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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—September 26, 2015

  • Seeking Alpha:

    10 largest corporate layoffs of the past two decades. HP recently announced that it would cut around 30K jobs, but despite its size, the corporate layoffs are not the largest of the recent past.

    According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the following list can claim that distinction:

    • IBM layoffs: 60K - July 1993
    • Citigroup layoffs: 50K - November 2008
    • Sears layoffs: 50K - January 1993
    • General Motors layoffs: 47K - February 2009
    • AT&T layoffs: 40K - January 1996
    • Ford layoffs: 35K - January 2002
    • Kmart layoffs: 35K - January 2003
    • Circuit City layoffs: 34K - January 2009
    • Boeing layoffs: 31K - September 2001
    • Bank of America layoffs: 30K - September 2011.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • rajygoroc: IBM has been laying off a lot year by year and site by site. They stopped announcing this. They have worked the system so as discrete layoffs do not have to be notified to authorities, being below the requisite thresholds. In the UK they used changes to pensions scheme rules in a process code named Waltz to lose many of the most experienced staff, who left to protect their pensions. So layoffs just don't lose resource they lose skills and knowledge too. All that corporate knowledge built up over decades put out to grass.
    • petyaczar: IBM continues on its slide to irrelevancy. The current CEO, IMO a PC hire, has been in her job for several years now and all she's accomplished is to accelerate and broaden the rate of IBM's decline as measured by traditional operational metrics. How much longer is the IBM Board going to allow this terrible state of affairs to continue? When will the BS end, and the performance turnaround begin? How much market value and shareholder wealth will evaporate before the Board takes action?
    • User 340: The employees are being replaced by temp H-1B Visa employees.
    • Erics: That's exactly what they're doing. Chasing cheap labor pool and claim can't find IT talent in US.
    • petyaczar: Thats the entire impetus behind this H1B visa push by high tech companies: replace American workers with foreigners working for far less and thereby drive down salary expense.. The expansion of H1B visas must not happen.
    • Dr Rick Gold: Nobody knows how many people IBM has laid off in the last 4 years. They quit reporting employee counts and employees by country about 8 years ago, when they began a major offshoring of US jobs, while simultaneously petitioning for more H1B visas to "onshore" foreign workers. Nobody knows the numbers for sure, except Sr. Management, their "layoff advisors", and their attorneys. Suffice it to say "legions", and it likely dwarfs any numbers listed in this article.
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow: `
    • “A slowly sinking ship.”

      Current Employee — SCS Account Focal in Dubuque, IA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Looks good on a resume for a starter Job. Cons: Very, very hard to move anywhere in the company. Process is decided by people with no knowledge of day-to-day workings. Very common to be forced to use a “time saving” tool that only makes more work. Advice to Management: Upper management, listen to the people below you. A good idea on paper is not always a good idea in practice.
    • “The company I left is not the same one that hired me”

      Former Employee — Advisory Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: With a company as large as IBM experiences will vary, but for me the best part of working at IBM was my peers. I worked with many amazingly talented individuals. We accomplished things I wouldn't have thought possible, especially considering how poorly we were supported by the business. Sadly many of the other positive things I would have had to say about IBM in the past have disappeared in recent years.

      Cons: So, so many... You will be underpaid. By a lot. I'm kicking myself now for waiting so long to find out what my skills are worth on the open market.

      The health benefits, which were once excellent, have gotten worse every year. Your options now are basically roll the dice with a high-deductible/HSA plan and hope you don't have to go to the doctor, or pay through the nose for a PPO.

      Retirement plan is decent, though for new hires probably no better than the industry average. Be warned that you only get your matching funds if you are still employed by IBM as of December 15. This was changed in 2014.

      As a line employee, your first line manager is basically worthless. Even if you have a "great" manager who is willing to go to bat for you, first lines have so little discretionary authority that their value to you is almost nil. On the other hand, a terrible first line can make your life hell and do real damage to your career.

      IBM isn't a place where the gal who works hard quietly in the corner is going to do well. If you want to be recognized, promoted or get a raise you need to be playing office politics constantly. You need to be currying favor with all of the managers in your second line area.

      Advice to Management: For all the talk and hype about agile methods so many of your core business processes are still mired in old, one-size-fits-all thinking and attitudes.

      Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth about hiring and retaining the best talent. You are hemorrhaging top talent because your people are underpaid and your HR organization has refused to match competing offers. Give your first line managers some discretion to keep their best people.

      Changing the 401k matching period was a body blow to the workforce. I'm sure that some Ivy League MBA made a huge bonus off of implementing this but it was so nakedly an attempt to screw your employees that it gutted morale (which I didn't think could get any lower).

      Stop buying into every project management fad that comes down the road. Stop fetishizing the Spotify model as the one true path to enlightenment for software developers.

    • “Running with donkeys”

      Current Employee — Analyst in Dubuque, IA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: You may have some decent people to work with, and you probably won't have to talk with the ones you don't want to. The benefits are OK. They have an online library membership that has a few useful books.

      Cons: I could list off the cons and air IBM's dirty laundry and it would be a very big and long review. But to keep it brief, there are a lot of things that will keep you shaking your head and wondering why you're still here. The absolute worst thing is it feels like the management doesn't trust the employees.

      Advice to Management: Stop trying to track every move of every employee in triplicate. Having more of the same data you're already tracking is not going to make us any more efficient. Communicate openly; stop with the non answers. Take pay cuts at the top instead of the people doing the work. If you're losing money and cutting employees, you obviously don't deserve a bonus!

    • “Hard work; great training for focus on quality”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Working at IBM is a great foundation for working at other jobs. They expect top-quality, on-time work. There is a focus on using the right process, so work isn't done in an ad-hoc way. There is always something new to learn, or a new job to do. Cons: Schedules are usually tight, so hours can be very long. It isn't unusual to work 60-80 hours per week for long stretches of time. Advice to Management: So much of IBM's business has been outsourced to other countries. Keep more of the software development process here, so you can continue to build local talent.
    • “Specialist”

      Former Employee — Anonymous. Pros: People were great. The team was great; people were friendly. However, the multiple rounds of redundancies sucked out the morale; what was left were teams unable to perform and meet customers' needs. Cons: Hired with a certain skillset only to be told after 5 weeks that the technology I was managing will be labelled as legacy along with my skillset. Desperately trying to learn CAMSS to survive within the company, but decided to leave this mess.
    • “Interview”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Baton Rouge, LA. Pros: Appears to be forward thinking and interesting in finding and developing new talent. Cons: I just left a job fair event for IBM as they are developing a new work force in my area. I was impressed with their focus on the future in my town but unfortunately they seemed to be mainly focused in appealing to new college graduates than seasoned workers (Just the feeling I was left with after attending the event). I hope I'm wrong but It seems that they are more interested in a younger work force talent and I hope I'm wrong.
    • “Good Job”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: The people are very intelligent. Cons: Nothing, I like it here.
    • “Building on fire!”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA. Pros: Great technology, great marketing, brand-100 year legacy. Cons: Management by hiding out, kicking the can. Constant turnover, tons of dead wood, promoted by who you know, tenure in the company. Advice to Management: Continue the divestiture. Eliminate 3 layers of management at minimum; today you have VPs reports to VPs.
    • “PM”

      Former Employee — Project Manager in Markham, ON (Canada). Pros: Good benefit and access to online training. Cons: You are not valued as an employee. If you do well, you don't get any promotion or bonus. If you do bad you probably would be fired. Advice to Management: Think of a way to promote your good employees.
    • “The new IBM is nothing like the old”

      Former Employee — Laboratory Technician Engineer Associate in Research Triangle Park, NC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Plenty of work in a field I enjoy. Big buildings, plenty of elbow room. Flexible schedules, start and stop times. Cons: Management is unfair to most employees. Pay raises are far and few, if any, 1 and 2% tops. Management lies to the employees on a regular basis from first line all the way up. No funds available to purchase the tools needed to do the job. Advice to Management: Stop lying to the employees and run the business with integrity. Believe it or not employees under first-level management really are not all that stupid.
    • “Cut staffing to the bone. Just cut contract salaries.”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Morrisville, NC. I have been working at IBM (less than a year). Pros: I have a job for now. Cons: Severe staffing cuts leads to over worked employees. Account start in U.S but eventually shipped to India. India is not trained properly. Customers support is nonexistent or extremely poor. It's almost like they are trying to get customers to cancel their contracts if they are unwilling to move to the Cloud.
    • “Great place to work”

      Former Employee — Senior Developer in Hyderābād (India). Pros: Good work-life balance. Good opportunities. Cons: Salary increments are properly done. Everything else is good. Advice to Management: Increments.
    • “Avoid”

      Former Employee — Senior Consultant in Philadelphia, PA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: This applies strictly to the GBS (consulting) portion of IBM — both pros and cons. Things are probably different around the company; It is a big company. Bump in your resume, I guess, due to name recognition and the marketing that IBM does. Good salary and benefits. Around smart people.

      Cons: You are literally on an island. There is little/no support from anyone at the company. I joined after finishing my MBA. I showed up at orientation where we spent 3 days going through a step-by-step process of configuring WiFi, setting up passwords, figuring out how to use the ancient hour reporting tool.

      Again, most consulting firms are like this, but I was shocked to see what went on at IBM and how outreach there was to new hires. Most other firms have someone who will reach out to you, or a training to navigate the company, or get on projects or a career path. Here is it is maybe a 15 minute phone call, filling out some forms and that's that. All the while you get yelled at and told you aren't billing hours.

      Me and my friends who joined with me were constantly harassed about not working enough despite the lack of available work for us to contribute to. IBM is a huge company. I have been at other big companies but IBM is a maze. The internal website makes it impossible to find what you are looking for. Everything is a link to another link, etc. To find what you need you need to jump through 3/4/5+ pages. Additionally, everything has a confusing and odd name/acronym.

      Again, yes every company does this, but not even remotely close to the level IBM does. You'll waste a ton of time and miss out on important things because you never know what you are talking about.

      Advice to Management: Culture has to be changed. Many more senior employees know how to navigate the B.S. that goes around while new hires have nowhere to go or someone to turn to. Staff new hires in roles that they can do or expand into.

    • “Great company”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great people, good organization, interesting work, great pay. Cons: Can't really think of any.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Alliance Elects Robert Roach as President, Joseph Peters as Secretary-Treasurer
    • House Speaker John Boehner to Give up Gavel, Resign from Congress
    • Alliance Activists Call on Congress to Stand Up for Seniors, Prevent Giveaway to Drug Companies
    • Scott Walker Drops out of Race for Republican Presidential Nomination
    • Alliance is looking for Members’ Student Debt Stories
    • If the government is dipping its hands into your benefits, the Alliance would like to hear your story. Please e-mail aracommunications@retiredamericans.org to tell us about your situation.

    Download a PDF version.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

http://www.endicottalliance.org/thedisintegrationofemploymentinIBM.htm To all Alliance supporters, send and share the above link to the article "The disintegration of employment in IBM" far and wide. Put it on your FaceBook page; send it to newspapers; send it with comments to your political reps and send it to your co-workers. Help break the secrecy of IBM job cuts. Put some pressure on IBM. -Alliance-

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 09/20/15:

    After 34 years I decided to retire on my terms. This was important to me even though I was hoping for a package.

    I used to be proud that I was a third generation employee but no longer the case after what IBM has done over the last several years to the hard working people that made the company.

    I thought I had to wait until 59 1/2 to retire to collect on my 401k but to my surprise I discovered there is a 55 year rule that if you're 55 and retire from a qualified retirement plan they waive the 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Many I told didn't know this so I'm adding this to the post for anyone that may not know this and really wants to get out.

    8/31 was my last day and the stress immediately went away and I feel so much better. Other than no real medical I'm doing great.

    The FHA is a joke. I figured it would last me 3 years, if that (just for me), so since I am only 58 I have some time before Medicare. I'll stay on my wife's medical and then if the FHA is still there will use it to reimburse me for Medicare expenses.

    I was nervous at first but so far is the best decision I have ever made. I work a couple of part-time jobs I love; no stress, and actually make more retired. Last thing I was supposed to get a retirement dinner and never got that so apparently IBM needed it more than me. -Over with at last-

  • Comment 09/20/15:

    Job Title: Retired. Message: http://seekingalpha.com/news/2788356-10-largest-corporate-layoffs-of-the-past-two-decades. The 10 largest corporate layoffs in the last 2 decades. IBM is Number 1 for the 1993 layoff. Obviously they have laid of tens of thousands since then but have hidden the real impacts by their actions (keep under required reporting limits to hide the layoffs, many small layoffs vs a large layoff).

    I saw the handwriting on the wall and bridged out in 1993. Nothing has changed but it has only gotten worse.

    I joined the Alliance as an associate member since I am retired. What is wrong with the current and recently past members. Why don't you join? It is NOT expensive. You have NO power as an individual and the US Federal government is so pro business and pro one-percenters (rich) that it is pathetic.

    Join the Alliance and VOTE. I see no other alternatives right now. IBM upper management is so greedy and intent on enriching themselves at the expense of the corporation as an entity, what terrible people. GIMME GIMME GIMME.

    Incredible how a corporation can be taken over by such greedy people. Obviously the BOD is complicit on this. TERRIBLE. Protect yourselves, NO ONE ELSE WILL. JOIN THE ALLIANCE. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 09/22/15:

    To the person who is on call 24 x 7 x 365, forward the summary of your conversation to your HR partner (this can be found from your manager's info) and explain that you would like confirmation on your work hours. Also, ask how you can get a company-paid cell phone now that you are on call 24x7. And yes, HR won't get involved, but IF your manager is feeding you a line, he/she will be talked to. You won't know about it, but the BS will stop for awhile. Start looking for a job outside IBM. When you give your notice, don't hold back. If you don't want to join the union and fight back, this stuff will continue. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 09/22/15:

    For those that never strayed from this comment page, here is the link to the Alliance spotlight page with all kinds of news about job cuts, RA's and press releases as well as articles. http://www.endicottalliance.org/newsupdate.htm -member-
  • Comment 09/22/15:

    Your IBM HR partner in IBM is a flat out joke. They are not even close to being your partner in anything! They just gather the dirt and coach and support IBM management. Has any HR partner saved a person from an RA? If so, I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you! You want an employee advocate? It's called a union shop steward.

    ANYONE who thinks Human Resources does any ANY advocacy for resources (ahem, employees) is just a plain fool. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 09/24/15:

    Job Title: Former SSR; Location: Midwest US. Message: In the event you are fortunate enough to find employment outside of IBM, and you are the one to initiate separation from IBM, be advised that IBM will not pay you for any vacation time earned in the month you depart. Hence, if you are entitled to 5 weeks annually and leave the company on the 27th of the month, you will lose nearly all of the vacation time you would otherwise be entitled to. The only exception being for those employees in California where there is state law preventing such treatment.

    My advise to anyone leaving would be to not give any notice, and instead simply call your manager on the 1st of the month and say "I quit" and hang-up the phone. Otherwise, IBM management will spit in your eye one last time as you are on your way out the door. -Bruce-

  • Comment 09/25/15:

    So workers in NL were told that the "golden hand shake" deals were over and that departments have been told that they have 3 months to outsource work and train other IDCs. Once this has been completed a period of 6 months for internal training that is not to cost any money. The NL government has also changed the rules of paying out "redundancy" or "golden handshakes" meaning that IBM no longer has to pay anything upon termination of employment; this agreement came into force July 2015 but IBM NL deferred this to January 2016. Meaning, that those whose contracts will be terminated in June get basically nothing no matter how many years of service have been earned.

    Also, IBMers are being targeted by a skills assessment by a third party. When asked why this was being done multiple answers were provided; as usual nothing concrete. So could be that management plans on using the PBC process to weed out more IBMers. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 09/26/15:

    Location: DC Metro. Message: There is another RA coming soon, code named "Project Yukon." Affects GBS. I do not know the extent or the exact timing, though I am sure it will get people off payroll before the end of the year. -Anonymous-
  • http://www.endicottalliance.org/thedisintegrationofemploymentinIBM.htm To all Alliance supporters: Send and share the above link to the article "The disintegration of employment in IBM" far and wide. Put it on your FaceBook page; send it to newspapers; send it with comments to your political reps and send it to your co-workers. Help break the secrecy of IBM job cuts. Put some pressure on IBM. -Alliance-
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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