“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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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.
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.