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    Highlights—December 10, 2005

  • Wall Street Journal, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Employers make efforts to retain older workers. By Sue Shellenbarger. Excerpts: Traditionally, many employers have viewed older workers as inflexible, less productive than their younger colleagues, and more expensive because of higher salaries and health-care costs. When hard times force layoffs, older workers are often the first to get the ax. But now, many employers are at least giving lip service to retaining older workers. And a few are taking concrete steps to actually do so -- seeking out older workers and retirees with needed skills, rooting out age bias, and setting up complex flexible work arrangements tailored to their needs. [...]
    Some companies are recognizing that older workers are repositories of hard-to-replace knowledge critical to their businesses, says Eric Lesser, an associate partner in Cambridge, Mass., with IBM Business Consulting Services. As workers retire, companies worry about losing relationships with suppliers and distributors, as well as the ability to maintain older accounts.
  • Wall Street Journal: OK, Boss, Now Tell Me More on Pensions. By Kelly K. Spors. Excerpts: Amid all the headlines about problems with corporate pensions, workers nearing retirement are jittery -- and some are inclined to grab a lump sum rather than a lifetime of monthly checks if given the choice. But is that really a smart move? [...] Starting with workers retiring after Jan. 31, companies with a traditional pension plan must provide a comparison of the estimated values of the plan's various payment options. Employers will have to reveal, for instance, if an annuity that pays a monthly benefit over the lifetime of the retiree is worth only, say, 90% of an annuity that pays a smaller monthly sum over the lifetimes of the worker and spouse.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "ibmmike2006". Full excerpt: This is a good explanation (see http://jec.senate.gov/democrats/Documents/Reports/twotieredpensions06 oct2005.pdf) of how a defined contribution or qualified plan works like the Regular IBM Pension Trust fund verses the Non-qualified Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan(SERP) of the IBM executives works. It does not go as far to also include the IBM Executive Deferred Compensation Plan (EDCP) that allows an executive to defer their entire salary and bonus if they so desire. I think the IBM executives could defer their salaries, judging from the IBM stock options exercised and cashed in on a regular basis. For what other reason would there be such a plan, the EDCP if it was not utilized. Another gift from Gerstner.
    Oh yes, the IBM executives still get $165,000 a year from the Qualified Regular IBM Pension Trust fund. Sam will probably get about $8,125,000 a year for life when he retires at age 60 in a few years. Some think it is only $3 million but us IBM stockholders who read the IBM annual proxy on Executive Compensation in the SERP table 2, can see the $8,125,000 as an annual retirement executive pension entry.
    • "justa_bean_counter" comments. Full excerpt: You know what is so funny? IBM calls their SERP the Supplemental Executive Retention Program, not Retirement Plan. They took out the word retirement and substituted the word retention. It's documented in the 2001 Annual Report. You can put lipstick on a pig and take it to the ball but it's still a pig. (and it's still their greedy retirement plan)
  • Jim Hightower: Corporate Free Speech. Excerpt: One of the silliest claims made by those who run Corporate America is that the paper entity called "a corporation" must be treated as human beings, entitled to the same constitutional rights that we living, breathing U.S. citizens have – including the human right to freedom of speech. Of course, a corporation is a thing, not a person, and to see how absurd it is for corporate executives to claim that their entities should have democratic rights, just sneak a peek at how they treat the free-speech rights of shareholders, the actual people who own the corporations. In theory, shareholders are the ultimate boss of any corporation, supreme over the executives who're the hired hands doing day-to-day management. In practice, however, the relationship is turned on its head, with the executives bossing the owners. The annual shareholder meeting is when owners supposedly get to grill their hirelings and set corporate policy. But these meetings have become a sad farce.
  • Jim Hightower: Another Corporate Captive for the Court. Excerpts: While liberal and conservative groups alike are poring over the record of Judge Sam Alito to decipher where he stands on Roe v. Wade – who're those guys over in the shadows grinning from ear to ear?
    Ah, those are the executives and lobbyists of corporate America, and they don't care whether Bush's new supreme court nominee even has a position on abortion. They're all grins because they know that, whatever other ideological bent Alito might bring to the bench, he's a died-in-the-wool, tried-and-true, hard-core corporatist who can be counted on to favor big business over workers, consumers, environmentalists, shareholders, small competitors, and anyone else entangled in a court case against corporate power.
    After 15 years as a federal appeals judge, Alito's extensive paper trail shows that he's been a reliable and ardent champion of the corporate side in practically every case that comes before him. "We're always happy to see Judge Alito on the panel," says a Philadelphia lawyer whose firm represents some of America's largest corporations. Indeed, in several big cases, Bush's nominee has tried to prevent employees from suing corporations for sexual and racial discrimination, tried to protect monopolists from facing antitrust judgments, tried to stop environmental groups from suing polluters, and tried to reduce fines that corporate wrongdoers have to pay. As a beaming spokesman for the U. S. chamber of commerce put it, "He has come down on a host of issues in a way that the business community would prefer," adding that "This is not a guy who is going to go off the reservation."
  • New York Times: Letter to the editor from John J. Sweeney, President, A.F.L.-C.I.O. Excerpt: Re ''Rescuing Your Retirement,'' by Elaine L. Chao, John W. Snow and Carlos M. Gutierrez (Op-Ed, Nov. 21): These three Bush administration secretaries say the president has a plan to save pensions, but the president's ''reforms'' are too much about keeping the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's books in order and not enough about building real retirement security for workers. [...] America's C.E.O.'s certainly take care of their own retirements, with stock options galore. America's workers deserve to rest easy knowing that the pensions they've earned are sound.
  • New York Times: At Google, Cube Culture Has New Rules. By Steve Lohr. Excerpt: Google, like I.B.M., says that it is forging a corporate culture in which success depends on performance. But while I.B.M. is an old company that has revamped the social contract with its workers, Google is writing a new one from scratch. Some of Google's benefit and compensation practices resemble I.B.M.'s. The retirement plan is a tax-deferred 401(k) program with employee savings matched by company contributions, as it is for new employees at I.B.M. starting this year. Annual bonuses at Google range up to 25 or 30 percent, as they do at I.B.M.
    Yet Google portrays itself as a special place, starting with its company motto, "Don't Be Evil." And its programs and perks for employees are unusual, even by the often-generous standards of young Silicon Valley companies in good times. Meals of all kinds, painstakingly prepared by company chefs, are free at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., a modern corporate campus known as the Googleplex. Other amenities there include children's day care, doctors, dry cleaning, laundry, a gym, and basketball and volleyball courts. Maternity or paternity leave is 12 weeks at 75 percent of full pay. There is also up to $500 available for takeout meals for the entire family after a newborn arrives, courtesy of Google. Shuttle buses (with wireless Internet access for working while commuting) ferry employees to the Googleplex from throughout the Bay area. And the big perk: the company's engineers are given 20 percent of their time to pursue their own ideas instead of company assignments.
  • CBS News: Show Me The Benefits. Excerpts: Like millions of other workers these days, Sprint employees on strike in Hickory, N.C. this fall weren't demanding "show me the money." "The people are just fed up with their benefits being cut," one employee remarks. Instead, Sunday Morning correspondent Susan Spencer reports, it's "hands off my benefits." From health care to disability to pensions, across many industries, workers today are realizing with dismay that company-provided benefits are costing them more and providing them less. "Every benefit cut that you have is a cut in your wages," says the local president of the Communication Workers of America union Gary McClure. "It's a cut in your ability to provide for your family."
  • New York Times: A New Game at the Office: Many Young Workers Accept Fewer Guarantees. By Steve Lohr. Excerpts: When Vincent Papke joined I.B.M. in 1963, the implicit bargain was simple - his labor and loyalty for security. Getting rich was not an expectation, but a steady job and regular raises were. The company, he recalled, was a kind of extended family. There were company basketball and softball teams, company activities for the kids, and company social gatherings like Christmas parties. "They trained you," he said. "You worked hard, you played hard and you advanced."
    So it was for Mr. Papke over the next three decades, as he rose from an accountant to a series of management and marketing jobs. "You would never leave - you had a cradle-to-grave mentality," said Mr. Papke, 63, who took a buyout package and did leave I.B.M. in the early 1990's, when the company was struggling and cutting its payroll. [...]
    I.B.M., like many other companies, has rewritten the implied social contract with its employees. Cutbacks and controversy have been part of the process. I.B.M. placed a cap on medical benefits for retirees, and eliminated the traditional pension plan for new hires. And a federal judge ruled in 2003 that changes I.B.M. made in its pension plan amounted to discrimination against older workers. [...]
    I.B.M. has tried to do that systematically, especially recently. The company identifies about a dozen "hot" skills, or skills are most likely to be in demand over the next three years. The list is updated yearly. The hot skills list for this year includes expertise in the life sciences, wireless networks, digital media databases and Linux programming. I.B.M. spends $750 million a year on employee education, and $400 million of that is earmarked for training its workers in the skills that the company is betting it will need soon. [...]
    Compensation, of course, is a prime motivator in the workplace. And the pay system at I.B.M. has been overhauled to try to foster a more entrepreneurial culture. Under Louis V. Gerstner Jr., the outsider who took over as chief executive in 1993, I.B.M. executives were not only granted stock options but also required to buy I.B.M. shares on their own. About 75,000 employees now hold stock options or grants. With the accounting-rule change this year to treat options as an expense, I.B.M. sharply reduced its share grants. But Mr. MacDonald said that bonuses, ranging up to 30 percent of annual salary, would ensure that the most productive employees were rewarded. "There are wide swings in variable pay," he said. "What we're really trying to drive here is a performance-based company."
  • New York Times: Verizon to Halt Pension Money for Its Managers. By Ken Belson and Matt Richtel. Excerpts: Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest phone company, said today that it would stop making contributions to the guaranteed pension plan covering 50,000 of its managers and offer them 401(k) plans instead. Verizon also said that it would contribute less to the health care benefits of those managers when they retire. Over all, the company hopes to save about $3 billion over the next decade by taking these steps. [...]
    Verizon's 200,000 retirees and its 105,000 current union employees will not be affected by the change. But in cutting retirement benefits for about a quarter of its work force of 215,000, Verizon may be setting the stage for concessions it may hope to gain from its unionized workers during their next round of negotiations. [...]
    Verizon now pays 50 to 80 percent of the health care premiums for retired workers who worked between 15 and 30 years at the company. After July 1, the company will no longer pay for any benefits for workers with fewer than 15 years at Verizon, though they will have the option of paying for health plan themselves.
  • New York Times: Employer-Backed Health Care Is Here to Stay, for Lack of a Better Choice. By Reed Abelson. Excerpts: Frustrations with the status quo notwithstanding, the current system of providing insurance to most working Americans through their employers is not likely to disappear, according to policy analysts and consultants in Washington and around the country. That is mainly, they say, because none of the other possibilities, like a government-run plan or some new private-sector solution, have enough support to serve as a replacement. Employers ''are not about to get out of the business of providing health insurance to employees, even though they complain so loudly about it,'' said Paul B. Ginsburg, the president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, an independent research group in Washington. [...]
    Which is not to say that employees or employers are satisfied with the current state of affairs. Employers increasingly worry about their ability, and the ability of their employees, to pay for care. But they also recognize that the growing numbers of people without insurance only add to their own health care bills, by expanding the numbers of people without coverage who show up in emergency rooms and contribute to the overall rise in health care costs. ''There's a higher level of frustration, and there's a greater desire for solutions,'' Ms. Darling said.
  • New York Times: Republicans in Congress Find the Need to Sell the New Drug Plan at Home. By Robin Toner and Robert Pear. Excerpts: Under the normal rules of politics, Congressional Republicans ought to be doing victory laps because of the new Medicare drug benefit, accepting the gratitude of the nation's retirees. Instead, at meetings around the country, they are trying to ease widespread confusion and apprehension about a program that strikes many retirees as dauntingly complex. At a forum in Louisville, Ky., last week, Representative Anne M. Northup, a Republican, tried to reassure about 300 intensely attentive retirees. ''I encourage you not to be discouraged,'' Ms. Northup said, soothingly. ''If you feel like you don't know where to go, please call my office.'' [...]
    ''Seniors, frustrated with the complexity of the drug benefit, are realizing that it was constructed to help the insurance industry and the drug industry,'' said Mr. Murphy, a state senator, in a common Democratic refrain. ''It's more helpful to those industries than to a lot of seniors.'' Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, said the idea that the new law prohibited the government from negotiating lower prices with drug companies was particularly unpopular with retirees. And, Ms. Lake added, older baby boomer women -- presumably trying to figure out the plan for their parents -- react negatively to its complexity. [...]
    Robert Blendon, an expert at Harvard on public opinion and health, said he believed the drug program would become a major factor in next year's elections only if so many retirees became so anxious that they failed to sign up -- and then suddenly faced a penalty for doing so. But Democrats clearly see the drug benefit as part of a broader message about the influence of special interests in a Republican-controlled Congress, arguing that Republicans were far more concerned about protecting the profits of the drug and insurance industry than delivering real coverage to beneficiaries.
  • New York Times: The Joyless Economy. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: ralling gasoline prices have led to some improvement in consumer confidence over the past few weeks. But the public remains deeply unhappy about the state of the economy. According to the latest Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans rate the economy as only fair or poor, and by 58 to 36 percent people say economic conditions are getting worse, not better. Yet by some measures, the economy is doing reasonably well. In particular, gross domestic product is rising at a pretty fast clip. So why aren't people pleased with the economy's performance? [...]
    But the main explanation for economic discontent is that it's hard to convince people that the economy is booming when they themselves have yet to see any benefits from the supposed boom. Over the last few years G.D.P. growth has been reasonably good, and corporate profits have soared. But that growth has failed to trickle down to most Americans. [...]
    Behind the disconnect between economic growth and family incomes lies the extremely lopsided nature of the economic recovery that officially began in late 2001. The growth in corporate profits has, as I said, been spectacular. Even after adjusting for inflation, profits have risen more than 50 percent since the last quarter of 2001. But real wage and salary income is up less than 7 percent. There are some wealthy Americans who derive a large share of their income from dividends and capital gains on stocks, and therefore benefit more or less directly from soaring profits. But these people constitute a small minority. For everyone else the sluggish growth in wages is the real story. And much of the wage and salary growth that did take place happened at the high end, in the form of rising payments to executives and other elite employees. Average hourly earnings of nonsupervisory workers, adjusted for inflation, are lower now than when the recovery began.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "ctman1452". Excerpt: As of 1/1/05 all new IBM hires have no DB pension or retiree health benefits just a slightly enhanced 401k plan which they don't vest into until two years of service when most have left IBM; my daughter just started this year in IBM and has seen a 30% turnover of staff in her dept in just 4 mo.; she views it as short term employment to gain experience and add to the resume. Ergo there is no IBM company pension or retiree health benefits and (that) represents their current strategy.
    We see a steady erosion (25-30%/yr) of retiree health benefits for existing legacy retirees
    We see a multi-billion deficit in funding non US retirement country plans where there is no legal protection such as in the US with no publicly stated intent to fund them properly.
    We see no COLA of any substance for legacy pensions
    We see everyday in the media another example of pension/retiree health care reduction or elimination in US corps with a vacuum of non-leadership at the federal level to stop it.
  • Des Moines Register: Who pays biggest tab? Taxpayers. Excerpts: Here’s news for anyone who opposes a taxpayer-financed system of health care in the United States: The country already has one. More than one. Public dollars subsidize health care at every turn. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the government picks up nearly 44 percent of the cost of health care in the United States. Medicare, for seniors and the disabled; Medicaid, for the poor; and health insurance for veterans are all government systems of care. All are funded with taxpayer dollars.
    Plus, public employees’ health insurance is at least partially subsidized with tax dollars. In the Des Moines schools, for example, tax dollars paid $36.2 million for workers' health care last fiscal year, the equivalent of salaries alone for about 840 teachers. [...]
    Taxpayers also pay, in a sense, to help employers pay for health insurance. Employer contributions for medical care and medical-insurance premiums are excluded from taxes. That was a loss of revenue for the federal government that totaled more than $120 billion in fiscal year 2005 — more than 20 times Iowa's $4.9 billion state budget. So people may say they oppose a tax-financed system of health care for everyone, but the country already pays part of the bill for nearly everyone, at least indirectly. [...]
    The current system isn’t fair, though. Uninsured workers pay taxes to fund others’ care, but have none for themselves. Non-veterans can’t visit the veterans hospital their tax dollars pay for, even if it's right down the street and provides the best care. Working Americans fund the Medicare system, which pays for an elderly person’s knee surgery. That same taxpayer may not be able to afford his own knee surgery.
    The system is inefficient, too. Thousands of private insurance plans add up to a tangle of red tape and administrative waste — dollars not spent directly on care. A Harvard study found bureaucracy accounted for more than 30 percent of total health-care spending in 1999.
    Since the government is already involved with nearly everyone's health care, why not allow everyone to buy into a uniform government program such as Medicare? Then public dollars would be spent more wisely. Fewer people would be employed to push papers. If Medicare were reformed to be more comprehensive and add a government drug benefit, the coverage could be top notch.
  • Computerworld: Microsoft to invest $1.7B in India. It also plans to increase staffing there over the next few years. By John Ribeiro. Excerpts: Microsoft Corp. will invest $1.7 billion in India over the next four years, Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said today in Delhi. The money will be spent on Microsoft's development operations in India and other areas in line with the company's strategic vision for India, Gates told reporters.
  • EE Times: U.S. IT workers stressed out. Excerpt: ISR, an employee research and consulting firm, has uncovered new research that indicates employment security concerns, perceived unreasonable workloads and job stress are contributing to a growing discontentment among IT workers in the United States. The perception that IT jobs are at risk for outsourcing may also be responsible for the steady decline in IT workers' belief that their employers reward innovation, as this number has declined from 64 percent in 2001 to 46 percent in 2005.
  • CIO Magazine: Blue Skies Ahead for IT Jobs. By Maria Klawe. Excerpts: The future of the U.S. information technology industry—and thus the competitiveness of the nation—is caught in a trap of misperception. Since the burst of the dotcom bubble in 2000, young people have avoided careers in information technology. The number of computer science majors at U.S. universities has plummeted. Worse, the dwindling pool of people who enter the field is losing diversity even more rapidly, a tragedy for a field that already had one of the lowest participation rates by women, African-Americans and Hispanics. Now more than ever, the field attracts people who are fascinated with programming and technology for their own sakes—to put it harshly, the true geeks. High school students who do not devote all their waking minutes to computers and programming feel they are unfit for careers in computer science.
  • CRN: IBM Makes Small Number Of Layoffs. By Steven Burke and Craig Zarley. Excerpts: IBM this week laid off a small number of employees in various units including marketing, sources said. The layoffs are part of the 14,500 jobs cuts that were announced in May by IBM CFO Mark Loughridge, sources said. By October, IBM had announced that it was 90 percent of the way through the restructuring. The cuts this week are part of the final phase of those earlier announced job cuts. IBM would not comment.

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.
  • "Teach a man to fish?" By "Dose of reality". Excerpts: The chances of going higher than band 9 depend on two factors:
    • Your tolerance for incompetent management & no reward and the longevity that that allows you here, or
    • Whether you have come in with a very well-connected mentor, a pedigree, and no scruples.
  • "Redirect" by "Dose of Reality". Excerpts: If your motivation is to get on a fast career track and make a lot of money at IBM, you are wasting your time. Our HR policy is meant to keep everyone tethered together marching along at the same pace. Distinguishing yourself will do nothing for you in terms of direct reward. Your success criteria for an entry level job should be skill development and resume building. That is what will propel your career along in subsequent stages of your working life.
    The problem is that in many cases this objective is in direct conflict with your stated objectives. The way to impress others here is to do whatever they tell you to do, accept whatever project comes your way, work and bill as many hours as possible, and volunteer for every administrative practice development activity you can. After a few years of that, you might get a job evaluation rating that puts you above the pack, but the chances are slim.
    The downside is that if you allow yourself to be bounced around like that, the chances of developing yourself in a direction that you want to go are very small. It’s hard to manage your career path when you have to just take whatever project role that becomes available when you become available just to stay chargeable. Also, there is generally a negative correlation between work quality and work quantity. If you are working 60 or 70 hour weeks to “impress others”, it will be hard to develop good work habits.
    As far as “adding value” goes, if you are talking about adding value to IBM, then again, the best thing to do is charge as many hours as you can. Every additional 10 hours a week that you charge to a client is another $80-100k in pure profit for IBM. Not bad, considering the fact that IBM is only paying you around $50k per year. That’s why we put so much emphasis on being chargeable – the margin we make on you is around 75%.
  • "Can you tell me why..." by "interviewee001". Full excerpt: ...the IBM travel policy stated the per diem for Fairfax, VA is $41 per day, when my firm (one of the big 5) provides $64 per day for that location? How the heck can you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner for $41 in the Washington D.C. area? I've also heard they don't let you take direct flights to the client site...they stress lower fares with connecting flights. Any thoughts on that?
  • "Personally..." by "ey_ore". Full excerpt: I've found that if you stand on the medium right outside the main exiting area at Reagan National you can generally pick up about $20-100 in about 2 hrs (best at rush hours). Pound out the following ppt slide to help: "BCS Consulting on assignment". Everyone will understand.
  • "The short answer" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: IBM is cheap, they don't care anything about your nutritional needs or standard of living, are run by bean counters, have too much overhead to support, and have a business model that is flawed that they are trying to prop up with uncompetitive cost policies and other accounting gimmicks.
    Oh, and we also get a kickback from the "preferred" airlines that we do not credit back to clients. It is one of the many little corporate profit centers.
    Maybe you could get Hibachi and cook in the hotel room? You can probably get a nice Rib-eye, or lobster for the evening, Boars Head cold cuts for lunch, and a real nice omelet for breakfast and stay under $41.
  • "It's not a per diem" by "kindaoldibm". Full excerpt: IBM only pays actual expenses incurred, not a per diem. If you claim the max every day, "save those receipts", and be prepared for an audit in the not too distant future. Secondly, "IBM doesn't pay for lunch". Third, (only partly joking) learn to like Happy Meals. Fourth, If you think the meal allowance is low, wait until you check out the max hotel rates in the DC area. IBM's rates are lower than the US Federal per diems ... and the feds are notoriously cheap. Fifth, it isn't unheard of for the client to have negotiated lower caps that the IBM policy, and be forced to meet those.
    On the topic of airfare ... You're required (modulo a couple of minor exemptions ) to purchase your airfare using a on-line tool that enforces the IBM travel policies. IBM has preferential agreements with certain airlines and hotel chains, and will "force" you to use them, even when they are significantly more expensive that easily found alternatives. To net it out, you can easily get booked on a 1 hop connecting flight on American that is significantly more expensive than a direct flight from, say, Northwest.
    Conversely, perversely, you'll sometimes get a first-class ticket on AA at 5 times the price of the Northwest flight, and your itinerary will have the magic words "Thank You for Accepting the lowest airfare within policy". And that "magic phrase" is the determinate as to whether IBM will reimbursed the expense.
    There's zero consideration as to whether the client would be willing to reimbursed at a higher rate ... there's zero flexibility in the application of the IBM Travel Policy. Living at a major central US American Airlines hub like Chicago, Dallas, or possibly Atlanta would probably improve the chances of getting a direct flight.
  • "that is horrible..." by "interviewee001". Full excerpt: I guess that's what happens in a public corporation though. I don't think consulting firms should be public. They should be partnerships because of the special circumstances around the extensive travel. In a partnership, where the money all flows back to the employees, you can do whatever you want and take the liberty of having a little flexibility in your travel expenses (kind of a side perk). Thanks for the input. That alone is enough for me to not want to work here anyway...
  • "Are they paid for?" by "bmbcs5". Full excerpt: Hi, I've heard mixed messages on whether or not cell phones are paid for by IBM. Some say that some of it is expensed, some say that all of it is expensed, and others say that none is expensed. Does anyone have a clear answer for whether or not cell phones are picked up? Secondly, since you work out of the house on Friday's, is the internet access covered? I have heard it is up to $50/month. Does IBM cover anything else for your 'home' office or any other cool perks? Thanks in advance.
  • "Lucky you" by "Frank_Reality". Full excerpt: I get $20/month reimbursement for my cell phone, nothing more. No printer, no phone, no internet access, no supplies, and no reimbursement for anything else.

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.
  • WashTech News: Bitter Holidays for Nestle USA “Associates” Extensive Outsourcing Sends Work Offshore via HP and IBM. By Dan Gillespie.
  • IBM France union's press release on "Sold off IBMers" job cuts. Excerpt: IBM sub-contracts its layoffs to AMCC. Sold by IBM to AMCC for almost $300 million over the past 2 years, 45 employees are now losing their jobs. On Nov. 29, 2005, AMCC France announced to its workers council that it will cut 45 jobs, or nearly half of its employees there. It is likely that all of these cuts will be made through layoffs.
  • From the Visitor's comment page and the Job Cuts Status & Comments page.
    • Comment 12/06/05: I recently spoke to a fellow outsourced worker to IBM and it was amazing at the similarities between our two accounts. Both staffs have been cut to below bare bones status and now IBM expects us to work on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Day citing these days as business needs. What a joke! Before our accounts were turned over to the IBM scrooges we were always closed on those days. IBM cares nothing about people or their families and they have the nerve to say they value the quality of life for their employees. It's just been one lie after another. I cannot wait for the day when I can call myself an ex IBMer. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/07/05: Does an IBM'er who has received a severance package appeal? It may be the only thing one can do to have your departure date extended. Print off the IBM Internal Appeals Program, memorize it as if you were taking the bar exam. If your severance package indicates you must appeal through the Plan Administrator, do it but not before joining the Alliance@IBM. Recently I read about an employee from HR who filed an appeal of his termination, the person indicated that his appeal was being heard by his own organization. How can that assure an objective and thorough review of the issues? It can't so appeal that as well. I did and IBM assigned a different investigator outside of my reporting chain. Fight for your job! - Steve -
    • Comment 12/08/05: Some US CEO said that Americans don't have a God given right to have a job. Well, then corporations don’t have a God given right to sell their products in North America and Europe either. Access to these lucrative markets should be tied to production in Western countries. Free trade is nothing else than an all-out assault on the Western worker. It cannot be stopped by trying to influence politicians within the system. Our politicians have betrayed us and are reporting to non-elected corporations. The whole system has failed and must be replaced. We must take our countries back. However, this will not happen any time soon. Most people are not yet affected by these terrorists and don’t care about our problem. I read the other day that “offshoring ONLY affects IT but will result in big raises in other professions” and got very angry. They attack us one group at a time and tell the others that it’s done for their long term benefits. It will take a while before people realize that it’s a lie. We can only hope for a fundamental change when unemployment becomes catastrophic, wages plummet to Asian level and benefits (such as retirement pensions) become history. Communist China will have a larger economy than the US by 2040 (even considering that the US economy will maintain its current growth, which it won’t). Most of us will still be alive when China becomes the sole superpower, courtesy of the treason by US politicians. It will be a whole new World. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/09/05: Isn't it about time for IBM'ers to have a day of illness on a particular designated day. (a cough due to a cold. sniff, sniff.) As a total group. No IBM'ers answer phones/emails/pages, etc. Let the global resources and exec's handle a day of doing 'real work'. Oops, sorry - Sam and those folks have forgot how to do and/or what that really is anymore. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/09/05: I agree - let's have an illness day. IBM - Canada -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/09/05: One thing is for certain, we have far too many middle managers, eagerly protecting their jobs. Take a look at the IGS IGA account. We have too many PDMs, too many PMs, and too many BAMs, DPEs, RDMs and other sorts of managers. It's completely ridiculous. And all they do is drive extraneous paperwork. They all have a paperwork agenda, which is used to justify their existence. In the meantime, productivity has nose-dived in that we're so embroiled in this nonsense, we can't get any real work done. They have no idea how disheartening and demoralizing it is to be so stuck in paperwork that you can't actually do anything innovative or relevant. It's actually depressing to see IBM waste so much money on these middle managers and their self-serving agendas, which amount to driving paperwork to impress some executive above them. It's very sad that we lose hard-working, productive people while these paperwork pushers flourish and produce NOTHING and in fact, NEGATIVELY impact the business. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/06/05: From Canada....pkg in November 2005 was about 3 weeks/year worked. Don't know of any managers let go in 2005 in Canada. Bad management (in the tons of layers of PDMs/BDMs/RDMs/mgrs/etc) is the real problem with this company. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 12/09/05: Comment 12/01/05: "But Sam will make his numbers". That's why we refer to him by the last name "Palmiselloff". -Anonymous-

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