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Highlights—March 3, 2007
- 24/7 Wall Street: Cramer
Says IBM's Palmisano Needs To Go. Excerpt: On CNBC's Mad Money,
Cramer went over his Sell Block where he reviews stocks that are usually supposed to be sold.
He is singling out one name. IBM's Palmisano is one CEO that would
take his stock up if he would just resign. Cramer is replacing Palmisano on his 5 CEO's that
need to go, and putting him there instead of Andrea Junjg of Avon. On March 1, 2002 when
he took over IBM was north of $102 and despite the stock coming up 25% off lows the stock is
still under after a 40% gain in S&P 500 after dividends. He thinks the CEO is overpaid. Cramer
said that Google Apps at $49 is not as good as Microsoft's or IBM's but it is cheap enough
and getting some corporate accounts. Cramer thinks that IBM is a SELL while its current CEO
is at the helm. Infosys has gained more than 200% during the same time. IBM fell 0.5% on
message board post by "sby_willie". Full excerpt: In IBM
the problems still start at the top. Cramer could have elaborated some more on what really
IBM continues to rely on continued additional cost cutting measures. When
it can't cut any more operational expenses (including employee salaries, raises, benefits, offshoring
to cheaper labor), selling business units (PC company, printer company (again)), capital budgets,
expense allocations, education budget, etc., it just goes after what is left and cutting more
people. They have cut into the bone: they are cutting into the bone. Once they cut through most
of the bone, the company will surely collapse: you can't stand up without skeletal support. If
they keep this practice up IBM will be a fossil.
They always try to find the "easy" way of continuing to make
profit. But no matter how they spin the news for quarterly reports (whose 90 days rule lock the
plans and operations of the company) they can't drive sustained revenue over any stretch of time.
They are totally driven by the quarterly result which is very myopic indeed.
They also have no niche product or offering, EXCEPT, and you know IBM
needs to heavily rely on it still, the mainframe. It's funny how IBM still has not come up with
any other hardware, software, or middleware to take over and become their main niche. A niche
in the market IS NOT or can never be I/T computing services: in regards to services you can always
go to another vendor or competitor and get the like solution: nothing special or essentially unique
about it. The services are just done at a different cost with perhaps different products done
by a different set of people for the customer.
The IBM converting to a services company seemed like a fresh idea in the
1990's but they desperately need something else to transform themselves in this century. All the
wordspeak by our CEO saying to the affect that IBM is a globally transformed and positioned company
doesn't really say or mean to much when it comes to real solid business footing that the market
wants to see sustained. The stock is essentially close to flat in performance during Palmisano's
So no wonder Cramer feels the way he does.
Now the company is pushing the word: innovation. But the top of this company
sure seems to have no clues for innovation. In fact they are coming off as desperate. For instance,
the CTO was widely quoted as saying "...there is no next big thing (in I/T technology)..".
How narrow-minded and coming off as naive is that?? He might claim this was taken out of context
but it is what it is.
If the top of the company is truly innovative they can easily come up
with other and better way of doing business, but they are stultified. It's always BAU with IBM
operations and that certainly is not innovative.
You want some innovation? Give some other folks in IBM a chance to get
to the top and you'll get fresh ideas and with these ideas will come some real innovation! You
need these people to be around for a few years and have something called a career. Don't just
keep them in the trenches or the boiler rooms and demand innovations where they have no chance
to get to the top. Give them more than a prayer of a chance to be the real movers and shakers
of a transformation that will lead to sustained and continual growth.
And that transformation will not be as painful as the BAU IBM of today.
- Forbes: IBM's
India Hiring Binge Continues. Excerpts: The work force at International Business Machines
Corp. grew 8 percent in 2006, with most of the rise coming in India, where the technology company
has been on a hiring binge in recent years. The figures were disclosed Tuesday in IBM's annual
report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. IBM noted that at the end of 2006 it employed
355,766 people, up from 329,373 one year earlier.
Its base in India was 52,000 people - up from 36,000 one year earlier.
Three years earlier, IBM had just 9,000 people there, before the company dramatically stepped
up its efforts to lower costs by doing more software development, services work and customer support
- Reuters, courtesy of CNN News: Lenovo
may be cutting 1,000 jobs. Excerpts:
Lenovo has approved a preliminary plan to slash more than 1,000 jobs to cut costs as price
competition in the PC market remains intense, a source close to the company said Tuesday. The
job cuts would fall mostly in the United States--the majority would be layoffs, while some
workers would be redeployed. But some of the restructuring would also take place in China,
the source said. A representative. [...]
Lenovo has competed aggressively on price with rivals, but any gains in
market share have been eroded by falling unit prices, say analysts. Lenovo had hoped the purchase
of the struggling IBM unit would bring in the notebook computer technology it needed to compete
in the highly competitive sector. However, the company has not been able to convince enough corporate
clients that the new Thinkpad notebooks were still IBM computers and not just Lenovos with a new
logo attached, the source said.
- CNN/Money: What's
killing pension plans? Maybe you. Traditional pension plans
are disappearing. Here's why, plus some ways you might make a difference at your own workplace.
By Liz Pulliam Weston. Excerpt: After watching the ups and downs of the stock market take
a toll on our 401(k)s, the idea of a traditional pension might sound pretty good. These old-school
retirement plans offer a guaranteed paycheck in retirement. Your payoff isn't determined
by how much you contribute, how well you invest or what happens to the Dow. When you have
a pension, it's up to your employer to make sure you get the money, and the federal government
stands by as a backup in case your company screws up.
message board post by "ibmmike2006". Full excerpt: I knew that IBM was stealing
from employees a decade ago as they pushed older employees out the door before their Defined
Benefit Pension plans maximized in their late 50's and early 60's. I saw good people, above
average in intelligence, being worked with a formal plan that originated in the halls of the Human
Resources at IBM in Armonk, NY.
It was like "boiling a frog", not putting a frog in boiling
water that will cause the frog to jump out but putting the frog in luke warm water and then slowly
turning up the heat until the frog is boiled and dies.
Not only did they apply pressures on employees but they lobbied Congress
and found long term Congressmen to sponsor their bills and pass laws that took away rights of
the common man of America. They did it with "perks" and "bringing home the bacon" with
contributions to their districts as to get re-elected.
Supporting Congressmen who "placed" Corporate Federal Judges
on the benches to support Corporate Goals. Not to mention, US Presidents who "identify themselves
with the Haves and Have Mores."
The theft of the defined benefit pensions was a Fortune 500 coordinated
effort with a plan to influence Congress, the Courts, and the US President.
Our way of life has changed and those who are reaping the rewards from
the Defined Benefit Pensions are the CEO's and those who share in the wealth of the Executive
Top Hat pensions. As the defined benefit pensions were discontinued, those funds with the
magic of accounting were transferred primarily with stock options and Top Hat Programs.
The average recipient of defined pensions had not a clue on what was
going on. Most of the time they were working so hard and had no time nor were given education
to understand how their Company leadership was stealing from them.
The net result was "the rich (Fortune 500 Executives) all got richer
at the expense of the "working (un-executive of the Fortune 500). Driven by Greed and the
likes of the McKinsey group, the Defined Benefit Pensions will be history in a decade or so.
The only hope is the American Worker to organize but unfortunately, they
are not hungry enough even though they are headed to being poor and will work until they die.
Keeping in mind that 45 per cent of Americans have a handicap that prevents them from working
full time past age 65.
The Defined Benefit Pension did not have their roots in being "Conservative" but
came as a result of being a "Liberal" practicing generosity and recognizing that the
purpose of America was to help people succeed and better their way of life unlike Europe's caste
system and the banana Republics where most people are poor.
Most of who fought in WWII to keep America safe are now dying by the thousands daily, and dying
along with them is the defined benefit Pension plans.
The main heirs are the CEO's and their Executive club members.
Our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will not enjoy the same benefits
as the WWII generation with the Baby Boomers leading the way.
message board post by "mr_quarkwrench". Full excerpt: While looking over my latest
pension statement which arrived in today's mail and confirming that the medical premium was after
tax dollars, my phone rang. It was my pulmonologist's office informing me the pulmonary function
test I had schedule was canceled because UHC informed the hospital my coverage was terminated
Of course, to add to the difficulty, my pulmonologist is not in network
-- in fact there are no in network pulmonologists with 100 miles anymore so I have to get special
permission to go out of network when I need one. I have a letter from UHC authorizing this doctor
to treat me from January 1st through April 30th. It has a signature and reference number and a
phone number on it. For every visit I've had to this doctor since the first, UHC has denied payment.
The we phone the number and a different person says to send copies of the letter and EOB and they
will handle it.
I think the only handling it gets the first time is to the round file.
On the second try the finally pay the pulmonologist. This doctor was in network in 2004 but his
accounting people told him to quit accepting UHC since they were so hard to collect from. Still
better than FHA, I guess.
message board post by Kathi Cooper (of Cooper v. IBM). Full excerpt:
No Don, anything is better than the deal they have dealt you. We know how you got your cancer.
(IBM) It is sinful how they treat you. (leper, please die) I'm so ashamed of IBM.
- Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP: Plaintiffs'
Counsel Announces IBM Tech Workers File Nationwide Overtime Pay Class Action Lawsuit in Federal
Court. (January 24, 2006). Suit by
Current and Former Employees is One of the Largest Class Actions Ever Filed For Failure To
Pay Overtime Wages. Excerpts: Current and former employees of International Business Machine
Corporation (IBM) today filed a nationwide class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
San Francisco charging the computer giant with failure to pay overtime wages in violation
of federal and state labor laws. [...]
"IBM’s employees, including tens of thousands of technical support
workers, work hard to build the company’s annual sales of more than $90 billion," stated
a Lieff Cabraser partner. "These technical workers deserve to get compensated for the long
hours they put in to make IBM successful." Lieff Cabraser attorneys noted that this case constitutes
one of the largest class action lawsuits, both in numbers of employees and total damages, ever
filed against a corporation for failure to pay overtime wages.
The complaint charges that IBM unlawfully characterizes its employees
who install and maintain computer software and equipment as “exempt” under state and
federal labor laws in order to deprive them of overtime pay. The proposed classes consist of current
and former IBM technical support workers with the primary duties of installing and/or maintaining
computer software and hardware for IBM who were wrongly classified by the company as exempt from
the overtime provisions of federal law and/or applicable state wage and hour laws.
- Huliq.com: IBM
Agrees to Resolve Claims of Rosenburg, et al. v. IBM. Excerpts: IBM announced today that
it has agreed to resolve all claims in Rosenburg, et al. v. IBM, Case No. C-06-0430, an overtime
pay class action lawsuit filed in federal district court in the Northern District of California
in January 2006.
This case focused on certain current and former IBM employees within
IBM’s Technical Services Professional and Information Technology Specialist job categories,
alleging, among other things, that those employees were classified as exempt from overtime
under the Fair Labor Standards Act and certain state laws, and that they should have been
classified as non-exempt and paid overtime compensation. Under the terms of the settlement,
still subject to final approval by the Court, each qualified individual in these two job
categories will be entitled to apply for a payment, in accordance with an agreed formula,
in full and complete settlement of all claims in the case.
- Business Insurance: Cash
balance plans not age discriminatory: Judge. By Jerry
Geisel. Excerpts: Cash balance pension plans do not discriminate against older employees, a federal
judge has ruled. Judge E. Richard Webber of the U. S. District Court of the Eastern District
of Missouri last week dismissed age discrimination charges against U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis,
noting that the benefit and interest credits provided to plan participants did not discriminate
on the basis of age.
The ruling is the first since a second circuit court—the 3rd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals—ruled last month that the plans are not age discriminatory. The
7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a widely publicized decision, ruled last year that cash balance
plans in general and IBM Corp.’s in particular, are not age discriminatory. Of the seven
lower court rulings since the IBM decision, five have rejected age discrimination charges, while
two courts have said the plans violate age discrimination law.
- Employee Benefit News: Latest
cash balance ruling bad news for existing plans.
By Lynn Gresham. Excerpts: In a setback for employers, a U.S. district court judge ruled that
Citigroup's cash balance plan discriminates against older workers. The decision goes against
last year's finding by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that IBM's cash balance plan
is not age-discriminatory and sets the stage for new lawsuits against hybrid plans. [...]
There have been numerous lawsuits against hybrid pensions. In the 2nd
Circuit alone, five cases have been decided, with three courts upholding the plaintiffs' positions
that such plans are illegal. One of the cases - Hirt v. Equitable - has gone to the 2nd Circuit
Court of Appeals and should be heard soon. That decision, says Pauk, "will make or break
most cash balance plans in the district," which includes New York, Connecticut and Vermont.
The much-publicized decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in Cooper v. IBM Personal Pension Plan and IBM Corporation said cash balance plans do not discriminate,
but it did not address these other facets. "Far from settling things, several courts said
that the decision in Cooper was a poor one because it was based on policy," says Pauk.
- Bloomberg: Goodyear
Ends Pensions, Raises Retirees' Health Costs. By Mike
Ramsey. Excerpts: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., North America's biggest tiremaker, will scrap
its pension program for current workers and raise retiree health-care payments to save as much
as $90 million annually. In 2009, Goodyear will replace defined-benefit pension plans with
401(k) programs with matching contributions. Corporate salaried and retail store retirees will pay
more for health-care benefits beginning next year, and some insurance benefits will be canceled,
Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear said in a statement today.
The moves are part of Goodyear efforts to cut $1 billion in costs by the
end of 2008. They cover 14,000 active employees and 17,000 retirees. "It's a positive that
it has happened sooner rather than later," said Kirk Ludtke, an analyst with CRT Capital
Management in Stamford, Connecticut. "The savings appear to be pretty substantial."
- Pegasus News Service: American
Airlines outsources HR duties to IBM for $217 million. Excerpts: IBM today announced a $217 million, 7½-year agreement with American
Airlines to transform and manage many of the airline's human resource functions. American Airlines
is the world's largest airline, with more than 88,000 AMR employees across the United States
As part of the agreement, IBM will provide American Airlines support for
training, recruitment and staffing and HR-related information technology and call center support.
Mercer will also deliver health and benefit, pension plan, and compensation administration.
- CNN/Money: Are
you paid enough? PayScale shows curious workers how their salary
stacks up. Business 2.0 Magazine reveals how it works. Excerpts: Joe Giordano and a buddy were
hanging around the watercooler in a Silicon Valley office park back in the halcyon days of
the Internet bubble, doing what buddies did around watercoolers back then - speculating enviously
about how much jack friends who'd jumped to hot startups were raking in.
"Everyone seemed to be making gazillions of dollars and getting Ferraris,
but no one would divulge details," recalls Giordano, who himself had just left Microsoft
and joined an e-commerce firm. "The lightbulb went on, and we thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool
if you could use the Internet to anonymously post your salary and compare it with what others make?'"
Thus was born PayScale, a Web-based pay comparison service. Though Giordano
launched the business in 2000, the site took years to build and began to get serious traction
only last year, thanks in part to the national jobs recovery and the Web 2.0-driven return of
startup sensations, Google-size pay packages, and YouTube-like overnight fortunes.
- New York Times: Using
the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More. By Damon Darlin.
Excerpts: If information is power, then most employees who enter salary negotiations are holding
pea shooters while the boss is encased in a Kevlar vest.
Unless someone left a spreadsheet of the company’s salaries on the
copier (funny how often that does happen), most employees have precious little ammunition going
into a meeting to talk about their pay.
A few Web sites try to level the playing field by providing more detailed
information about salaries. Salary.com began revealing the results of salary surveys on its site
in 1999. PayScale.com is now challenging it by gathering information directly from the people
who search for data. (A third site, Payscroll.com, is testing a method of trolling job listings
for salary information. It will be opened to the public this month or next.)
- Guardian Unlimited: IBM's
innovation boss gets ready to bow out. Interview
with Irving Wladawsky-Berger by Glyn Moody. Excerpt: After 37 years, it is time for the Cuban-born
vice-president for technical strategy and innovation to retire - but not before he looks
back at his career
| News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts,
Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
- The Commonwealth Fund: Uninsured
in America: Problems and Possible Solutions. Excerpt: The deficiencies in the U.S.
health care system are well documented: patients harmed by avoidable medical errors,
fragmentation and inefficiency that result in poor-quality care and lost value, consumers
forced into debt and bankruptcy to pay for medical bills, and above all, increasing
numbers of Americans who go without the security of health insurance coverage. A new
article by Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis, Ph.D., proposes strategies—and
examines efforts already under way at the state level—to achieve a health care
system that provides affordable, accessible care for every American.
- Physicians for a National Health Program: Private
Health Insurance Is Not the Answer. Excerpts: Healthcare reform is in the air. Ideas for dealing with the
46 million Americans without medical insurance seem to be popping up faster than new
cases of the winter flu. President Bush proposes to use tax deductions to help people
buy individual plans. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to make it mandatory
for everyone in his state to obtain insurance and would force employers who don’t
provide coverage to pay into a fund.
Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards would raise taxes on
the affluent to pay for subsidies to help those with low incomes obtain policies. Some members
of Congress are promoting insurance purchasing pools for small businesses. An odd bedfellows
coalition including the Business Roundtable, AARP, the Service Employees International Union
and Wal-Mart is pushing for some kind of expansion of coverage but is not saying what form
it should take.
What these varied plans have in common is the assumption that, at least
for the foreseeable future, most of the working population (and their dependents) will continue
to receive coverage through private insurance carriers. Public officials across the political
spectrum are, in effect, seeking to expand the customer base for a highly profitable industry.
Surely, it is a good thing to provide coverage to the uninsured, but
it is remarkable that almost everyone assumes that coverage has to come from for-profit (or,
in some cases, private non-profit) providers. Despite the overwhelming evidence from other
industrial countries — and even domestic programs such as Medicare — that government-run
health plans are much more efficient, the U.S. political class seems to be on a mission to
save private insurance.
- New York Times commentary by Paul Krugman: Substance
Over Image. Excerpts:
Enough already. Let’s make this election about the issues. Let’s demand that
presidential candidates explain what they propose doing about the real problems facing
the nation, and judge them by how they respond. [...]
I know the counterargument: you can’t tell in advance what challenges
a president may face, so you should vote for the person, not the policy details. But how do
you judge the person? Public images can be deeply misleading: remember when Dick Cheney had
gravitas? The best way to judge politicians is by how they respond to hard policy questions.
So here are some questions for the Democratic hopefuls. (I’ll talk about the Republicans
First, what do they propose doing about the health care crisis? All
the leading Democratic candidates say they’re for universal care, but only John Edwards
has come out with a specific proposal. The others have offered only vague generalities — wonderfully
uplifting generalities, in Mr. Obama’s case — with no real substance.
- TomPaine.commonsense: Profit
For Some Or Care For All. By Diane Archer.
Excerpts: The health insurance industry is full of surprises, but history and experience
show that insurers will never surprise us with a good, affordable health care system
for America. No cocktail of regulations, subsidies and tax credits will provide health
security to the uninsured, underinsured and anxiously insured—virtually all Americans.
Two dirty little secrets about the insurance industry reveal why offering
Americans a publicly administered alternative like Medicare is the only way to guarantee Americans
good, affordable health care:
- Dirty Little Secret #1: If for-profit insurers were forced to provide good health
care coverage to all Americans, they would still try as hard as possible to avoid
insuring the people with the costliest conditions and charge premiums even higher
than they currently charge. That’s why Medicare was established. The health
insurance industry was either unwilling or unable to offer affordable coverage to
half of America’s seniors. It’s too costly for them. So, to rein in costs
and ensure every older adult had coverage, the federal government offered the coverage
- Dirty Little Secret #2: Eliminating insurance industry waste in our health care
system—administrative waste and excessive prices—would cut our health
care costs substantially. Check out the health insurance systems in France, Germany
and Japan. They spend half as much as we on health care and deliver better results
by relying on a publicly administered integrated health care system that pools risk
and negotiates rates on behalf of their entire citizenry.
- Physicians for a National Health Care Plan: In
Health Care Reform Debate, Single-Payer System is Labor's Only Clear Choice. By Rose Ann
DeMoro. Excerpts: Union members have a huge stake in the present debate on health care
reform. At a time when employers routinely slash or eliminate health benefits for workers
and their families or force union members on strike to preserve those benefits, when insurance
plans routinely restrict workers’ choice of doctors and prescription drugs, and when more
working families declare bankruptcy due to medical debt, only one reform can provide the
health care security working people need: single-payer. [...]
Under single-payer, you don’t face the loss of health benefits
if you lose your job or are forced out on strike. You don’t face employers constantly
shifting costs onto your back. You don’t have to worry about retiree health care if you
are able to retire before age 65. And you are no longer at the mercy of the insurance industry
predators who routinely deny care.
- Washington Post: Most
Support U.S. Guarantee of Health Care. By Robin
Toner and Janet Elder. Excerpts: A majority of Americans say the federal government should
guarantee health insurance to every American, especially children, and are willing
to pay higher taxes to do it, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
While the war in Iraq remains the overarching issue in the early stages
of the 2008 campaign, access to affordable health care is at the top of the public’s domestic
agenda, ranked far more important than immigration, cutting taxes or promoting traditional
Americans showed a striking willingness in the poll to make tradeoffs
to guarantee health insurance for all, including paying as much as $500 more in taxes a year
and forgoing future tax cuts.
- USA Today, courtesy of California Nurses Association: Some
insurers raise drug prices after enrollment. By Julie Appleby. Excerpts: More than
a fourth of insurers in the new Medicare drug benefit raised enrollees' annual costs in
2006, often after members were locked in for the year, says Consumers Union, publisher
of Consumer Reports. [...]
After tracking total costs to enrollees for five drugs among 225 insurers
in five states, Consumers Union said 62 raised costs to members by at least 5% last year, a
trend that appears to be continuing in 2007. "We found costs going up just one month after
beneficiaries locked into a plan for
- Families USA: The
Great Divide: When Kids Get Sick, Insurance Matters.
Excerpts: Extensive research has documented the positive effects that health insurance
has on a child’s physical, developmental, social, and emotional health. Children
who have health insurance are more likely to have a relationship with the same doctor
over time, receive regular well-child checkups, and have their medical, dental, vision,
and other health care needs met. But what happens when an uninsured child is seriously
injured or develops a condition that requires hospitalization? Does health insurance
make a difference in the child’s treatment and health outcomes? The answer is
an emphatic “yes.”
New on the Alliance@IBM
- IBM Brazil
Ex-Employees In Pension Fight. Excerpt: Pioneer of the technology industry, the American
giant IBM was famous also for launching innovations in the human resources area. An example
recognized for job stability and for its advanced labor policies, the company surprised
the market in middle of the decade of 1980 when it launched in Brazil a wave of voluntary
resignation programs. At the time, it seemed like a revolution, an advantageous solution
for the Big Blue as well for the employees who adhered to the idea of quitting the company
in exchange for financial compensation. The plan was nicknamed “Sopão”,
a play on the English acronym for Special Opportunity Programs, and offered a benefit from
0.5 up to 2.5 monthly wages for each year worked in the corporation. However, 15 years
later, the first Brazilian PDV (voluntary layoff program) became rocks in the shoes of
the main executives of the company: about 500 former employees looked to the courts to
receive benefits of the Employment Foundation of IBM, that they hadn’t received when
they left the company. Nothing less than 144 law suits are running in Labor Courts of Rio
de Janeiro, and all of these total indemnities that could surpass the amount of R$ 75 million
(N.T. 25 million dollars).
- From the Job Cuts
Status & Comments page
- Comments 2/24/07: Regarding the UK "voluntary" redundancies, we all know
they are the tip of the iceberg! Every voluntary redundancy package in IBM is always
followed by "involuntary". Gordon Crawford, a hatchet man bought over from
the US to reduce UK labour costs to nothing, is doing his job well. In his words,
we are not meeting targets. Continued growth in the business, and we're not meeting
targets. Continued off-shoring of roles from the UK, and we're not meeting targets!
Well guess what Gordon, your targets are just too damn high and not achievable,
and never will be. Hatchet man Crawford won't be happy till all UK ITD resource is
off to cheaper countries, so he can meet his precious targets! What a ****! -Anonymous-
- Comments 2/25/07: Yup. More job cuts in Southbury. Less people to
do more work. The unspoken secret is do NOT put in OT even though you are told to
do so. If you DO put it in OT as they tell you to do, you will eventually be told
by management that you cannot handle your workload because you do not know how to
delegate and have poor teaming skills. And believe me, it will carry over on your
PBC for next year. No one in their right minds puts in OT. Union - here I come! -Anonymous-
- Comments 2/26/07: As for the posting that putting in OT flags you
as being inefficient, this is the opposite of what employees in Global Services in
the Northeast (ie, POK mgmt) were always told. 10% was the expected *NORM*, and if
you weren't putting that in you were often asked why not. We were also told that
while OT numbers would not be used against us, a person putting in 48-50 hrs per
week was obviously contributing more to the organization than a person putting in
just 40 hours. And that perception could make or break you at layoff time. What you're
saying is that after getting people conditioned to one set of OT rules, mgmt changed
the rules without telling anyone and are using your hard work and sacrifice of personal
time against you. By the way, who are most people supposed to delegate to anyway,
since they're already at the bottom of the ladder? -Anonymous-
- Comments 2/28/07: I spoke with a contact in Armonk today that told
me once the pension process is closed at the end of 2007 look for a BIG squeeze on
employees that have 25 years or more in company. If you can't read the writing on
the wall you may be doomed. -Not Blue for long-
- From the General
Visitor's Comment page:
- Comment 02/27/07: I understand CFO Mark Loughridge had a Town Hall Meeting last
week. He expressed the same snake oil enthusiasm he gives investors and stockholders.
Namely, the company is in the best position it has been since 1992. Interesting.
On the other hand, our manager told us the bucket for the Variable Pay Program is
down 15% year to year. Something doesn't add up. -Disgruntled-
- Comment 02/27/07: Came to iBM 5 years ago in an outsourcing in Canada.
What a wonderful company - not! So far: overtime reduced from time and a half to
single time. On-call pay reduced from $25 per 8 hour shift to $30 per 24 hours. Bonus
this year at 50% of 2 years ago. Raises, what raises? IBM no longer contributes to
DC pension plan on OT and on-call. And now no post retirement benefits after age
65. Is this what's happening to all IBM in the world? What is the status of the Alliance
in Canada? -Sam Insideofhandano- Alliance Reply: Please contact
the Alliance in Canada at email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Comment 02/28/07: Its time to get Sam out of office. Its time to
get a cost effective CEO from India. Look at what can be saved by off shoring his
position. IBM can pay a good Indian 100,000.00 rather then millions to Sam. Its time
to take back IBM and make it what it use to be! A company were proud to say we work
for!!! Problem is how???? -Had Enough-
- Comment 02/28/07: Received my big 2.8% variable pay bonus as a "2" in
Software Group. What percent did Sam get for his 5m bonus? Very disgusted with the
two-tiered IBM. Rot in hell forever Sam Palmisano -SammylovesMeNot-
- Comment 03/01/07: Did anyone receive the settlement information
regarding the class action lawsuit against IBM for not paying overtime to exempt
IGS IT Specialists in bands 6 through 8? If we submit the form, how certain can we
be that IBM will not retaliate? Our names are a matter of public record, right? Also,
there's a clause that says you forfeit your rights to sue IBM in the future, but
I think this is only in regards to events occurring in the timeframe listed, which
is around 5 years, between 2002 and 2007. So, anyone submitting the form? -Anonymous-
- Pension Comments
- Comment 02/23/07: Part of the reason why IBM was successful in bygone
years was that employees were treated with respect. They then worked very hard because
they were motivated properly. Now all the motivation (little that there is) comes
from external forces such as $$$. Many people I know have stopped voluntarily giving
of their time on weekends and nights because there is no point anymore, it makes
you feel stupid to give so much and get so demotivated in other ways on a daily basis.
Those who are still standing have given up. The ones who are new to IBM do not know
enough yet, they will as they get older. As long as people are treated as disposable
and replaceable assets, the organization continues to weaken. Customers be aware
you are paying big bucks and getting shoddy work. -cramerisright-
- Comment 02/25/07: cramerisright! Yes, there is about zero motivation
in IBM these days. They make it quite clear that $$$ should not be used as a motivating
factor for employees. Don't believe me? It's on 3.ibm.com! So what else is there
in IBM? Just a dreary job and not much else unless you are in the inner circle
or "club". -Anonymous-
- Raise and Salary
- Comment 02/25/07: Salary = $58000; Band Level = 6; Job Title = System Software
Test; Years Service = 29; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = STD; Location = Endicott; Message
= I got laid off and a Package in November. After putting in 11 months in 2006 I
expected I would still receive the portion of the Bonus money do me for 11 months,
but after emailing my old manager in STD, he claims that is not so. He claims by
me taking the package I forfeited that right to the bonus for 2006. Does anyone know
for sure if this is or isn't true? and if it isn't who do I contact to find out how
to get this money that I would think would be do me. Thanks for any help. -Anonymous-
- Comment 02/25/07: Salary = 62k; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Software
Developer; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 44; Div Name = SWG; Message = -Joe-
- Comment 02/26/07: Salary = 64K +OT; Band Level = 5; Job Title =
Sr. Tech; Years Service = 26; Hours/Week = 40-45; Div Name = stg; Message = Doing
same work as local band 8 -Anonymous-
- Comment 02/27/07: Once more, FWIW here is the summary of the salary
info from all the posts to-date: Band 6: 15 respondents, average: $62K, std deviation:
$7K; Band 7: 24 respondents, avg: $73K, std dvt: $13K; Band 8: 25 respondents, avg:
$96K, std dvt: $16K; Band 9: 15 respondents, avg: $117K, std dvt: $19K; Band 10:
only 7 respondents, avg: $135K, std dvt: $20K (range is from $107K to $169K, unclear
if some of the numbers include a bonus or not). Hope it helps shed some light on
the salary situation. -Anonymous-
- PBC Comments
- Comment 02/27/07: Prior Yr PBC = 3; This Yr PBC = 3; Message = I am being pushed
out after receiving 2 3's in a row. I can't believe this is happening to me.-Anonymous-
- Comment 02/27/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 3; Message =
The whole PBC process is a joke. I've consistently worked hard over the year, worked
on some high profile projects and delivered on time in addition to being flexible
on callout. Yet due to a complaint over a team leader we had at the start of the
year who wasn't performing, I'm classed as not being a team player and given a 3.
My PDM claims its not the reason, however the feedback elicited all spoke highly
of my work yet still the 3 remains. The PDM has been promoted after a short time
in the job. I hope he can sleep at night. -Anonymous-
- Comment 02/28/07: To the poster below: Why do you hope HE can sleep
at night? You should be hoping that YOU can sleep at night. You should worry about
you. You should have considered that other people have suffered these kind of injustices,
as well. You should have considered that as a group of employees, you could organize
and begin the process to move toward a contract and an agreement by your co-workers;
whether the PBC process should be rewritten or eliminated altogether. Why is it taking
you so long to realize that IBM's policies are not friendly to you?? Why does it
take an incident like this to make you see? The playing field will never be level
and the rules will never be even handed and fair; until you work to make them that
way. I joined Alliance@IBM and I'm glad that I did. I sleep a solid 6 hours every
- Comment 02/28/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2 This Yr PBC = 2 Message = "I
am being pushed out after receiving 2 3's in a row. I can't believe this is happening
to me." This can happen to any IBMer. I was pushed out after receiving
2-2's in a row. As I collected my things and walked out the door one of the managers
got one last jab at me and smiled. It was very degrading and humiliating. With a
Union at least you have a fighting chance to save your job. I advise you and all
IBMers to join and support the Alliance and fight for a Union. -Anonymous-
- Comment 03/01/07: To alliance re: "Alliance
reply: We are sorry this is happening to you, but we have been warning people about
this for 2 years. To all others if you want to change all this help us organize
and get to the critical mass we need to get a contract." It's far too late. With 6 BILLION spent in
India it's over. I got many people into Alliance and they have either been fired
by now or were lucky enough to find another job and leave. It's not that people are
not trying, it's that too many of us have been canned. Once they are gone they don't
give a hoot about IBM anymore. Morale is gone. It's over. -gettinpushedout-
|Vault Message Board Posts
auld time sake" by "thats_all_folks". Full excerpt: It is that time of
year, when PBCs have been submitted, reviewed and we await our rewards (well you know
what I mean if you have been in IBM for more than 1 cycle). I think it is time to discuss
bonus payouts here or as will likely be the case the lack of same. I have resigned recently
from IBM. I have 18 days of notice left to serve. After 7 years in consulting between
PwC and IBM, I am done with this industry and in particular this company. I want to thank
all of the contributors for keeping me sane for the last few years and realising it not
just me, it really is this company. I am asking this question for auld times sake, my
exit present if you will. That’s all folks, Tanks & Goodbye
is all that matters" by "thinkingaboutleaving". Full excerpt: bonus
= corp profitability + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + division profitability + UTILIZATION
+ UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + practice profitability + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION
+UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + project performance + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION
+ UTILIZATION +UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION
+ UTILIZATION +UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION + UTILIZATION
Body shop mentality reigns supreme. The workers with highest utes are
rewarded (as well as the management that keeps them utilized). Quality products, teamwork,
innovation, high project ratings and client satisfaction are not important. I'll begin my job
the math wrong" by "jeeee4". Full excerpt: Three factors are multiplied
by each other, not added. So if one of the three = zero, the bonus = zero. One year my
utilization was in another country and counted as zero in the US measurement scheme - so
much for the "global" company theory. I notice quality of customer service is
not a factor. If you take a long time to get things done but work long hours to make up
for that then you are a high-utilization hero.
so right - what's a quality performer to do?" by "thinkingaboutleaving".
Full excerpt: I guess the true nature of the beast is rearing its ugly head. On one
end you are encouraged to be a high quality performer (aka. delivery excellence awards)
but at the other you are supposed to milk the client for as much quantity as possible.
And if you are not immediately placed on a project or one falls through the cracks
you were waiting on, you are screwed. I wonder if all consulting companies are like
what I do!" by "Hey Mac!". Full excerpt: I'm now outside -- have been
for over 2 years -- and a good portion of my business involves "troubled projects," some
of which are IBM's. Much more fun that working with the folks who regularly CAUSED projects
to go south and much more rewarding. You CAN make a living -- and a nice career -- fixing
troubled IBM projects, but it has to be done OUTSIDE of IBM.