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Some of the jobs affected are being “off-shored,” and IBMers will be tasked with training their replacements. “This is part of the rebalancing of our skills to balance our customer needs,” Buscemi said.
Lee Conrad, a spokesperson for the union, was outraged by the news. “The Alliance@IBM has received information that 215 employees in STG have been targeted for a job cut,” Conrad said “It is also rumored that some of these jobs are being sent offshore and employees must train their replacements. “For IBM to fire U.S. workers and send the work offshore at a time of rising unemployment and economic crisis is unacceptable and, frankly, disgusting.” ...
According to the IBM document provided to WRAL.com, positions being eliminated include a “distinguished engineer” as well as numerous “directors” and “senior” specialists in a variety of areas. ...
Alliance@IBM, the fledgling union based in New York that is seeking to represent IBM workers, noted that it had been told numerous executives were being let go. “They have until January to leave IBM, and some are being asked to go to Dubai [in the United Arab Emirates] or China to work,” the union was told. “Some are being re-leveled [demoted] back to the field in sales.” The layoff news broke Monday ‘”with no warning – nothing,” the IBM employee told WRAL.
rom those facing customers to the executive suite at the vice president level, from young to seasoned , from sales and marketing to engineers, and even at least one person honored within Big Blue’s ranks as a “distinguished engineer,” the ranks of those being given their walking papers is quite striking. ...
An IBM spokesperson confirmed 38 layoffs at RTP, but in an interview declined to discuss even what business unit was affected, citing competitive reasons. But he did acknowledge that some jobs are being shifted overseas, and IBMers will be training their replacements in Taiwan and elsewhere. It’s bad enough to have one’s job “off-shored,” but having to train a replacement while preparing for unemployment – now that’s pouring salt on an open wound. Companies certainly must adapt to a changing world environment, but ...
Making matters worse is how the document is written. The “Notice to Employees” is cold, bland legalese. But the words strike home when one thinks of the many blue-blood veterans that are being shown the door.
There was a day when IBM cared for its employees, providing good benefits, and placed importance on their employees. IBM understood success came from the hard work of their employees. Unfortunately, today the focus is on the bottom line and stockholder, not the stake-holder, eroding our nation's middle-class economy.
Most companies like IBM have outsourced their manufacturing lines overseas to save money, boosting their bottom line. While senior-level management receives huge wage increases and options, the laborer gets 3 percent at best.
When did this country's moral compass go awry? Today, the hardworking blue collar worker is no longer part of the success equation. Our hardworking blue collar parents were valued employees, learning their skills by watching and then doing. They didn't need to go to college to succeed, unlike today, where all need a college degree to sell underwear at the local mall.
I am so ashamed of our national values system. I challenge IBM and all other big corporations to reflect on this; where would these businesses be today without the efforts of our parents and grandparents who are responsible for creating today's empire?
In April 2003, the US Treasury held a public hearing on Cash Balance Plans. Rahm Emanuel, who helped us out behind the scenes many times, came forward that day and provided the following testimony on our behalf. Emanuel was also the lead sponsor of H.R. 1677, the Pension Benefits Protection Act of 2003. As you know, his bill never passed. Below is Rahm's testimony.
From http://www.house.gov/emanuel/pr_030409b.htm: WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) today delivered testimony at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hearing on proposed regulations regarding companies converting to cash balance pension plans. Emanuel spoke against the regulations as proposed, which would allow companies to exempt the plans from age discrimination rules that apply to pension plans.
"I hope that after these hearings this panel will come up with new regulations that make sense and strike a balance between business innovation and the rights of long-standing employees," Emanuel testified before the panel of nine attorneys from the IRS and the Treasury Department.
"It's wrong for companies to promise retirement benefits to long- standing workers, and then to pull the rug out from under them by making changes midstream. Pension agreements are no different than any other contracts into which companies have entered. Employees agree to supply their labor and work hard every day to help improve the company's bottom line. In return, employers offer them wages and in many cases, retirement benefits in the form of defined benefit pensions. Working Americans should be able to take comfort in the fact that the pensions they've earned will be there when they retire." ...
"It's not hard to imagine the sense of betrayal and anger the workers at companies like AT&T and IBM must have felt when they found out their pension benefits had been cut in half overnight. These working Americans have families to support and bills to pay, like mortgages and college tuition.
"One of the hardworking individuals who traveled here to tell her story is Kathi Cooper, a resident of Bethalto in my home state of Illinois. Ms. Cooper has worked for IBM almost 25 years and faces a 64% pension cut resulting from a cash balance conversion. She stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to IBM's actions. Ms. Cooper is the lead plaintiff in a federal class action lawsuit against IBM currently pending in the Southern District of Illinois. There are hundreds of thousands of stories just like hers all over the U.S. ...
The Clinton Administration placed a moratorium on cash balance conversions in 1999 because of the radical effect these conversions were having on the lifetime savings of long-serving workers. Sure, cash balance plans may be better for younger workers. But there is a way to offer these plans to younger workers while also maintaining the pension benefits that long-standing workers have earned through years of hard work. If changes are going to be made, companies need to find a point of delineation that doesn't radically alter the financial fortunes of their longest tenured employees.
In 1995, President Clinton signed into law the first piece of legislation enacted by the 104th Congress, the Congressional Accountability Act. This Act applied 11 existing employment, civil rights, health, and safety-related statutes and regulations to the legislative branch. Perhaps the Administration and some Members of Congress would have a different view if the proposed regulations were added to the Congressional Accountability Act and applied to them. If cash balance conversions are such great medicine for older workers, then let's convert Congressional pensions to cash balance plans.
Perhaps some are familiar with the recent Congressional Research Service study reporting that nearly every Member of Congress would lose out—in many cases by hundreds of thousands of dollars, if this were to happen. In that case, Members who had worked hard for years expecting to receive their full pensions would be understandably outraged. We all know that Congress would never accept such an unjust result—and neither should rank-and-file, hardworking Americans.
Judge Kenneth Karas ordered Papermaster to cease his work for Apple "until further Order of this Court," in a ruling issued Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Papermaster's lawyers have until Tuesday to register their objections, with a hearing set for Nov. 18.
Papermaster joined Apple on Nov. 4 as senior vice president of devices hardware engineering, where he is responsible for iPod and iPhone engineering. The former IBM executive assumed the position after Apple's iPod guru Tony Fadell, reduced his role with the company to spend more time with his family. IBM, however, sued Papermaster after he handed in his notice last month, alleging that he breached a non-compete agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Papermaster cannot work for a competitor for up to a year after the end of his IBM employment.
In this Papermaster case, those questions loom large. If Papermaster, the executive in formerly in charge of IBM’s blade server unit, was going to Apple to run the xServe product line Big Blue would have an easy argument to understand. But since Papermaster is going into consumer electronics–a place where IBM doesn’t play ball anymore–the executive has a good argument.
On Wednesday, Papermaster’s lawyers filed their answer to IBM’s suit and filed counterclaims of their own. They admitted only those facts that were indisputable and denied pretty much everything else — including the fact that Papermaster worked for IBM. IBM and Apple aren’t competitors, they claim, and even if they were, Papermaster has been hired to do work that has nothing to do with IBM. And even if it did, IBM’s noncompetition agreement is unreasonably broad, Papermaster’s lawyers assert. What’s more, they argue, it doesn’t apply in Texas (where Papermaster worked for 17 years) or California (where Apple is based) — neither of which honor such agreements.
That's what happened last Thursday when IBM's chairman and chief executive, Sam Palmisano, gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, only two days after the presidential election in the United States. Change was - and still is - in the air, and that was one of the themes of Palmisano's speech. You can see the draft of the speech, which Palmisano more or less stuck to, at this link, and you can watch the video of the speech here.
The report is an audit of 246 applications that found 13 percent of the applicants used forged documentation, false businesses or addresses, false job offers, or misrepresented their immigration status. Another 7 percent had technical violations such as requiring the applicant to pay the application fee or list a salary substantively above what the applicant would actually be paid.
Those temporary workers are scheduled to return to India, where they will run the same systems as part of an outsourcing deal Pfizer signed three years ago with Infosys Technologies and Satyam Computer Services.
The report noted that a substantial chunk of the funding shortfall in the energy industry belonged to just a handful of companies. That included Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron, which have been reporting huge profits but still had three of the 10 most underfunded pension plans in the S&P 500 at the beginning of this year.
But getting Mr. Obama and lawmakers to pay attention to pension funding could prove to be a major challenge. So lobbyists are preparing to make a broader case for relaxing the rules. “It's not just a pension issue,” said Lynn Dudley, senior vice president of policy at the American Benefits Council, an employer advocacy group in Washington that's lobbying on behalf of hundreds of corporations for some temporary relief from pension funding rules. “It's a major economic issue that needs to be recognized immediately.”
The tapes were kept in a climate-controlled room since then, but with no real way to unlock the data. Then SpectrumData stumbled upon an old IBM 729 Mark V tape drive at the Australian Computer Museum Society, which agreed to loan the historic metal. "It's going to have to be a custom job to get it working again. It's certainly not simple, there's a lot of circuitry in there, it's old, it's not as clean as it should be, and there's a lot of work to do," said Guy Holmes of SpectrumData.
Traditional pension benefits can no longer be relied upon when global competition and rapid technological change challenge the ability of even the greatest companies to make good on future commitments. Moreover, Americans switch employers and even careers several times over the course of their working lives.
Yet the 401(k)s and other accounts that have replaced those pensions are not producing sufficient retirement savings. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 54 and 63 have not saved enough for retirement. It's not that 401(k)s are bad, it's just that they were conceived as supplementary retirement vehicles, not as a holistic retirement system.
25 years ago, Green, vice-president of brand values and experiences, helped market IBM's first consumer PC. Now, he has applied what business school professors and engineers like to call "design thinking" to reimagine how sales teams bring in new business.
Design thinking is based on observing what customers want and then creating, testing, and refining prototypes of products and services to address those desires. At IBM's briefing center, staff members now have extremely detailed guidelines of what to show and tell at a given time. Before, the company had no standardized model of how to pitch clients. Instead, sales staff had to rely on their own intuition, with varying degrees of success.
While President-elect Obama has set forth the substance of his health reform agenda, he has not yet revealed his overarching strategy or precisely when and how he would move on health reform, but there are a number of courses of action open to his Administration.
To conserve its dwindling cash reserves, G.M. is eliminating lifetime health care coverage for its legions of retirees at the end of this year, leaving people like Ken Hewitt to fend for themselves in deciding how to cover their doctor’s bills and prescription drug costs. ...
To help retirees pay for their new coverage, G.M. is raising monthly pension payments by $300, which typically means $240 or $255 after taxes. ...
“Anyone that thinks they can go out and replace insurance that you had with General Motors for $255 and get the same kind of coverage, I’d like to sell them a bridge in Wisconsin somewhere,” said Mr. Dickinson, 65, whose irritation with G.M.’s move is apparent in the headline “G.M. Robs Their Elderly Retirees” on his Web site atop information about the changeover.
Mr. Torres was comatose and connected to a ventilator. He was also a legal immigrant whose family lives and works in the purple alfalfa fields of this southwestern town. But he was uninsured. So the hospital disregarded the strenuous objections of his grief-stricken parents and sent Mr. Torres on a four-hour journey over the California border into Mexicali.
For days, Mr. Torres languished in a busy emergency room there, but his parents, Jesús and Gloria Torres, were not about to give up on him. Although many uninsured immigrants have been repatriated by American hospitals, few have seen their journey take the U-turn that the Torreses engineered for their son. They found a hospital in California willing to treat him, loaded him into a donated ambulance and drove him back into the United States as a potentially deadly infection raged through his system.
By summer’s end, despite the grimmest of prognoses from the hospital in Phoenix, Mr. Torres had not only survived but thrived. Newly discharged from rehabilitation in California, he was haltingly walking, talking and, hoisting his cane to his shoulder like a rifle, performing a silent, comic, effortful imitation of a marching soldier.
“In Arizona, apparently, they see us as beasts of burden that can be dumped back over the border when we have outlived our usefulness,” the elder Mr. Torres, who is 47, said in Spanish. “But we outwitted them. We were not going to let our son die. And look at him now!”
There are two ways that they are bankrupted. Sometimes people have insurance through their job, but they become too sick to work, or have to take off work to care for a very sick child, and they lose their health insurance. So they have health insurance and then lose it because of the illness itself.
But another very frequent scenario in our bankruptcy data involved people who held onto their insurance, usually private insurance, throughout the illness that bankrupted them. They were insured the entire time, but were bankrupted anyway by gaps in their coverage — uncovered services, co-payments and deductibles.
Private health insurance is a defective product. On one hand, you may lose it when you need it most — when you get sick. On the other hand, even if you are able to hold onto private insurance, the gaps in the coverage mean that you may be bankrupted anyway.
And it isn't just life/health specialists who are paying attention. Agents and brokers that traditionally have been engaged primarily in commercial property/casualty increasingly have been relying on the profitable growth of health benefits as a hedge against the waning and waxing of the insurance pricing cycle. "Employee benefits, for independent agents, is the fastest part of their book of business," said Robert Rusbuldt, president of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. "For a medium-size agency, employee benefits is now constituting a meaningful size of their book of business, and it's the most profitable part of their book of business, because there's no soft market."
Having a single-payer system also means that U.K. primary care physicians hold each patient’s lifelong record, which includes a letter regarding every visit to a specialist. Virtually all primary care physicians use electronic medical records, and laboratories now generally download lab results directly into family practitioners’ computer systems. Again, the government took advantage of having a single-payer system to define common standards to which all suppliers of electronic medical records must adhere. ...
What can we learn from the U.K.? Through a single payer system the U.K. has been able to build a strong primary care infrastructure with teams organized to provide high-quality coordinated care for everyone. They have done this at a fraction of the costs of U.S. health care, while compensating their primary care physicians very generously. And how is the U.S. going to use this information? We are going to reject it because it is not a uniquely American solution. Instead, we are about to expand our dysfunctional, fragmented, wasteful, costly system of financing health care, simply because it is uniquely American!? ...
The U.K. system, like that of many other nations, uses their power as a monopsony to purchase much greater value in health care. The United States now wants to use our tax dollars as credits to help us purchase individual plans that do not cooperate but compete. That competition not only results in tremendous administrative waste, it also destroys any prospect of creating an effective monopsony
So we are going to tax ourselves to provide even more funds to our unique, corporate-model private insurers to allow them to burn up more resources while establishing a barrier to much needed delivery system reform (a barrier because the financing is fragmented).
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
When the Champagne and caviar crowd is in trouble, there is no conceivable limit to the amount of taxpayer money that can be found, and found quickly. But when it comes to ordinary citizens in dire situations — those being thrown out of work or forced from their homes by foreclosure or driven into bankruptcy because of illness and a lack of adequate health insurance — well, then we have to start pinching pennies. That’s when it’s time to become fiscally conservative. President Bush even vetoed a bill that would have expanded health insurance coverage for children.
We can find trillions for a foolish war and for pompous, self-righteous high-rollers who wrecked their companies and the economy. But what about the working poor and the young people who are being clobbered in this downturn, battered so badly that they’re all but destitute? Can we find any way to help them?
There is always someone, somewhere in this great world, cheaper than you. And, IBM will give that person your job, to save a few "sheckles". It doesn't matter if they speak english well, or not...they are cheaper. Has anyone actually opened a trouble ticket with IBM internal support and gotten any sort of reasonable response? A rhetorical question, I know; everyone knows that if you do not work at a location with an actual IBM hardware or software tech, or your brother, son, or neighbor is not a computer expert, then YOU ARE SCREWED!!!!!!!!!! Good luck getting anything other than "Good afternoon Mr Man, my name is Earl, from Mayanta, India, is your computer plugged in? Yes...then can I please close this ticket (so I can get credit for "resolving" more tickets than my worker-neighbor "James").
I'm not sure what the answer to this insanity is (see, I'm so messed up that my english diction is f%$ked-up also). Anyway, god bless the a-wholes at the exec level, making $$$$$, while us small workers pick up the crumbs, and HOPE our job will not be "GR'd" this year. No worries though, it will be GR'd next year so IBM can save .5% on some labor cost somewhere in some "cost-case". And in parting, all you SDM's and DPE types out there, remember that the email has been circulated to GR a large portion of the "Command and Control" positions. I think the official position must be to eliminate all of you pesky workers who have some notion of actually retiring from IBM with a livable savings. As Karl Marx was fond of saying "From each according to his abilities (the workers), to each according to his needs (IBM Mgmt and Exec)". Enjoy! -I-Used-2-Luv-IBM-Then-I-Woke-Up
Look for this to happen more as big blue goes more to this model and that we were hearing about constantly from uppers. Figured out why the ST changes yet???? Here's a hint, few of them actually in Denver, Boulder or other locations-think time zone 11 hours ahead. Some SDMs getting word now and would not be surprised if overseas takes over customer facing accounts way before the original 2010 date, like maybe MARCH 2009!!!! Anyone else heard the same? -UC'd-
The results of my work easily helped IBM get or keep several million dollars of business. Yet, when it was time for them to improve their stock report, I was spat out and left for dead. I remember a few years earlier when they had their 'preferred vendor' business, giving exclusive STG contracts to CTG. I've got nothing against CTG, but everyone knew at that time what they were really doing was getting rid of what little ability contractors had to shop around and get a better deal. I worked with regulars of similar experience who did similar or even less demanding jobs for double or even triple what I was making. I wasn't even the worst. I knew someone who had been a contractor for 10 years who was discarded at the same time that I was.
I'm angry and I'm afraid. I watched jobs go overseas to Taiwan and other places - people asked to train their replacements, knowing that they were being replaced. I think this 'off-shoring' stuff is despicable. Most of all, I hate the euphemisms that IBM spokespeople use for all of this stuff. Resource reductions, rebalancing skills. It's an outrage, and it should be illegal. I think that US companies shouldn't be allow to move jobs out of the country - period. If they want to add new jobs in another country, fine, but they shouldn't be allowed to sell us out like this. These people don't deserve our loyalty. I hope IBM crashes and burns. They deserve it. -used_and_discarded-
Alliance Reply: Why not call for a boycott of the meeting? Not just because of the meal price; but for all the reasons IBMers have become disgusted with management's 'important events', like layoffs, offshoring, and pay cuts. Spread the word that it's being boycotted. See what happens. It's just a suggestion.
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:
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.