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    Highlights—November 5, 2005

  • IBM's brief on Cooper v. IBM to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [PDF].
  • Yahoo! message board: "Important decision time" by "dave49_98". Excerpts: I realize this is not a political board; however, that being said, Alito's approval to the Supreme Court would have a devastating effect on workers. As Cooper v. IBM wends its way through the system, if this guy is confirmed we may as well through in the towel now. He has ruled against workers rights to sue companies and has ruled that companies should not be burdened with law suits from individuals. Here is the link: http://www.nathannewman.org/log/archives/003519.shtml
    Review it and see how he rules on workers rights: "Alito in a lone dissent argued for destroying the workers retirement and deny the worker credit for those early years of work through his anti-worker interpretation of ERISA."
  • Yahoo! message board post by Janet Krueger. Full excerpt: It should be noted that all of the pension and benefits issues that currently have circuit splits behind them (where some circuits are currently ruling in favor of the employers while other circuits are currently ruling in favor of the workers) will eventually come to the Supreme Court for resolution.
    Since Judge Alito has almost always ruled in favor of the employers, albeit with sound legal reasoning, do you think there is any chance at all he will rule in favor of the workers on benefits cases that reach the Supreme Court in the future???
    As noted in the original post, Cooper v IBM is shaping up to be part of another circuit split. Whether IBM wins the appeal or we win, there is a good chance the Supreme Court will determine the final result. If 5 of the Supreme Court judges, at the time Cooper v IBM is heard, feel that ERISA should be interpreted as permissibly as possible, in other words, employers should be allowed to do anything they want with their plan designs as long as there is a way ERISA can be interpreted to make those actions permissible, then our settlement will be the base $314 million and IBM will keep the extra $1.4 billion. Is that what we want???
    Judge Alito, if confirmed, will be ruling on a lot more issues than abortion rights. We are fools if we don't take the time to look carefully at his entire record, and then THINK through all the ways it may impact us! And we are also fools if we don't insist that the media and our senators also look carefully at his entire record, especially cases where corporate rights are being weighed against personal rights.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Janet Krueger. Excerpt: At the moment, I am not asking my senators to vote him down. I am hoping the senate judiciary committee will expose enough of his record so I can form a more informed opinion... People should insist on seeing his entire record, especially with respect to rulings for or against corporations. They may discover he is a fair and impartial judge and therefore deserves a seat on the Supreme Court OR they may discover he will overturn far more than just Roe v Wade. (I'm giving odds they will discover the latter, but I do not actually know yet.)
    The good news is we don't have to wait until after his confirmation to see how he will rule. The bad news is the media seems willing to focus just on abortion. Please consider writing to your local paper and calling your local radio and TV stations to tell them they can do better. INSIST on a full analysis. Your retirement security could be on the line...
  • BusinessWeek: Why Big Business Likes Alito. The President's new Supreme Court nominee has been a staunch proponent of limits on legal liability, employee rights, and federal regulation. By Lorraine Woellert. Excerpts: It took mere minutes for a partisan divide to open over Samuel Alito. Even as President George W. Bush was introducing the Third Circuit Appeals Court judge as his pick to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, political activists on the Right and Left were girding for battle over Alito's positions on civil rights, affirmative action, and abortion.
    But one group is breathing a big sigh of relief: Corporate America. Of the dozen or so names on Bush's rumored short list of high court candidates, Alito ranked near the top for the boardroom set. In the 800-plus opinions he has penned during his 15 years as a federal judge, Alito consistently has come down on the side of limiting corporate liability, limiting employee rights, and limiting federal regulation. "He would be a liability restrainer," says Stan Anderson, legal-affairs lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. [...]
    In one case of key interest to business, Alito as a circuit judge claimed that the federal government could not apply the Family & Medical Leave Act to state employees. In Chittister v. Dept. of Community & Economic Development, he upheld a lower court ruling backing the state of Pennsylvania, taking Congress to task for enacting the Family & Medical Leave Act. This 1993 federal law, which requires employers to provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave for various health or family reasons, including the birth of a child, was an unconstitutional abrogation of states' rights, Alito wrote.
  • Reuters: Companies disclose little on tax break. By Vivianne Rodrigues. Excerpts: U.S. companies may be repatriating hundreds of billions of dollars to take advantage of a one-time tax break meant to spur job creation, but few clearly say how they are going to spend the cash. In a Reuters survey of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones industrial average, only seven of the 16 that have so far brought back money earned abroad have provided even a broad outline of what they are doing with it. [...]
    Economists at Standard & Poor's and Bank of New York estimate that altogether U.S. companies already repatriated $200 billion in 2005 and that at least another $100 billion may come from overseas before the end of the year. They have been falling over each other to take advantage of the one-year break because they will only pay a tax rate of 5.25 percent against as much as 35 percent based on standard rates. [...]
    Many believe that the repatriation has helped to spur stock buybacks, which have surpassed the $150 billion mark this year. "The whole thing is a big tax holiday for the country's largest companies," said Bob Baugh, a director at the Industrial Union Council at AFL-CIO in Washington. "It's almost obscene that this was an incentive designed to promote job creation but, instead, it seems the money is being used mostly to help companies lift their own stock prices with share buybacks."
    International Business Machines Corp., Pfizer, Verizon Communications and even Intel, are just some of the companies that increased their buyback programs this year as the same time they brought in billions from overseas. IBM, which has announced plans to repatriate $8 billion in funds, also announced plans for a $4 billion buyback program. Pfizer in June also said it plans to buy back $5 billion worth of stock
  • Yahoo! message board post by "Mike". Full excerpt: Actually, the problem is I have a wife and one kid left on my insurance. IBM really socks it to you for having dependants. Seems it is the same wife who dropped her job to move with me to a new location, twice. The company moving and living made the move easier for her but we started over each time. The first in several generations to ever really leave the homestead.
    Once upon a time when knights were bold, IBM held the family as a very important part of the whole IBM culture. Now they consider it a burden. Hell, I wish I would have known that when I left Christmas eve for a call in. The kid's were always told Daddy's job is important and he will wake you up when he gets home. Lots of holidays spent at the site.
    IBM has made it clear what they think of my family and I no longer have a problem taking vacations without a cell phone or location where I can not be found. As far as holidays. Since about 1999 I spend all of them with MY family. You reap what you sow and IBM replanted the wrong crop.
  • Times of India: Outsourcing from a cruise ship. Excerpts: US has introduced a unique programme that promises a double bonanza for Indians vying for the BPO industry. Called the SeaCode programme which will be launched in early 2006, it will deal with low cost distant shore outsourcing. A cruise ship anchored off the California coast will house around 600 IT professionals who will execute global outsourcing projects, working in 12-hour shifts via the internet and microwave communication. The best part is that those working in the programme will not need an H1B visa, as they will not be operating from land.
    • In a Vault post, "Dose of reality" comments: Look at the advantages: Amortization, ships crew and overhead are probably less than $3.5 million a year. That's around $5,500 per indentured servant - probably less than the cost of land based housing! Also, the meal plan will be pretty easy to manage. They would be virtual prisoners with no distractions except the occasional railside heaving. Let's set up monopoly priced concessions on board and turn a profit there as well. We could probably rig the ship up with oars and have them row during their downtime. Low cost, captive staff, and slave labor - sounds perfect for IBM. This could be the end of the H1b program!
  • Economic Times (India): India demands 195K H1-B US visas. Excerpt: In a move that has significance for Indian professionals seeking to work in the US, the government has made a formal proposal to the WTO demanding that the yearly quota of H1B visas be increased to 1,95,000 from the current ceiling of 65,000. If conceded, the move could turn out to be a boon for IT and other skilled professionals heading for the US. In the ongoing WTO talks, India has made enhancement of the H1B quota as a key bargaining chip for offering concessions on market access for industrial products and farm goods, highly-placed government officials said. Even if the US partly concedes the Indian demand, it will be a big step forward in liberalisation of norms governing movement of natural persons — as work permits are called in WTO parlance.
  • NewsMax: Senate Bill Will Take Even More Jobs From Americans. By Diane Alden. Excerpts: Both political parties are bought and paid for by one economic or corporate interest or another. In the world of the Beltway Iron Triangle, the primary directive is to accumulate as much money for re-election as possible while making points with power brokers and corporate lobbying groups. What may be at stake for the professional politician and eternal inhabitant of the Beltway is a lucrative position in a post-government life, perhaps in the financial, lobbying or corporate world. It is all about connections, after all. [...]
    The U.S. Senate is the most obvious player in the game of obtaining power and keeping it. In that regard, Senators are shameless as they continue to do the bidding of economically powerful groups involved in "public-private partnerships" or economic interests that have no allegiance to the United States of America. A case in point: the recent push by the U.S. Senate for more economic visas for foreign workers. The demand by economic interests, corporations, particularly Bill Gates, comes at the expense of American-born workers, scientists, engineers and thousands in other professions, skilled and unskilled.
    The U.S. Senate is about to allow an increase in the infamous H-1B and attendant L-1 visa "plan," which is called the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2005 (S. 1932). Leading the latest attempt to do an injustice to the American worker, taxpayer and citizenry is that paragon of moderation, Senator Arlen Specter, R-Pa. Thanks to Arlen and the other bandits and buccaneers in the U.S. Senate, particularly the Judiciary Committee, megabillionaire and leftist Bill Gates, along with a phalanx of corporate supremacists, are building empires on the backs of Americans and the American nation-state.
    This effort is supported by our government and the political class as they bow to the demands to increase H-1B and L-1 visas to accommodate universities, hospitals, technology companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which say there is a shortage of qualified workers – a shortage that exists only in the minds of profit-hungry and cost-cutting megacorporations or thoughtless groups like the Chamber of Commerce. As one former government worker stated, "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents Chinese business interests better than any group I know. " [...]
    The measure is supported by universities, hospitals, technology companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which say there is a shortage of qualified workers. That is rotten baloney, but it allows an avenue for various economic interests to maximize profits while paying wages that remain stagnant and benefits that are usually nonexistent. Often, if any benefits are paid, they are offered by a foreign consulting body shop that provides the foreign worker to corporate interests that increasingly demand them.
    For the American worker, that is one more reason wages and salaries remain stagnant and have for nearly a decade. Countless economic and government reports, plus Alan Greenspan himself, refused to spin the numbers in August 2005. In effect, Greenspan admitted that wages and benefits had declined or remained stagnant and would continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Of course it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize basic market economics: When you bring in more and more cheap or docile, compliant labor into the U.S. from China, India or all points on the compass, wages and benefits will remain stagnant or depressed as long as the supply never ends. This situation exists courtesy of the U.S. Senate and Congress and multiple badly negotiated trade deals.
  • New York Times: How Colorado Got Its Government Back. Excerpts: In 1992, to the unmitigated glee of antitax types everywhere, Colorado voters amended the State Constitution to impose the nation's strictest tax and spending limits. On Tuesday, they decided that government was worth paying for after all. By 52 percent to 48 percent, they voted to suspend the fiscal limits for the next five years and told the state to keep $3.7 billion that would have otherwise been refunded to taxpayers.
    The vote clearly has to do with the pain of a permanently underfinanced government. Middle-class and low-income residents were getting burned by ever deepening spending cuts in education, health care and transportation.
    Colorado has the ninth-highest per capita personal income in the nation, and only Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts have larger proportions of college graduates. Yet over the past decade or so, Colorado has dropped to near the bottom among the states in funds for basic public services. Last November, Republicans lost control of both chambers of the Legislature for the first time since 1960, and Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, then shocked his base by supporting the suspension of the budget restrictions.
  • Yahoo! message board post by Janet Krueger. Full excerpt: I also know for a fact that IBM logs and monitors *ALL* communications through their internal firewalls. While it is impossible to guess how closely they look at communications from each particular individual, it would be extremely naive to assume that any communications from within IBM are anonymous or private. This is especially true if you access the Yahoo message boards, the Alliance website, the ibmemployee.com web site, or if you send emails to any of the Alliance ids... Just so you know!
  • Los Angeles Times: Always low penalties. Excerpts: THIEVES, MUGGERS AND OTHER lawbreakers would have an easier life if police and prosecutors operated like the U.S. Labor Department. They could work out a deal giving them advance notice of when police were going to monitor their activities. Those still dumb enough to get caught might avoid punishment by staying out of trouble for a couple of weeks. That's precisely the sort of deal the government handed to Wal-Mart after the retailer, not known for its kind treatment of employees, was charged with 85 child-labor violations in three states involving underage workers who operated dangerous machinery.
    In a settlement, the retailer agreed to pay $135,540 — hardly a punitive fine for a company that reported more than $10 billion in earnings last year. As part of the deal, the Labor Department agreed to give Wal-Mart 15 days' notice before sending inspectors to look for child-labor violations. According to a report by the department's inspector general, this violates the agency's own handbook. And if, even with advance notice, the retailer can't avoid violating the law, it can still escape citations and fines if it cleans up the problem within 10 days. The report notes that agency officials allowed Wal-Mart lawyers to write much of the agreement and cut their own legal division out of the action.
  • Reuters: Workers lose in cash balance plans: study. By Susan Cornwell. Excerpts: Workers generally lose retirement benefits when employers switch from traditional pensions to cash balance plans, a congressional study released on Friday said. And the study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that older workers lose more benefits than younger ones when plans are changed. Hundreds of companies switched to cash balance plans in the 1990s, through which workers have an individual account balance based on pay credits and interest. [...]
    The GAO said that 86 percent of workers age 30 at the time of a conversion of retirement plans, and 90.4 percent of workers age 40 would receive lower retirement benefits from a cash balance plan. Of those aged 50, 49.8 percent would receive lower benefits as a result of the conversion. Others were helped by transition protections for older workers, the GAO said, which can include allowing older workers to choose the plan they want. When workers lost benefits, the cuts were greater the older the employee. For 30-year-old workers, the median loss in retirement benefits was $59 per month, while the median loss for 50 year olds was $238 per month.
    The GAO study was seized on by critics who have argued that cash balance conversions penalize workers, especially older ones. An IBM cash balance pension plan received national attention in 2003 when a judge ruled it was age discriminatory. "This independent analysis from the GAO confirms that, without some protections, everyone loses," said Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat.
  • International Journal of Health Services: Myths and Memes About Single-Payer Health Insurance in the United States: A Rebuttal to Conservative Claims [PDF]. By John P. Geyman. Excerpt: Recent years have seen the rapid growth of private think tanks within the neoconservative movement that conduct “policy research” biased to their own agenda. This article provides an evidence-based rebuttal to a 2002 report by one such think tank, the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), which was intended to discredit 20 alleged myths about single-payer national health insurance as a policy option for the United States. Eleven “myths” are rebutted under eight categories: access, cost containment, quality, efficiency, single-payer as solution, control of drug prices, ability to compete abroad (the “business case”), and public support for a single-payer system. Six memes (self-replicating ideas that are promulgated without regard to their merits) are identified in the NCPA report. Myths and memes should have no place in the national debate now underway over the future of a failing health care system, and need to be recognized as such and countered by experience and unbiased evidence.
  • Time Magazine: The Broken Promise. By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele. Excerpts: It was part of the American Dream, a pledge made by corporations to their workers: for your decades of toil, you will be assured of retirement benefits like a pension and health care. Now more and more companies are walking away from that promise, leaving millions of Americans at risk of an impoverished retirement. How can this be legal? A TIME investigation looks at how Congress let it happen and the widespread social insecurity it's causing. [...]
    Through no fault of her own, Whitehouse had found herself thrust into the ranks of workers and their spouses--previously invisible but now fast growing--who believed the corporate promises about retirement and health care, often affirmed by the Federal Government: they would receive a guaranteed pension; they would have company-paid health insurance until they qualified for Medicare; they would receive company-paid supplemental medical insurance after turning 65; they would receive a fixed death benefit in the event of a fatal accident; and they would have a modest life-insurance policy. They didn't get those things. And they won't.
    Corporate promises are often not worth the paper they're printed on. Businesses in one industry after another are revoking long-standing commitments to their workers. It's the equivalent of your bank telling you that it needs the money you put into your savings account more than you do--and then keeping it. Result: a wholesale downsizing of the American Dream. [...]
    A TIME investigation has concluded that long before today's working Americans reach retirement age, policy decisions by Congress favoring corporate and special interests over workers will drive millions of older Americans--a majority of them women--into poverty, push millions more to the brink and turn retirement years into a time of need for everyone but the affluent. The transition is well under way, eroding efforts of the past three decades to eliminate poverty among the aging. From taxes to health care to pensions, Congress has enacted legislation that adds to the cost of retirement and eats away at dollars once earmarked for food and shelter. That reversal of fortunes is staggering, and even those already retired or near retirement will be squeezed by changing economic rules.
    Congress's role has been pivotal. Lawmakers wrote bankruptcy regulations to allow corporations to scrap the health insurance they promised employees who retired early-- sometimes voluntarily, quite often not. They wrote pension rules that encouraged corporations to underfund their retirement plans or switch to plans less favorable to employees. They denied workers the right to sue to enforce retirement promises. They have refused to overhaul America's health-care system, which has created the world's most expensive medical care without any comparable benefit. One by one, lawmakers have undermined or destroyed policies that once afforded at least the possibility of a livable existence to many seniors, while at the same time encouraging corporations to repudiate lifetime-benefit agreements. All this under the guise of ensuring workers that they are in charge of their own destiny--such as it is. [...]
    Thanks to the way Congress writes the rules, pension accounting has a lot in common with Enron accounting, but with one exception: it's perfectly legal. By adjusting the arcane formulas used to calculate pension assets and obligations, corporate accountants can turn a drastically underfunded system into a financially healthy one, even inflate a company's profits and push up its stock price. Ethan Kra, chief actuary of Mercer Human Resources Consulting, once put it this way: "If you used the same accounting for the operations side [of a corporation] that is used on pension funds, you would be put in jail."
  • CBS Public Eye Blog: Covering 'The Great Retirement Ripoff'. Excerpt: There has obviously been a counter-revolution in American commerce that has permitted, even encouraged many corporations to renege on promises made to employees and the annihilation of the once ubiquitous expectation that work pensions would substantially help fund retirement. It is hard stuff to understand, much less make for interesting writing. So I haven't tackled it yet. There is also the conflict of interest problem: my employer changed its pension rules during my tenure here in ways that hurt my financial interests. (Note to Public Eye community: is that a substantial conflict of interest? Or trivial?)
    The Time story was written by one of the finest investigative teams in the country, Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele, who took on the toughest, biggest economic topics in a long run at The Philadelphia Inquirer. I hoped this would be the definitive retirement ripoff piece. It's terrific. Read it.
  • Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America: PSCA's rebuttal to Time magazine's "The Great Retirement Ripoff" story. Excerpt: Perhaps you saw the cover story “The Broken Promise: The Great Retirement Ripoff” in the October 31, 2005 issue of Time magazine. This misleading and inaccurate attack on the employer provided retirement system is presented in the most sensational terms and cannot be allowed to stand uncontested. PSCA has sent the letter below to Time and it is our hope it will be printed.
    However, PSCA anticipates that their will be more such articles in the future and is preparing a letter that you can modify for your use if it becomes necessary for you to set the record straight with your participants. Also, as was reported in the Sept-Oct issue of Defined Contribution Insights, PSCA is preparing a “Role of the Employer” public education campaign so that the facts about the employer retirement system and especially its defined contribution component are affirmatively presented to those writing retirement related stories
  • OpEd News: Signs of the Turning of the Tide. By Andrew Bard Schmookler. Excerpts: The cover story of TIME magazine is called "The Great Retirement Ripoff," and one of its subcaptions on the cover says, "How corporations are picking people's pockets-- with the help of Congress." This is a most encouraging development, because it has a dimension that is lacking in the others. The falling poll numbers, as I have argued in my piece "Not Reassured Yet," seem to reflect a repudiation of the manifest failures of the regime: the war-gone-bad, the debacle after Katrina, the price of gasoline going up while wages go nowhere. And the "abandonment watch" is basically a case of rats leaving a sinking ship. [...]
    The piece quotes Secretary of the Treasury John Snow promoting the president's failed Social Security plan, calling for an ownership society. And then the piece goes on: "Of course, it's much easier to own a piece of America when you have a pension like Snow's. ....Snow was given a lump-sum pension of $33.2 million. It was based on 44 years of employment at CSX. Unlike ordinary people, who must work the actual years on which their pension is calculated, Snow was employed just 26 years. The additional 18 years were fictional, a gift from the company's board of directors...At the same time corporate executives are paid retirement dollars for years they never worked, hapless employees lose supplemental retirement benefits for a lifetime of actual work." And then TIME proceeds to tell about the rip-off of ordinary workers, abetted by Congress passing laws to allow the plunder of the have-nots by the haves.

Vault Message Board Posts
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. The following are a few sample posts:
  • "Not many" by "whitespider". Full excerpt: I am an ex PwC partner - last day was yesterday. We did a quick count and estimate that only between 15-20% of the original PwC partners remain.
  • "Only time will tell" by "Dose of reality". Excerpts: If you have meaningful experience and above average credentials, the offer is definitely low vis a vis the market. We will bill you out at an annual equivalent of well over $300k. While other firms will be willing to pass that good fortune down to you, IBM is too cost-conscious, and too much of a sweat shop to pay you your market value. If you want an easy path toward adding a year or so of consulting experience to your resume, and don't mind working for a bureaucratic, socialistic dinosaur of a company, then IBM is for you. Counter with low 70's and see what they say.
    The only good thing about BCS is that turnover is so high that if you remain chargeable and do decent work, you will always have a home here. The downside is that salary is low, bonuses are almost never paid out, projects are oversold (meaning you have to work like a dog to stay afloat and will be blamed for problems), there are a lot of incompetent managers, and promotions are rare. It is a churn and burn culture. If you don't make it to your vesting date, everyone is very happy.
  • "Overpriced?" by "CandorSense". Full excerpt: Monkey. The price of white skinned coders would be determined by supply and demand in the marketplace. And remember I am speaking only of on-shoring. If the US market were not being flooded by an over"supply" of cheap coders, the price would not be too high. Naturally, markets are not perfect but here, we have a "SCAM" that is distorting the market. That is we are so cheesed off by the Indian H1 and L visa scams. It is a distortion of the marketplace. It is employment dumping. We are all willing to compete and trade on a fair basis, and face the realities of that. You shouldn't be surprised that we are not happy to have millions of upper caste Indians working here illegally and driving down rates as a result.
  • "Blame yourself" by "Valkiria". Full excerpt: But at the same time how many of you have been sending letters to your Senators, the media, and IBM HR (without name), Immigration,… blame yourself. On another subject, IBM claims that it is necessary to import personnel because none is available locally to do the job. But at the same time, training is only available for the very few, and I have first hand knowledge that qualified consultants are left on the “beach” and not staffed in projects in favor of the imports (=cheap labor) with less experience, now that is outrageous.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • Alliance@IBM: Attention IBM employees: IBM is blocking e-mail to and from the Alliance@IBM e-mail address endicottalliance@stny.rr.com from inside the company. Please send your job cut information and other correspondence from your home e-mail. You can also contact us the following ways: Phone 607 658 9285 or Fax 607 658 9283.
  • IBM Pension Lawsuit FAQ about Cooper v IBM. Updated 10-22-05. By Janet Krueger. Excerpt: Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the class action lawsuit against IBM's 1995 and 1999 pension plans. The answers are my personal opinions, have not been verified with either IBM or plaintiffs’ counsel, and should not be construed as legal advice. On July 31, 2003, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of the employees in this case. On September 28, 2004, IBM and the legal team on Cooper v IBM announced that an agreement had been negotiated that settles some of the claims and set the amount of damages that IBM will pay to the class if IBM's appeal of the district court's age discrimination rulings is unsuccessful. On August 16, 2005, after the August 8 fairness hearing, Judge Murphy issued an order finalizing the settlement agreement. On August 30, 2005, IBM began the appeals process by issuing their notice of appeal.
  • CWA: Don't Displace US Workers to Balance the Budget. Excerpt: Unemployment among professionals in H-1B occupations in the U.S. remains high. Companies who rely on the H1-B visa program as a staffing strategy displace American workers, depress wages, and discourage young people from pursuing careers in the high-tech industry. The program encourages employers to use contingent staffing solutions, instead of creating jobs that support workers, their families, and their communities. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), the senior member of the U.S Senate and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee has made an alternate proposal -- reject the H1-B visa increases and instead raise the fee for L-1 visas to $1500. Click here to urge your Senators to support the Byrd Amendment and protect American jobs.
  • From the Visitor's comment page and the Job Cuts Status & Comments page.
    • Comment 11/01/05: I am coming up on being with IBM for 4 years after being acquired through an outsourcing deal. Since then, my account has since been outsourced to Argentina. I was able to get on a new account luckily. The mood here is mediocre at best. No raise in 4 years and it is like an act of congress to try to get education to better my career. I look every week for a new job--I see no future here--the old IBM has long since vanished. To quote one of my favorite movies: "Good luck with your outsourcing--I hope your firings go well." -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/03/05: It's really just a matter of time before IBM has a major downfall. Word has spread like wildfire through the IT community that IBM is a lousy company for workers. Many laid off employees are finding other jobs and also spreading the truth about how bad working for IBM has really become. Also many current employees who were taken over by IBM through outsourcing also moan and groan about how inefficient and uncaring IBM has become. As a current IBM employee I am on the lookout for a new position with a different company. It will be nice to be appreciated for my skills and also to be motivated to do my best. As a coworker of mine has put it "IBM doesn't care about us so why should we care about them?". -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/04/05: Dedicated 4 years to an off-shoring project. Was a 1 performer (4 years) but pay sank like an anchor, time per day increased 3 fold. Saved this division millions in expense reductions, and delivered a honed and perfect model project. 1 year after things are starting to deteriorate off-shore due to poor management and turn-over issues. My mgmt chain went to foreigners, who don't care one bit about employees, but care that there is enough in the budget so they can travel between home country and HQ. Now I have a 60 so they can fund the travel...go figure. This is what this company does to its top performers. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 11/04/05: Anyone know how to figure out salary band ranges? As they seem to be a too well hidden piece of information. A colleague of mine was told he didn't get a raise cause he was at the top of his band. Yet according to HR only second line managers have this information. And no one knows what the top of the bands are. Back in Lotus days, everyone was open with info, you could actually go to your manager and use it in asking for more money. Now its all hidden. I am a band 7, and have no idea where I am on the band salary level. Anyone figure this out at all?-Anonymous-

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