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—May 29, 2004
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA): CWA Settlement with SBC Provides for Employment and Health Security. Excerpts: Among the highlights,
    • The settlement guarantees that there will be no layoffs of employees currently on the payroll for the life of the agreement, and it calls for the rehiring of several hundred workers who had been laid off at SBC Southwest and SBC Midwest (former Southwestern Bell and Ameritech).
    • CWA and SBC agreed to work together to bring back tech support jobs from overseas when the current outsourcing agreement with Accenture expires.
    • The agreement provides that health care benefits continue to be fully paid by SBC, a major union goal in the talks. There are some increases in co-payments for medical services and prescription drugs. To help offset these higher costs, active employees will receive cash bonuses of $1,000 and retirees, who are now under a different plan from active workers, will receive $2,500.
    • The parties agreed to across-the-board base wage increases totaling 12 percent, compounded, plus an additional 1 percent lump sum in the first year and cost-of-living-adjustments in the fourth and fifth years. The initial wage increase is retroactive to April 4.
    • Pensions will increase 13 percent over the contract term, and the cash balance pension plan for SBC East (SNET) employees is substantially improved.

  • Alliance@IBM (CWA Local 1701): View the "Value Of A Union Contract" flyer. Print the flyer (with your home printer) and make copies to distribute to your co-workers. Visit our Do's and Don'ts of Handing Out Flyers page to help you with the rules, before you distribute the flyers.

  • Alliance@IBM: Support your fellow employees in their fight to save your benefits and your rights at work. Help make IBM a great place to work. Join the Alliance@IBM for free as a subscriber. If you are undecided about full membership, signing up as a subscriber brings you our newsletter THINK TWICE and e-mail alerts. You also will be notified of Alliance activities and meetings in your area. Many subscribers are also Alliance volunteers, helping with newsletter distribution and helping us organize. Or for only $10 a month, become a voting member of the Alliance. Voting members can run for office, vote on issues, vote for officers, help set policy and set up new chapters. You also receive access to a range of services through CWA union privilege programs. View more information about Alliance@IBM membership including a set of FAQs.

  • Reuters: SBC, Union Reach Deal After 4-Day Strike. Excerpt: Under the new pact, workers will receive a 2.3 percent pay raise, on average, for each year of the contract, with an additional 1 percent lump sum payment in the first year and cost-of-living increases in the fourth and fifth years. The deal includes some compromises on health-care costs, which SBC said would provide much of the $2 billion in savings it is targeting. Workers will still pay no monthly health insurance premiums for themselves, a key union goal, but must pay a monthly $40 surcharge to cover a spouse or partner who could be covered by a different employer. Co-payments for drugs and exams increase, but drug costs are capped at $750 per year for one person and $1,500 per family. To offset higher health-care costs, the union said each active employee would get a $1,000 bonus, and each retiree would get a $2,500 bonus. The union also said the company would set aside $2 billion for retiree health care. The company had said it was considering contributing at least $1 billion into its retiree health-care trusts this year. The union said SBC had agreed to bar layoffs of current union workers for the life of the contract and said the deal called for the company to rehire about 600 workers laid off in the Midwest and Southwest. SBC said the union accepted a company proposal that would guarantee a job offer in the same state or region to any employee whose current job was eliminated, but the guarantee will not apply to new employees.

  • Harvard Business School: Book excerpt from The Watsons: IBM's Troubled Legacy. Excerpt: Also making their presence known at the fair were the International Business Machines Corporation and its indomitable leader, Thomas J. Watson Sr. Watson was sixty-five years old when the fair opened, an age when many businessmen think about retirement. But Watson had the energy of a man in his thirties, and we can confidently assert that thoughts of retirement never entered his mind. For years he had been telling his troops, "The IBM is not merely an organization of men; it is an institution that will go on forever." He planned to accompany IBM on its journey—if not forever, then at least for a good many more years. And he had every intention of using the fair to tell the world that he and IBM—the two were inseparable in his mind—mattered.

  • Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A sample post follows:
    • "Cross Staffing" by "anon200405". Full excerpt: It is true that many legacy PwC partners (the few who are left anyway) will not staff legacy IBMers. An example will suggest why. I am a legacy PwCer. I worked on a primarily legacy IBM staffed engagement that was designed to develop a product development strategy (including IT) for the client. The IBM consultants staffed on the engagement were very competent from an IT viewpoint and could expound for years on how to implement various systems and architectures. But when asked WHY you would implement a particular system, they didn't have a frigging clue. They had no idea what the business rationale for the system was or why the client needed to change their processes.

      Many of the legacy PwC partners generally sell management consulting work and NOT IT consulting work (yes, there are exceptions). Simply put, the vast majority of legacy IBMers are tech wonks or long-term IBM employees from other parts of IBM that became consultants. Technically, they are excellent, but they have no experience or credibility doing management consulting work. So, PwC partners revert to the legacy PwCers who are likely to have these skills.

      As for IBM BIS being better before PwC, I have no doubt it was. You had your low margin, high revenue niche and were happy in it. Similarly, PwC Consulting was better before IBM also. We had our lower revenue, higher margin niche and were happy in it. We were forced by events beyond our control (Enron and accounting independence) into losing our market position and this made us available to IBM. We didn't want you and you didn't want us ... but here we are. Such is life.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: Law is called stacked deck for insurers. Excerpt: Originally passed to protect employees' pension funds from unscrupulous or negligent employers, ERISA was interpreted by the Supreme Court in 1987 to cover all employee benefits, and it would supersede state laws. The upshot soon became clear. When a claimant sues an insurance company under an employee benefit plan, the insurer can argue in most cases that state laws don't apply because, as the court ruled, the company is protected under ERISA. And under ERISA, a claimant cannot sue for bad faith, breech of contract or punitive damages. A claimant is not entitled to a jury trial or, in most cases, to even call witnesses before a judge. If an insurance company is found to have improperly denied a claim, it is required to pay only what the claim would have been in the first place, plus attorneys fees, in some cases. The insurers are not liable for damages caused by their decisions. In other words, ERISA allows insurers that provide insurance through employers to reject claims with virtual immunity.

    The U.S. Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling this summer on two cases out of Texas that are challenging ERISA. In one, an insurance company denied a second day in the hospital to a woman who had undergone a complex hysterectomy, even though her physician recommended that she stay. She was back in the emergency room several days later with complications. In the second case, an insurance company required a man to take less-expensive pain medication, even though his doctor recommended Vioxx. The cheaper medication, the man claims, caused bleeding ulcers and a near heart attack. The litigants and their attorneys say insurance companies, like doctors, should be held accountable if their decisions harm patients. The insurance industry says the current appeals process is a just one, and if claimants are allowed to sue for punitive damages, health premiums would rise, resulting in some employers reducing or eliminating health coverage.

  • Time: The Rumble Over Executive Pay. Excerpt: In a sense, Spitzer is taking on the whole clubby system that keeps driving CEO pay higher. Boards stacked with cronies too often still rubber-stamp excessively rich packages. In most cases, CEO pay is a question not of what is legal but of what is right. "The nature of CEO compensation is something that deserves additional scrutiny. One of the things that will emerge from the Grasso investigation," he says, "is the failure of compensation committees to fulfill their obligations." The Grasso case involves some of the most high-profile executives on Wall Street — the people who approved his payout in the first place. Spitzer's view enjoys broad support among institutional shareholders. "Excessive executive pay undermines the very principles of free enterprise," says Phil Angelides, the California state treasurer and a board member of the California Public Employees' Retirement System. He endorses recent efforts to rein in those eye-popping stock-option grants but notes that CEOs still seem to find a way to get richer at their employer's expense. Grants of restricted stock have in some cases replaced the value of options for executives. Retirement benefits and deferred-compensation packages can also amount to millions of dollars and yet remain relatively invisible to investors.

    Indeed, while you may not have noticed your raise last year (if you even got one), senior executives felt theirs. Median compensation for CEOs of companies in the S&P 500 rose 27% in 2003 on top of an 11.4% hike in 2002, according to the latest pay survey by the Corporate Library. Other surveys, which don't account for exercised stock options, found just single-digit increases in salary and bonus. And, yes, corporate profits rose sharply during 2003, up 18%. But that wasn't the case in 2002, and the gap between pay for the average worker and the typical large-company CEO has widened further. The typical CEO now makes $301 for every $1 paid to the typical employee. That's up from $42 to $1 in 1982.

  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Grumbling at Microsoft grows. Some workers say toll on morale will cancel savings from benefit changes. Excerpt: In announcing a series of benefit cuts last week, Microsoft Corp. asked its workers to consider the long-term value of the changes to the company and, by extension, to them, as employees and shareholders. But many employees are having a tough time seeing it that way. An informal poll conducted among employees on the Microsoft intranet, but not under the official auspices of the company, suggests a groundswell of opposition to the changes and an unusually strong wave of dissent in a place where employees are known for their allegiance to the corporate cause. ... The poll focuses on changes planned in the company's employee stock-purchase plan, including a reduction in the discount that employees receive on the price of Microsoft stock, from 15 percent to 10 percent. ... The company also plans, as of Jan. 1, to require employees to make a $40 co-payment if they choose a brand-name prescription drug when there is an FDA-approved generic equivalent. Savings from the use of generic drugs are expected to total $20 million annually. Also on Jan. 1, the company will start giving new employees two weeks of vacation annually for their first two years, down from the current three weeks. In addition, the company will require employees to take their four weeks of paid parental leave within six months of a child's birth or adoption, compared with the current 12-month window.

  • Seattle Times: Microsoft workers vent over cuts in benefits. Excerpt: Has the Kool-Aid at Microsoft gone bad? Employees are incensed over cuts in benefits announced last week, according to an internal survey posted on one worker's Web site. When asked to post comments on the cuts Monday, many of workers railed against the company, its management and its policies. "Microsoft's benefits used to somewhat make up for what is a difficult place to work," wrote one poster. "Are we now going in the direction that it will be both difficult and unrewarding?" ... There is plenty of feedback for Microsoft. Hundreds of employees posted comments, and a few even praised the stock purchase plan's changes. In general, though, the comments have one recurring theme: The cuts are leading to a drop in morale. Employees had especially harsh comments for Microsoft's management, pointing out that the company has more than $50 billion in the bank. One person recalled that Microsoft forgave a $15 million loan to former President Rick Belluzzo when he resigned in 2002. Others said Microsoft should instead cancel its annual employee meetings at Safeco Field, stop printing the internal newsletter and save electricity by turning off the lights at night. "It makes me wonder what cuts are next," one employee wrote. "Microsoft continues to make more and more money every quarter, yet they are cutting employee benefits? That doesn't make much sense."

  • Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech): Microsoft employees angry over benefit cuts. Excerpt: Comments included in the survey were also overwhelmingly negative. Most respondents blamed company officials for being shortsighted. Others charged that those same officials no longer value the contributions of employees as they once did. "Personally, I think it is sad that a company with $50 billion in cash is trying to nickel-and-dime its employees for $60 million in savings," wrote one employee. "To me it seems like Microsoft is testing its employees to see how far it can push them…to breaking point." "The repeated statements from (human resources vice president) Ken DiPietro and (U.S. director of benefits) Cecily Hall that employees will find this change to be 'the right thing for them, the company and shareholders' are insulting," wrote another respondent. "This is will adversely affect all three and is a direct pay cut across the board for all employees." "Unfortunately this reflects the recent tendency of upper management to shy away from the long term view and focus on the immediate." ...

    Many of the comments expressed feelings of betrayal. "Working is a relationship — I give you 110 percent all of the time, and you give me 65 percent of what I'm worth on the open market. Now you're giving me a little bit less. Thanks. Forget that 110 percent, you can now have 65%. Any good feeling I've had has slowly been eroded to the point where Microsoft is just an also-ran." ... Microsoft program manager Matt Goyer is currently conducting his own survey of Microsoft employees on his Web log, or blog, site. Yesterday Goyer wrote that an informal survey he recently conducted shows that companies such as Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P., Adobe Systems Inc., Nortel Networks Ltd., CIENA Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. all offer a 15 percent discount through company ESPP programs.

  • Boston Globe: Bush's health care scam. Excerpt: President Bush, speaking Tuesday at a Youngstown, Ohio, community health center, promised to help more uninsured Americans obtain affordable health care. But his key proposals are dubious health policy, waste taxpayer dollars, and are unlikely to increase coverage. They deserve more attention because they epitomize Bush's utterly cynical approach to governing. ... The new and insidious wrinkle in the Bush proposal is that it would exempt such associations from regulations that currently prohibit discrimination against individuals based on health status. With this new provision, insurers could offer very favorable rates for health plans whose members were limited to the young and the healthy. As younger workers bail out of larger insurance pools, middle-aged workers and their dependents, as well as those with histories of illness, would face huge rate increases. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that some 20 million Americans would face higher insurance costs if this proposal were enacted. Both The Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine, not exactly lefty news organs, have published articles pointing out the serious flaws in this approach.

  • Congressman Bernie Sanders: Bernie's 10 Question Quiz. Test your knowledge on some of the most important issues confronting us today. Sample questions: Under the new Medicare plan, if your prescription drug bill comes out to $500 annually, how much would you pay? The average out-of-work American is unemployed for how long? Since 2001, how many private sector jobs have been added?

Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Off-Shoring Issues
  • Boulder Daily Camera: Offshoring hits home. Sending jobs overseas beaches local workers. Excerpt: Louisville resident Jeffrey Antman has seen offshoring up close. After graduating with a master's degree in mechanical engineering at age 21 in 1974, Antman spent the bulk of the next three decades working for local startups and technology firms, including IBM, Quantum and Storage Technology Corp. In the 1990s, he personally assisted the transfer of local disk drive manufacturing offshore to China, where volume manufacturing could be done cheaper. Today, the engineer says he is struggling to find a job. And he says the current trend in offshoring — sending highly paid professional jobs to low-wage countries — is to blame. "Now, when the next big thing hits, all of the software to run it is going to be written in India, and it's going to be built in China. What's going to happen here?" Antman said. ...Antman said companies should have a wider interest in keeping jobs in the United States than just the bottom line. "I think we're at risk of becoming a Third World country," Antman said. "We had taken the knowledge jobs, and sent factory jobs overseas. And now we are chopping off the top of the pyramid. What are we going to do when those jobs are all gone? "They say that the stockholders benefit. But what are they going to do when the country has no jobs for educated workers? We can't compete with someone who's going to be paid a nickel to our dollar. No matter how smart, or how experienced you are, you can't compete with an educated worker overseas who wants to make $2,500 a year," Antman said.

  • Jim Hightower: A Hair Net in Your Future. Excerpt: This is where Colin Powell steps in. Bush's secretary of state recently sought to reassure people on this issue of offshoring. Unfortunately, the people he reassured were in India. On a recent trip there, he promised that the Bushites would do nothing to stop the outsourcing of U.S. high-tech jobs to India and, indeed, would oppose all congressional efforts to stop it. He even posed as an economic philosopher, declaring that "outsourcing is a natural effect of the global economic system," adding adamantly that "you're not going to eliminate outsourcing." Well, we're certainly not going to eliminate it if our government won't fight for our people. Oh, but Powell said, while "these kinds of dislocations will take place," the Bushites plan to train the American people for new jobs. What new jobs, exactly? He didn't say. He didn't have a clue. But Bush's labor department knows. It lists 30 job categories that will have the greatest growth between now and 2010. Number one? Fast food workers. Two-thirds of their "growth jobs" pay less than $20,000 a year. Forget high-tech, Colin Powell envisions you in a hair net.

"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.