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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—June 21, 2008

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM spokesman confirms 250 laid off nationwide. By Craig Wolf. Excerpt: IBM Corp. has given word to some of its employees today that their jobs are gone. John Buscemi, a corporate spokesman in New York, said the action affected under 250 people “scattered across the country,” and it’s only taking place within the United States. “We’re not breaking out the groups or the locations,” Buscemi said. A posting on the Web site of the Alliance@IBM, a union group, said an action had begun in IBM’s Software Group.
  • Poughkeepsie Journal letter to the editor: IBM's many promises now ringing hollow. By Bruce R. Williams. Full excerpt: IBM recently stated, "We're here to stay" in New York. It is hard to believe anything IBM says anymore. Just ask the current employees about promised retirement when they were hired. They have since learned it was a promise broken. Then ask the IBM retirees about the promises made to them. They were told "they would have their job as long as they did their job," but were then downsized. Another promise made to them was their medical benefits would be paid. Both these promises have been broken.

    IBM stated it is concerned about finding people with critical skills. There was a time when IBM was a leader and job seekers would line up to be hired. Now, IBM is satisfied to be just like any other company. A long time ago, IBM had a management team that maintained full employment during the Depression. It seems to have lost the management skill in today's environment. It has turned to a management style willing to break any promise so as to get to the bottom line.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: Laid-off IBM workers may apply for severance. By Craig Wolf. Excerpts: Close to 250 IBM Corp. jobs were cut across the country Tuesday, but IBM is keeping a tight lid on who, what and where. The "resource action" was rolled out Tuesday and the affected workers were given the word, according to John Buscemi, a corporate spokesman in New York. He said the action affected less than 250 people "scattered across the country," and that it's only taking place within the United States. "We're not breaking out the groups or the locations," Buscemi said. ...

    Linda Guyer, Endicott-based president of the Alliance, offered a reason for the lack of detail from IBM on the job cuts. "IBM is very, very quiet about any of its job cuts nowadays. They don't want attention brought to their continued shift of work away from US and Europe over to India and eastern European countries," she said.

  • Charlotte News & Observer: Durham courting IBM facility. Offers $750,000 to lure data center. By Tim Simmons. Excerpt: Durham County commissioners will consider a $750,000 incentive package for IBM next week to encourage the company to build a $362 million data center that would create 10 jobs. The package, which the county staff is recommending, is a key consideration in IBM's decision to build the center in Durham, according to a project description that the county released. ...

    Durham is competing with New York and Colorado for the data center. The project would convert warehouse space on IBM's campus into a customer briefing center with other support services. The facility could receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation, an important quality for both parties because LEED features mean the building would use less energy. ...

    An IBM project that includes 600 jobs was recently announced in Charlotte. Those jobs involve a company division that does back-office work for mortgage lenders. The state awarded the project as much as $9.78 million in incentives over 10 years. IBM has about 1,750 employees in Charlotte.

  • Burlington Free-Press: Rumors of layoffs swirl at IBM in Essex Junction. By Dan McClean. Excerpts: Revenues and profits have increased substantially, and IBM’s stock is trading near its 52-week high of $130 a share. But the computer giant’s Systems and Technology division, the business group that includes the Essex Junction plant, has seen revenues lag — alarming local workers and fueling rumors of large-scale layoffs. Company spokesmen have said little to quash the concerns, sticking to a policy of not commenting on rumor or speculation. ...

    Earl Mongeon has worked on the microchip manufacturing line in Essex Junction for about three decades. He’s seen the production lines slow. “We were going gangbusters there at the beginning of the year. We have noticed a slowdown because of the economy. ... Things can change real fast in our business,” said Mongeon, who also serves as vice president of Alliance@IBM, a group that advocates for the computer company’s workers.

  • CNN/Money: Citi Cuts IBM, Tech Area Weighting; Credit Conditions Worsen. Excerpt: Citigroup on Monday dropped technology giant International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and added health-care company Aetna Inc. to its recommended list, as it cut its weighting on the technology hardware and equipment sector and revised its weighting in other sectors due to deteriorating credit conditions.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Are you safe from RA if on you're on a leave of absence?" by "sandy12533". Full excerpt: I know of one person who was out on medical disability due to lupus. At that point she was bedridden. Her mgr insisted she get out of bed and report to his office. She was so sick, her mother and husband both had to walk her into the office. They were all present when the mgr informed her of the RA. That story has got to be the lowest of the lows in IBM -- and YES it is true. If they would RA someone as sick as that, surely someone on maternity leave has no safety net whatsoever.
  • Washington Post: A Few Final Thoughts On Planning For Retirement. By Martha M. Hamilton. Excerpts: I have spent the past two years focused on a subject that was almost an afterthought for most of my working life -- financial planning for retirement. I knew when I started writing this column that the subject was vast and complex, but I had no idea just how complicated it was.

    The new retirement landscape requires us to take on a job once handled by professionals. We now play a larger role ourselves ensuring that we will have adequate resources. That means saving and investing, often on our own, and trying to protect against such unknowables as how long we may live and what financial markets will be like in the future.

    I've learned a lot in the past two years, and since today's column will be my last for The Washington Post, I would like to emphasize the most important lessons.

  • Washington Post: Financial Futures. Live Discussions with Post Business Columnist Martha M. Hamilton. Excerpt: Washington Post columnist Martha M. Hamilton was online Tuesday, June 17 at Noon ET for her final chat to answer questions about financial planning for retirement. She was joined by Teresa Ghilarducci, economist and author of "When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them."
  • Associated Press, courtesy of the Washington Post: CEO pay chugs up in '07 despite economy. By Rachel Beck and Matthew Fordhahl. Excerpt: As the American economy slowed to a crawl and stockholders watched their money evaporate, CEO pay still chugged to yet more dizzying heights last year, an Associated Press analysis shows. The AP review of compensation for the heads of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index finds the median pay package added up to nearly $8.4 million. That's a comfortable gain of about $280,000 from 2006. The 3 1/2 percent pay increase for CEOs came even as the landscape for both workers and shareholders darkened considerably and the economy was choked by a housing market in free fall, layoffs and soaring prices for fuel and food.
  • Newsday: To retire, you'll need $1.25 million. By Lynn Brenner. Excerpts: I'm a 45-year-old woman, employed at my job for 21 years. I can retire at 56, which I want to do. I can't collect Social Security until age 62. I have nearly $100,000 in my Thrift Savings Plan account, but can't start withdrawing from it until age 59 1/2. My job also offers a pension, based on the years I worked. But I'm not sure about the details because we aren't allow to contact HR about retirement until we're five years away from it. How much should I be saving?

    You may want to reconsider. You've set yourself an extraordinarily difficult goal. Before we get to rules-of-thumb to calculate how much you'd need to carry out your plan, let's explain some of its drawbacks. The cost of living in retirement depends on variables that range from where and how long you'll live (and how healthy you are) to future inflation and tax rates. But for anybody, retiring at 56 is a very expensive proposition. ...

    So how much do you need to save for a 30-year retirement? Take the percentage of your current salary you want your nest egg to replace, and divide that number by four, Fahlund said. Let's say you want your annual withdrawal to replace 50 percent of your current salary (plus 3 percent a year for inflation). Divide 50 percent by four. The answer: 12.5. At retirement, you need a nest egg that's 12.5 times your current salary. So if you now earn $100,000, and want a nest egg that can produce a constant $50,000 a year for 30 years, better plan to retire with $1.25 million ($100,000 times 12.5).

  • Slate: You're Saving Enough for Retirement (Probably). Don't worry—you won't have to live on ramen and cat food. By Tim Harford. Excerpts: Here's the conventional wisdom on pensions: You're a weak-willed and shortsighted fool who isn't saving enough, and as a result you will spend your retirement in poverty. The American press is loaded with hand-wringing on the subject—largely, although not exclusively, based on "research" from companies that sell pensions and investments. In Great Britain, the definitive statement was made by Adair Turner's Pension Commission in 2004: "Most people do not make rational decisions about long-term savings without encouragement and advice." Ouch. ...

    But look more closely, and it is far from obvious that there is a serious and generalized problem with personal pension savings. It's hard to say for sure partly because the future is unknown and partly because it's difficult to determine exactly how much money should be in a sensibly funded pension. For example, if someone is making $100,000 a year, what pension income would count as sensible? $125,000 would probably be excessive—but what about medical and long-term care costs? $45,000 a year seems low, but many people get by happily on less. ...

    Yet economists have been gamely making the effort; they look for "consumption smoothing" as a sign of sensible saving. In practice, that means that aiming to consume about as much after retirement as before. But even that simple comparison can be misleading. The economist Erik Hurst has recently calculated (PDF) that while most American households do cut back on spending after retiring, that does not literally mean tightening their belts: The cutbacks mean spending less on commuting and work clothes. Spending on food also falls, but the retirees eat just as well: They simply spend more of their plentiful leisure time cooking at home. Spending on entertainment and donations to charity increase. No sign there of a penurious dotage.

  • Chicago Tribune: Those that do save don't save wisely. By Gail MarksJarvis. Excerpts: Look at the humble sum in your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings plan at work. Maybe you think it would look a little more encouraging if you could just get a decent raise and save more. To be sure, more savings would help most people. But your failure to stash more cash for the future probably isn't all that's ailing your 401(k).

    A recent study of 1 million 401(k) accounts by pension investment advisers Financial Engines shows Americans are betraying their futures in two ways: many aren't saving enough, but the majority is doing such a poor job of investing they aren't giving their hard-earned savings a chance to bulk up. In fact, with a little more investing savvy, the people in the study would be on course to have about 28 percent more wealth at retirement than they are now likely to have, if they have 20 years of investing to go. ...

    Among all income groups, people were committing two major mistakes with risk. Many were taking on so little risk with their investments that they won't accumulate the money they will need to pay for basic retirement living expenses. Others are taking on needless risk that is likely to undermine their savings at some point—even if their investments look healthy now.

  • USA Today: United flight canceled after upset pilot refuses to fly. By Roger Yu. Excerpts: "I'm roughly paraphrasing here, but the pilot came on the PA and said, 'some of you may have witnessed an incident I was involved in at the gate. I'm not going to go into the details, but it was an interpersonal confrontation that upset me significantly to the point where I'm not focused enough to fly you to Denver. I feel like I may not be calmed and focused enough to fly to Denver for another hour,' " Jacobson said. ...

    Hundreds of United employees, including pilots, flight attendants and machinists, rallied last week in Southern California to protest the management's decision to set aside stock worth about $130 million to fund a new incentive plan for executives while the company plans to cut routes and lay off up to 1,600 employees.

  • CNN/Money: IBM Opens Its Greenest Data Center in North America. Part of $350 Million Boulder Investment, Project Big Green Initiative. Excerpts: IBM officially opened its "greenest" data center in North America today at its Boulder, Colo., site. The 115,000-square-foot, energy efficient facility includes 70,000 square feet of raised floor space and is part of a $350 million investment by the corporation in Boulder to help meet customer demand worldwide for green data centers, while helping IBM and its clients reduce energy costs. The new data center features numerous leading-edge technologies and services, including high density computing systems utilizing virtualization technology, along with energy efficient power and cooling technologies. These, in conjunction with the center's energy efficient design and construction, will allow IBM to reduce its overall carbon footprint compared to standard data centers. ...

    The facility will be partially powered by alternative energy sources, including more than one million kilowatt hours per year of wind-powered electricity purchased by IBM. This will result in a planned reduction of approximately two million pounds of carbon dioxide produced per year. Given Boulder's geographic location and existing infrastructure reliability, the site is an optimal location to leverage energy efficiency. When exterior temperature and humidity levels are favorable, the new data center's technology switches to free-cooling mode -- utilizing a water economizer to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: Comfortable retirement a fading dream for many. By Sam Zuckerman. Excerpts: Ruth Britton enjoys her part-time work as a college instructor. But, at 69, there are plenty of other things the Greenbrae resident would like to do - volunteer, write, take classes, travel. The problem is, with the cost of living rising and the value of her investments falling, Britton can't do without the money she gets from teaching. She's already put off retirement several years. Now, she says she may have to stay on the job four or five years more. "When someone asked me a few years ago when I would like to retire, I said 68, and here I am going on 70," Britton said.

    For more Americans, the dream of a comfortable retirement is fading. The trend marks one of the great social transformations of the postwar era. For four decades following World War II, an increasingly affluent society afforded a growing number of older people the chance to leave their jobs and enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security, private pensions and, beginning in the 1960s, Medicare allowed tens of millions of seniors to live decent lives without punching the clock.

    About a generation ago, the tide began to turn. Guaranteed monthly pensions gave way to 401(k)s that handed workers rather than employers the lion's share of responsibility for funding retirement. And health care costs began eating up ever-larger portions of seniors' income. ...

    Employers love 401(k)s because workers shoulder the primary responsibility for funding them. By the middle of this decade, 73 percent of private sector workers were covered by defined-contribution plans, while 37 percent had traditional "defined-benefit" plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The rise of 401(k)s set up what amounted to a class system, with workers assuming the risk of funding their retirement, experts say. Employees who put lots of money into their plans and made wise investment choices ended up in great shape. Those who didn't fund their plans adequately or whose investments did poorly were stuck. ...

    At the same time, rapidly rising health care costs prompted employers to cut back or eliminate retiree medical benefits, even as the gaps in Medicare coverage widened. Among private employers with 200 or more workers, 33 percent offered some kind of health benefits to retired employees in 2006, down from 66 percent in 1988, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • Financial Week: Pensions for execs test new heights. By Mark Bruno. Excerpts: The median value of accumulated pension benefits for a CEO at S&P 500 companies is $6.1 million, according to Equilar. Compensation experts say there's a good reason why executives at mid-size companies can find themselves staring at outsize pensions.

    Editor's note: According to a chart accompanying this article, CEO Sam Palmisano has the 14th highest "accumulated pension plan balance" of the Fortune 1000 companies. Mr. Palmisano's "accumulated pension" is shown to be $36.3 Million. His "deferred compensation" is shown to be $39.3 Million.

  • eWeek: IBM Internships Map Out IT Priorities. By Deb Perelman. Excerpts: If its internship programs are any indication, IBM already knows what it wants to see in an IT department in the next five years: pros savvy in green IT, Web 2.0 and virtual-world technologies. These are IBM's three focal areas for the summer 2008 season of its most competitive internship program, Extreme Blue. ...

    The program consists of project teams staffed with three technical team members and one MBA student per project. IBM is sponsoring an average of 50 projects, six at each U.S. lab and the rest spread across labs in Canada, Europe, China, India and Brazil. ...

    Ryan Holt, a computer science major at the University of Colorado, is designing the user interface for a green project called Energy Scale. It allows users to do server-level power management of the computer in their data center, giving them the ability to optimize the power on their servers. "A lot of what they teach you in school is technical skills, such as using certain methods to solve problems. But I'm learning a lot of people skills here. We're not starting from scratch, but working on an existing IBM project, so I'm learning how to ask for help so I can find the resources I need to complete my work," Holt said. The IBM program puts a big emphasis on being able to hone the elevator pitch, he added.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: Retirement saving for all. By Mark Paul. Excerpts: Once a land of savers, America is now the home of the thriftless. Americans' personal saving rate, in steady decline over the last quarter of century, finally plunged into negative territory this year. No surprise there. In modern America the struggle between debt and saving is a rigged contest. It's never been easier to borrow - credit cards, subprime home mortgages, home equity loans, payday loans. But when it comes to saving, about half of American workers, including more than 8 million Californians, are denied the opportunity to save the way people save best: on the job, through payroll deduction to a retirement plan. That is a critical problem.

    Retirement saving is one of the twin pillars, along with homeownership, of household wealth and security. With home equity declining - for the first time ever Americans' equity in their houses has fallen below 50 percent - money tucked away in pensions, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts has become, in aggregate, the largest item on household balance sheets. The retirement savings system works reasonably well for well-paid workers and large businesses. They are likely to have the best pensions, and they receive most of the $100 billion in annual tax subsidies for retirement saving. But for workers in the bottom half, many of them working for small businesses that offer no retirement plan, the news is bleak. Under the current system, more than one-third of the young Americans will reach old age with no retirement savings at all, the Government Accountability Office projects. And because retirement savings also serve households as fail-safe protection against emergencies such as illness, disability, and death, the inability of many workers to save through their jobs leaves them vulnerable throughout their lives.

  • New York Times: A Supreme Court Victory for Older Workers. By Linda Greenhouse. Excerpts: The Supreme Court ruled for older workers Thursday in a closely watched age discrimination case, placing on employers the burden of proving that a layoff or other action that hurts older workers more than others was based not on age but on some other “reasonable factor.” The 7-to-1 decision overturned a ruling by the federal appeals court in New York, which said employees had the burden of disproving an employer’s defense of reasonableness. ...

    In the case on Thursday, Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, No. 06-1505, the employer was faced with laying off some employees after a voluntary buyout failed to produce the desired staff reduction. Managers were instructed to rate employees for how “flexible” and “retrainable” they were. Of the 31 who were eventually laid off, 30 were at least 40 years old.

  • New York Times: Court Upholds Ruling on Health Benefits. By Mary Williams Walsh. Excerpts: Employees whose benefits claims are denied are entitled to a fuller day in court than they tend to get now, the United States Supreme Court decided Thursday, in a case that examined the conflicts of interest underlying most benefits decisions. Until now, employees who felt wrongly deprived of benefits could expect little help in court unless they could show that their plan administrators had behaved in an arbitrary, capricious or unprincipled way. ...

    The Supreme Court issued its 6-to-3 ruling in favor of Wanda Glenn, an Ohio woman who worked for 14 years as a supervisor in the women’s department of a Sears store. She suffered from heart disease and took a leave of absence in 2000, providing extensive documentation from her doctor that she could not return to work. Sears offered employees long-term disability insurance as a benefit, but the plan administrator, MetLife, said Ms. Glenn did not qualify. She sued, and the trial court rejected her complaint because she had not shown that MetLife behaved arbitrarily. ...

    The conflict the Supreme Court observed in MetLife’s role is one that employers, employees and insurance companies have been struggling with ever since Congress enacted a landmark employee benefits law in 1974. The law requires the officials who make decisions about employee benefits, known as plan administrators, to act solely in the interest of workers, yet they are usually hired by the company that pays for the benefits, and thus share the employer’s interest in keeping costs down.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • EmployeeBenefits: Ranking health plans on satisfaction. By Robert L Whiddon. Excerpts: ¦ Advertisement The mammoth study from J.D. Power and Associates can be summed up pretty easily. Health plans do a bad job communicating with members, and they're getting worse at it. "The biggest single reason that people are dissatisfied with their health plans is that they don't understand the scope of the benefits that are provided, the services that are available and the limitations," says Jim Dougherty, executive director of the health care practice for J.D. Power.
  • Denver Business Journal: Colo.'s small-group health market faces more turmoil. By Bob Mook. Excerpts: The report from the Colorado Division of Insurance said the small-group market, which serves employers with fewer than 50 workers, covered 176 fewer people last year than it did the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of small-group plans in the state fell to 45,667 in 2007 from 48,288 in 2006. Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison characterized that drop as "concerning" since it suggests that more employers are dropping out of the small-group market in favor of other -- albeit more affordable -- options. ...

    According to a recent report from the Mountain States Employers Council, small-group premiums rose 18 percent from 2004 to 2008. Emanuelson said many employers have kept rates down by negotiating for higher deductibles and less coverage.

  • Physicians for a National Health Program: "I Think I See a Few Dollars on That X-Ray: We'll have to Operate". By David Himmelstein, MD. Excerpts: As a primary care doctor, I live with one foot in the horse and buggy era and one in the silicon age. I spend most of my time talking to patients and wielding a stethoscope, and I also use the latest high tech gadgets. But the gadgetry is getting out of hand; its overuse threatens patients and is blowing the lid off health care costs. Here’s one example. Last week, when a patient came in complaining of a cough that had lingered longer than usual, I sent him down for a chest x-ray. The x-ray was absolutely normal to my eye, a reading confirmed by the radiologist. But he added one key phrase after the word “normal.” “Consider obtaining a CT scan.”

    Now the radiation from a single chest CT is equivalent to about 500 chest x-rays, which carries a real risk of causing cancer down the road. And there’s virtually no evidence that a CT would help a patient like mine. But it would certainly benefit the radiologist. He and his colleagues are paid as piece workers — they get an additional fee for each scan they interpret. Radiologists have gotten rich (they average over $400,000 annually) by buying CT scanners, MRI machines and other high tech gadgets, and prodding other doctors to order these expensive tests. And each test breeds more tests. A tiny abnormality on one CT (and most of us have something that looks a little funny if you look hard enough), means a radiologist’s report recommending “follow-up CT in 6 months to assess progression.”

    It’s not just the radiologists who work this scam. Perhaps half of the stents that cardiologists put in do patients no good at all; oncologists inflict lucrative chemotherapy on many patients who gain nothing but suffering from these potions; and orthopedists often needlessly scope knees and operate on backs. And hospitals are willing partners to these rip-offs. The useless and harmful procedures keep ORs humming and beds full of high-paying patients. It’s gadgets and procedures that bring in the big bucks.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • Is IBM offshoring the IBM Payroll Help Desk to Manila, Philippines? If you have documentation please send to: Allianceibmunion@gmail.com
  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • To readers of the Alliance comment sections: Please read the front page of the Alliance web site for important news on our membership drive. Many of you read and participate in the comment sections and find them a valuable resource for what is going on inside IBM. But in order to keep this resource we need growth in our dues paying membership. Please click the links above and join the Alliance. Your only source for the real news inside IBM.
    • Comment 06/15/08: I received the info of the 80% - 85% offshoring targets from my manager. In my opinion, I think he realizes he is SOL now, since he's been spilling the beans on a bunch of things. He's told us privately, that he doesn't expect our group to be around in 2 years. He's told us to beef up our skills and make sure we are all marketable out in the real world. He also doesn't expect his own job to be around in the future. -tai mai shue-
    • Comment 06/16/08: "Comment 06/03/08: Yes - Project Managers are in the spotlight for off-shoring. Not a good career move if you're in the US, unless you want to be layed off. -miss understandgin-".... Do you have any details without compromising your identity or source? I presume this is in the Atkins organization. -another IBM serial#-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Has anyone heard about the global realignment (i.e. - - India is gonna get your job)..on the wellpoint account? all of the technical support will be history before 08 ends. everything is on the table. -blueturd-
    • Comment 06/19/08: You are correct in that big American multi-national companies are about to fall. RBS even announced Sunday, the big economic fall is coming in the next few months and our national and business egomaniacal leaders will soon be persecuted like common thieves. The end of the era of using nationalism and jingoism to cover for economic abuse and failure will soon be upon us and it won't be kind to America, I'm afraid.

      They are fiddling with the books and dancing like Nero with Rome burning and Fort Knox going bankrupt. The immoral and illogical actions and decisions they are making now are only the last desperate signs of a financially richer; but lower moral class of individuals and legalized bullies trying to recover from decades of Harvard business school led abysmal and immoral mismanagement. There is no moral leadership in American business. It's all been destroyed and replaced with "management" that doesn't know anything, but how to react like a dying trapped animal, destroying even itself in a futile and illogical attempt to selfishly save its own skin.

      The union concept is not about lifetime employment. It's about fairness in employment. True, unionism has been infected with scandal and many times it has been confused or abused by some to try to achieve lifetime employment or personal power, but that's not the objective of true unionism. The objective of unionism is to provide a balance via unified labor against improper acting management. I believe unionism will be increasingly viewed as the only chance for survival for western civilization and business.

      Many western Europeans are blessed with the fairness of unions, although some have abused it. On the other hand, the majority of the middle east has still to emerge from the slumber of business slavery prevalent in the middle ages and enter into the 20th century. Indentured servitude and legal abuse with class stratification via economic slavery isn't the future, Carlos, it's the past.

      Unionism, like liberty and democracy, isn't perfect, but it's the light at the end of the tunnel for these violent and adverse times which will turn out to be a new step forward in the political and business evolution of humanity. -A-

    • Comment 06/19/08: To -grave_diggers-: One message that should ring clear to everyone on this site is to NEVER train your replacements. It benefits you in no way what-so-ever. My team had counterparts in India that they wanted us to train, saying they would be our overseas team, helping us. We didn't buy it, and plain out refused to train them. That idea somehow just went away. Our jobs lasted longer than they would have, but still went away. If you are going to be RA'd anyway, at least leave with some dignity. NEVER train anybody else to do your job. You can't hold IBM to any promise. They don't honor them at all! Apparently the Dutchess economic development board doesn't realise this and it is shameful they still gave IBM the break. -Ra'd last year-
    • Comment 06/20/08: With just ONE additional job cut announced on June 17 from East Fishkill and Poughkeepsie drops IBM's employee number in Dutchess county some more. We now know that they are not fulfilling their promise to Dutchess Co. NY state to maintain a minimum employment figure (not including temporary or contract workers) to get corporate welfare tax abatements. -shameful Blue-
  • General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 06/16/08: IBM is a real POS company. I a while back and just found out they won't pay a corporate charge for travel I made for business. It's a damn hotel charge! If it weren't such a small amount I'd sue them. IBM sucks. -ExIBM-
    • Comment 06/16/08: After training their replacements in Malaysia, (as a condition to receiving their severance package), my former IBM colleagues and division who were sold-off to Lenovo were layed-off and are now seeking employment elsewhere. Perhaps IBM will bring them back home. -Joe Punchclock-
    • Comment 06/17/08: Resource Action in Software Group taking place today. Managers contacting all employees this morning. -John-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Just watch IBM Insider on Yahoo. The IBM Armonk entitlement crew are cashing their options. But IBM can only afford 0-3% raises for USA employees (some folks even got a minus 15% "raise" this year). %$#@ing disgusting. Look in Webster's for a definition of GREED: IBM. Palmisano and the rest of the Armonk entitlement: rot in hell in your next life. Enjoy the heat: you deserve it. -Joe Beamer Alliance guy-
    • Comment 06/20/08: Message = I/T Specialists in IBM in the USA: IBM doesn't value your skills one bit now! They are paying you now to leave without any package. That's why some got a 15% base pay cut in February and others got a 0% raise now in June. So much for being a technical expert in your profession . IBM values the butt kissers, paper pushers, project plan dreamers, and I/T computer illiterate types who just do PowerPoint dog and pony presentations (prepared by their office assistants) to look pretty and talk about financial numbers with no clue what the numbers really truly are. -anonymous-
  • Pension Comments page
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 06/14/08: Band Level = 8; Job Title = Adv Software Engineer; Years Service = 9; Hours/Week = 60,70,80,***; Div Name = Software Group; Location = Massachusetts ; Message = How many more times is this company going to tell me how I make too much money and I don't deserve a raise? I haven't gotten so much as a cost of living increase in 6 years.... (we got "purchased" by IBM) what does that mean...slave labor? indentured servitude? cmon...sam's gotta make his 40mil a year? if Lou was still around I'm sure we'd understand more about what was going on other than being kept in the dark... -disgusted-with-it-all-
    • Comment 06/15/08: For a company like IBM to say that they consider it best to give managers more time to handle the raise situation is just pure BS! Do you think we will get access back to the my compensation w3 web site come 6/16/2008 or do you think we have to wait till 7/1/2008 to get access back? Either way I know I will HEAR about my raise either by the my compensation web page or in my June 30th paycheck NOT from my manager. I just don't feel one ounce of respect as a resource in IBM anymore and this is solid proof of it. IBM HR, Randy, Sam, and the rest of blue pigs: it's clear you have deaf ears. If communication was really in your appraisals your all a pathetic PBC 4! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/16/08: 1 appraisal earned me a 0% raise this year. YMMV. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/17/08: We had our meeting today so that our manager could explain the 2008 IBM Salary Plan. The fact that she could explain it with a straight face was very impressive. To be brief, we were told that although IBM was having a very good year and the stock was up, the forecast for the remainder of the year called for tough times (wonder when Sam will make Wall Street aware of these coming tough times) Next we were told that we did not win a couple of large contracts lately due to the fact that we were too expensive. Therefore, the company needed to keep expenses in check. Only the 1 performers will be seeing an increase this year. What a bunch of BS! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/17/08: Div Name = stg; Location = East Fishkill; Message = Well we received our raises yesterday....what a joke. 1.5%-2.5%. There is no point of giving us that.....they will take it back when we re-up on our insurance!!!! Get out of IBM!!! -JL-
    • Comment 06/17/08: Today was the first day that managers were allowed to talk about the salary plan in my org. Salary sheets are being distributed. As rumored, job family 24A employees got zero market based adjustment, just like last year. Employees were discussing a work slowdown (examples - no or minimal overtime, no weekend work, not being available offshift by turning your cellphone off, etc.). No need to bust your backside any more than you have to, since the pay has flat-lined and IBM is no longer loyal to their employees

      IBM has broken that virtual contract. Doing less than the best is major culture shift for IBM employees, but putting out the bare minimum across the board is what needs to be done, since that's exactly what IBM executive management is giving us - the minimum they can get away with. What can they do, layoff all of us? (which they're going to do eventually anyway once the GRs can handle the work). Of course, the executives aren't sharing in the misery of virtually frozen pay for several years. There were some conversations about the potential for disgruntled workers to deliberately sabotage things. Not a smart thing to do, since that will get you fired on the spot. In a word - don't. -Frank-

    • Comment 06/18/08: 1% increase in fishkill, almost disgusting. There is no daylight, NONE! Get out or die Maybe only way is to drop dead on the job so your family can collect the life insurance! -hallowed be thy name-
    • Comment 06/18/08: Rated a 1 on PBC, got a 4% raise, I am at bottom of my band pay. Was told that some 1 and 2+ performers did not get any increase. Guess the "big boys" kept all the increases for themselves...... -Not impressed-
    • Comment 06/18/08: In regards to all the complaints about low raises. With IBM's financial status, the fact it had good earnings, etc - 1-2% does not reflect that (as is obvious by all of us). What IBM is most likely doing is weeding us out - it's been said before, but worth stating again now that everybody's getting poor/no raises - it's cheaper if people quit IBM rather than having to lay people off with a package. Do you think for one minute that if somebody quits, their manager is putting up a job postings? Managers have to get, like, a gazillion level of approvals just to put a job posting out there - last I heard, VP level approval. One less body is more money saved to IBM. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Salary = 61000; Band Level = 6; Job Title = software engineer; Years Service = 1; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = swg; Location = austin; Message = How much did other people in band 6 get as a raise? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Salary = 77000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Senior Consultant; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 60; Div Name = 7; Location = Bay Are; a Message = My salary after 2 years at IBM is equivalent to my university average entry salary for CS major. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Location = Washington DC; Message = PBC 2+ TCR 3% Complete Joke!! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Salary = 28,200; Band Level = 2; Job Title = operator; Years Service = 11; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = microelectronics; Location = essex vt' Message = only a band 2 doing band 3-4 job 1 performer on my pbc got me 3% most in the dept my manager said ......why ?? rumor has it we are just lucky to have a job -a-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Band Level = 10; Message = 3 years in a row I am told zero raise too high in pay scale etc etc. It is freaking amazing that after record year, record quarters they can't give ya 100$ a month more. Hey Sam choke on that raise you're getting and by the way the devil doesn't take cash or credit. Sam you are a shame to the legacy of this company. -getting frustrated- Alliance Reply: Did it ever occur to you, that organizing your co-workers would be a better spend of your energy? Sam never did care about you or your raises. A union contract does. Join Alliance@IBM
    • Comment 06/19/08: Band Level = 7; Message = 2+ PBC, 0% raise, why bother for this year? I am just over the MBA, no TCR at all. News announced that inflation in my area is 4.5 %. Does this mean I should work 4.5 % less ? -moreofthesame-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Band Level = 10; Message = Send the execs a message. Blue flu time. And if you lucky enough to be invited to participate in the Global Pulse Survey, respond "5" to everything. Execs are rated on how well they improve their scores. They give you poor ratings, return the favor. -madashell-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Message = Band Level = 8; Message = No raise for 2nd straight year. Met all utilization goals. Yes, IBM will get 48.5 hours on time sheet but I am not working any over 40. I think most people are getting no raise this year. I hate the BS the manager attempts to justify the decision with - economy, IT spending, etc. The message was you are lucky to have a job. Just riding out this job until I find a better job (I prefer to get laid off and take a package if one is available). Where the hell is this country going? -DontCareAnymore-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Salary = 63500; Band Level = 6; Years Service = 2; Message = If 3% is the reward for a top contributor then I'm glad to go somewhere else where I'm compensated for my level of responsibility and the quality of work I produce. In my two years of service I've been insulted twice by the paltry raises I've received. To top it off, I was awarded the next pdfa level this year but denied a band promotion.-Leaving_IBM-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Salary = 94000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Advisory Engineer; Years Service = 2.5; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name = SRDC; Location = East Fishkill. Message = 2+ PBC, no MBA and a 1.5% TCR! According to my manager I am 16% below the target salary level. I was last year too. So basically, over two years I've lost out on over $30000. If this is the kind of raises we can expect in a record profits year, then I'm a short timer for sure. No reason to bust my ass for a raise that doesn't even cover the extra cost of gas getting to work every day.

      .Anyone in STG read Rod Adkins' (RODCOMM) Q&A email where someone stated that the big reason for the poor morale (i.e. climate) was the low salaries? His answer completely dodged the question and he basically said if we focus on improving manufacturing efficiency that our climate will improve. Riiiight.... So we basically have to work harder, with the same low pay, to feel happier.

      Meanwhile, it doesn't matter if microelectronics does well or not, if the mainframe guys aren't selling, they drag down all of us. Fortunately, the execs have rolled out meeting efficiency guidelines as a way to improve climate! Great way to motivate us. (STG has the lowest climate ratings in the company by the way. Hard to imagine why). I never believed in unions in the past but I don't see any other way to turn things around at IBM. Sadly, I don't see many other SRDC folks (mostly Ph.D.'s) interested in unionizing. -Sam PompousAssano-

    • Comment 06/19/08: Location = Washington DC 3% for a PBC 2+ You did GREAT! What ya complaining 'bout? PBC 1 here and got nada..zilch..zero..the big goose egg ..nil..nothing in job family 06A I/T Application Programmer. Merit increaser, TCR, MBA, retention based pay: where is it now? Love this friggin IBM? NOT -PBC 1 worth crap-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Salary = 50K + overtime; Band Level = 4; Job Title = Large System SSR; Hours/Week = 45 average; Message = PBC 2+. 3% pay raise. Inflation plus insurance premium increase next year will negate the raise. -Turn out the lights-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Message = To: IBM USA Resources; From: IBM CHQ Armonk; Want a raise USA resources? Sorry. You have to work in either IBM Brazil, Russia, India , or China. We have to not give you a raise or much of a raise to be truly cost effective in this new global economy and world we all love for IBM to survive. I know you will all understand this. Nothing personal: just good business on our part. Oh, thanks again for always bleeding blue and working hard for IBM. We can always count on you for superior performance to keep out customers happy. And BTW: It makes our stock options more valuable! We can always count on you. Your the best! Thanks, your committed IBM executive team. -CHQ memo-
    • Comment 06/19/08: Message = Hey those in job family 06A: Nice raise huh? A big fat 0 for a lot of ya after some of you getting a -15% up the butt pay adjustment. For all you affected with little or no raise that read this and haven't joined the Alliance yet: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!!!!!!!!!! Even an average union contract will give you more of a raise in writing and enforceable by USA NLRB law. Ok, you don't want to join. Ok, then if you still want to work for IBM: what motivation do you to work for IBM now especially if you got a PBC "1" or "2+" in 2007? And you in the majority who are PBC "2" you are getting ripped (off) by IBM! If you don't want to join and are looking to leave IBM, then just leave now. If your not part of the solution; you are part of the problem: period. Oh, sure, you can get a job paying much more anywhere in the USA..iff it was that easy in this crummy USA recession economy. THINK and THINK TWICE! -raise hell now-
    • Comment 06/19/08: I am a proud PBC "1" IBMer and I got no raise. I always got a raise and this is the first year in my IBM career I got no raise. Leave me and the rest of us alone, Alliance. Maybe you are to blame for all this. I need IBM since there ain' t no jobs around and most of us feel the same way. -silent majority-
    • Comment 06/20/08: PBC 1 = 0%. IBM pay for performance. What a crock. Who is running this asylum called IBM? At least if I had a union contract I know I would get something. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/20/08: Well so much for the raises this year, let's look forward shall we. So let me ask you... why is anything going to be different come June 2009? From a company perspective everything is just fine isn't it. The company is making money, the executives are still living high. With the energy crisis going on there will still be no pricing power to raise prices that IBM charges it customers in 2009 and so that leaves them with the current operating formula/business model.

      Churn the workforce thru off shoring, and H1-b labor. Hell the number of college educated graduates in India and China exceeds the total population of the USA why stop. It's a winning formula. Oh yeah, sure, you'll get some whining and some employees will moan and vent on some of the internet bulletin boards but so what they are not going to do anything it's the same stuff every year so why change?

      Why change if you're the company, there's no consequences no pain that they are incurring with the current plan. I don't know boys. You guys are cutting not only your own throat, but everyone else around you. Every IBM contract win to help offshore work keeps you employed MAYBE in the short term but each and every day that goes by you are devastating your own job market and your future... don't you guys get it, don't you guys see it. You are helping to destroy your own future not secure it. Now go help some more companies move offshore we'll see ya'll at the wal-mart collecting shopping carts working part time soon if you don't wake up! -Big Al-

    • Comment 06/20/08: Let me be first to go out on a limb here and tell all of you that next years raises will suck out loud also. And the year after that and the year after that if you do not unionize. Folks will get RA'd year after year. Folks will be forced to train their replacements year after year and no matter what you do you will not be properly rewarded for your hard work and the devastating impact to your family the stress you are under causes.

      Read the boards and see that even those who achieved the ever elusive ONE rating did not all get raises. It DOES NOT MATTER how hard you work or how many hours you give the company to appease a boss who just laughs at you behind your back.You will not get ahead of anyone else in the long run. You may as well give up on the phony merit raises and pay for performance bullshit IBM has fed you all these years and understand you will be better off with a union.

      An across the board raise is better then no raise at all. Who gives a shit that Smythe or Jones gets the same raise as you and may not deserve it as long as you get one it will be better then it is now. Get a say in your working conditions. Force proper staffing . You're LOSING money year after year as the cost of living and inflation outpace your meager increases and bonuses. Live Better. Work Union. -Exodus 2007-

    • Comment 06/20/08: Salary = 110,000; Band Level = 7; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 45 worked 60 with travel; Div Name = 5; Location = "Cheap" according to IBM; Message = Pathetic - first I'm screwed out of a 2+ or 1 even with top PA ratings by being told that I didn't do enough "giveback" now my 2 PBC entitles me to no raise. This after the pathetic 3% bonus. IBM would rather hire new blood from the endless well of MBA's rather than invest in their employees. I'm about done with this crap company. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/20/08: Salary = 60k; Band Level = 7; Job Title = IT Specialist; Years Service = 3; Message = Hi everyone, I have a question I hope someone here can answer. I am in the process of resigning from IBM and am trying to get paid for unused vacation. This year I have accrued 7 days, and last year I only used 5. Shouldn't that start me out with 10 for the year and put me at my cap of 15? I am currently being denied the extra days, and I want to know if I'm right or if I'm fighting a losing cause. Can someone point me to some proof, one way or another? IBM w3-01.ibm.com (Internal link) is the best I can come up with so far. Thanks! -Leaving-
  • PBC Comments
  • International Comments
    • Comment 6/02/08: Country = USA; Union Affiliate = none; Job Title = secret; IBM Division = secret; Message = What's happening in Ireland is that the tax breaks IBM got from the Republic of Ireland have expired - never mind that once that contract was signed IBM tried to reduce the level of promised jobs and to reduce the level of those jobs. For the last 10 years IBM has done whatever it could to weasel out of their contractual agreement to screw over the Irish government. Once again "the most ethical company in the world" (cough, cough) is run by a bunch of con men and thugs. -Frank-
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. Some sample posts follow:

  • "Re-employment by IBM" by "the arab". Full excerpt: I was honoured to receive an email from IBM US recruitment suggesting that I might like to apply for a senior position with the company. I am not a US citizen and left IBM from an overseas country where I was employed by them. I was bitterly unhappy with IBM, as its bureaucratic processes, procedures and people treatment were abysmal. I tried to make a difference (even with 96% utilisation) but IBM did not want to listen. I wonder if they now want to hear what I had to say all over again!!! The new company that I joined on more than 25% extra salary, has now more than doubled my commencement salary and increased my benefits by 150%. Yes IBM, I am sure to be back soon......NOT!
  • "Bravo!" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: I hope every young brand blinded idiot reads these words of wisdom from one who is certainly on his/her way to success. Liberty, success, self-esteem and the good life is ahh... so much sweeter if you've been subjected to modern employee slavery from a large multinational...
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.