ABC 17 News is told their new departure date is June 30.
For the last month, ABC 17 News has been investigating after the state suspended some of the tax credits IBM had been receiving because the company isn't meeting minimum staffing numbers.
On Wednesday, a former employee who wanted to remain anonymous said IBM has had trouble keeping employment numbers up since the facility opened in 2010.
The former employee told ABC 17 News some employees were furloughed back in 2011, only about a year after the Columbia facility opened its doors. ...
According to the Missouri State Department of Economic Development, IBM received nearly $2 million for training.
But some seem to question where that money went.
"I did have to sign off on a few things for the state, in regards to the grant that IBM got 'cause they quote unquote 'trained me' to do my job, but there was really no training involved," the former employee said. "It was just, 'hey, this is what you're going to do,' and that's what I did."
This employee told ABC 17 News while some were furloughed back in 2011, others were unhappy with the work environment and left of their own will.
"It got to the point where essentially everyone's home page was CareerBuilder.com.," they said. "Honestly, I feel like it was probably a waste of taxpayers' money."
The two main issues I have with IBM have always been that the business is dying and that the management team is clueless. Issue number one can be seen in any of IBM's recent earnings reports, including the Q1 report that came out about two months ago. IBM beat slightly on EPS but revenue came in light at a whopping 12.9% less than the comparable quarter a year ago. This is a story that has been playing out for a long time as IBM continues to cede business to its competitors. IBM's focus on financial engineering instead of running the business has cost shareholders dearly in the past few years and it is seen most clearly in loss of revenue.
The second issue is certainly more qualitative and subjective in nature but is important nonetheless. IBM's last decade or so has been spent trying to grow shareholder value by repurchasing stock. This is an idea that makes sense as long as the underlying business can support it but IBM's management teams over that time span have been blinded to anything except buying back shares and in the process, the business has been steadily shrinking. The current CEO has been in place for nearly 4 years and has done absolutely nothing except continue on with failed practices from her predecessors. I honestly can't understand why IBM pays for a CEO when a piece of software can execute share buybacks; when there is no strategic direction coming from the top, why have a leadership team? ...
I still think IBM is expensive here because there is virtually no way it can hit its EPS growth rates in the coming years. Analysts apparently agree because even after IBM reiterated its guidance, EPS estimates haven't moved. IBM will continue to post disappointing numbers, lose revenue, post flat margins and continue to buy back stock. Those things we know will happen because they have been happening for years. And since the leadership team apparently has zero ability to make any difference, I suspect we'll continue to see those things happen and that the stock will continue to drift downward as the business dies off.
Disney had its IT operation in-house, then hired IBM to take it over with the usual transfer of employees followed by layoffs as IBM cut costs to make a bigger profit. Ultimately Disney fired IBM, hired (or re-hired) a new IT staff, which is the group now replaced by H-1Bs employed by an Indian company essentially offering the same services that were earlier provided by IBM. This more detailed story means, for one thing, that the workers being replaced by H-1Bs have for the most part worked for Disney for less than three years. ...
But in Disney’s specific case there’s another underlying issue that has to be taken into account, which is IT mis-management on an epic scale. I have been talking with IT folks I trust from Orlando — both former Disney workers and others just familiar with the local tech scene — and the picture of Disney IT that emerges is terrible. Disney turned to IBM not so much to save money as to save IT. But as you can guess, an essentially un-managed IBM contract was viewed by Armonk as a blank check. Disney started complaining, but it is my understanding that at least some of the trouble had to do with Disney’s own communication problems — problems that didn’t improve once IBM was fired. ...
“I remember there was a big crisis,” recalled a former IBMer who worked on the Disney account. “There was a massive backlog of new service requests, hundreds. It turned out most of the service requests had already been processed and had been waiting on Disney for months, sometimes over a year, for approval. In the interim Disney had changed their request process. So we moved the finished requests to the new system. A few months later most of those requests were still awaiting Disney’s approval.” ...
I blame Disney CEO Bob Iger for not knowing what’s happening at his own company, which I’m told now thinks that moving everything to the cloud is the answer. It isn’t. And with Disney such an iconic brand I’m quite sure there are technical people in Russia, China, North Korea and elsewhere who know very well the company’s vulnerability.
Selected reader comments follow:
Pros: Layoffs have been reduced (not eliminated). Now hiring to replace laid off workers. Work from home opportunities are good.
Cons: As a 30+ year employee, I regularly work 60+ hours per week and I bring home less than I did 5 years ago due to increased medical premiums and infrequent raises. Last 5 years of raises were 0%, 2.1%, 0%, 0%, 2.2%, all while working 60+ hours per week. IBM's official policies are:
Actual pay is a bit under average.
Advice to Management: There needs to be appropriate financial return for hard work and dedication.
Pros: Great teammates. Iconic brand. Decent benefits.
Advice to Management: Too much corporate nepotism; the company needs fresh blood at the very top. Stop recycling lifers into new executive roles. Get rid of all executives that have no direct reports. Stop laying off worker bees; they are the life blood of the company.
Advice to Management: Great job; high praise from me at least!
Pros: Ermm, this is is hard. It's seriously hard to find something above "very bad" level here. We have 14 inch laptops for all tech employees, as an example.
Advice to Management: Stop Watson business. Throw Tivoli monster out of the window. Forget AIX. Get people under 30 making technical decisions. Just close the shop, seriously.
Pros: Some very nice and professional co-workers. (No idea where they get their patience, other than there are no other jobs so they go along to get along but hate the company).
Cons: Poor work/life balance (your whole life is supposed to be about IBM).
Poor middle management; your manager will 'have your back' until the manager above him/her complains and then they will throw you under the bus and put you on a 30-60 day 'plan' to exit you out of the company.
Advice to Management: Grow up; being a middle manager at IBM doesn't mean a thing. You're not the President of the United States or anyone of any significant importance. Treat your people like humans and stop hiding behind titles.
Pros: Great people, lots of flexibility, can move around inside to different jobs. Good work/life balance and alternate work options.
Cons: The pay is lower. Expense controls to drive you nuts. No clear strategy or vision at least in my division.
Advice to Management: Give loyal employees the benefit of the doubt. After 16+ years I would not have expected a simple paperwork error to have resulted in termination.
Pros: Remote work from home option supporting execs in domestic USA or global countries. Working in a virtual world.
Cons: Corporate savings since employees are responsible for paying for own home/phone; internet; and printer usage sometimes exceeding limits. No pay raises for 10+ years. Many women in management trying to get ahead therefore disrespecting others.
Advice to Management: Moving in the direction as WANG Laboratories but with much more greed!
Pros: Big company, lots of opportunities to learn new things and career choices. Working from home positions!
Cons: IBM keeps cutting workforce in the US every year moving the work to APAC; customers do not want to deal with people who are not local to the US so they cling onto the few US resources left overloading them with work...fewer and fewer people make for very long work weeks. The added aggravation of all the overhead activities to be performed to align with management initiatives turns this company into the only relationship you will entertain as you won't have time for anything else.
Advice to Management: Stop this madness of firing US resources. The 80/20 rule does NOT work when you are offshoring jobs to India and the like. There is too much time difference; the difference in work ethics are too wide and constitute a huge barrier and your customers are willing to pay extra for US based resources!
Advice to Management: Mean what you say, push boundaries, include all employees, be interested in them.
Pros: A few good employees left to work with
Advice to Management: All management should be fired from first-line management up to Ginnie. Start again.
Advice to Management:
Pros: Benefits, plenty of opportunities for those willing to travel, many positions can be performed at home. Good place to get experience at the beginning of one's career, plus working for IBM looks great on a resume.
Cons: Most of the money, bonuses, and opportunities go to people in specific areas (those that IBM is focusing on at a given moment). Currently that would be big data, cloud, mobile, etc.
Advice to Management: Find ways to recognize and reward your "meat and potatoes" employees. Many excellent, much needed employees are demoralized and feel unappreciated.
Pros: Average to normal work environment and lots of flexibility. Mostly a work at home environment and full of strong employees.
Cons: No career growth 1 to 2% raise year over year ONLY for top 10% employees. Anything outside of that is not eligible for an increase. Only 2 people on a team of 10 can land in that category.
Advice to Management: Be more people oriented and so trying to be IBM cool. Offer more learning support.
Okay, here we go. If you have at least 10 years of employment (or have been married long enough to someone with the requisite 10 years), you can begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits at any time between ages 62 and 70. The longer you wait to start, the bigger your monthly benefit — but the fewer years you have to collect it. ...
Conventional wisdom is to wait until 70 if you can afford it and are in good health, because higher benefits offset the risk of outliving your money — that’s longevity risk. However, unless you live to your mid-80s, you don’t come out ahead by waiting: It takes 12 1/2 years of a 132 percent benefit to make up for the four years of 100 percent benefit you gave up. Should you die at 69 and 11 months, you and your spouse are out of luck. That’s what’s called mortality risk. ...
But your feelings could be different. And file-and-suspend is easy to do — at least for now — by following instructions in the popular new book “Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.” My longtime friend Philip Moeller, a journalist who specializes in retirement issues, is one of the co-authors. The others are Paul Solman of “PBS NewsHour” and Laurence J. Kotlikoff of Boston University. It’s a very useful book.
File-and-suspend works like this. When one member of a benefits-eligible couple hits 66, for example, he or she files for Social Security but immediately suspends receiving payments; the other member files for “spousal benefits,” which are equal to half what the filer-and-suspender would have gotten. After reaching 70, the filer-and-suspender refiles. So the couple gets four years of partial age-66 benefits plus full age-70 benefits rather than not getting a dime until age 70.
One of the other reasons we tolerate unreasonably high health care costs is gullibility’s close and symbiotic relative: blind adherence to ideology. By this I mean the belief that the free market — the invisible hand Adam Smith wrote about more than two centuries ago and that many Americans hold as a nonnegotiable tenet of faith — can work as well in health care as it can in other sectors of the economy.
While the free market is alive and well in the world’s other developed countries, leaders in every one of them, including conservatives, decided years ago that health care is different, that letting the unfettered invisible hand work its magic in health care not only doesn’t create the unintended social benefits Smith wrote about, it all too often creates unintended, seemingly intractable, social problems.
That's how it's supposed to work, at least.
But new data out this spring from the IRS gives us a closer look of how the income tax works at the pinnacle of the income distribution -- not just the top 1 percent, or even the top 0.1 percent, but among the rarefied realm of the 0.01 and even the 0.001 percent. Those latter two categories are new in the IRS report this year, reflecting a growing public interest in the ultra-wealthy and their effects on the economy.
The IRS found that as you go from being merely wealthy (the 1 percent) to super-duper wealthy (the 0.001 percent), your average federal income tax rate actually goes down. In other words, the progressivity of the federal income tax starts to fall apart at the upper reaches of the income distribution. Take a look.
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