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August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—December 19, 2015

  • In These Times:

    After Polling Its Members, Communications Workers of America Endorses Bernie Sanders. By Steve Payne. Excerpts: I was pleasantly surprised when on December 17 I saw that the CWA had decided to follow the lead of rank-and-file workers and endorse Bernie Sanders for president. The CWA endorsement came after an online poll of tens of thousands of members and worksite meetings showed a decisive majority of members supported Sanders.

    “The main reason CWA endorsed Bernie is because that’s what the members wanted the union to do,” said Bradley Harmon, President of CWA Local 6355. Harmon works for the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division. “When the union was considering how to proceed with the endorsement process, they put up an online poll. … Tens of thousands of union members from all over the country researched the candidates’ backgrounds and decided that the candidate best for working families was Bernie Sanders.”

    Harmon continued, saying that “in CWA we’ve been working for years on really building a movement for democracy and economic justice. We’ve been doing a lot of education among our members, and the union’s been working on a member education campaign about what the political and economic realities are really like in our country.”

  • Flashback to fifteen years ago, April 26, 2000, Wall Street Journal:

    IBM Holders Defeat Pension Resolution; Employee-Led Issue Gets 28.4% of Votes (PDF). By Ellen E. Schultz and Jon G. Auerbach. Excerpts: International Business Machines Corp. shareholders voted against an employee-led resolution urging the company to let workers choose between its old pension plan and its controversial new "cash-balance" plan. ...

    The resolution was fueled by IBM's shift to a cash-balance pension plan last year, which angered workers who discovered that the new plan would cut benefits for longer-service workers by 30% or more. After an employee uprising, which led to Senate hearings and government investigations, IBM in September allowed all employees 40 years old or older, and with at least 10 years of service, the choice of remaining in the old pension plan, bringing the number of employees with such an option to 65,000. ...

    "The company says it needs to be competitive, yet what they are doing has provoked a very negative response from a large number of their own employees who are supposedly highly valued," said James Heard, chief executive of Proxy Monitor, a leading proxy-voting adviser that supported the resolution. "If you've upset this many of your employees, you haven't done your homework."

    During the shareholders' meeting in Cleveland, IBM Chief Executive Louis V. Gerstner acknowledged that some IBM employees were upset but defended the new approach. "I know we have in this auditorium a group of very passionate employees who have strong opinions about the pension changes," he said. But he said other employees are "just as passionate in urging us to change the company even more." These other employees understand "that we must compete for talent and loyalty the same way our 'dot-com' technology competitors do -- more stock and cash upfront and fewer 'old fashioned' benefits like pensions, dependent care, long-term medical and adoption assistance." ...

    Employee Complaints. Attending the meeting were about 100 IBM employees from 16 different work locations. Some complained that their views weren't fully heard. The meeting, which was scheduled to last until noon, ended a half-hour early. Just as U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont who is an outspoken critic of IBM's new pension plan, stepped up to the microphone, IBM's Mr. Gerstner concluded the meeting. A spokeswoman for IBM later explained that there was a time parameter for the question-and-answer session and that Mr. Gerstner stuck to it.

    Editor's note: The following is a photo I took of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaking at the Alliance@IBM rally following the 2000 IBM Shareholder meeting:

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Sharks moved in”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Good work-life balance, very good legal support for innovators. However, beware that an innovator is not an interesting item as the company still believes in owning ideas and selling them in form of patent license, not the actual talent.

      Cons: Not a forerunner of a technology; mostly a follower of yesterday's fashions; trying to grab some share in profits. Not interested in actually doing things. Main activity is to buy a competitor or an industry leader and squeeze it dry. No interest in retaining talent. Ninety percent of newly-acquired employees will leave one way or another within few years. No job security. No merit based career path.

      Advice to Management: Resign, as you are more interested in holding onto your seat rather then be a facilitator to a progress. It is evident that the fear is the main factor driving management.

    • “A sinking ship”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Good work-life balance, some cool people to work with, a true global company, a real melting pot of culture. Cons: No morale, not even tea and coffee, bad management decisions, no innovation, they don't even use their own products in house. It cannot innovate, and is slowly sinking. Advice to Management: Learn and adapt, treat employees as people not resources. EVERYTHING is spin and lies, there is no innovation and no faith in your own products.
    • “Incapacitated managers”

      Former Employee — Senior Systems Analyst in Brasil, São Paulo (Brazil).

      Pros: Flexibility, benefits, health insurance, discounts at Hertz. There's not much to say about the Pros of working at IBM.

      Cons: Managers often take decisions without looking at the whole scenario, causing big damage to the company and looking to improve their careers. Your future lies in the hands of your manager and I saw a lot of people stuck in their careers because their manager won't let them grow.

      The company is always in freeze and spend money dumbly (like they can rent computers but not buy new ones, for long periods, buying computers would be far cheaper).

      I had a good time there but due to the manager's will to hold me back, I couldn't get projects in other competencies. Overall, I don't recommend a job at IBM.

      Advice to Management: Take a step back and look at the whole picture before taking or accepting decisions, learn how to expose your ideas why some decisions are bad for the company. Stop looking at yourselves and be more human. And please, stop with that brainwashing lectures.

    • “Good Start to a career, not a great place to develop”

      Former Employee - BPM Consultant in Austin, TX . I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: Good place to start out and get an introduction to the world of business. Able to take on lots of responsibilities quickly and work with people from all over the world and across many different industries.

      Cons: When you work for a company as large as IBM the work that you do is part of broader picture. As a consultant the focus might not be to provide the customer with the best solution, but rather find a way to leverage the relationship in order to sell more software.

      Advice to Management: It is not always the best strategy to do everything that your customers ask. This leads to drawn-out projects that do not follow the industry best practices. Listen to your team, and look out for them every once in a while instead of volunteering their weekends to stuff more delivery items into a fixed schedule. Invest in your teams; they're not only there to make you money, they also want to branch out and learn.

    • “Poor Management”

      Former Employee — PKI Administrator in Detroit, MI. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Good resources for self education. Cons: Poor intranet. Management changes every 8-12 months. Not even cost of living increases for more than 7 years. Advice to Management: Don't send every job to India.
    • “Great”

      Former Employee — WebSphere Commerce Assistant Vice President Support Specialist in Austin, TX. I worked at IBM (less than a year). Pros: Great place to work. Cons: No cons really. Advice to Management: Keep doing great as you are.
    • “You want to be in the right division in IBM”

      Current Employee — Advisory Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA. Pros: Company is transforming rapidly. New processes, new tech, new opportunities, empowering management, opportunities to grow are many. Cons: Pay is always on the lower side of the spectrum. Usual bureaucratic processes that plague big companies. Advice to Management: Empower employees. Pay better. Team work achieves more than individual contributions. Do not pit one against another and help employees grow.
    • “Project Manager”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Armonk, NY. I have been working at IBM (less than a year). Pros: Work-life balance, easy movement between business units, learning new technologies. Cons: Low salary, nobody cares about the employee attrition. Advice to Management: Work on the salaries and attrition.
    • “Sadness...nothing but sadness...”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Ability to sometimes work from home, offers employee a great opportunity to look for another job while not being snooped on by your boss. You WILL be fired eventually, so it's nice to start looking for a new job from day one. The vast empty hallways on site are great to use for adult sized 'Heelie' shoes. Cons: It's hard to concentrate and read your computer screen through the tears.
    • “Churn and Burn”

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

      Pros: The relatively high salary that they offer is about the only positive thing that I can say about working at IBM.

      Cons: Twelve-hour workdays. No overtime. Constant travel. Poor hotel/flight options for mandatory travel. No coaching; little to no development. Bad 401k. Bad ESPP.

      Advice to Management: I would advice management that they need to stop looking at employees as costs and more as resources. There also needs to be more focus on selling realistic projects and holding partners accountable for massively underselling a project just to get the deal.

    • “Senior Consultant”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Travel is awesome. People are excellent, and the work-life balance is one of the best. Cons: Comp does not keep pace with the market. Your individual performance drives your bonus/raise only at a second order of magnitude. Advice to Management: You've cut all the fat; stop cutting into muscle. Morale is at an all-time low.
    • “Worst Sales Engineering job I had in 17 year career”

      Former Employee — Pre-Sales Engineer in New York, NY.

      Pros: Known brand. Matrix organization which makes it easy to coast without anyone noticing. Slow pace, tolerant of mediocrity. Can be good for career if you have one of the rare managers willing to help you advance; most are more concerned about their own career than yours. Better than being unemployed. A place where a smart person can do their work in a 25-30 hour work week and do something else on the side.

      Cons: Aging dinosaur with little direction from the top. Software Group spends lots on acquisitions and drops the ball integrating with the rest of the portfolio You will not learn the art of selling here. Enterprise deals are done at the end of the year and negotiated over steak dinners. Customers spend 8 or 9-figures, are happy with deep discounts and don't really know what they're buying - just that they're getting a good deal.

      Most product is never used and your commission is based not on what you actively sold - it's based on what someone decided your % of the overall deal is.

      Benefits are terrible (and getting worse every year) vs. the best available from leading tech companies. The only people who say they're great are the 10+ year relics who are buying the party line that "Big Blue is a great place to work". Maybe it once was; no longer. Lots of infighting in Software Group. Acquired technologies sell against one another and against IBM's own GBS.

      Advice to Management: Figure out what you want to be. IBM needs a direction and needs to cut the fat.

    • “Recruitment Manager”

      Current Employee — Recruitment Manager in Bangalore (India). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: International Business Machine is one of the oldest and the best organization to work with. Cons: This is a very big organization. Advice to Management: NA.
    • “Terrible pay, terrible management, but some nice benefits”

      Former Employee — IT Specialist in Orlando, FL. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Official work from home program lets you be flexible and saves you money. Health benefits are good. 401k benefits are average.

      Cons: Low pay. And by low, I mean after 7 years with the company in the same position, I made less the day I left than the day I started because they reduced my pay by 15% after the first year. And I was a top performer, not some slacker. I had consistently high performance reviews. But they reduced all of our pay by 15% and rarely gave us raises or overtime or bonuses to make it back up. How messed up is that?

      I had a BS in IT (which they did NOT help with for because as I was told, "don't even bother to ask for tuition assistance because we won't approve it"). I also had 14 industry certifications and years of experience. Not only that, but I developed applications that increased their bottom line, saved them thousands in penalties, and kept their customers happy with us.

      I ended up leaving IBM after 7 years and got a $35k bump in pay. That's how bad they were paying me. Oh and management... So IBM has people managers and technical managers. On paper you report to your people manager who has no clue what you do. Their sole job is to make sure your time sheets are in, that your performance reviews are done, and to approve expense reports. That's it. No career guidance. No checking in to make sure you have the tools you need. Nada. Just paperwork. They don't have answers to any kind of internal programs that might benefit you.

      Advice to Management: Recognize the employees that add value and take care of them appropriately. Otherwise, you'll continue to lose high value contracts like you are doing right now.

    • “Lost the plot — and the one they had wasn't that great to start with”

      Former Employee — Senior Software Engineer in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Pension. There really isn't any other pro in working for IBM, except possibly that it's easy to hide yourself if you are a low achiever. Even then - that might not last long.

      Cons: Everything else. IBM has little care for their products and their employees. As a result they sell mediocre products supported by a dissatisfied work force. Their strategy is one size fits all - as such, strategical decisions are not made taking into accounts product value, product investment, existing resources, and investment efficiency. At the next round of cuts, everyone gets the same percentage of heads chopped off.

      A hire freeze applies whether a product is yielding $7M/year per developer, or $0.1M. The next killer product is staffed uniformly stealing heads from every other team - as a result it is designed and built by those heads the other teams could spare. The former premise, and the work environment, is such that you are forever requested to widen your commitments to the company, with a promise of recognition of career advancement and recognition - somehow they aways fail to materialise. There is a talent retention program, which is interesting because if IBM kept their side of the bargain, they wouldn't need one to start with. It also amounts to: "If you stay, in the long run we'll see if we can do something 'significant' for you."

      Advice to Management: Bring Lou Gerstner back. He wasn't perfect, but at least he had some sense. Seriously, your best assets are your employees - look after them and the rest will follow.

    • “Senior Engineer”

      Former Employee — Senior Engineer in Essex, VT. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: One of the few employers in the area that offered opportunity and benefits in an earlier era. Cons: IBM resorted to a long series of layoffs, causing low morale and eradication of the talent pool. Advice to Management: None. They sold out to GlobalFoundries.
    • “Client Manager”

      Current Employee — Client Manager in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Good work-life balance and flexible working. Cons: Poor commission plan. Too many managers all trying to prove they are the best. Too many changes; I've had three managers in the past year and all work completely differently. Advice to Management: Listen to your teams, not just your managers — we never seem to get a say, just have to go with the flow and if we don't like it we k ow where the door is.
    • “IBM Internship”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: The team I worked with was very open and allowed students to input new idea's into the development. Cons: IBM is very old fashioned and as such is lagging behind many other major companies in expanding into new technologies. It would be very hard to find a reason to stay here for more than a year or two.
    • “A good company to work for, but not the best fit for me”

      Former Employee — Software Engineer in Austin, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: I had great, smart, experienced engineers on my team—everyone was a great teammate. Mine was one of the few dev teams at the company that got to use MacBooks instead of ThinkPads. Most of my coworkers had spouses and children and the company really cares about work-life balance; they paid us well in salary and benefits, and didn't expect us to live and breathe work all the time. I had the flexibility to leave during the day and/or work from home when I needed to.

      Cons: I felt very out of place as a new grad; there were plenty of designers my age in the next building over, but very few young engineers. That's not necessarily a bad thing since my older coworkers were very experienced and had a lot to teach me. I was unhappy because of the day-to-day bureaucracy and how set in their ways the managers of my team seemed to be. Meetings were 30-60 minute conference calls every day. Individual offices are great for senior developers but personally, as a fresh-out-of-school developer, I felt isolated and depressed in my cold, windowless office. I would recommend this company to a person who is at least 35, but not to any of my friends who are my age.

      Advice to Management: To upper management: Continue to embrace innovation and new development. To my managers in particular: Unite the developers and the designers so that we're all on the same page and don't feel at odds with one another.

    • “Service Delivery Manager”

      Current Employee — Service Delivery Manager in Atlanta, GA. I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: Exciting company with great benefits and work-life balance. Cons: I have no downside, great company. Advice to Management: None
    • “IBM Acquisition to Destruction in just 4 years”

      Former Employee — Business Unit Executive in Washington, DC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: We were initially thrilled to be acquired by IBM. However, the "Blue Washing" started immediately and destroyed everything good and unique about our company and product. While there are some good people (mostly waiting for retirement under the old pension plan), the work at home "benefit" and travel restrictions make it hard to meet them except on conference calls.

      Cons: Terrible technology tools (Lotus Notes / Connections, W3 Intranet broken links, expense reporting) and a company run by financial engineering have destroyed everything good about IBM. Employee morale is awful with layoff after layoff, decreasing benefits and a culture of fear and mistrust. PBC rankings are used to deny raises and manage employees out yearly.

      Advice to Management: Eliminate stock buybacks and reinvest 100% in the business before it's too late. Replace Rometty and Senior team with outside execs who understand the modern technology business.

    • “Channel Sales Manager”

      Former Employee — Channel Sales Manager in Boston, MA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Best end-to-end technology capabilities and long-term solutions strategy. Cons: Excellent sales training does not replace experience. Cross-functional promotions of marketing people to sales management, of direct sales to channel sales is an antiquated skills growth. Advice to Management: Value the experience of existing employees. Devote time to sales execution rather than daily sales cadence calls. Stop promoting mid-level sales management across disciplines (direct sales managers don't have a clue about channel sales strategy, yet they are continuously selected to manage far more experienced channel sales reps simply because of their cadence and spreadsheet skills).
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Blog. Stories this week include:
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 12/14/15:

    Job Title: Project Manager; Business Unit: GBS. 125 percent utilization all year, still have to make 110 percent in last quarter. With holidays, deferred vacation, makes long days, weekends. Clients have hours caps; management does not care. We have to find work on another account. Travel is not an excuse; find work to do on plane. Accounts without hours cap getting gouged. Partners are now PO'ed missing margins because they have to carry high utilization. Just another route to get people to quit. I hope clients start complaining of bills or dog-tired staff. Absolutely ridiculous to intimidate people to CLAIM for work that is not asked for. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 12/15/15:

    Any stealth or non-RA layoffs recently? Eventually there will be another RA since the IBM resources do nothing at all to try to stop it. So who has been pruned recently? -SniperedByIBM?-
  • Comment 12/15/15:

    Job Title: Executive Project Manager (Former); Location: Worldwide locations; Customer Account: Multiple accounts globally; Business Unit: AMS; Product Line: Global Transition/Migration Management.

    Message: Thank you Alliance@IBM for providing a platform over the years to allow former colleagues of mine express their thoughts, emotions and stories after being negatively affected by resource actions and job offshoring initiatives. Your dedication to help IBM employees share their voices with senior management actually inspired me to take a long leave of absence from IBM and reflect on my personal priorities. Ultimately, I left the company and the offshoring industry all together.

    Inspired by true events and my journey as a Project Manager in offshoring jobs, I recently published a novel: "The PM Executioner" http://thepmexecutioner.wix.com/thepmexecutioner. Writing and releasing this book has provided me with an avenue to redeem myself and I hope the story will resonate with other employees who have been affected by offshoring initiatives both inside and outside of IBM. -Anonymous-

    Alliance reply: It's too bad that your message hasn't also inspired more of your "former colleagues" to openly and publicly challenge IBM and stand up as a united group of employees. Our mission at Alliance@IBM has always been to organize IBM workers in the US as well as be an advocate for IBM workers and inform them of things that IBM would never tell them. Thank you for your support.

  • Comment 12/17/15:

    Job Title: Senior project manager; Location: Orlando, FL; Business Unit: GTS. Message: I was RA'd in Feb of 2015 along with many others. Thankfully, I found a job in a little over two months. I worked at finding a job every day as if I were going to work. Networking is the key. Don't get discouraged — keep at it and use your contacts. Best wishes to all you job seekers and don't look back. IBM is struggling and cuts are bound to continue. -Anonymous-

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  • Allianceibm CWA Yesterday at 8:19am · Sent to the Alliance: 40 to 50 contractors cut in Austin.
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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