PIP.

    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-

  • Comment 03/03/14:

    The red tide has started in STG sales. Mainframe, Power and Storage teams are getting their calls this morning. "Business conditions have changed and your [are / are not] affected." One long-term manager characterized it as the broadest and deepest they'd ever seen at IBM. -FYeahI'mDistracted-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    I am an IBM System z architect. I would like to know if you are keeping track of how many System z people are getting laid off. Also, I would like to know if you intend to communicate this to the students in the System z Academic Initiative. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    RA this morning for approx 25% of the STG Technical Sales team. Most ages 50+ -anonymous-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Has it been confirmed that this action is known internally as Project Apollo? Doesn't anyone find it disgusting that they would take so much pride in this "project" that they give it a name? This tells me that some people are going to get awards and win PBC points for their "outstanding contributions to Project Apollo." Maybe they'll even get a plaque that they can proudly hang on their wall. -Nick Danger-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    The reason for IBM no longer sharing the titles, ages and position information is really simple. It is very easy to map the data to the actual person that was impacted. As a former manager that has retired from IBM, I used to look at the packet and then query Blue Pages and 99% of the time my guess would be correct regarding who was hit. When the population was larger it would be next to impossible to make a determination of the actual person(s). This I believe is the first sign of fear by IBM of the employees organizing. Numbers, titles and ages don't mean much but when you can put names and faces to the data; it gets real for a lot of people. I hope the push continues to restore the IBM basic beliefs. -Willie Rae-
  • Comment 03/03/14

    : Willie Rae - "The reason for IBM no longer sharing the titles, ages and position information is really simple. It is very easy to map the data to the actual person that was impacted." While that may be true, the REAL reason is that IBM is firing a large percentage of people in the over 40 (and even over 50) demographic. They may be SAYING they want to protect privacy of the individuals involved, but since when does IBM respect ANYTHING with regard to their employees? Their REAL intent is to muddy the waters where a possible age discrimination lawsuit is concerned. Every single person that I know personally that was an RA victim this past week was in the over-40 demographic, and many were over-50 with more than 25 years of service. -BoulderAnon-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    -Willie Rae- While it might be possible to discern who is being laid off it doesn't matter. IBM is breaking the law by not providing this information in the packet provided to the employee. This information is required so the employee and their legal representation can make a learned decision on whether to waive their rights to sue for age discrimination. While I am sure the information can help unionization efforts, I feel the lack of it is only to make it harder to determine that IBM is firing people based on age and avoid lawsuits. -anaoymous_retiree-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    John Kelly has wrecked quite a few high technical IBM careers from what I heard. I even heard somewhere that some highly regarded technical expert committed suicide with him mentioned in the suicide note. I would have liked to have seen Linda Sanford be chosen instead of Rometty. Linda, IMHO, was more deserving and probably more capable. But when does IBM do the right thing or get it right these days? -anonMHV-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Noticing a bit of a pattern within these posts: unusually low PBC (3) than layoff. Resume is out now as I went from 1.5 in to a 3 in 6 months. Manager said "he had to work within a pre-defined Matrix and some people had to get a 3". Not earned but rather 'had to get'. Seriously? He has yet to quantify how he made those decisions. I just had my best quarter ever, but guess manager is positioning to cover his favs! IBM is by far the sleaziest company I have worked with in my entire career. I hope my resignation saves at least one other position. -Concerned IBMer-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Dumped at 58, 18m after being enticed from a position I had held for 12 years. Not very amused. -PSSTOFF-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    As a sign of support, both for folks laid off as well as people who survived, I changed my status from associate to voting member. I would encourage other IBM'ers to do the same. At this point, it is pretty clear that management in Armonk does not care about the employees at all. With the relentless focus on the EPS target of $20 per share for 2015, it is even questionable if they really care about IBM's shareholders or customers. If IBM cared about its customers, it would focus on developing innovative products. -Guest-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    One person alone cannot make a difference, and it is only by joining with others that our voices can be heard. I am very grateful to the Alliance for the website they maintain and the sharing of information. For years I've taking advantage of the site without contributing a dime and its about time that that changes. So, as of today, I've joined the union. Not sure if I'll be around long enough to benefit, but I have friends and co-workers that are years away from retirement and a union is their only hope. -new member-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    Didn't come as a shock; thank you to this board for warning me or I would have lost it. Embarrassed and haven't told anyone yet. My presales tech person got it also. STG Sales North America -Embarrassed-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    X_number- Regarding your Q - How many employees works for System X right now? Just around 7500 or much higher than this number? Based on the words of a BUE, Lenovo is only taking 1/3 of the System x employees and the rest will be package out. Only repeating what I hear. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/03/14:

    I was RA'd today. Almost 31 years. 2+ appraisal. Still a bit shell shocked, but more importantly, when I called my HR Partner to request the OWBPA stats she told me that IBM was not required to provide those to anyone. From what I have read about the law this seems to conflict completely. Have a call in to my labor attorney to discuss before I sign anything. -30+years-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    RA'd last Thursday, 25+ years; 3/31 my last day. To add insult to injury, there is a new law in NY as of 1/1/14. You do not get unemployment until your separation lump sum is used up 6 months from now. And, in October the amount goes from $405 to $420. The DOL website is very vague, but if you Google it there is lots of info out there and it was reported in the Syracuse paper. -Anonymous in NY-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    I got the axe today in div 12 after 15 years and THREE consecutive "1" PBC ratings and zero raise over this time. Believe me, I'm not a butt kisser; hence probably why I'm getting the boot, but I did EVERYTHING right. Every process timely and precisely. I EARNED every "1" I got. Y'all know the game and you know it's not easy to achieve that. Averaged working on $50M in Power revenue a year for over 10 years.

    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-

  • Comment 03/04/14:

    For the older workers and the Alliance talking about a promised pension, I am a younger worker that was promised the same thing. I have 17 years in. I was promised a lifetime pension when I started. That was taken away from me for a Cash Balance plan. I can guarantee you one thing: if you are on the old plan and under the 30 year mark for it, you are pretty much gone before you meet that bridge date. IBM wants as few people on the pension as possible.

    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-

  • Comment 03/04/14:

    NYS employees not safe. RA postponed. Moving towards a Services and Software Company. PBC's don't matter. They choose your rating long before you enter your accomplishments. -Voldemort-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    Forty to fifty IBMers were laid off in the INM Federal unit lead out of Bethesda Maryland. Also several of IBMs Advanced Technical Support personnel were let go. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    To those of you who were fired by IBM and are now asking: "Can the union start a class action suit, or can the union help with this or that". What have you done to help the union? Have you joined or donated to the union yet? To those of you not fired yet, join the union now. The more who join, the more powerful the union will become. If you stick your head in the sand and do nothing, we will continue to get the same treatment from IBM. -JustDoIt-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    RA'd from Austin after 17 years, 40+ age. I never had a rating below 2 but was working remotely, so RA was not unexpected. About OWBPA stats not being included, my take is that would make the waiver for age discrimination suits unenforceable. But just the fact that they're disregarding the rules and not disclosing the numbers, as maddening as it is, doesn't imply that they're discriminating or you could win a lawsuit. Maybe IBM thinks they have a reasonable case against such action and they don't want to disclose numbers, so they disregard the regulation.

    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-

  • Comment 03/04/14:

    I almost made 30 years but got the call yesterday. I am a solid performer but guess it doesn't matter. Management seemed to take care of themselves. STG Technical Sales. -Almost30years-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    Firings—I'm not going to call them "resource actions"—hit the Technical Sales group in the Great State of Texas. Here's the breakdown of the body count as far as I know: Enterprise Storage FTSS - 5; Industry Storage FTSS - 5; Enterprise Power FTSS - 6; Industry Power FTSS -5; Tape Systems FTSS - 12' Storage Sales - 5; Power Sales - 5; Power ATS - 8. I was NOT affected and am now one of the three Storage FTSSes for the entire state. Guess Ginni's really trying to "grow the business", huh? -Ano Nymous-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    Just watched the news clip of IBM workers on strike at Shenzhen, China. I must say fellow Americans and Canadians are taking the RA rather meekly. Did you bring your Vaseline? The buzz on Weibo is very negative on IBM. Ginny just wasted gas and time visiting Beijing trying to rebuild trust. IBM will see decline in the middle kingdom in the foreseeable future. -No longer blue-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    All we want to know are ages of all the RAed employees. I don't care about their former titles. Let me draw my own conclusions as I look at how skewed the graph is, at greater than 40, 45, and 50. IBM knows they are specifically targeting the older employees; otherwise they would be more transparent. Seems like a lot of 2+ employees. 2+ is the new 1. -Ha-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    A colleague of mine from GBS was RAd during (her) very advanced pregnancy. IBM was aware she was pregnant before the RAs started. -upset-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    Guys, if you are a part of System Storage or P systems you WILL be RAed. Expect this to happen. -Notes-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    Sad but true. I got RA's yesterday out of Tampa, FL. I worked as a Technical Specialist on the IBM Storage Side supporting one of the big four IBM distributors and over 1000 of their IBM resellers. Never got below 2+ on my PBC; won the 2013 IBM Eminence Award and it still could not save my job. As I found out the reason was because a big chunk of the funding for my headcount came from the System x side of IBM. It used to come from IBM Storage, but my department code was switched last fall. My manager could never tell me why it was switched, but now I know.

    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-

  • Comment 03/04/14:

    -Over55-: My wife was RA'ed last year in RTP after 20 years. She got the same package. You need to wait for your package to run out of cash, then you can apply for unemployment. Trust me, I tried and just because it's in one lump sum does not make the start/end date change for unemployment. No way around it because they verify with IBM no matter what you say on forms. Good luck and there is life after IBM! I'm a former IBMer, 3rd generation family and wife found awesome job about 5 months after RA last year. Keep your chin up and land another job in a few months after you rest and you'll have money in the bank! :-) -Ex-IBMer-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    -anonMHV- Looking at last year's figures (Linda) Sandford is selling her IBM shares like they are going out of fashion. See http://tinyurl.com/o5v9l3v. 02/01/14 receives 18,513 shares at $0. Same day sells 8,738 for $1,543,044. Nice work Linda and all with no bonus. Maybe she knows something. -OnThinIce-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    Everyone in my group that was fired (RA'd) was over the age of 45. IBM is hiding the fact that it is firing older folks and only hiring recent college graduates. -Over The Hill and waiting for my turn-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    I got a response via email from HR about the OWBPA requirement to provide numbers. This is what they said: "IBM will no longer be providing the age and employee data as per the direction of IBM Legal as this is not required and there were concerns with employee privacy based on providing the information." Clearly, IBM Legal has spent a lot of time working on this, to find a loophole for some time. I have my attorney looking at it. Has anyone else? I was referred to page 32 of the package, which basically tells you to use the Open Door process, and then arbitration. Really? -NotmyIBM-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    From what I see, your PBC number/rankings doesn't matter when it comes to RA. PBC is a fraud/carrot stick trick you to make you work like dog. There are 2 numbers that matter, your age and your salary. That's it! The higher the 2 numbers get, the higher the chance the bullet is chambered in your game of Russian Roulette and IBM employment. I would recommend against doing more than 40 hours. Do 40 hours for what you are paid and go home. Why risk your family and your health and cause irreversible damage. Don't do this for IBM for God's sake! -Asd-
  • Comment 03/04/14:

    I am not sure if IBM's foray into cloud or Watson will pan out. Cloud is now overcrowded with competitors and the margins will be driven down to the 2% margin model which companies like Amazon and Costco are built to handle. IBM is a lazy 90% margin company and survives by duping customers into buying their overpriced garbage. IBM is not built like Costco (retail) or Amazon (retail and cloud) to handle the 2% margin business like the cloud will become. Also Watson will be running into a lot of head wind from other competitors like Google.

    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-

  • Comment 03/04/14:

    If you reside in CT, under the prior pension plan, taking retirement benefits, and looking for work you can receive unemployment benefits. No reduction based on pension amount. Is because IBM stopped contributing to plan at end 2007. Be sure to print prior plan document on net benefits. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    In 30 years at big blue I've not seen anything like the toxic work environment I'm in. I got word in GBS "you are safe, for now". I've joined the Alliance for $15 a month. I've learned much the past week from this site, Thank you! If YOU are reading this post and are not paying dues, I challenge you - join the Alliance now! -Black-n-Blue-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    It's sad to read many of these posts, especially the lack of awareness to these staff reductions. This has been going on virtually annually since 1994. The numbers are small today compared to the mass firings of 94 & 95. Every IBMer needs to understand...management sets hard numbers. Years of service don't matter; PBC ratings/past performance don't matter; critical skills don't matter; personal hardships don't matter. Only in limited cases "Protected Status" might matter but they'll replace those with unprotected top performers without hesitation.

    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-

  • Comment 03/05/14:

    I'd encourage everyone to take the time to complete Glassdoor reviews for IBM (while keeping it factual) so that people know what is going on within the company. Way too many planted reviews there suckering people to believe that IBM is a great place to work. -jbod-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    I was a member of the RA class of 2002 who just had his IBM medical group plans terminated. IBM US headcount peaked at 250k and is now less than 88k. All transnational companies like IBM decided long ago they could make more money off foreign nations as opposed to the saturated US one so they shipped jobs overseas to provide a form of bribe to do more business with IBM.

    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-

  • Comment 03/05/14:

    IBM lost its charm in India and they got bunch of folks from other companies and screwed IBM and they victimised employees. No executive was sacked it is all the nonsenses of executive. -Murthy-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    What is really sad to me is that most RAed IBMers don't know what benefits they lost or still have once the are gone from IBM. From simple things like how much is my severance? Do I get medical benefits? should I take my vacation days? Can I file for unemployment? etc. IBM feeds off this naivety and lack of knowing these things. IBM HR does a truly lousy job of telling, communicating to IBM employees in all regards. And this is to be directly blamed on IBM management and their lack of true leadership.

    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-

  • Comment 03/05/14:

    -Over55- In NC you have to wait to collect unemployment until your severance money runs out. If you are eligible for the old pension plan you will be able to collect unemployment concurrently due to IBM freezing the pension plan. You might have to appeal this the first time around and have to show proof that IBM has not contributed to the plan. If you contact the Employment Security Commission (an oxymoron I know) they will be able to assist you on when/how to file. If you live in the Durham area you might want to call the Raleigh office. I have a child who lives in Durham and got very poor service until she started contacting the Raleigh office. Wish you well. -anonymous_retiree-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    As they cut hard working good people, IBM thinks those left behind will pick up the extra work. Most of us already are more than booked full time, so this time around, I said "No more, I'm overflowing with work." IF everyone of us said the same thing, what would happen? Enough is enough. I'm joining today, because I've had enough -Just say No-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    Hearing of more cuts in IBM Canada STG System x platform, FTSS, Sales reps and managers, 9 so far, also IBM Canada Techline and Customer Care dept got hit. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    It seems like the new direction of IBM is heavily based on Watson doing well. To be honest I am not sure there is even a market for this, and it will be interesting to see the direction IBM decides to take when Watson fails. I am sensing IBM we will have a new leader soon, but before that comes we need to push harder than ever to get the name of the Alliance out there. If your co-workers do not know what the Alliance is send them the link. This isn't something we should feel bad about; but too many of us do. The Alliance can help us receive better treatment, treatment that all employees deserve. Let's turn this around. Join the Alliance now, I am now. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    This latest round of RA's is bad enough, but the media and other folks have forgotten about the 35,000 IBM employees (mostly offshore employees)that were transitioned to Concentrix due to the purchase of IBM Customer Care BPO group by Synnex (which was originally announced on September 2013). With the latest round of firings, IBM will probably have less than 395,000 employees globally. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/05/14:

    This is always so sad. They missed me this time, but my time will come. We all know this but we don't join until its too late. There is going to be a whirlwind soon. The hardware business is done. The cloud uses cheap standard hardware built by the cloud vendor. The software is open source. This collapses the IBM business model. You don't get hardware sales, software licenses, don't need salesmen for those things or consultants to teach customers to use and operate the systems they aren't buying anymore.

    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-

  • Comment 03/06/14:

    About this whole Watson push. I would think that considering the head of Watson bailing out recently he sees no way to achieve the $10B market Ginny envisioned—while no doubt smoking ganga perhaps. The management is not engaged in high-margin business with high barriers to entry like TJ Watson Jr did with System/360 decades ago. Analytics and cloud will become commoditized very soon and will be driven down to a point were it is no longer compatible with 100% margin IBM business model. Service is already being pushed down to low levels of margin by other entrants with access to cheap slave labor pool in developing countries. -Observer-
  • Comment 03/06/14:

    IBM is trying to hide the fact that Southbury, CT has only building B and the CSB open. Bldg. C was closed and Bldg. A has been closed for almost a decade. Somers, NY (Westchester county) also has at least one office building closed. Other IBM sites also have vacancies in office space. Where do you think these IBMers went? In an RA no less. The ones left probably work from home..for now..awaiting the next RAs that will come like each sunset. -sby_willie-
  • Comment 03/06/14:

    The corp has completely missed the market. I'm in STG which is rapidly becoming extinct and commoditized. They could go back to a disruptive model for H/W acquisition but god forbid short them pain for long term gain. Our client support group lost 5/9 excluding the Lenovo fiasco. All senior, all extremely competent.

    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-

  • Comment 03/06/14:

    @FirstTimeLaidOff I was RA'd in June/July 2013. When I was out interviewing for other companies, I was simply honest. When asked, I explained to them I was laid off not for performance reasons (which my manager can verify), but because of IBM global downsizing (basically outsourcing my job to India where they could hire 3 engineers with my salary). Just be honest. A lot of my interviewers sympathized with me, mentioning that if that happened to them, they would be downright furious. One even asked me if he should sell his IBM stock due to the company's condition. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/06/14:

    I quit two days ago amid the RA's and despite management begging me to stay...why did I go? Well I think most people are prepared to put up with a lot of crap in a sales role, but two weeks ago I and a few colleagues were told that 'a decision had been made' to change how our 2013 commission would work which effectively halved what IBM OWES ME in commission and leaving some colleagues owing back to IBM. Unethical and due to dumb arse management.

    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-

  • Comment 03/07/14:

    @-Gone- and others. Curious, has there ever been a breakdown of RA's by gender? Second, the number of nearly 400K employees keeps being bandied about by the Corporate shill Doug Shelton. While IBM may "employ" that figure, that does not mean they are "employees". Five years ago there were over 100K contractors, vendors, supplementals counted in the mix; today that number has more than doubled to over 250K. IBM's actual "employee' headcount, ones that they issue W2's or equivalent, make 401K payments, etc. is significantly less. To illustrate, a construction site can "employ" thousands of workers; the construction company itself actually has only a few hundred "employees". -Numbers Game-
  • Comment 03/07/14:

    Kudos to our IBM brothers and sisters in China! We stand united with you in your quest for fair treatment and better working conditions! If IBM disciplines or fires just ONE of these workers who peacefully demonstrated IBM should be brought to justice. -IBMUnionYES-

    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.

  • Comment 03/07/14:

    What is amazing is all of these big companies like IBM catering to the big share holders. They are not customers; nor are they employees. They remind me of vultures that hang around until the meat is gone and move unto something else. They do not care about the companies future; only the current price of stock. IBM executives all fit into this category. When IBM is beyond a point of no return because of their actions they will move on to something/somewhere else with all the money they stole. -Gone in '98-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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