Those jobs Governor Nixon was referring to five years ago are the 800 jobs promised to the state by International Business Machines, or IBM, when the company opened a facility in Columbia in 2010.
In return, the company would get $28 million in tax breaks.
But IBM has not fulfilled that promise, according to the state, and some of those state incentives were suspended just weeks ago.
And that's not the only thing ABC 17 News has learned. Some jobs are being created, but may not be going to the people you think they are. ...
In January, a spokesman for IBM said the company layoffs were part of a "$600 million restructuring." But he would not provide job numbers.
Fertig then filed an open records request with the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
After several calls and emails went unanswered, the department finally provided her with documents that showed the current number of employees at the Columbia facility is just 453. That's down from 610 in January of 2014.
In a letter from the DED dated April 22, 2015, the department informed IBM that "reducing the number of jobs at the Columbia facility below 500 constitutes a suspension event," meaning the state will no longer be giving tax credits under the Missouri BUILD program. ...
One employee, whose voice has been concealed to protect their identity, said the 453 number of employees at the facility is far from accurate.
"It's hard to count 300 in the building at any one day," the employee told Fertig. "There are people that work from home and some of those homes are not even in Columbia. They're in different states. It looks as if they're here in Columbia, but in reality, they're not." ...
But this employee said while the layoffs are concerning, they said it's what the company is doing to replace those workers who are laid off that's more disturbing.
"IBM will bring Indian people over here to work," the employee said.
"So you're saying they're replacing American workers with foreign workers?" Fertig asked.
Yes," the employee said. "In the case of training the folks from India, to do whatever the person is doing here, that would be an accurate statement because that's exactly what's happening."
Another employee who did not want their voice recorded told Fertig the same thing. They said some people in the building are currently training the foreign worker who will take over for them when they finish their last day. ...
The same allegations have been made at the IBM facility just 300 miles away in Dubuque, Iowa.
In fact, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley even sent a letter to IBM questioning why the company was petitioning for H1-B visas when it just laid off hundreds of American workers.
IBM told an Iowa newspaper last month "In order to serve the evolving technology needs of clients in high-growth area such as cloud computing, data analytics, social and security, IBM and the tech industry must utilize a global talent pool. Today, there are simply not enough American workers with expertise in these areas to fill the thousands of U.S. job openings IBM currently has available." ...
While government leaders at the state and local level may or may not know about what could be going on behind closed doors, IBM employees said the reason they're coming forward is because the taxpayers have a right to know.
"Unless the state of Missouri, you know, grabs themselves by the boot straps and says, 'This is taxpayer money, this is not some sort of fluff money from Washington,' nothing is going to happen," the employee said.
On Tuesday, ABC 17's Jillian Fertig took a closer look at the Columbia taxpayer's investment in the building that houses IBM.
"They're [IBM] not required to be transparent with the city," Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said in Monday night's report.
Fertig asked him if he felt IBM was being misleading to the taxpayers by not being transparent with job numbers and that the 453 employees at the facility was far short of the 800 jobs promised.
McDavid said IBM's obligation is to the state as far as employment numbers go, and that his main interest was IBM paying for upgrades to the building.
"We purchased it for $3 million," he said. "We owe $300,000 a year for 10 years. IBM was required, and did, put $10 million into it, so we own a building now worth $12 or $13 million that we bought for $3 million."
It didn’t work.
And so, despite Amazon and Microsoft announcing tangible financial results that show the exact opposite, IBM is now flogging a Microsoft-sponsored 451 Research survey (PDF) which purports to show IBM “as the company most likely to win cloud business”.
While that might make the folks in Armonk feel better about themselves, there are a number of reasons to be suspicious of the results. ...
So it’s a two-horse race, however you quantify it (and The Register’s Gavin Clarke makes a valiant effort to do just that). Those horses are Amazon and Microsoft. IBM is growing slower than Amazon, and on a much smaller base.
According to the vendor's figures for the year ending 31 December 2014 – made public last month in a filing to corporate regulator ASIC – its largest division, services, took the biggest hit. ...
While the Australian arm of the US vendor declined to comment on the results, ANZ acting channel leader Paul Richardson referenced IBM's recent investment in new markets.
"As part of our transformation, IBM is investing in cloud, analytics, social, mobile and security that deliver higher value and innovation to our clients," he said. "The strategy is paying off, with these strategic imperatives now representing US$25 billion and 27 percent of our revenue. ...
In February, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty acknowledged the hardships of transformation to partners, while predicting growth in the year ahead. In the same month, the vendor brought back performance bonuses for its top executives, including Rometty, which had been voluntarily frozen the previous year.
According to these sources, the primary targets of the job cuts are former IBM employees who were transferred to Lenovo last September when the deal in which Lenovo bought IBM's lower-end x86 server business closed. The servers are used for a wide variety of functions ranging from supporting corporate networks and cloud computing. ...
Another source noted that those targeted to be laid off "are the people that came over from IBM in October." Some 2,000 IBMers were transferred to Lenovo last fall, and more than 6,000 employees worldwide were absorbed in the deal.
Many of those let go in what Gorman called a "resource action" are former IBM employees. Resource action is a term used at IBM for layoffs and reorganizations.
Lenovo only cut jobs in the U.S., he added. The affected workers are eligible for severance and also can apply for open jobs within the company, Gorman said.
It’s a PR gambit more than anything else. So generally, Wall Street is right to not send IBM stock soaring on a press release.
But what’s worrying is that if ever there was a time for the markets to get excited – even with a slight jump – it would be on this Facebook partnership. Instead, the IBM stock price got a huge lift last month that was entirely unwarranted. ...
Here’s the problem, though…
In IBM’s earnings release just three days before, the company reported its 12th consecutive quarter of declining sales. The IBM stock price fell 1.1% on the day. ...
IBM seems to be in the cloud because it has to be. It can’t survive as an IT solutions company if it’s not branching out of its traditional legacy systems architecture and providing a cloud platform for its Fortune 100 clients to migrate to if and when they abandon the mainframe. Cloud for IBM is about survival, not growth.
IBM’s data analytics business caters to major retailers and big consumer product brands. And Facebook, the social networking giant, does too. IBM’s data scientists do a lot of social media and sentiment analysis, but not with the vast laboratory of human behavior and preferences that Facebook has.
Pros: Excellent experience, and having IBM on your resume does wonders.
Cons: Morale is TERRIBLE after all the outsourcing that happened; constant fear of being laid off. Clients started dropping like flies post-outsourcing. There was a massive brain drain, as well. Really great employees left because they were so unhappy
Advice to Management: Recognize that you need happy employees in order to have happy customers. Focus on your employees.
Pros: I worked with some very high-caliber people dedicated to producing a high-quality product for more than 14 years. I had some very good opportunities to grow my technical skills, to mentor new team members and to grow a team to a high level of performance and professionalism. We were building world class technology and it was fun doing it.
Cons: All of the good was undone by the companies single minded policy of only thinking of shareholder values. Nothing else mattered and all costs that could be cut were; to ludicrous extremes. Between the shareholder-only policy and an army of project managers/executive project managers/program managers all requiring status updates on a daily basis for their respective VP chains it became difficult to actually get any quality work accomplished.
I was glad when I was selected for a severance and layoff from a team that I had loved, within a company I had grown to despise. The atmosphere had morphed from one of fostering creativity to one of instilling fear. Fear of the constant layoffs, fear of the stack ranking system and fear of being asked to work just one more weekend (like so many other weekends). I had coined IBM as having a siege mentality for years and this is how it felt. Barring the door from even good opportunities because the teams were so overloaded trying to keep up with current workloads with greatly reduced resources. Reduced not just in numbers but also in terms of capability.
After being laid off and actually slowing down was I able to look at the situation objectively for how "nuts" it had gotten. I talk to my former colleagues frequently and they tell me that it's only gotten worse. I can't imagine — I'm glad that I no longer work there full-time although I do miss working on the product I'd spend so many years pouring my life into.
Advice to Management: If you don't value your highly-skilled technical contributors, someone else will; it's as simple as that.
At the end of the day in software development, one person does not equal one other person. A very good programmer/designer is worth much more then then 2 or 3 even 5 who can't think out the box. This is what you're creating by laying off the "old and expensive" (read experienced) and putting your entire "bet" on off-shoring — and it shows in IBM's lack of leadership in the industry.
My advice, reduce the levels of management and VPs — in other words, half of management should resign. The "troops" have been decimated, it's time to decimate the generals who drove the company into this state. Start to value PEOPLE again.
Pros: Project-flexible schedule. Loose local management. Looks good on resume. Excellent opportunities for fresh college graduates without families to support.
Cons: Compensation is sub-standard. Corporate culture exalts mediocrity. 44-hour minimum work week. Despite high standards of self-improvement, tuition reimbursement is not available for degree seekers.
Pros: Work from home is generally allowed.
Advice to Management: Share the wealth. Value and reward your employees.
Advice to Management:
Pros: The IBM brand opens a lot of doors as a seller; benefits are great.
Cons: Management is poor and decentralized. It takes forever to get anything done and many times knowing who to work with to get things done is harder than winning the business. IBM is so big that it is slow to react to market changes and smaller more nimble competitors can poach business because of it.
Advice to Management: Remove road blocks, not build them. Add a human perspective to the engagement and put someone in charge that sincerely cares about their people.
Pros: The only pro I have seen is the company has flexible work culture.
Advice to Management:
Pros: It's still an impressive company to have on your resume. Benefits are generous, but not as good as they used to be. People are still proud to be IBMers.
Cons: Nobody gets raises any more. IBM is actively trying to move every job possible out of the US. Don't expect much financial appreciation. Expect to work long hours. There is an annual bonus plan but it only pays off to the very highest of performers, as rated by their manager. You have to practically get VP approval to buy a pencil, expenses are so tightly controlled. Bean counters galore!
Advice to Management: Try to learn to appreciate and reward good employees instead of giving it all to stockholders and the C-level people. Even small improvements will buy you big rewards in employee morale, which is beat down and has been for years now.
Pros: Great technology, smart product managers, good communications and knowledge development.
Cons: Highly political in places where here is little oversight due to high level of contractors; perhaps. Many managers seem more interested in impressing each other than developing good processes and deliverables because they actually care about quality.
Advice to Management: Don't give group managers a pass just because they're popular or have been at IBM forever. I think contractors should be included in 360 reviews as well. You'd be surprised at what you discover.
Pros: Incredibly talented and dedicated workforce.
Cons: Over the last 15-20 years, IBM has been moving from the "Exceptional Excellence" model company to the "Middle-of-the-Road Mediocre" model. All driven by the financial executive wieners trying to squeeze another 1/2% of margin out of the financial reports. This model has been slowly sucking the company dry of dedicated go-the-distance workforce talent.
Advice to Management: Company executives treating employees as disposable assets and used to manipulate the company's Wall Street performance. Hardware and software manufacturing are no longer the core backbone of IBM. High-margin consulting services and technical delivery services are the core business. The IBM employees are the life-blood of this service-oriented business.
Pros: Big organisation that has a lot of history, and is looking to grow and change so they can continue to be an industry leader. Opportunities are also what you make of them here. if you are a go getter this is the place for you.
Cons: There is a lot of history and old school thinking, so sometimes change can be slow. There are a lot of people who are frustrated in their jobs, so there pockets of negativity, but don't let it discourage you. Look for like minded colleagues and good things will happen.
Pros: Great group of professionals to work with and for
Advice to Management: Everyone, including our first-line managers are under a lot of pressure for unrealistic utilization targets driving morale and loyalty for many of employees down.
Advice to Management: Focus on the long-term business (client satisfaction from adequately staffed projects and invest in employee appreciation and community building. Take short-term losses to drive long-term rewards may be a better strategy. Driving via exigent account metrics may not be the best strategic approach to driving long-term value.
The myth of the job-hopping millennial is just that — a myth. The data consistently shows that today’s young people are actually less professionally itinerant than previous generations. In fact, millennials — and the U.S. economy as a whole — would be better off if they’d live up to the stereotype and start switching jobs more often.
Changing jobs is a key way for workers to make more money. That’s especially true for younger workers, who often need to move around to find the job that suits — and pays — them best. By entering the workforce during a period of prolonged economic downturn, today’s young people missed out on years of potential wage gains, a setback from which they might never fully recover.
And it's the average percentage of women working in the tech industry, based on diversity reports published by 11 of the world's largest tech companies last year. In comparison, women make up 59 percent of the US labor force and almost 51 percent of the US population, according to the US Census Bureau.
Is 30 percent really so bad?
It is when you drill into the percentage of women filling leadership and technical roles -- that's when the numbers get downright depressing.
A big reason is the economy: Professional workers in companies that shed employees in the Great Recession are still doing the work of two or more people and working longer hours. Salaries have stagnated, and costs continue to rise, according to a new survey of nearly 10,000 workers in eight countries by Ernst & Young’s Global Generations Research.
But another big reason? The boss just doesn’t get it.
According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, Fiorina’s name recognition stands at a hundred per cent among the legions of employees she terminated, with many of them calling the former C.E.O. “unforgettable.
Additionally, a broad majority of the laid-off workers described their feelings about Fiorina as “intense,” and noted that very few days go by when they do not invoke her name in a vehement manner.
Executives and board members make millions of dollars every year in stock options bonuses and salaries, and the average IBM employee is lucky to get a 1 or 2 percent raise if any. The only way to stop this corrupt and greedy company is to have a union contract. As long as IBM is an at-will employer this will continue and all the bitcXXX and complaining will not make any difference in the lives of the employees and there will be no changes. IBM does not give a rats ass about their employees.
Join the union and get rid of these corrupt and greedy executives and board members, or continue to work for a corrupt and greedy organization. Wake up IBM employees and join the union today. RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL IN IBM IS HISTORY. -ANA-
If an IBMer really wants someone to show respect to them, and have their backs, the only thing that will do this is a strong union contract. The way it is now, IBM can get rid of you for any reason, and treat you like crap and you have no recourse. IBM is an at-will employer. Thank you Mr. Conrad for all you have done in trying to organize a union in IBM. Without the employees of IBM deciding they want a strong union contract, the attitude and abuse of IBM management toward the employees will never change in IBM. -ANA-
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