Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links
"News and links for IBM employees, retirees, ex-employees, and persons interested in pension, retirement, off-shoring and corporate governance issues."
Web This Site

Quick Links:
  Get involved!
  Press articles
  Important Links
  Insider trading
  Lou's Contract
  Total Compensation
  Add or delete ID
  Change ID
  Contact site owner
Previous Highlights:
  April 21, 2007
  April 14, 2007
  April 7, 2007
  March 31, 2007
  March 24, 2007
  March 17, 2007
  March 10, 2007
  March 3, 2007
  February 24, 2007
  February 17, 2007
  February 10, 2007
  February 3, 2007
  January 27, 2007
  January 20, 2007
  January 13, 2007
  January 6, 2007
  December 30, 2006
  December 23, 2006
  December 16, 2006
  December 9, 2006
  December 2, 2006
  November 25, 2006
  November 18, 2006
  November 11, 2006
  November 4, 2006
  October 28, 2006
  October 21, 2006
  October 14, 2006
  October 7, 2006
  September 30, 2006
  September 23, 2006
  September 16, 2006
  September 9, 2006
  September 2, 2006
  August 26, 2006
  August 19, 2006
  August 12, 2006
  August 5, 2006
  July 29, 2006
  July 22, 2006
  July 15, 2006
  July 8, 2006
  July 1, 2006
  June 24, 2006
  June 17, 2006
  June 10, 2006
  June 3, 2006
  May 27, 2006
  May 20, 2006
  May 13, 2006
  May 6, 2006
  2006 Stock Meeting
  April 22, 2006
  April 15, 2006
  April 8, 2006
  April 1, 2006
  March 25, 2006
  March 18, 2006
  March 11, 2006
  March 4, 2006
  February 25, 2006
  February 18, 2006
  February 11, 2006
  February 4, 2006
  January 28, 2006
  January 21, 2006
  January 14, 2006
  January 7, 2006
  December 31, 2005
  December 24, 2005
  December 17, 2005
  December 10, 2005
  December 03, 2005
  November 26, 2005
  November 19, 2005
  November 12, 2005
  November 5, 2005
  October 29, 2005
  October 22, 2005
  October 15, 2005
  October 8, 2005
  October 1, 2005
  September 24, 2005
  September 17, 2005
  September 10, 2005
  September 3, 2005
  August 27, 2005
  August 20, 2005
  August 13, 2005
  August 6, 2005
  July 30, 2005
  July 23, 2005
  July 16, 2005
  July 9, 2005
  July 2, 2005
  June 25, 2005
  June 18, 2005
  June 11, 2005
  June 4, 2005
  May 28, 2005
  May 21, 2005
  May 14, 2005
  May 7, 2005
  April 30, 2005
  April 23, 2005
  April 16, 2005
  April 9, 2005
  April 2, 2005
  March 26, 2005
  March 19, 2005
  March 12, 2005
  March 5, 2005
  February 26, 2005
  February 19, 2005
  February 12, 2005
  February 5, 2005
  January 29, 2005
  January 22, 2005
  January 15, 2005
  January 8, 2005
  January 1, 2005
  December 25, 2004
  December 18, 2004
  December 11, 2004
  December 4, 2004
  November 27, 2004
  November 20, 2004
  November 13, 2004
  November 6, 2004
  October 30, 2004
  October 23, 2004
  October 16, 2004
  October 9, 2004
  October 2, 2004
  September 25, 2004
  September 18, 2004
  September 11, 2004
  September 4, 2004
  August 28, 2004
  August 21, 2004
  August 14, 2004
  August 7, 2004
  July 31, 2004
  July 24, 2004
  July 17, 2004
  July 10, 2004
  July 3, 2004
  June 26, 2004
  June 19, 2004
  June 5, 2004
  May 29, 2004
  May 22, 2004
  May 15, 2004
  May 8, 2004
  2004 Stock Meeting
  April 24, 2004
  April 10, 2004
  April 3, 2004
  March 27, 2004
  March 20, 2004
  March 13, 2004
  March 6, 2004
  February 28, 2004
  February 21, 2004
  February 14, 2004
  February 7, 2004
  February 1, 2004
  January 18, 2004
  December 27, 2003
  December 20, 2003
  December 13, 2003
  December 6, 2003
  November 29, 2003
  November 22, 2003
  November 15, 2003
  November 8, 2003
  November 1, 2003
  October 25, 2003
  October 18, 2003
  October 11, 2003
  October 4, 2003
  September 27, 2003
  September 20, 2003
  September 13, 2003
  September 6, 2003
  August 30, 2003
  August 23, 2003
  August 16, 2003
  August 9, 2003
  Pension Lawsuit Win
  July 26, 2003
  July 19, 2003
  July 12, 2003
  July 5, 2003
  June 28, 2003
  June 21, 2003
  June 14, 2003
  June 7, 2003
  May 31, 2003
  May 24, 2003
  May 17, 2003
  May 10, 2003
  2003 Stock Meeting
  April 26, 2003
  April 19, 2003
  April 12, 2003
  April 5, 2003
  March 29, 2003
  March 22, 2003
  March 15, 2003
  March 8, 2003
  March 1, 2003
  February 22, 2003
  February 15, 2003
  February 8, 2003
  February 1, 2003
  January 25, 2003
  January 18, 2003
  January 11, 2003
  January 4, 2003
  December 28, 2002
  December 21, 2002
  December 14, 2002
  December 7, 2002
  November 30, 2002
  November 23, 2002
  November 16, 2002
  November 9, 2002
  November 2, 2002
  October 26, 2002
  October 19, 2002
  October 12, 2002
  October 5, 2002
  September 28, 2002
  September 21, 2002
  September 14, 2002
  September 7, 2002
  August 31, 2002
  August 24, 2002
  August 17, 2002
  August 10, 2002
  August 3, 2002
  July 27, 2002
  July 20, 2002
  July 13, 2002
  July 6, 2002
  June 29, 2002
  June 22, 2002
  June 15, 2002
  June 8, 2002
  June 1, 2002
  May 25, 2002
  May 18, 2002
  May 11, 2002
  2002 Stock Meeting
  April 27, 2002
  April 20, 2002
  April 13, 2002
  April 6, 2002
  March 30, 2002
  March 23, 2002
  March 16, 2002
  March 9, 2002
  March 2, 2002
  February 23, 2002
  February 16, 2002
  February 9, 2002
  February 2, 2002
  January 26, 2002
  January 19, 2002
  January 12, 2002
  January 5, 2002
  December 29, 2001
  December 22, 2001
  December 15, 2001
  December 8, 2001
  December 1, 2001
  November 24, 2001
  November 17, 2001
  November 10, 2001
  November 3, 2001
  October 27, 2001
  October 20, 2001
  October 13, 2001
  October 6, 2001
  September 29, 2001
  September 22, 2001
  September 15, 2001
  September 8, 2001
  September 1, 2001
  August 25, 2001
  August 18, 2001
  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

Join your fellow employees who are fighting for your benefits - Join the Alliance!

Retirees, Vendors, Contractors, Temps, and Active Employees are all eligible to become members of the Alliance.

    Highlights for week ending October 5, 2002
  • With the IBM Global Services acquisition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, PwC employees have been very busy on the Vault Message boards discussing their future with IBM, and comparing benefits. The conversations are very interesting, especially for current IBM Global Services employees. The busiest message board is the new IBM Business Consulting Services message board. (IBM Business Consulting Services is the new name for the merged PwC and IBM Business Integration Services organization). Other relevant Vault message boards include:
  • "Rosie the MBA" sends a letter to Working Mother magazine commenting on its selection of IBM as one of the top 100 companies for working mothers. Excerpt: "According to the Associated Press story that appeared Sept 24, 2002, they exactly state that Working Mother highlighted IBM for its policy of 'Giving women up to three years off to take care of a child, with a right to return to their job in IBM.' I represent a group of employees who would like to point out that your assigned IBM HR spokesperson probably did not show Working Mother the fine print. On its HR web site, IBM's policy exactly states, 'If IBM or your business unit conducts an involuntary reduction in force while you're on LOA, IBM can terminate your leave status and your employment according to the terms of the reduction in force.' This doesn't exactly sound like a guarantee that a expectant mom could return to work." ... "Please do not fall into the trap that IBM is kind to women. IBM is not kind to employees, though they do display equality--they treat women & men equally in terms of targeted termination. They have been targeting the depressed, the weak, the sick, and the hospitalized." ... "We have seen sad days at IBM as the sick, the pregnant, and the depressed have been targeted while exercising their company benefits, and we do not wish to see others suffer through misinformation."
  • Business Week: Clouds over Silicon Glen. Foreigners spawned a high-tech boom. Now they're pulling out. (Free registration may be required). Excerpt: "A pall has descended over Scotland's once-vibrant Silicon Glen. On Aug. 1, Sanmina-SCI Corp., the Alabama-based maker of computer and electrical gear, announced it would lay off 750 workers at its plant in Irvine, Scotland. Sources at IBM's operation in Greenock, which employs 5,500 workers, say plans are under way to shift manufacturing out of Scotland as part of the company's recently announced restructuring. 'Five years ago, our staff spent all their time negotiating pay rises and better benefits for electronics workers,' says Danny Carrigan, the Scottish head of manufacturing trade union Amicus. 'Now they seem to spend all of their time dealing with layoffs.'"

  • Los Angeles Times Commentary by Robert M. Ball. (Robert M. Ball was commissioner of Social Security under presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and served the Clinton administration in various advisory capacities.) Leave Our Pensions Alone. Social Security privatization proposals have proved dubious. (Free registration may be required). Older working people thinking about retirement can be thankful that President Bush's plan to substitute private savings accounts for part of Social Security isn't already in effect. The stock market's gyrations would create enormous problems for anyone trying to retire and convert a private investment account into an annuity. This summer, Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless studied how workers retiring would have fared if a Bush-type plan had been in existence. He found that a savings account built up over 40 years and invested 100% in stocks could have been converted into an annuity equal to somewhat more than recent average earnings--if it had been applied for at age 62 on Jan. 1, 2000. But the annuity would be less than half as much if applied for at age 62 on Jan. 1, 2003, assuming the same stock market averages on that date as the actual averages on July 19, 2002.

  • USA Today: CEOs may be liable for losses in 401(k)s. Excerpt: "In an action that could prompt companies to beef up oversight of 401(k) plans, the federal government issued a court brief this month that sides with Enron workers. It said former chief executive officer Ken Lay and other top executives could be personally liable for millions of dollars in retirement plan losses."

  • Wall Street Journal: Pension Liabilities Emerging As the Next Investor Concern. Excerpt: "The list of investment woes includes aggressive accountants, squishy analysts and gluttonous CEOs. Get ready to add teetering pensions to the ledger. Pensions, with their guaranteed payments, are a nifty thing to have when your neighbor's once-soaring 401(k) account is in tatters. But there's no free lunch. Someone's got to pay those pension costs. And the falling stock market is making life tough on companies carrying the obligation. Despite the rise of defined contribution plans like 401(k)s, defined-benefit pension programs are still a retirement benefit of choice for most companies in the S&P 500. Indeed, 346 of the companies in the S&P 500 offer them. The rising costs of these programs (people living longer, retiring earlier), along with the poor performance of the market, are combining to create a substantial pension funding problem."

    "Until recently, most concerns about pensions focused on numbers gimmickry. In this accounting-crazed time, analysts have pointed out that certain underlying assumptions about pensions have helped firms goose their numbers. For instance, questions have dogged IBM, with critics alleging that the technology giant has used rosy pension assumptions to boost its earnings figures. IBM maintains that it has handled its pension accounting appropriately."

    "According to the Merrill study, the Standard & Poor's 500 companies, on average, assume 9.3% annualized investment returns for pension purposes. But that optimistic outlook is already fraying. IBM, for instance, this year reduced its actuarial rate of return to 9.5% from 10%. Given the current market mood, investors would crawl all over themselves to find an 8% return, let alone the 9.5% IBM apparently expects." ... "At the company level, IBM has gone from the 8th-best funded pension at the end of 2000 to an estimated 344 out of the 346 pension-paying firms in the S&P 500 for year-ended 2002. Verizon, number 3 at the end of 2000, is expected to fall to 339." If link is broken, view Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--143 KB].
    • Janet Krueger comments (with sarcasm): Excerpt: "I'm not worried; IBM has implemented a new strategy that the analysts don't seem to have factored in... By laying off hundreds of older employees just short of qualifying for full retirement, and laying off hundreds of younger employees whose cash balances weren't quite vested, IBM is reducing their employee obligations faster than the market is falling. Would anyone like to lay side bets on whether IBM will avoid making any cash contributions to the pension fund at year end 2002? I'm betting will see another year of vapor profits!!! After all, we wouldn't want the executives, whose bonuses are based on keeping that bottom line propped up, to suffer!"

  • "carolina_puerto_rican" warns that it might be "time to make some IBM@Work runs." Excerpt: "We want to state up front that we have no accurate information yet of any impending pension related actions. This post is based on gut feel and the fact that the PWCC acquisition has been completed in record time, in contrast to the Hitachi and Endicott deals. We highly recommend that active US IBM employees should plan on making all the IBM@Work retirement estimator runs they feel they need to do before November 1. If the employee uses a desktop or laptop, they should consider saving them on their machine and back them up on a media they can take off-site."

  • CFO Magazine: Profiting from Health-Care Cuts? Critics accuse companies of managing earnings through FAS 106 rules for treatment of retiree medical benefits. Excerpt: "Increasing attention to the use of accounting gimmicks to boost profits has rekindled a nine-year-old controversy involving Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 106. In recent months, critics have renewed charges that some companies are using FAS 106--the standard that since 1993 has governed accounting for postretirement health-care benefits--as part of a strategy to reduce retiree medical coverage, then reflect the lower reserve amounts in operating earnings. While there is evidence to support the suggestion in some cases, the issue is far more complex. The FAS 106 issue mirrors criticism of FAS 87, which funnels surplus pension assets through corporate income statements as a credit to pension expenses. Some companies, critics charge, then slash their pension benefits to help keep the surpluses pumped up."

  • The following is a list of articles in the Poughkeepsie Journal on age discrimination charges against IBM:
    • 15 ex-local workers allege IBM age bias. September 21, 2002. Excerpt: "A group of ex-IBMers in the mid-Hudson area says IBM Corp.'s recent layoffs show age discrimination and has complained to state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. 'We believe that the IBM Corporation has consistently and methodically perpetrated age discrimination against its older employees,' said Antonio Rivera, a Poughquag man who worked in Armonk and is the lead complainant. Rivera also presented the names of 14 others who joined in the complaint."
    • 15 more file age-bias claims against IBM. August 8, 2002. Excerpt: "A Vermont investigation into allegations against IBM Corp. claiming age bias in layoffs picked up 15 more complaints Wednesday. Kate Hayes, the Vermont Attorney General's assistant for civil rights, began an investigation Tuesday when three complaints arrived from people who had been dropped at IBM's microchip complex in Essex Junction."
    • Ex-IBMers solicit age bias complaints at Vermont plant. August 6, 2002. Excerpt: "IBM Corp. officials Monday stuck by their position that the job cuts being made are free of age bias. Meanwhile, a number of ex-employees in the Burlington, Vt., area followed through on their plan, announced late Friday, to solicit complaints to forward to the Vermont Attorney General's Civil Rights Unit."
    • IBM workers aim to protest Vermont cuts. August 3, 2002. Excerpt: "A group of ex-IBMers claims IBM Corp.'s recent layoffs at its Burlington, Vt., plant fall too heavily upon older workers. Organizers say they've made contact with the Vermont attorney general's office and will complain."

  • Wall Street Journal: Foreign Workers Continue To Join the U.S. Work Force. Excerpt: "Despite a slack labor market, filings suggest that Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., International Business Machines Corp., KPMG LLP and dozens of other big technology and consulting concerns are still searching for talent overseas and are sponsoring workers on temporary H-1B visas. Universities and medical centers also top the list. Most companies won't confirm an actual number sponsored. Of course, the vast majority of the nation's 8.1 million job seekers don't have the skills for most of those positions. But the hard times have emboldened longtime critics. 'The number of H-1Bs being brought in is very high,' says LeEarl Bryant, president of the U.S. chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Ms. Bryant says overseas workers are taking jobs that can be filled by her members. The H-1B status allows foreign professionals to work here for up to six years." ... "Microsoft, Oracle and IBM top the list of LCA filers, but they won't say how many workers are involved or what they believe are the skills lacking in the U.S. Baylor College of Medicine in Houston says it sponsors 150 H-1B holders among faculty, scientists in training and research technicians."

  • Information Week: Prospects Dim For Future Tech Pros Prepping For Spring Job Scramble. Excerpts: "Patricia Chu earned a bachelor's degree in computer sciences from Stanford University last spring, but instead of looking for a job, she returned to campus to work on a graduate degree."

  • Dallas Morning News: Tech firms want more for less. Excerpt: "Technology workers are fast becoming the factory workers of the 21st century – hired when needed and cast off in a blink when business is down. Not only are technology jobs shipped overseas as commonly as manufacturing work is, but domestic programmers also are losing ground to cheaper H-1B immigrants with visas that normally last six years. American companies are allowed to bring in skilled foreigners on H-1B visas to fill vacant positions for which there are no qualified American workers. At least, that's how it was supposed to work. In reality, American programmers are available for the jobs, but companies prefer to hire foreign workers because of their willingness to work for lower wages and fewer benefits."

  • ComputerWorld: Panelists: Jobless IT workers should reinvent themselves. Excerpt: "Out-of-work IT workers in the U.S. upset about lower-cost H-1B and L-1 workers and offshore outsourcing firms wresting away their jobs should accept that highly skilled, cheap foreign labor is here to stay and instead broaden their own talents beyond programming acumen." ... ""Programming is becoming commoditized. If you can do programming for $20, $25 an hour, why would you pay $150 an hour?" said Amit Govil, managing director and CEO of Sapient India in New Delhi."

  • San Jose Mercury News: U.S. workers taking H-1B issues to court. Excerpt: "For years U.S. engineers have grumbled that foreign engineers on work visas were getting their jobs. Now, for the first time, U.S. workers are filing formal complaints with the government and in court, charging that foreign guest workers are replacing them during the downturn. The complaints contend that citizens were either laid off or not hired in favor of foreign workers on temporary H-1B visas. H-1B workers are supposed to fill only those jobs left vacant by a shortage of skilled U.S. workers." ... "'Betrayal is the word that would come to mind,' said Allan Masri, a 52-year-old San Jose engineer who was laid off from his quality assurance engineering job at Netscape a year ago. His colleague, an H-1B worker with the same job title, stayed on. Masri said he spent weeks training him on things such as the XML programming language. Masri said he feels he was replaced; Netscape said he was not."

  • ComputerWorld: Mapping IT's Future. Excerpt: "We received a letter last week from a dispirited worker with 15 years of IT experience. He's been laid off, can't find a job and expects to leave the profession. He says the influx of cheap labor that cost him his job is 'the beginning of the dismantling of the American technology worker'."

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM finishes deal for consulting unit. Excerpt: "IBM Corp. Wednesday said it completed its acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers' PwC Consulting business for about $3.5 billion in cash and stock. IBM dismissed about 200 of PwC's 1,200 consulting partners, and the average partner will see a pay cut of 20 percent or more if he or she doesn't meet performance targets, The Wall Street Journal reported."

  • Newsday: Deferring Retirement May Pay. Excerpt: "If you've been putting off the retirement you've been planning for decades, it might pay to wait just a little longer if you have an old-style pension fund. The reason: The tables and formulas used to calculate lump-sum payouts are set to change Jan. 1, and it may mean tens of thousands of dollars more for retirees."

  • Wall Street Journal: Beyond the Nest Egg. How much do you know about the various pieces that make up your retirement plan? Probably less than you think. Excerpts: "Most Americans know their nest eggs have taken a beating in recent months. Beyond that, though, knowledge about the rudiments of retirement plans and finances -- about corporate rules governing matching contributions and early retirement, about pensions and vesting, about health benefits in later life, rollovers of savings plans, annuities and even one's own Social Security payments -- appears to be in remarkably short supply." ... "Perhaps the most important reason to be familiar with the mechanics of your retirement plan is the fact that your benefits aren't set in stone. Although your employer can't take away retirement benefits you've earned already, it can reduce them going forward." ... "Many people think health benefits for retirees are an absolute. A survey by the National Council on the Aging, a Washington advocacy group, found that 49% of adults believe employers who provide pension plans are also required to provide health insurance to their retirees. That's simply not the case." ... "Although federal law protects pension benefits, it provides no guarantee for medical insurance. That appears unlikely to change anytime soon. Retired workers from such corporate heavyweights as General Electric Co. and the Baby Bells banded together last year to push for congressional action to stop large employers from canceling or reducing an individual's health benefits after that person has retired. Their bill, however, is stuck in committee with little Republican support. Meanwhile, many companies are phasing out health benefits for retirees, no matter their age." If link is broken, view Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--64 KB].

  • Wall Street Journal: Xerox Pension Plan To Pay $284 Million. Judge Orders Troubled Copier Company
    To Rectify Underpayment to Retirees

This week on the Alliance@IBM Site:


"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
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.