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Highlights—June 15, 2013

  • Forbes: As It Shrinks In A Growing Market, Does IBM Have A Strategy? By Peter Cohan. Excerpts: But in January 2012, Virginia Rometty took over– and after missing its quarterly numbers for the first time in eight years, canning “at least 1,300 people,” and shrinking revenues in a corporate IT market that’s growing at 4.1% in 2013 to $3.8 trillion – I now wonder: Does IBM have a strategy?

    IBM’s formula for profit growth has been to cut costs enough to offset declining sales. In the last year, its revenue fell 2.3% while its net income grew 4.7%. If IBM cut enough people, it could meet its profit numbers. ...

    Since Rometty took over, Big Blue’s rate of growth in restructuring charges has nearly doubled as IBM’s revenue shrank. For instance, in 2011, Palmisano’s last year at its helm, IBM spent $440 million on workforce restructuring; whereas in Rometty’s first year, that figure nearly doubled to $803 million, according to Bloomberg. ...

    IBM claims that it’s just using the layoffs to shift people from declining business lines so it can invest in growing ones. AP suggests that “some of those employees didn’t fit” with IBM’s plans to invest in “social networking, mobile computing, data analysis and storage and cloud computing.” ...

    Meanwhile, workers who have lost their jobs are not happy — one of them even suggested an IBM global employee walkout. According to Alliance@IBM, the site of the IBM Employees’ Union CWA Local 1701, 3rd.Generation Watson Scholar, called for the union to “send mass email to all US and/or All IBM Global employees suggesting a time for a walkout – i.e. days near quarter end.”

    3rd.Generation Watson Scholar expressed unhappiness with IBM’s treatment of its staff, writing, “IBM has reached rock bottom in its treatment of its employees – no work/life balance, expected to work on vacation, ZERO home office expense reimbursement, buy your own work supplies, do the job of 3 people and then some, rent a car rather than driving your own personal car since it’s cheaper than reimbursing mileage.”

    3rd.Generation Watson Scholar concluded his rant by noting the hefty profits Rometty has made on her stock options: ”Ginni has cashed in over $50 million in stock options since becoming new CEO.”

    IT spending is up, but IBM is shrinking. That’s why I think IBM needs a vision and a strategy. And if IBM has a strategy, it sure isn’t showing up in the numbers.

    Which raises two questions: Isn’t the CEO’s job to develop strategy that yields market-beating performance? And given IBM’s declining revenue and tepid stock price, should IBM’s board hold Rometty accountable?

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Does the author understand the difference between strategy and tactics? Firing employees in response to missing quarterly earnings seems to indicate that IBM senior management believes that excess employees were the reason for the miss … and surprisingly, it took an earnings miss for these highly compensated execs to realize the problem! Clearly they don’t have a vision. However, if the author expects quarterly (or even annual) fluctuations in stock price to reflect a company’s strategy, then neither does he.
    • This is exactly the result you get when managing the company to the daily stock price as opposed to managing the business itself. The big issue is even if Rometty has an overall for growing the company it will never be articulated due to her isolation from the day to day business itself.

      When Gerstner was hired I had nine layers management between myself and the CEO. Also at that time taking risks to develop new markets and products was discouraged. When Gerstner left I had five layers of management to the CEO. Risk taking in order to develop new markets and products was encouraged. By the time I retired in 2010 Palmisano had made it so I had eleven layers of management between myself and the CEO. IBM had become stagnate and unwilling to take risks and innovate. There were many parallels to where we were in the early 90′s. Like then the executives have become so isolated that they cannot steer the ship where it needs to go to deal with market changes and grow.

    • Hello Peter Cohan, I am 3rd Generation Watson Scholar. I was pleased to see you appreciated my comments. What has been going on internally at IBM over the past few years (let alone the past 10) is not to be believed. Thomas Watson is rolling over in his grave watching what has happened to the company he nurtured. Maybe we could discuss the issues further in a more discreet forum.
    • I would like to discuss this with you. Please email me: peter@petercohan.com
    • Based on the last 5 years or so, the only “strategy” that IBM appears to have is firing their workforce, sending the work to the 3rd world, and selling off the company, piece-by-piece.

      There’s zero top line growth… no innovation… no “organic” growth of new products… basically it’s just another IT outsourcing company lost amid a field of other vendors who do a better job with their 3rd world labor arbitrage.

      IBM does differentiate itself with their ever-declining levels of service at ridiculously expensive rates, however.

  • ZD-Net: Report: IBM going ahead with more U.S. job cuts today. Unfortunately for Big Blue and its employees, this just marks yet another round of layoffs -- one of several in the last few years. By Rachel King. Excerpts: IBM is said to be handing out pink slips to a large chunk of its U.S. employee base on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. ...

    Unfortunately for Big Blue and its employees, this just marks yet another round of layoffs -- one of several in the last few years. ...

    Bloomberg cited analyst forecasts that the Armonk, N.Y.-headquartered corporation will be laying off anywhere between 6,000 and 8,000 employees worldwide -- close to two percent of its total workforce. The goal is to save approximate $1 billion in expenditures for the company.

  • ZD-Net: IBM employee axe cuts away 1,300 staff. In order to cut costs, U.S. employees of IBM from management to entry-level have been made redundant. By Charlie Osborne. Excerpts: International Business Machines Corp. has fired a minimum of 1,300 employees in a round of U.S. job cuts, according to Bloomberg. Employee group Alliance@IBM says that at least 222 people in marketing have been given their marching orders, as well as 165 in semiconductor research.

    Lee Conrad, a coordinator for Alliance@IBM, said that "just about every division at every location is being impacted." On the IBM Employee's Union website, a number of axed employees have chimed in, expressing disappointment in the layoffs and annoyance that "While they are firing in U.S., they are hiring in India."

    One poster from Austin said, "More than 30 percent cut in (GBPSAS) Global Business Partner Systems/Application Services (Austin). Her Director was told to go to commercial account. 35 percent cut in IBM Systems & Technology Group, Enterprise Systems & Technology Development eServer CEC Bringup and Integration (Austin). 40 percent cut in GFW IBM (Austin)."

    These high ratings appear to be common in this round of layoffs, as many posters say that almost half of their respective departments lost their jobs. One ex-employee said, "Z Virtualization took a big hit. We (including me) lost 48 of 300 positions." Based on the reports, only manufacturing departments appear to have been left untouched.

  • Rochester, MN Post-Bulletin: Layoffs reported at IBM Rochester. Excerpts: IBM laid off a number of workers in Rochester and at other sites today, but the company didn't disclose how many. ...

    Meanwhile, a technology website called WRAL TechWire reported that "hundreds" of IBMers in North Carolina had received layoff notices, while Vermont radio station WCAX said that 121 workers had been laid off. ...

    In March, IBM announced it was moving the bulk of its manufacturing the Rochester campus to plants in Mexico and New York. The action reportedly cost about 200 jobs locally.

    The manufacture of the Power Systems, PureSystems and PureFlex Systems are being shifted out of Rochester to Guadalajara, Mexico, said IBM spokesman Scott Cook. The refurbishing of used machines is being moved to Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Spent 30 years there and worked with some great people. If I had to do it over again I would have never walked through the door there. So sad to see what was a great company be ruined by a few greedy execs and a board of directors. The whole chain of management there is absolutely non-caring about employees or morale. The employees left after this round of layoffs will no doubt be expected to pick up the workload even if they are already overworked. Such a sad state of affairs this company has come to be.
    • At least you got 30 good years before they laid you off. They let me go less than two years out of college, I never even got a fucking chance. But I'm with you, I wish I never walked through those doors. We can all agree on one thing, they know no discrimination to whose lives they want to ruin.
    • After years of laying off employees and moving work overseas, IBM Rochester complex is probably 75% underutilized. With additional headcount and work reductions in 2013, it probably wise for IBM to rent or sell unused buildings to other businesses, such as Mayo Clinic in support of the DMC (destination medical center) project.
    • You know the CEO of IBM made 16 Million dollars in 2012. I am assuming her VP's weren't far behind. Maybe they should take less salary and invest back in the business too, instead of just laying people off.
    • Take a look at IBM as a perfect example. Is IBM in financial trouble? No. They just have a leader who in 2012 was paid 1.5 million in base salary and as much as 14.5 million in bonus, stock options, etc. Are they really laying people off to protect the shareholders? NO. They are protecting their yearly income. In 2012 Ginny made as much as 90% (14.5 MILLION DOLLARS) of her yearly income based on short term profits and stock increases. Think about it. Does she know the layoffs are significantly hurting the American economy? Does she know they are also bad for IBM customers? Does laying off hard-working innovative employees really help IBM's long term future to produce new and better products?
    • "Change is constant"... perhaps, but IBM screwing over its employees can always be counted on, year after year.
    • IBM has lost its corporate soul and that happened long ago when the fat cats and directors decided to line their pockets and ruin what had been a model for quality and attention to internal customers. Rochester should be embarrassed by the manner in which these corporate buffoons toss aside hard working dedicated professionals. Specially insulting is the euphemisms used to describe the hatchet jobs. The rich get richer. When does the state or the fed step in to police this out of control beast? Mayo make them an offer and end everyone's misery.
    • I am sure IBM realizes it, but it is hard for companies like countrywide home loans to stay in business and buy IBM computers (iSeries) when IBM keeps laying people off who end up having to short sale their homes. It is all about short term gain. The IBM execs don't care what happens in 10 years if they walk away with 15 million in 3 years.
    • I was at a dept meeting today that was like watching Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, and Duck Dynasty all at the same time. Makes no sense.
    • All this garbage IBM is handing out about ' workforce remix' is a big pile of monkey dodo. This is all about last quarters failure to meet wall streets estimates. They are in a big panic because this has implications dealing with the big predictions for Roadkill 2015. I believe IBM may have made some predictions and promises to have $20 per share dividend in 2015. Heaven forbid if that does not happen.

      Politics have very little to do with IBM laying off employees. It's all to do with reducing expenses to keep stock holders happy and increase dividends. IBM is not the innovative company it used to be. The only way they make profits now is by cost reductions and selling off business units. Wouldn't it make more sense to hire more people and produce more of whatever to increase profits and price of stock. IBM management is some of the worst in the corporate world right now. Ginnie put blame on all of the worker bees saying it was their fault for last quarters results and they had to step up and work harder and smarter. Worker bees just do what they are told to do by management. Put the blame where it really belongs. Upper management where the strategy and business plans are put together.

    • You are right, under the current IBM management their is just NO innovation. I kept getting moved from failing project to failing project. The only thing they can do is buy other smaller companies and integrate it into their portfolio (lotus, Rational, etc). Once other smaller companies realize they can make more money teaming with other smaller companies, IBM will be done.
    • Although, I think the layoffs have more to do with bonus' for the execs than shareholders. Ginny made up to 90% (14.5 million) of her 2012 income on bonus', stock options, etc. This all about them and their bonus'. If IBM goes under in 10 years, they don't care. They have millions in the bank and can retire in style.
    • What is the deal with the rumors that IBM Rochester isn't cleaning offices anymore? The engineers have to clean their own offices. I don't understand why IBM execs who already make WAY TOO MUCH money can't give a couple of minimum wage jobs back to the community. Are they just planning on closing the Rochester Site altogether?
  • KTTC-TV (Rochester, MN): IBMer after the purge: "No one is immune". By Noel Sederstrom. Excerpts: In the wake of the latest "resource action" at IBM's massive computer research, development and manufacturing complex in northwest Rochester, there's now a familiar and recognizable numbness among those who have been passed over for termination. They are now pushing away that sense of dread many IBMers know so well when Big Blue gets ready to re-invent itself.

    "Everything is hush hush like always," said one IBM Rochester employee. "Usually we knew who was affected and now it's like top secret and it makes one wonder why. I've had people asking me if I am safe. I know MFG (Manufacturing) got hit hard. Sad day yesterday as RAs continue every year."

    "Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model," said Doug Shelton, an IBM spokesman. "Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans."

    Shelton's statement was identical to the one used in Australia two weeks ago, when a woman speaking for IBM was attempting to explain an initiative dubbed Project Mercury, a company effort that might result in the loss of some 200 jobs there. ...

    Silence is a requirement for leaving the computer giant with a severance package, so it is rare for any IBM workers on the chopping block to offer insights let alone to speak out. However, a blog maintained by the Communication Workers of America has proven to be one of the best ways for outside observers to track work force cuts by IBM around the globe. The CWA has been trying to organize a union inside IBM. ...

    If reports on the Alliance@IBM web site are on the mark, the cuts in the Systems Technology Group (STG) might reach 25 percent. RAs in STG in Canada began on Tuesday with workers given 30 days notice, with more cuts set for Wednesday; one-on-one meetings are reported from STG units in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, where all server developers reportedly have been cut, at Burlington, Vermont, and at San Jose, California. Other IBM units said to be targeted are the Software Group at sites in Littleton, Massachusetts and East Fishkill, New York. More cuts reports at Austin, Texas... Poughkeepsie, New York... and Chicago. And other layoffs are reported in the United Kingdom.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Unfortunately, the company does not respect its employees. Big Blue used to speak of respect for the individual. However, it's now all about profits and not the employees. My heart goes out to all of you, those left behind and those moving on. The anxiety levels are high in both groups. But there is life after IBM! Move forward, and keep on going!
    • IBM dumped me about 5 years ago, but I am glad they did. The last few years at that place were miserable and I found a job in IT that is so much more rewarding and pays more. So there is life after IBM, although it may mean moving too. Good luck to all those affected and don't let it get you down for too long.
    • On one hand, business complained there is not enough technical skills in the US. On the other hand, many tech companies are moving development job overseas. Looks good on the balance sheet in the short term but US companies are slowly losing technical core competence in development and sustainable middle class jobs. IBM is losing many good technical developers. It may be the microcosm of what US will become. IBM, by mixing laying off the younger people in newly acquired companies and the most experienced higher salaried senior people, it can safely avoid age discrimination scrutiny.
    • Sorry to the IBMers who have lost their jobs today. Speaking from experience, go out with your head held high and don't burn bridges behind you. Take advantage of everything you have offered to you. Trust me, life after IBM is so much better than living in fear every day you start work for IBM you will be resourced.
    • And if I was a young, talented person entering the workforce right now I would never consider working for IBM. There is such a thing as life and career and it looks to me that IBM has nothing to offer, on the contrary it is great at ruining careers and lives.
  • Vermont Business News: IBM to layoff workers in Vermont, system-wide Wednesday. Excerpts: IBM officials have told Governor Peter Shumlin that its Vermont plant will be part of a sweeping workforce reduction, with cuts at many of its plants in the United States and Canada. According to a statement from the governor, the number to be laid off in Vermont was not disclosed. IBM has not been revealing its number of employees at the plant based in Essex Junction. Its last report to Vermont Business Magazine was 5,000. But a union official recently told the Burlington Free Press that it was under 4,000. In that Free Press article in May, the union official said layoffs were coming. IBM had announced a $1 billion restructuring in April, which prompted much of the talk of impending layoffs. ...

    The exact number of Vermont workers to be laid off is not clear. IBM, presumed to be the largest for-private private employer in the state with more than 4,000 employees, stopped releasing data on employee numbers in 2010. ...

    Citing competitive reasons, IBM spokesperson Jeff Couture said the company does not publicly discuss the details of its staffing plans. The company reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings in April. “IBM keeps this between IBM and their employees,” said Lawrence Miller, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. He said the number of layoffs apparently is not enough to trigger the federal WARN Act. ...

    Morale is not so high among employees, however — both those laid off and those who will remain at the plant for now. Mongeon described a long process of attrition. He’s been with the company for 35 years, and works with the Alliance as a union organizer.

    “It’s like the bully at the school yard,” Mongeon said. “He comes one day and take takes your lunch money, he comes the next day and takes your lunch, he comes the next and takes something else.”

  • WCAX-TV (Burlington, VT): Layoffs at IBM in Essex Junction. By Gina Bullard. Excerpts: It was a gloomy day for many IBM employees in Essex Junction, as what they've feared for weeks came true. "Honestly, I saw it coming," one laid-off worker said. "All of my friends are there. It's like a second home." For this IBM electrical engineer who wants to remain anonymous, the past 15 years were dedicated to Big Blue.

    "It's hard to deal with the fact that the layoffs are basically saying the shareholders are more important than the employees," the worker said. And with two kids at home something has to give.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • "transformation is an essential feature of our business", yes, so laying off skilled, veteran employees to turn around and hire 3-year temps for a much lower wage, that must be the feature IBM is talking about.
    • IBM‘s (executive model) is to layoff skilled workers for the unskilled. I remember that 4 to 5k were laid off in 2009. Most of their labor is oversees (India) and with Vermont’s unfriendly corporate and property taxes, this plant will soon be a distant memory. Very sad for the folks who have and will lose their jobs.
    • As an IBM contractor, I was let go the last week of April along with quite a few others. Unfortunately, we didn't get 30 days notice. I got 1 day to transition my projects and clean out my desk. I didn't even get paid until the end of the week. Fortunately for me, this was providence as I already found another job and start later this month. As for those complaining about zoning and taxes causing IBM layoffs, that's a bunch of nonsense. IBM can hire 3 Indians for the price of 1 American so they have been planning for years to offshore everything that's not nailed down. What saves the Essex plant is the military semiconductor products which require American workers. While unionization won't prevent the layoffs, at least a union can negotiate working conditions and severance packages. Go IBM Alliance!
    • IBM should start laying off Vermonters or Americans when the last H1B worker is sent back to India or whatever low wage country they came from to take American jobs! IBM's actions have nothing specific to do with Vermont. It is happening all across the country.
    • The way IBM is handling this speaks volumes, so sorry for all those employees that have given decades of their life to a company that can be so cold. I do fear for our state, more intelligent people moving out and of course those looking for handouts are always moving in because of VT's reputation. I encourage people to visit other states, it is refreshing and enlightening!
  • Burlington Free-Press: Layoffs hit IBM, but the numbers stay secret. Nationwide layoffs at Big Blue impact Essex facility. By Dan D’Ambrosio and Lynn Monty. Excerpts: Only IBM knew the scale of layoffs Wednesday in Essex, and the company, true to form, was keeping quiet.

    IBM’s policy is to withhold numbers for employment and for job cuts, and the layoffs in Essex, which were part of nationwide cuts, did not immediately trigger either federal or state reporting requirements. The federal threshold is 500 or more workers in a 30-day period; the state requires notice within 24 hours if 25 or more workers are let go. ...

    Lee Conrad, national coordinator of Alliance@IBM, said he was “swamped” Wednesday with information coming in from across the country from IBM workers who had been laid off. “Every division has been hit,” Conrad said. “We’re getting resource action packages, which list the number of people fired only by division, not by location.” ...

    “IBM once again seems to be keeping all these job cuts secret,” Conrad said. “We’re asking the governors for states such as Vermont to demand IBM be public on these job-cut numbers. It is unconscionable that IBM should be allowed to keep these numbers secret.” ...

    Late Wednesday afternoon, businesses were anticipating the impact.. Rocky’s N.Y. Pizza has served slices to IBM workers for more than a decade. Manager Brandon Longe said the pizza parlor has many regulars from IBM who take their lunch breaks there almost every day. “It’s as simple as: They lose their job, they don’t eat here, we lose money. That’s how it works,” Longe said. “A few have stopped in to tell me they made it. I still don’t know about a few others. I’m worried about them.”

  • New York Newsday: IBM lays off hundreds in Westchester, Dutchess counties in $1 billion restructuring. By Nik Bonopartis. Excerpts: Hundreds of IBM employees in Westchester and Dutchess counties received pink slips Wednesday as the Armonk-based computer giant began a round of layoffs aimed at trimming its U.S. workforce -- part of a $1 billion restructuring. ...

    In Dutchess County, 697 employees lost their jobs, according to Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro. IBM would not confirm the number of cuts which "are all throughout the Hudson Valley and Connecticut as well," Conrad said. The list includes employees at IBM's facilities in Somers, Armonk, East Fishkill and Poughkeepsie, among others.

    Molinaro said 328 of the jobs lost were in Poughkeepsie and the other 369 were in East Fishkill. Westchester County had not received information on the number of layoffs as of Wednesday evening, said Ned McCormack, spokesman for County Executive Rob Astorino. Local jobs eliminated Wednesday include positions with IBM's systems technology group and global business services, Conrad said. Employees from the former work with IBM's server unit and research and development, while systems technology employees work directly with clients, Conrad said. ...

    The company did not return calls on Wednesday but said in a statement, "Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model. Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans."

    Conrad said at least some of the jobs will be moved overseas to make up for lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings and to placate shareholders. IBM has discontinued the practice of publicly announcing layoffs by location and instead compiles those numbers by division in its earnings reports.

    Alliance@IBM is asking Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to pressure IBM to release the layoff figures for New York, particularly in light of tax breaks the company enjoys from the state. Conrad said. "Frankly, we believe the governor of New York should be demanding IBM release these numbers," he said. "This stuff should be transparent." Cuomo's office did not return a call seeking information. ...

    The company is probably cutting 6,000 to 8,000 jobs globally, based on the $1 billion cost figure, said Laurence Balter, an analyst at Oracle Investment Research in Fox Island, Wash. That would represent less than 2 percent of IBM's total workforce of 434,246 as of Dec. 31. ...

    IBM also has been cutting hours of its contract employees. CDI Corp., a Philadelphia-based provider of staffing and outsourcing services, told its staff working for IBM to limit their hours in May, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg. IBM at the time said that the company relies on contractors to manage labor costs on information-technology projects for clients.

  • WRAL TechWire (Raleigh): Analyst speculates IBM is cutting up to 8,000 jobs; cuts are global. IBM the world’s largest computer-services provider, began cutting jobs in the U.S. and around the world Wednesday as part of a global restructuring plan announced in April, IBM acknowledged and workers reported. Based on data gathered from around the world, Alliance at IBM estimates several thousand cuts already have been made or are planned.

    The company is probably cutting 6,000 to 8,000 jobs globally, based on the $1 billion cost figure, said Laurence Balter, an analyst at Oracle Investment Research in Fox Island, Washington. That would represent less than 2 percent of IBM’s total workforce of 434,246 as of Dec. 31.

  • WRAL Techwire (Raleigh:): Source: 'Hundreds' of IBMers in NC hit with layoff notices. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: In what WRALTechWire is told is a "broad-based" restructuring across IBM, "hundreds" of North Carolina workers received layoff notices Wednesday. Layoffs affect all levels of management across the company. While no formal announcement has been made outside the company and no notice has yet been filed with the state of North Carolina through a so-called WARN notice, a source who is very familiar with the restructuring tells WRALTechWire that IBM's Tar Heel State workforce is taking a heavy hit.

    Latest estimates are that IBM employs about 7,000 people in Research Triangle Park and about 10,000 across the state. IBM no longer discloses how many workers it has at any location, citing competitive reasons. ...

    "Though we certainly don’t have a specific approved action, this [re-balancing] will result in a charge that will additionally impact the operating EPS we report," Loughridge explained. "Like all years, we have a number of actions planned to improve the business for the long-term, acquiring and divesting businesses and re-balancing our resources. This results in charges in the second quarter and gains in the second half, which we expect will roughly offset for the year."

  • The Journal News: Laid-off IBM workers will be in demand, business leaders say. Region expected to recover quickly. Excerpts: IBM’s job eliminations in Westchester County, whatever their ultimate number, will not have a great negative local impact, business groups said Thursday. ...

    Armonk-based IBM began laying off more than 700 workers in Dutchess and Westchester counties on Wednesday as part of a global restructuring in the second quarter. ...

    On Wednesday, the company officially informed the state Department of Labor that 697 people would be laid off at two locations in East Fishkill and Poughkeepsie. It gave state officials no figures for Westchester County. ...

    State law requires companies with more than 50 employees to warn New York state 90 days in advance if they are laying off 33 percent of their workforce or more than 250 workers from a single site. ...

    Bob Knight, a spokesman for the Westchester County Association, a business advocacy group, concurred. “IBM employees are among the most sought-after labor force in the nation,” he said. “We feel they’ll be on the bench only a short amount of time.”

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM Cuts 697 Jobs in Dutchess; Part of Nationwide Action. Excerpts: The effects of the shaky economy has hit Dutchess County once again. The future of hundreds of local families is unclear after IBM cut 697 jobs in Dutchess County, according to a statement from the office of County Executive Marc Molinaro. ...

    Based on information coming into Dutchess' Workforce Investment Board, IBM cut 328 employees at Poughkeepsie and 369 at East Fishkill. It appears to be the largest downsizing at IBM in Dutchess for years. ...

    IBM issued a statement from spokesman Douglas Shelton that neither confirmed nor denied the downsizing, but spoke of "workforce remix."

    "Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model. Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans," the statement said.

    "IBM is investing in growth areas for the future: Big Data, cloud computing, social business and the growing mobile computing opportunity. The company has always invested in transformational areas, and as a result we need to remix our skills so IBM can lead in these higher-value segments in both emerging markets and in more mature economies," Shelton said.

    Tom Midgley, president of the Alliance@IBM, who works for IBM in Dutchess County, said details of the downsizing were still coming in, but he was sure of two things. "It's big, and it's agonizing for employees to go through this."

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Dutchess County and Marc Molinaro need to demand from IBM: tell us the workforce numbers in both East Fishkill and Poughkeepsie after this reduction in force action. Otherwise, you lose PILOT and tax breaks given based on employment numbers. Stop the obfuscating of the workforce numbers. It has nothing to do with being or trying to be "competitive" IBM!

      Mr. Shelton (IBM communicator?) are you a real person or a recording talking head? You always say the same thing which amounts to nothing but drivel.

    • I remember the day back when, when IBM would never lay off or fire some one...What has this company gone to?? My mom, brother worked for IBM years ago with never a threat of a layoff or job cut.. Now my nephew who has worked there for many years faces the sword....so sad to hear all this.
    • That Pilot program is really paying off, eh Dutchess County? And Douglas Shelton is spewing the same BS about the IBM workforce. Well, watch housing prices plummet again as 600 homes go on the market in the Hudson Valley. The only good thing about this Resource Action is some Directors, 2nd Line and 1st line Managers were included. So the Kool-Aid they drank over the years finally got them!!!
    • I'm glad I quit that place before it killed me...terrible company to work for.
    • When will NYS take away the huge tax breaks? My heart goes out to each family affected.
    • How many layoffs in India?
  • Poughkeepsie Journal editorial: IBM layoffs slap area with challenge. Excerpts: Think of it: At one point IBM employed more than 30,000 people at plants in the Town of Poughkeepsie, East Fishkill and Kingston before the company shuttered the facility in Ulster County in the 1990s. Many other downsizings have happened since then, and it is estimated that after this latest round of layoffs, IBM will have perhaps 7,000 workers in Dutchess County. IBM has callously stopped releasing information about the actual number of its workforce at particular locations.

    IBM did issue a statement that neither confirmed nor denied the latest downsizing, but spoke of a “workforce remix.” Such euphemisms are an affront to the hundreds of people in Dutchess County who found out today that they will be losing their jobs in the next few months.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal: 'I knew I was doomed,' says 1 worker who was laid off. By John W. Barry. Excerpts: The Journal heard from several IBMers Wednesday who said they were part of the company’s massive “resource action,” the term it uses for workforce reduction. They requested anonymity.

    One man, who has worked at several IBM sites, including in Dutchess, knew months ago that bad news was inevitable.

    “I knew I was doomed last year,” he said, “when they said the matching 401(k) money that IBM usually gives in the bi-weekly paychecks would only be given in December now, to employees who still remained with the company in December. I knew they would take this opportunity to get rid of me before this December.” ...

    In 1984, IBM boasted a workforce of 31,300 in its three mid-Hudson plants. But in 1993, fiscal losses and the rapid pace of technological change forced IBM into an era of massive downsizing and the mid-Hudson sites dropped 8,300 employees. In 1995, the Kingston site closed.

  • CRN (Australia): IBM begins global redundancy programme. By Andrew Birmingham. Excerpts: IBM is expected to lay off between 6000 and 8000 staff over the next 12 months as the company aggressively readjusts its costs. The Australian operation is expected to shed 200 jobs under a programme called project Mercury with some reports suggesting the local redundancies have already begun. ...

    The company is taking a beating online from employees and former employees with the website ibmemployee.com aggregating some of the commentary.

    "IBM's treatment of its employees has been in decline for over a decade. Some of their offices are so poor, the roofs leak in to 50 gallon drums in the hall ways. The lights are so dim you would think the buildings are shut down. Toilet stall doors hanging off broken hinges with locks that don't lock. " wrote one disgruntled employee. "Morale has been low for a long time. The only thing keeping the employees working is fear. They are getting close to the breaking point, I'm sure there will be backlash from those that are left. Its like a ghetto in there and I am not exaggerating. "A far cry from the 60's and 70's when 'human capital' was the most important resource of the company. Now it is just another expenditure. All in the name of profits so the executives can get their latest toys."

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "The Count So Far" by Alliance@IBM, posted by Kathi Cooper. Full excerpt: It has been a sad day for many IBM employees.

    The news came quickly Wednesday morning that job cuts had begun. So many employees went to the Alliance web site for information and to post job cut reports that it was down many times.

    Many of you posted your job cut reports to us and we thank you and we are sorry for your job loss.

    Others sent us their RA packs so we can validate and count the number of IBM workers being fired.

    This is the list so far:

    • STG Storage Systems Development: 121
    • Corporate Marketing and Communications: 83
    • Software Group Tivoli: 98
    • Software Group WW services and Education: 22
    • STG Semiconductor Research and Development: 165
    • SO Delivery Integrated Competencies: 46
    • GPS Solutions and Delivery: 116
    • Software Group Marketing: 222
    • Research: 65 GBS
    • AMS Global Account: 123
    • STG Operations and Transformation: 34
    • Software Group NA Software Sales: 62
    • Software Group Information Management: 137
    • Software Group Industry Solutions: 126

    TOTAL: 1420

    If there have been RA's not listed here that you have packs for, please email to the Alliance@IBM at ibmunionalliance@... Thank you. The Alliance@IBM officers and members. Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701 • 19 Julian Street • Binghamton, NY 13905. www.endicottalliance.org

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Is the RA over yet?" by "user32167". Full excerpt: Yes I am in fact a newbie in IBM Canada. Came here for some months.

    I was given the impression that IBM is about innovation and "the people" from that "Succeeding in IBM" orientation and then this RA came and shattered my utopian view of IBM :(

    It feels like one of those dystopic universes where there is a seemingly serene community with a periodic cull that drag people kicking and screaming into the dark. sigh.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: From The Alliance" by "band58". Full excerpt: For what it is worth, I sent this to my Representative and 2 Senators:
    So, we just passed a new law increasing the number of foreign workers that will be provided visas for their technical skills. Today, IBM fired hundreds/thousands of technical workers, many from our great State.

    What do you plan to do to assure these American and North Carolina workers are hired prior to a new visas being approved?

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Did IBM do that?...and then there's TFL.." by "prof732". Full excerpt: The perception problem became internal as well. At a meeting in the early 90's, I heard about how IBM was in trouble and what we needed to do to "regain our position" as the leader in the I/T industry. I had a real issue with that statement; you become what you believe you are. I asked, if IBM was not still the leader, who had taken their place? Answers included Microsoft and the like. Although the folks from Redmond were doing quite well exploiting a market that someone in IBM failed to see, in what is arguably one of the poorest decisions ever made in the industry, there's simply no way that Microsoft or anyone else approached IBM as the leader, then or now.

    We were all asked to work hard, to keep IBM successful. I had no problem with that. What ensued was a remarkably profitable period for all of high-tech, and what is indeed unconscionable was the transfer of wealth from those who had devoted their lives and skills to the success of the organization, to those who most likely had not. The pension fund, alone, made enough money during that period to ensure retirement at the levels advertised in the "About Your Company" documents when we hired and yes I still have them.

    Certainly IBM was feeling the effects of the shift in I/T spending, but I'm extremely skeptical of the repeated claims that IBM was about to go under, declare bankruptcy, etc. IBM had unequaled brand recognition and there was plenty of money to be made. Hardware became a commodity, and services were in demand. History proves this to be so. Those who thought that IBM's fortune was tied to the mainframe, and mainframe software, may have believed that failure was imminent. Rumors of even that death were, as they say, greatly exaggerated. I have a hard time believing that the Cookie Man knew enough about I/T to understand the trends, much less have a vision of the future. It is the talented, creative workforce of IBM that saved the company, if there was any saving to do. Stop giving that clown credit, he didn't do anything a first-line manager of any worth would not have known to do. Dancing Elephants, my eye.

    So, the bell tolled, we answered the call, great amounts of money came in, the pension fund grew by leaps and bounds thanks to returns on investments. The money went somewhere, just not to we the loyal employees who kept things profitable. Follow the money, and the truth will out.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Did IBM do that?...and then there's TFL..." by "jpmcclu". Full excerpt: I, too, recall the years leading up to 1993. The consolidations, followed by the workforce reductions.

    I have fond memories, of the hard working people I was teamed up with during those years. I had the pleasure of "growing up" with so many before the bubble exploded.

    A side note on Mr. Gerstner. I recall seeing his net worth published at around $630 Million (US) at one point. I would surmise, that a good chunk of that was from the thousands of employees that were let go; or the pension shenanigans that took place.

    That's just my take, on the observations I made, after I left the company.

    I see thousands more are affected by this latest round of RA's taking place.

    I can only say to those people: there is life after Big Blue. Stay strong, and utilize all the tools provided during your transition. Jim.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Is the RA over yet?" by Paul Sutera. Full excerpt: As one who has survived countless R/As, including the massive bloodletting of 1991-1994, it always feels like the end of the world. I still remember a woman of 40 in 1992, who had 20 years of service - for her salary and age and years of service, her pension would have been miniscule. She lived in a remote mountain area - a long commute to any good jobs, but was working in IBM Kingston. Now I pass Kingston IBM, and see the weeds in the parking lot where a younger me walked at lunchtime, good and bad weather.

    I'm sad for people who have worked so hard only to be thrown over the moat often with little money or benefits. In the face of so many "wrongs", human goodness still shines through. The decency and human goodness of my IBM colleagues radiates above and beyond the senseless, soulless corporate life. If it feels like the end of the world, congratulations on having a good soul! Now many souls organized into a union could make layoffs a little pricier for IBM.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Is the RA over yet?" by "scan356". Full excerpt: IBM is not frightened about skill loss. You and everyone else selected to be laid off in both Poughkeepsie and Fishkill got three months notice because IBM exceeded the limit in the New York WARN act.

    A layoff exceeding 250 at a work site in any 30 day period by law requires 90 days notification to those affected. IBM also had to report the numbers to Dutchess County officials - 328 layoffs in Pok and 369 in Fishkill, both well above WARN limits in NY.

    If you look at the messages on the Alliance site you will find that almost everyone outside the Hudson Valley got 30 days notice, not 90. If any individual has critical skills, IBM provides individual extensions, usually 30 days at a time, to get work finished up.

  • CrowdWorx: IBM plans to lay off 70% of employees for crowdsourcing. According to several media reports (Reuters », Techgig »), IBM plans a huge job reduction and restructuring of their workforce. This plan incorporates the release of up 300,000 of its employees (ca. 70% of its worldwide workforce) and then rehiring them as freelancers without the social benefits of a full-time worker.

    We, at CrowdWorx, think that this is not the way things should work with crowdsourcing. We believe, employees do not have to be fired in order to crowd source their potential. Our own crowdsourcing approach shows how employee-based crowdsourcing » can work effectively. In our approach the crowdsourcing happens within the company. This is in contrast to traditional crowdsourcing, which is used to gather inputs from consumers or external experts.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "RA announced in STG" by "trexibmer". Full excerpt: Good Luck to all those who are going or have been RAed. You deserve better.

    IBM management responsible for the bad 2nd QTR deserve to be RAed: to much that is given; much is expected. But they survive and "your selected to participate in the RA" as a martyr.

    The Alliance has told you the RA will be coming. The Alliance told the truth. But many IBMers still doubted. IBM CFO lied in the timing of the USA RAs by putting it off as long as IBM has. Now you need to believe no employee is safe and has been safe.

    LIFE IS NOT GOOD now for those in IBM, whether RAed now or not.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: RA announced in STG" by Paul Sutera. Full excerpt: There are still areas in IBM USA that have never seen an R/A. Just the occasional employee sniper'd out in a random drive-by R/A. Over 100 in STG Storage Development (that's disk-drives, folks, a core-business for IBM for many decades). Remember, profits dropped 1% in the first quarter... as might be expected with Europe in recession. What is 1% of our profits? About equal to Ginny and a senior VPs (or two's) compensation package.

    I think many areas will see R/A's tomorrow that have never seen them before. The savvy people who are the Alliance, we know more about what is happening in the company than many 1st or 2nd line managers. This is scorched earth desperation, folks, Ginny is locked onto Sam's promise: She'll get to $20 earnings per share and she'll destroy the company to do it.

    The whole crew at the top has to go. But in the end, great people will be sacrificed instead. Read how Ginny thinks: We chose not to give raises in an entire country because we calculated that we wouldn't lose that many critical employees. I don't know about you, but when I get a raise, even a small one, I usually work harder. Sociopaths at the Helm, Barbarians at the Gate.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: RA announced in STG" by "trexibmer". Full excerpt: Paul S, agree with your assessment of the present IBM! Yeah, IBM CHQ (Armonk, Somers, NY) is an example of those groups that narry see a real RA. Would like to see a Sr. VP or two get the REAL boot this time (same RA as the employees) but they'll get that platinum or diamond parachute since they are just about all past retirement eligible (30+ years) like MacD. Most of the Sr. VP's got the SERP since IBM stressed to death that they had to retain these folks to supposedly stay competitive so they dare not lose any of them. Ha! Lose them to who? What ever happened to Socks Bouchard, Thoman, Conrades, Hancock, etc. Where did they go? Lou punched them out with his three fingered punch.

    No wonder Sam bolted: couldn't finally master a song on the Nero violin. Ginni is the fall gal now. Maybe she see if Jack Akers can give her a tip or so, eh?

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: RA announced in STG" by "bk2006pc". Full excerpt: All IBM & HP employees should send a letter and your resume to Mike Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, Obama, Charl Schummer and speaker and let them know that there no shortage of technical skilled workers in USA, and IBM is crying only to import cheap temps.
  • The Register: CIA spooks picked Amazon's "superior" cloud over IBM. Procurement report reveals tech gap in cloud cold war. By Jack Clark. Excerpts: The CIA picked Amazon over IBM for a lucrative government contract not because of price, but because of the company's "superior technical solution" – a view that contrasts with IBM's vision of itself as the go-to tech organization for governments.

    The revelation came to light on Friday when the US Government Accountability Office released a partially-redacted report that outlined the reasons for why the spooks plumped for Amazon over IBM for a $600m private cloud contract, and why IBM protested this decision. ...

    Although Amazon came in with an evaluated annual price of $148 million per year versus IBM's $94 million, the CIA chose Amazon for its technical sophistication, the report says.

    "While IBM's proposal offered an evaluated [deleted] price advantage over 5 years, the [source selection authority] concluded that this advantage was offset by Amazon’s superior technical solution," the report says. ...

    Given IBM's recent anointment of OpenStack as the preferred platform for its SmartCloud technology, the fact that OpenStack is several years behind Amazon Web Services in capability, and the lackluster take-up of SmartCloud so far, and even the recently acquired SoftLayer bare metal cloud, we reckon that Amazon's technical dominance over IBM is likely to hold true for some time to come.

  • Washington Post: Not happy at your job? Your company is paying for it in innovation potential. By Vivek Wadhwa. A Nov. 2011 paper from European Union-backed academic institution evoREG makes the case that happiness is both integral to the innovation process and oddly enough simultaneously misunderstood. The authors find happiness to be both an input factor as well as an output factor of the innovation process. In other words, happiness leads to more innovation, and when directed properly, innovation creates more happiness for societies. ...

    The biggest, single factor inhibiting innovation, says Rao, is fear of the consequences. Thus a human resources manager will not engage a new trainer with an unusual approach because anything new is going to be disruptive to some degree. And if senior managers do not like the change and/or will not wait to see the benefits, his or her evaluation could suffer. It’s better to be safe , follow precedent, and go with what has been established as the norm. ...

    This is, for example, what held IBM back for decades. Customers didn’t buy IBM products because they were the best or cheapest but because, as the old corporate IT saying goes, no one ever got fired for buying IBM. But in the late ‘80s the company got into serious trouble. It could no longer ignore the changes that were happening in the computing industry. To survive, it had to reinvent itself. ...

    In a 2004 paper titled “The Role of Psychological Well Being in Job Performance: A New Look at and Age Old Quest”, Thomas Wright and Russell Crapanzano documented that employees at research and development facilities and in inherently creative positions are more likely to be innovative when their self-reported psychological well-being, or happiness in other words, is high.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "An approach to time off that differs "a bit" from IBM's" by "alwaysontheroad4bigblue". Full excerpt: From http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/09/need-more-time-off-from-work-just-buy-it/. Excerpts: "Want more time off work to hang out at the beach? Need a little cash and have vacation days to spare?"

    "Some companies allow their workers to buy and sell vacation time, a perk that gives workers more flexibility in managing their time off." ...

    "Sandi Winant, a 24-year employee at financial services company USAA in Colorado Springs, said she buys a week of extra vacation time every year to work on a side business selling salsas and dips at festivals and events around country. She plans to pursue the business when she retires in a year or two."

    "It's spread out over a whole year's paycheck so you don't even notice it," she said. "This gives me that extra padding to do what I want." Jeff Weiss, senior vice president of benefits at San Antonio-based USAA, said about 41 percent of the company's 25,000 employees bought vacation time last year, while 11 percent sold it."

    "We think time off is actually critical to productivity," Weiss said. "When people take their time off to refresh and renew, we believe they service the members more effectively."

    So, how does IBM handle time off? At least in Global Services, you are expected to "make up" your vacation, sick time, doctor's appointments, holidays, etc., to "pay back" the company for your time off! With expected utilization rates in excess of 100%, in fact, you need to "pay back" Ginni for not only your "time off", but provide free overtime in excess of 2080 hours per year!

    What a great company!

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • "What has happened to this company?” Project Manager (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Flexible schedule, home office, moderate pressure to meet targets.

      Cons: Exaggerated bureaucracy, lack of challenges, misleading strategy.

      Advice to Senior Management: Upper management should stop focusing on achieving quarterly earnings per share goals only and start valuing its intellectual capital - people! IBM is no longer what it used to be; it has no clear strategy, some ridiculous (to say the least) initiatives (like Liquid - what a waste - and New Graduate Hires) and a bad, bad way to handle financial crisis ("resource actions" rather than cutting bureaucracy). At some point, executives will need to understand people are not just numbers and they DO make the difference. Walk the talk, guys!

      Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Slow moving, stuck in the past, and full of never-ending processes” Software Engineer (Current Employee), Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for less than a year. Pros: Work from home was allowed at any time, no questions asked. No hour tracking or anyone making sure I was meeting quotas as long as I was getting my work done.

      Cons: The team moved slowly, and individually. There was no sense of teamwork or camaraderie, only individuals with tasks. This was exacerbated by the fact that upper management was forcing the departments into Agile, which led to employees used to doing waterfall to simply do waterfall with iterations. Agile was used entirely as an hour tracking tool for the bosses to send angry emails every day based on their pointless charts, which were based on numbers that everyone was making up.

      As a 20 something, being the only one in a sea of long time employees with the next youngest employee being in their 30s is a bit of a shock. The fact that IBM only hires college hires or internal makes for the young ones to want to leave, and the internals to result in an echo chamber where no one advances the team. To have to use a version control system whose last major update was in 1995 is insane and will scare off any new talent to a more modern company (where modern in this case could be someone using CVS.)

      Advice to Senior Management: Start upgrading your processes for the modern world. You are competing with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon in talent acquisition, which means your processes need to be competitive as well.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Really not very good” Systems Engineer (Former Employee). I worked at IBM as a contractor for more than a year. Pros: Exposure to some good technology. Cons: Dog-eat-dog attitude, over-worked, under paid, unhappy people, three rounds of redundancies in as many years, no external hiring unless you're a grad student or tupe'd in. Advice to Senior Management: It is not just about share profit and whipping workers until morale improves. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • IBM takes many 401k matches away in latest $1B layoff” Advisory Software Engineer (Former Employee), Research Triangle Park, NC. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: It's a job and if you like working your life away, go ahead and accept an offer from this company.

      Cons: IBM won't pay 401k match until 12/31 and only if you you are employed on 12/15. IBM just laid off $1B worth of people. This saved IBM a boat load of money.

      Advice to Senior Management: Look up the Golden Rule mentioned in the Bible.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Greedy, unorganized and out of touch with reality.” Web Manager (Current Employee), Boston, MA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: Working form home. Flexible hours if you work from home.

      Cons: 70% of this company is now in India. IBM buys companies with no clue what their products are. They lay everyone off 6 months after you help them integrate onto IBM. Internal IBM programs have no manuals and no tech support. Help desk is in India where no one speaks English. Simple tasks take weeks to complete. IBM does not care about professional development. Upper management does not even get to speak to developers, ever.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop being greedy and value your employees more.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Worst Employer Ever Stay Away don't waste your time” General Dogs Body (Former Employee), St Leonards (Australia). I worked at IBM as a contractor for more than a year. Pros: Nil, there is no reason to work here.

      Cons: People are disposable, don't bother going the extra mile, they don't care or appreciate it, it's expected. Then when they have no further use for you they make you redundant. Especially the ANZ Law Department, 8 redundancies at the same time they were recruiting. The replacements started on the same day the staff who were made redundant were leaving—poor form IBM!

      Advice to Senior Management: Get rid of the lot of them, all in it for what they can get, they don't put in leave forms and take leave, they then accumulate their leave balances and take extended breaks. Oh and if you're a woman, don't get pregnant, as soon as you do they want you gone.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Big Blue is following the wrong drummer” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee), Research Triangle Park, NC. I have been working at IBM as a contractor. Pro: Still innovating after all these years, IBM manages to keep enough technical seers around to stay technically competitive in new and in some older tightening markets.

      Cons: Big Blue has long forgotten what made it great - its employees. It used to hire only the best and keep them on board by making it worth their time. Now its ranks are full of laid-off former IBMers, a sea of gray heads. The facilities and equipment used by engineers are just as ancient. The place is awash with defunct computers, chairs, desks, bathroom facilities, you name it. It is messy since they cut back their janitorial staff to just one pass a week. No doubt some bean counter is quite happy with this, but it tugs the morale down just a bit more. Most important in all of this is that IBM has forgotten that they produce more than a bottom line. Especially when that bottom line is sagging, it's most important to stay competitive as an employer to continue to hire the bright new stars of tomorrow's technology.

      Advice to Senior Management: Shaking the tree has always been important to get rid of deadwood, but so is doing it right. Letting bean counters drive your employment strategies is like handing the chain saw to a firewood salesman when you are considering pruning your orchard. The salesman just sees wood, but the wise orchard owner remembers the potential fruit first and foremost. Fire some bean counters and hire some technical strategists for a change. Remodel IBM as a small growth company.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend, I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Experiences differ by line of business - this is a GBS review” IT Architect (Current Employee), London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: You get to work with some of the best people in the industry. The work is varied, interesting and challenging. Cons: Corporate overheads, admin, expectations, measurements against targets are all very onerous. Over the years the corporation has moved to a self service model in order to save money. Gone are the dedicated travel booking people, dedicated admin support staff, cleaners and office maintenance. Advice to Senior Management: Empower the workforce more, stop treating everyone like children when it comes to cost management policy and remove some of the over the top administration burdens from people.

      Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Future doesn't look too good” Senior Design Verification Engineer (Current Employee), Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Good work/life balance. Flexible working hours. Cons: Low rewards for top performance. Advice to Senior Management: Stop firing good engineers.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • Going down” Systems Analyst (Current Employee), Dublin (Ireland). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Flexible work arrangements e.g. work from home. Lots of internal opportunities. Good people. Cons: Low pay; High uncertainty (regular resource actions); Out of hours support; High performance and long hours expected, but not compensated. Advice to Senior Management: Treat your staff better. Remember where you came from.

      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans: Friday Alert. This week's articles include:
    • Momentum Continues to Build Ahead of July 2nd Human Chain Day of Action
    • Did Your U.S. Rep. Vote for the Extremist Republican Study Committee Budget?
    • New York Times Editorial Board Comes Out Against Social Security Cuts
    • Mississippi Republicans Risk Entire Medicaid Program to Avoid Vote on Expansion
    • Medicare Must Retain Crucial Protections against “Balance Billing”
    • Average Household Income of American Seniors is Precariously Low
  • New York Times editorial: What’s Next for Social Security? Excerpts: The trustees of Social Security recently reported that the retirement system can pay full benefits until 2035, when it will be able to pay about three-fourths of promised benefits. That is not a crisis. It is a manageable problem.

    The system needs to be restored to long-term health, but policy makers must realize that broad-based benefit cuts are not really a viable option. For most people, the ability to finance a secure retirement has been ruined by stagnating wages, repeated stock market busts, diminished home equity and weakened or nonexistent pensions. Social Security, whose average monthly retirement benefit is $1,268, is pretty much all that is left. Most people age 65 and older get two-thirds to all of their income from Social Security.

    And yet, in the deficit-obsessed, anti-tax world of Washington, closing the shortfall in Social Security has come to mean broadly cutting benefits. That would be a mistake. Targeted cuts — like lower payouts for upper-income recipients who live longer and draw larger benefits — could improve the system’s finances and fairness.

    But those who promote across-the-board cuts are not interested in strengthening the system. They want to reduce the budget deficit. And even though Social Security is not a cause of today’s deficits, they would rather cut benefits than improve the system’s finances by imposing tax increases on higher-income taxpayers or phasing in a modest payroll tax increase over decades.

    The focus on benefit cuts also conveniently ignores the fact that benefits are already shrinking. Under current law, benefits are being reduced by the higher retirement age, which has been gradually rising from 65 to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. That translates into lower monthly benefits for those who retire at 65 or fewer years of benefits for those who work until 67. For example, a worker entitled to a $1,000 monthly benefit upon retirement at age 67 will get only $867 if he or she retires at 65.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site
  • Job cuts have begun. So Far in North America:
    • STG Storage Systems Development: 121
    • STG lab Services and Tech Training: 52
    • STG Test Site Design: 59
    • STG SSE Intellectual Property: 64
    • BT/IT CIO Enterprise Transformation: 4
    • Corporate Marketing and Communication: 83
    • Software Group Tivoli: 98
    • Software group WW Services and Education: 22
    • STG Semiconductor Research and Dev: 165
    • SO Delivery Integrated Competencies: 46 GPS
    • Solutions and Delivery: 116
    • Software Group Marketing: 222
    • Research: 65
    • GBS AMS IBM Global Account: 123
    • STG Operations and Transformation:
    • 34 Software Group NA Software Sales: 63
    • SO sectors (GSSR): 31
    • Software Group Information Management: 137
    • Software group Industry Solutions: 126
    • STG High Speed links, Cores and Memory: 67
    • SO Delivery HQ Cloud Development and Delivery: 40
    • GBS AMS Commercial Delivery: 27
    • STG Power Software Development: 64
    • GBS PS Business Analytics: 39
    • STG Pureflex & System X Software Development: 32
    • STG Advanced Microelectronics Solutions: 114
    • STG Worldwide Client Care: 30
    • STG IBM 1
    • Development: 60
    • TG System Z Software Development: 45
    • Software Group Security: 22
    • Software Group Collaboration: 115
    • Total cut so far: 2286
  • Job Cut Reports
    • Comment 06/12/13: Was just informed I was impacted by the RA. Just turned 64 on Saturday. Happy Birthday from IBM. Would have been 13 years in September. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Well, add another to the list... SWG... Littleton... Lotus... after 17 years. Seniority means nothing, but I knew that already. I think I'm relieved. -Lost In Littleton-
    • Comment 06/12/13: SWG ICS Littleton 21+ years, had a feeling this was going to happen and made plans for my escape. I had a good long run and will miss the many IBM friends I have made. -Auf Wiedersehen-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Austin, Texas I am 54 years old with 28 years of service (a 2nd choicer) who was just notified this morning that I have been RAed. I was told that 4 of 9 people in my department have been affected by the layoff. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Got resourced today. GA in Wichita, KS. 24 Years. -AlmostRelieved-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'ed in Ottawa - Software Group -Cognos w/13+ years of service -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Got RA'd today. Littleton. SWG. 14 yrs. Expecting the inevitable for the last 5. Planned ahead - I'm OK. Hope you all fare well. -bpig-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'ed at BTV STG. It's all good though. Lots of good contacts in local industries. -Vermont Vet-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Mangers and others in the Linux Technology Center have been cut. Morale and productivity is in the toilet. -LTC Too-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Just got the call. I am not affected this time, but confirmed it is happening all over. Wish they would give numbers but of course not. My buddies are calling saying they got the package. Crazy day. Seems odd to me they would do it in the middle of the month like this. Doesn't it? What's up with that? -NA-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA's in Research - 64 in total, most in their 50's and 60's. 40 years in IBM - its a tale of 2 IBMs - the "old" with respect for the individual, and the "new" where employees = costs. Executives seem to think that cutting employees solves all of the problems, forgetting that the company IS the employees and not their brilliant machinations. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: R/A'd in Tucson. Last day 07/12 -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: This is not exactly a job cut post. I retired 3 years ago, but I want to comment on your page about the US employee headcount. Alliance estimates headcount for 2012 to be 91,000, not counting 3,700 exec's. That is an exec for every 24.5 employees! If IBM really wants to cut cost and SG&A.. I have a suggestion! -Rusty-
    • Comment 06/12/13: I work for SWG Tivoli, our group is in Austin, I am in NY. Was part of the Candle acquisition 9 years ago. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: My old area in Rochester lost it's last 2 designers. Both had many years with the company. Contract designers not affected. Other areas had workers walked out the door today. Rumor there has it Rochester site will close by the end of 2014. -Gone in 98-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Research was also impacted today. I am one, 23 years. My packet says that 64 in Research were affected, mostly older (>50). -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: I am an ex-IBM employee in Ottawa... I personally know of at least 30 people that have been RA'ed in the Cognos division. Mostly senior people with long service. In talking to others estimates of around 200 people keep popping up. -ANON-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Let go today after 26 years of service. 80% of my dept gone, as well as 80% of sister dept. These cuts were in Essex Junction, Fishkill, and Austin.-Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'd today after 32 years. 3 people in my GTS department impacted. Thought I was prepared but I guess not. Very sad -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: EDA US cut from around 320 to 120 Austin, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie and Burlington -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: SWG Tivoli RA report shows 88 "Employees Selected". I don't know if that is a complete list, but its in the RA package. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Let go from STG in Austin today. 32+ years. -anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: There are apparently so many people banging at the Alliance web site, I have not been able to even get on today. Finally, I am in. Got the call from my boss (GBS AMS) - not impacted this time. However, he said MANY were and to be sensitive. I know of a few outside of my dept in GBS who were hit. Please report numbers. -Anonymous- Alliance reply: You are correct. The server was inundated for 4 hours. We had the Host Service working on it for most of that time. We will be posting the numbers very shortly. So far, it looks to be about 1400+. See our front page for the full list with numbers.
    • Comment 06/12/13: Poughkeepsie Journal reports 697 cuts between Fishkill and Poughkeepsie. 106 out of 310 in my area. I was not cut, but many of my friends were. -Anon in East Fishkill-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Just RA'd. I was cut from STG in Austin, the weekend after my 2 year service mark. The package I received indicates a reduction in workforce by roughly 17% in my area (Power Firmware Development). Hope everyone impacted will find new and better opportunities. Stay sharp, and keep your head up. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Just got RA'd here in RTP after 17 years, lots of 2+ ratings, never below a 2. The halls this afternoon were completely empty and many people were seen emptying out their offices. A deep, deep sense of disappointment with IBM. There was some critical design automation going on for server group at RTP, now it has been totally blown away. I do not see how IBM hardware can survive such cuts. The older engineers were hit the most. My last day is July 12. -Anonymous in RTP-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'd SWG - work from home in Southern CA. Bummer. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: ISC Tucson whole dept gone (4 Engineers 2 techs). Jobs went to GDL MX team 32 years and out the door. -Dan32AndOut
    • Comment 06/12/13: Sad day in East Fishkill today. Heard through the grapevine that at least 100 people are let go in EDA. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Just been reading these posts. Sounds like an ibm massacre organized by mgt. I think I have survived but feel awful about how ibm treats senior talent. The company really does not deserve to exist. Shameful. -massacre-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Laid off from Research in California, 24 years, grateful for the package which provides time to figure out what to do next. -Anon in CA-
    • Comment 06/12/13: After 29 years, I have been RA'ed. I work in MSD. Last week after the big SoftLayer purchase, the director actually told us not to worry about being laid off. That everyone is safe for the foreseeable future. THAT WAS DOWNRIGHT DISHONEST to say that to the entire division when you knew what was coming. The total lack of respect for employees is beyond words. I am going to take my package and run as fast as I can away from this hellhole. After 29 years, let the healing begin. On to greener pastures. -miss_understanding-
    • Comment 06/12/13: 2 people let go from Tivoli Storage Manager Client Development second line organization (2 out of about 60 people total). Manager indicated that cuts were corporate mandated but specific individuals were selected by first line managers based on performance. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: 105 out of 255 in the EDA group from STG -EDA in BTV-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'd after 32 yrs 2+ performer past 4 yrs STG Burlington -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: AMS IBM Global Account ..120 RAed -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: To all US IBM employees effected by today's RA or not - Contact your Senators and Congressmen about this RA, IBM's employee treatment for the past number of years (declining salaries, benefits, and generally poor employment environment) and ask them "If tech companies are laying off, cutting salaries, reducing benefits, and treating people poorly, why is our government tripling, at a minimum, the number of temporary tech workers that can be brought in under the new immigration bill? You want to fight for your rights and stick it to the man at the same time? Call and write your representative and take away the new immigration bill's tech worker expansion that IBM and other tech companies so very much want (to screw over US tech workers more with). -Fire In Babylon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Cut from the Tucson site - STG - July 12 is the end of the 30 days. Max severance package is 26 weeks. There were about 65 cut in my corner of STG. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: My manager that let me go couple years back just got informed he is resourced. Funny how things come around. -LOL-
    • Comment 06/12/13: About 33% of the people on my team and my dept are affected. Talked to my colleagues from the other team they were hit hard too. STG Tucson, software engineer/developer. What a sad day. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: A lot cut in IBM Ottawa (Cognos), a lot who were in the 15-25 years bracket. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: I was just cut from SWG ISSW. I am a remote employee in VA. My last day is July 12th. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: I am a GBS, BAO consultant and been with IBM for 6&1/2 years. I am in Washington, DC. Just received RA. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: At IBM East Fishkill NY Today several people were fired. Including people in the facilities group,tools, MLC, environmental, and engineering. Those left got told “that they were alright for now"! And will have to do more with less!! -Road Kill 2013-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Was RA'd today. Software Group, WebSphere. 12 yrs with IBM. Last day is July 12th. -Anon in Toronto-
    • Comment 06/12/13: WW Demand Programs Content Lead, supporting Rational for CHQ, RA'd today. Came in with an acquisition in 2009. Had no clue, should have paid more attention to analyst reports. -Anon in SoCal-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Incredible amount of cutting in STG Tucson. Will be interesting to see how those left can deliver the releases in the second half of the year. -Dodged-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'd today in San Jose - SWG Division - Glad to be gone! -An IBM Statistic-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'ed today after 26 years from eastfishkill STG -Richh-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA'd today. SWG Littleton Cognos. 10 years experience. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Had requested to be laid off rather than the younger folks in my dept after the 1Q financial report. Manager just told me I wasn't in the RA. But lots of IBMers that need the paycheck have been RAed. Feel terrible - like a concentration camp survivor. -Anon in NY-
    • Comment 06/12/13: My manager pinged me at 4pm today and asked to 'chat'. After 30 years of service. I have been cut. I am in MSD. Last day is July 12th. All this after being re-assured by our 3rd line that no one would be laid off in the foreseeable future. What a crock of horse pucky. Why would someone say that if they KNEW this was coming down the following week. Total lack of respect for the individual. -dun-4-
    • Comment 06/12/13: As seen on local TV, a local start up shopify set up a recruiting booth outside the Ottawa riverside building. I'm told there are about 800 people in the building. Local press reported 200 people were hit. If 4 people can't produce 100%, will the remaining 3 people increase their productivity by 33% overnight? The same complexity and process are still there. Ginny talks about being the essential company. She talks about delivery excellent client experience like AMEX. Shareholder value is just a facade for rescuing underwater stock options. Roadmap 2015 trumps everything including customers. After 10+ years, I'm one of the 200. Also at least 2 VPs and 2 directors were hit. 2 other band d left before RA. This is a massive brain drain in the heart of business Analytics which is one of four strategic growth plays for 2015. -ottawa cognos dude-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Today, IBM Essex Junction, VT. 93 layoff from Engineering department.. I am lucky one of them.. Bye Bye.. IBM.. Hope, My manager will be in 3rd Qtrs.. lay off .. -Tintin-
    • Comment 06/12/13: RA in Columbia MO GDC. No firm numbers yet, or in what pools, but rumor has it that its going to be 10. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Looks like lots of folks got the axe today. Too bad they didn't spend the last few years organizing an NLRB recognized union. Sure, it might not have been able to stop the layoffs, but I'll bet they'd be getting a lot better separation package if they only had that union contract. -Dave Gabry-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Cut from the Tucson site - STG - July 12 is the end of the 30 days. Max severance package is 26 weeks. There were about 65 cut in my corner of STG. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/12/13: EDA and ASICs are being wound down. Can't sell 'em. IBM's visionary plan is higher margins on declining revenues. Yes, that's been the plan for years, but Ginnie's going to make wall street love them again by doing it harder. They won't invest in a business they can't buy. 64 of 159 let go in ASICs IP development. -ASIC-
    • Comment 06/12/13: Approx. 45% of my department within GBS was RA'd today, including me. Most of us have at least 15 years with IBM. All of us "selected" are US employees (SPMs, PMs, and Technical Leads), leading multiple major projects, staffed with 90% global resources. It's a sad day for me personally, foreshadowing a pathetic and shortsighted future for IBM. -Disappointed-
    • Comment 06/12/13: 8 were RA'ed GTS Charlotte today. -Anon-Charlotte-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Austin, 100 let go from Tivoli -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Two of us RA'ed in our group of less than 12! Once again IBM executives blame their Band 6's, 7's and 8's for the ineptitude, ignorance and laziness of their AP's and Partners. This decision is going to blow up in Ginni's face ... she really did not think this one through. -Axed GBS Consultant-
    • Comment 06/13/13: RA'ed after 7.5 years in SWG marketing. Perhaps many employees could have been spared had IBM not spent millions of dollars on an appearance from Peyton Manning and Carrie Underwood at a recent conference. Sounds like financial mismanagement like the IRS scandal. Wonder what Peyton Manning would think of IBM's lousy treatment of it's team? They should hire someone with Peyton's character and intelligence to run IBM. -anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: RA'd today 28 1/2 year. Work remotely in Customer Fulfillment. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: 12 years with STG. RA'd today. Oh well....life will go on. To all in the same boat as me....keep your head up. IBM is not the only game in town. Stay sharp, keep your skill set up to date and keep marching on. God Bless -Ohwell-
    • Comment 06/13/13: ISC. Got me too, but it's not surprising (the 401k rip-off was a clear sign of an upcoming RA), and it's a blessing... I had been mismanaged and under utilized for a couple years, so I was soon to be leaving for better and less soul-crushing opportunities anyway. Great timing getting an RA package on top of it! Not sure how many others got hit. Morale has been in the toilet for so long that hardly anybody comes into the office these days, making it hard for info to spread. -Roadkill2015-
    • Comment 06/13/13: RAs in AMS Canada too, about 15 out of 80 in my department, and this is only the first wave I heard. -canuck-
    • Comment 06/13/13: I wonder if IBM gets around the WARN act because employees from the same site (RTP) have different cities in their Notes addresses (Durham or Raleigh), essentially diluting the numbers, so it gets the number(s) below 500. That sure would be sneaky. It must be over 500 cut in RTP. -stunned-
    • Comment 06/13/13: There were many RA's today and a miserable day to boot. If you were not RA'd, you knew someone that was. It is absolutely frustrating. For those in their 50s, all I can offer is good luck. The market is against you so keep your head up. For those in your 30s and 40s, the market is pretty good for you. Unfortunately, those in your 60s, you should have had exit plans in place already and planned properly for retirement. This may sound harsh, but I see too many simply occupying space, collecting high paychecks, and holding positions that the younger workers are trying to attain. There is no growth opportunities in IBM any more. No one is willing to make a career change because they become the low man on the totem pole. Many problems I see within the company are from the older decision makers that were trained by the same poor management they watched. There are too many YES MEN. Instead of doing what is right, all they do is blow sunshine up their manager's rear. IBM needs to change the culture and reward people with positive change instead of the butt kissers we have. Upper managers have no accountability. -Sucks-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Whole 2nd line org in OEM ASIC IP dev, eliminated. 35 in all, including all managers and STSM's. Same for Power proc dev team. All In RTP. -anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: part of the Dutchess County RA. At first was P.O.'d but now actually less stressed than when I didn't know it was coming. Was told they are hiring in Poland! Awesome! NOT!!!! Love the valued American worker. Thanks Big Blue! -Anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: STG Client Center, Poughkeepsie, RA'd along with a number of colleagues. Some depts exceeding 25% losses. 90 days to find another job in my group. They must be worried about skill transference. Waiting for softcopy R/A pack. Last day Sept 10th. 26 weeks severance,age 55, 29 years service. Workers gone, but not the workload. Sorry for all involved, and those left to pick up the pieces. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: In a stroke of irony, new hire and coop orientation was yesterday in Poughkeepsie, as us older folks just R/A'd with deer-in-the-headlights milled around. SameTime status lights turned yellow and blinked out all across IBM USA. Some areas are being rendered non-functional. Goodbye IBM, I'm sleeping-in tomorrow -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: To all those remaining, need to stage a walk out -let the company miss SLA's and targets, and show them how important we all are as the life blood of the organisation... Need to do this en-masse for biggest impact. Then we will see who has the power and negotiate. -Anom-
    • Comment 06/13/13: To all hit by the recent workload/workbalance reshuffling, code for layoffs, I am truly sorry. What a way to do business, to subject families & dads to layoffs the weekend before Father's Day. It's going to be a real tough Father's Day for so many who now have to worry about their families welfare. But, corporations don't care. Anyway, find solace in your family, at least for the weekend, and again, sorry about the hit. Come out stronger on the other side. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: RA'ed from GDF in Boulder. SSO Delivery. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: I just renewed my voting membership. It's the one thing that has given good feeling this week. Do it and treat yourself to a mental boost if for no other reason. IBM executives are not growing the business, they are milking it dry. They have no issue with squeezing harder on the teat to get an additional drop out no matter how painful or injurious it is to the cash cow. There are only two choices. Organize to force a change or leave for greener pastures. Choosing the middle ground involves you being transformed into Ground Beef. Don't stay with that choice. -BlueFluLou-
    • Comment 06/13/13: I do not see any NA Sales and Distribution cuts. These IBMers may have to wait until quarter end to feel their pain. After all, 2Q targets cannot be put at risk with layoffs of customer facing personnel. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: To those hit, condolences. To those left behind, condolences. Don't waste your time on outrage or wailing about fairness. IBM is never going to "realize their mistake." IBM is not a family, or a home, or a charity - they are a business, and not a very ethical one. Write your congresscritter, by all means; but don't expect help. Help is in organizing. Help is in joining the union. If you're mad, don't stomp around in a useless snit - DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. -Left Jan 2013-
    • Comment 06/13/13: I am part of S&D covering Business Partners. There were cuts made. So, they have hit S&D too. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: @Sucks - about those older workers taking up space and collecting high paychecks - if the company made any kind of a reasonable offer to that group, I can promise you that many of them would leave. The company cannot lay them off in large numbers because of the age discrimination issue - but there are other ways to make it happen. For whatever reason, IBM chooses not to take those actions. -15yearsandcounting-
    • Comment 06/13/13: NA S&D Sales did get cut, about 70 people. -Anonymous-\
    • Comment 06/13/13: So many notes of RA's. You all know where this site is, but when Alliance calls for 100 new members and gets 5 in a month, this is what happens. The Roadkill to 2015 will continue without a contract. -Gone_in_07-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Not just the US affected - I am in the UK - at least we get a better package if we volunteer. Sorry for you folks in the US -UKIBMer-
    • Comment 06/13/13: -Anom- Before you stage a walk out, I would first join the Alliance, which is CWA AFL-CIO Local 1701, which is the IBM Union for USA employees. IBM could just outright fire or literally lock those out who walk out. But if you signed a union intent card IBM might be reluctant to do this. It would be bad press to IBM if the news agencies says IBM fired or locked out union workers and IBM certainly doesn't want that! -IBMUnionYES-
    • Comment 06/13/13: "Last day Sept 10th. 26 weeks severance,age 55, 29 years service." Make sure you are officially 55 years old on 9/10/13 otherwise on your 9/11 you will lose ALL your FHA (Future Health Account). Did IBM offer you a Bridge to Retirement? They usually do for those within one year of 30 years of service. -check!-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Let go 30+ years. My RA packages says STG Power Software Development Employees selected = 73, not selected = 362. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Let it be known that if you were just RAed, and are not yet 55 years old on the day you separate from IBM employment, you likely LOST ALL of your IBM FHA (Future Health Account). I'm not kidding or trying to spread a rumor. I'm serious. It's true. It happened to me in big RA 2009. -FutureHellAccount-
    • Comment 06/13/13: To those in RTP NC who were RAed: I offer my sincere condolences. For those remaining in RTP: Remember that lonely picket man that was outside the Cornwallis main gate daily a few years ago? Well, his messages still should ring so true to this day. -PicketManIsDaMan-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Laid off ending a very long career, if been here for the years as a good Company, but now it has become a business mill spinning their way out of existence. IBM is trying to maintain a face to Wall Street and leaving our great Customers to swing in the wind. -Ken-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Got RA'd. last day 7/12. 12 year with the Rational Brand. should got out of IBM sooner. -irRational-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Does anyone know the criteria in which employees were selected for layoff for the 2013 RA? I am not looking for people guesses, I am looking for info from someone who knows first hand. I wonder: Is PBC rating considered? Are 1st and 2nd line management told to cut 10% of employees and they figure it out? Are 1st and 2nd line management told to cut 10% of dept salary expense and they figure it out? Are demographics used? For example: Managers are told you must cut: 10% age 40-49, 10% age 30-39, 10% women, etc. Are employees selected at 3rd line management or above and lists are handed down to 1s and 2nd lines? Does each IBM division make up their own criteria? -Great Wonder-
    • Comment 06/13/13: The FHA rules are complicated. As far as I know, if you are 54 and will be retirement eligible at 55, you can get a Bridge Leave of Absence (1 year or less) and get your FHA monies at age 55. If you are on the old pension plan, you just need to be retirement eligible if not age 55 (30 years service). But then you'd have to buy Cobra coverage in both cases, during a bridge or on the old plan, retirement eligible and waiting to turn 55. My manager verified from my employee record that I was 55. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Our dept was cut by 33%, from 15 down to 10. Of the people I talked to that were let go, there were PBC ratings from 1 to 3, so I too do not know what criteria was used to cut jobs. -TucsonEmp-
    • Comment 06/13/13: agreed. horrible company to work for. but the only blame is on the client who knows about the 'great service' it gets -John-
    • Comment 06/13/13: RA'd yesterday from GBS Div 16 Federal, after 7 years with the company. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: As a past long term Alliance member until RA'ed last year, I am amazed at the number of people commenting and now asking questions on this site now that they are being RA'ed. Where were you for the 20-30 years you worked for IBM? The anti-union mindset the IBM worker is amazing. Too bad you didn't take an interest in joining 14 years ago, then maybe you would still have your job or at least a more generous separation package. -Gone in 2012-
    • Comment 06/13/13: 115 people (including me) RA'ed from SWG Collaboration Solutions. Mainly in Westford/Littleton, MA. About 18% of group. 7/12 last day. -NoCloud-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Laid off on 6/12. I have been with the company almost 15 years and lead a team of global engineers. Got an outstanding rating this year and my manager even advised that I do NOT seek to move to another area because our area/team was so shorthanded. Trained a new person that was sent to help me on my US team...now a month later I'm laid off. Imagine that. Smh. -Technical Lead- Alliance reply: And several others like you. Imagine this: all those like you, thinking the idea that joining a union and fighting for your jobs was worth doing. Then organizing more & more people like yourself, @ IBM and moving toward a contract and forcing IBM to deal with you fairly. Ever imagine that? We are truly sorry for your job loss. We are shaking our heads too.
    • Comment 06/13/13: So this RA brings IBM to about 89,000 US employees. Chip, chip, chip away. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Why the age bashing on this site? Believe it or not people over 55 like to eat, like to live under a roof and have bills like everyone else. Most of us are not just taking up space and actually get 1 ratings. There are too many managers and execs at IBM and the majority of them are not over 55 so place the blame where it's due. Regarding how names got picked I know in one area the BLE personally picked the targets and the managers were given the names yesterday. It may be different in other groups. -Oldie but goodie-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Solid 2 for past 3 years. Was told today I lacked the skills to do my job. OK, so I suppose you only keep those with a 1 rating. Good luck to those left behind. Guess those they did the work will now be done by leads. I am free from the unnecessary stress of being agile whatever that means. -Cm-
    • Comment 06/13/13: No cuts in my department - they fired enough people at the beginning of the year for performance reasons. Comment to questions - you CAN collect Unemployment in many states even if you are 'retired' and collecting a IBM pension if you are looking for work. Many states - like NY, require that your employer had not been funding your pension for the last 2 years - IBM froze it prior to that. You also need to wait until after your severance period is up most likely. Check with your specific state and be firm and tough and get responses in writing. -Anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: -FutureHellAccount- is correct. I lost $34K worth of FHA last Sep. I was 53 1/2 @ time of separation! Oh, I was "lucky" and given 7 months to find a job. I applied to 98 positions on the IBM Jobs and IGS sites and received 1 interview and no job. There were 2 positions that changed band limits from 7-8 to 6-7 after I applied and then use the reason I was too high a band for the position. I was a PBC 2. If you are a PBC 3, your chances to find a job are slim to none. Put your time into searching outside IBM. -FutureHellAccount2-
    • Comment 06/13/13: RA'd on 6/12 from Sales & Distribution after 13 years of service, told it had nothing to do with performance (?). Work remotely. -Confused-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Our dept in TSS US was cut by about 20%. Outgoing IBMers will be training replacements in China. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: 13 years in GTS. I think I saw this coming for some time, and when"matching funds" not being paid out unless employed past 12/15 of each calendar year, it was quite apparent what was going on. 1. Down on Raleigh. 2. GST The package is sort of a nice bonus. Big Blue sure is walking away from a lot of cash-money business. -Anonymous-
    • Taiwan IBM hire young people and cut senior people. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Hearing that 2,000 were cut out of ANZ which is huge for such a small geography. Also, cuts in Europe aren't finished ... UK has not happened yet. The analyst number of 8,000 seems like it will be low. -Anon1234-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Note: you can collect unemployment even if you take the package AND take retirement in several circumstances. In NY for example: if you worked the last 18 months, AND your pension increased (including 401K or IRA if you take it) AND you did not contribute - you are docked $ for $, if you contributed 50% you are docked 50% by unemployment. Note that if you did not contribute AND your pension did NOT increase (the OLD pension plan) you are eligible for UI - but check with your state! -Anon-
    • Comment 06/13/13: @-Anon1234- - 2000 out of ANZ would close it down. I think you mean 200. The cuts are brutal. IBM will not survive this. They have reached the bottom. Ginni, Sam, Lou should be ashamed. Monday. More cuts. Power is being obliterated. Delay until Monday is due to Edge2013 in Vegas. -Bored-
    • Comment 06/13/13: 30 years in at East Fishkill. Missed the pension by months,...., now the end. All I can tell new hires is get out now!!! -depressed1-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Just received notice yesterday I was part of the layoff. I'm sort of relieved, working at IBM was like working with the government. Red tape and BS -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Everyone is using this Alliance web site to obtain valuable information. The Alliance wants to help YOU but can ONLY do it if YOU become a member. The problem stopping us for years, and years, is the lack of membership. Please sign up today so we can move forward. -Are YOU a member?-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Here is the irony: There are lots of landed resources working in Canada and IBM is laying off the Canadian workers. Recently a bank employee (RBC) send an email to the media that the bank was replacing his position with temporary foreign workers and it became a big deal. The bank CEO had to apologize and find him another position at the bank. The same logic applies here, laying NA employees and keeping/bringing more foreign workers. Time to take action. -Still Here-
    • Comment 06/13/13: The numbers are horrible... I know that 390 IBMer in Italy, around 830 IBM in Germany, 430 IBMer in France are affected. I n my unit are 6 IBMer affected..... It sounds like if IBM will continue ... BUT I think we shouldn't forget how many companies got bought by IBM over the last years? We will have several people doing the same job at the end of the day... But also different departments sell similar offerings... and I agree a bit that it would make sense to re-org IBM and to make sure we are one company...... HOWEVER I am disappointed that there is no salary increase program available this year and last year only people with 1s and on request got a salary increase. IBM even stopped paying GDP in some countries... I would say take the offering if it is good as long the economy is good in your own country..... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Resource Action every 6 months is to put everyone on notice that you may be next unless you exceed its expectations AND there is still a need for you. Looks like most jobs will be transferred to India to save 90% on salary. -JimBob-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Security guy from Colorado with 44 years "retiring", as per email from his cohort. Truth is he got RA'd. Only 250 people in security worldwide, more security cuts to come. -Hope To go-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Any news from the Lotus? Heard most of their operations have moved to the Philippines? All of them globalized? Any of them left to report? Send RA info to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com if any of you are left. -@Lotus-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Every time there is a RA we see many posts asking folks to join the union. I am in Canada and wish we had one here, I would join in a heart beat. IBMers from US - join the Alliance, you will not only make your life better but you will also stand up for your country. US was built by people who were not afraid to stand up and fight. It is not too late but one day it will be. -Still here- Alliance reply: IBM Canada workers can join the Alliance. The more that join in Canada the quicker we get a chapter there.
    • Comment 06/13/13: Dust is starting to settle in IBM Tucson. Headcount down 33% after Black Wednesday. Well on track to site closure by Dec. 14th, 2015. -Toasted in Tucson-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Question: Are the RA numbers on the Alliance home page global or just North America? -Anonymous- Alliance reply: just North America.
    • Comment 06/13/13: I would urge everyone to contact their Congressman and Senators to fight the H1B Visa enlargement - IBM and other tech companies are arguing that there is a shortage of engineers and programmers while continuing to lay off their employees. Jointly we have power, alone we are insignificant! Unions are mandatory for professionals as well as blue collar workers! -JL-
    • Comment 06/13/13: Member since 2011. Alliance is reporting 229,000 hits yesterday. WOW. Imagine if each hit was from a member of the Alliance. I visited this site for several years until I finally joined and I am sorry I waited so long. I thought if I joined that I would have a big target on my back. Then it dawned on me that I already had a target on my back. At least if I get hit in the next round I won't say to myself 'I should have joined the Alliance'. -Member since 2011-
    • Comment 06/13/13: I highly doubt it's actually performance based. I've been getting "1" ratings for the past 2 years and was told my position was"non-essential" then got the cut. No biggie, glad to move on. -1Bad1-
    • Comment 06/13/13: So sad that IBM has lost its way. Layoffs are understandable, but it's quite another matter to be ripping off employees on their 401k to precede it, on top of the continual assault on it's workforce over the past few years. How much more are you going to jerk your employees around and pick their pockets? It's amazing how much has changed and gone sharply downhill in only the past few years. -BleedingBlueBloodbath-
    • Comment 06/13/13: @STG in RTP: Yes, system x will be sold, take it on good faith. Things are progressing... -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: I was told by a very trusted confidant who happens to be a manager that this is by no means the end of layoffs for the year. He told me that he was told that financial results will be evaluated MONTHLY and layoffs will be based on those numbers and could come as often as every month for the rest of the year. -longtimebeemer-
    • Comment 06/13/13: They are outsourcing the outsource, some countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia are frozen due to cost increase. IBM lost its way trying to make Wall St greedy investors happy. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/13/13: 3,388 American workers making 80K/yr. were laid off and their families and local economies devastated to pay Sam Palmisano his $271 million retirement package. His $31 million a year salary wasn't enough. Happy Fathers's Day Sam. -Fool-
    • Comment 06/14/13: @the Anonymous commenting about the numbers - Check your source my friend - in France there will be 1226 layoffs (far from the 430 you are announcing)- I wish it was that number but unfortunately is by far BIGGER :(( -Anonymous@France-
    • Comment 06/14/13: IBM cutting Austin jobs: report IBM has axed an undisclosed number of employees globally, including in Australia, as it continues with a restructuring of the company, Fairfax Media reports. According to the media outlet, the cuts include employees across a wide range of seniority from executives to rank-and-file workers. Fairfax reports an IBM Australia spokesperson declined to divulge the specifics of the job cuts saying "change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model". -Anon-
    • Comment 06/14/13: RA'd from the Toronto Lab (IM) on 6/12 after 13 years. Consistent 1/2+ performer. Was upset at first but am now feeling optimistic about the future. Leaving IBM is like leaving a bad relationship. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/14/13: Ref: -Wondering- In the UK and other areas in Europe many companies go through a voluntary redundancy process rather than straight to compulsory. They aim to get the required number of departures through this process rather than have to fire people. Typically there is a compensation payment in exchange for signing a contract stating you are not going to take the company to court. Usually the folks that take up this option are those who were looking to leave anyway. -UKIBMer-
    • Comment 06/14/13: To -anon-: I was RA'ed from HQ Cloud Development. Out of a team of 3 of us, I was let go, but the contractor and Global Resource in India remain to service the accounts. I was told that it had to be a permanent ibmer. Mgmt was not allowed to "pick" the contractor or global resource. -dun-4- Alliance reply: please contact us at ibmunionalliance@gmail.com with your email or phone number so we can discuss this.
    • Comment 06/14/13: I survived 3 rounds of layoffs in M&C over 5 years, and eventually left voluntarily 6 months ago. During my time there, i took on a role that gave me visibility to the RA list before it happened. What soured me was witnessing one exec RA an extra person even though she didn't have to. This person was unemployed for two years after that. Also, I recall that many of those so called cuts at an exec level were not truly cuts...the execs played musical chairs swapping roles, but somehow those were counted as movements to meet a target number that year. (?) Disappointing...wish those who got RA'd the best. -Gone girl-
    • Comment 06/14/13: I was one of the "lucky" ones that survived massive cuts in Ottawa. Our landscape has completely changed and so far we can only guess at what the post-layoff organization and focus will be. No communication or direction from on high. No sense of when we will know anything. What a ridiculous company. Actively job hunting. I'm sure this isn't the end of the layoffs. The irony? The Peter's New Jobs site shows postings for IBM With the tag line "But first and foremost, we're about the people." And by people, I guess they mean shareholders and senior execs. -Get me out of here-
    • Comment 06/14/13: So, today was my last day. Manager confirmed 25% of my group as well here. This was the first wave, 2nd in Australia will be announced in July. Regarding Unionisation; be happy you get to move on. You can make a lot more money elsewhere. Yeeeeeha! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/14/13: Age is certainly a concern at IBM, but not of the rank and file, but of the leadership. They are from an era where mainframes and tapes ruled and CFO's bought whatever their IBM rep told them to when he paid his quarterly visit. Just now they are starting to think that maybe this cloud and mobile stuff might go somewhere, while the younger, up-and-coming execs left years ago in frustration as the senior members circled the wagons around themselves in order to milk the last drop of available bonuses before the whole house of cards falls down.

      Customers are smarter and better informed now, they have access to so much information they know when IBM is no longer adding any real value and simply marking up huge margins on commodity offerings. Look at "new" establishment: Bezos is 49, Page 40, Brin 39, Mayer 38, Zuckerberg 29 - and many would now consider them "old"! What do you think any one of these leaders would say if someone suggested running their businesses on IBM products? I'm sure there are one-or-two bits of IBM technology around, but not part of the core business. I just don't think that IBM has a clue on where new growth is going to come from. -Exit Strategy-

    • Comment 06/14/13: I was told more layoffs to come in October or November and no one is safe. -17 YRS BLUE-
    • Comment 06/14/13: Here is what a SWG business unit uses as full time software engineer headcount cost for planning purposes. The numbers are blended for all non-exec bands and include all benefits. All numbers in '000 USD. Numbers rounded to protect the source. USA $200; Canada $100; UK $170; Germany $12;0 China $45; India $45. - IBM headcount costs-
    • Comment 06/14/13: I can confirm two waves so far in Australia - wave one announced early last month, people having last day today. Wave 2 announced late May, people having last day on the 29th of this month. Anymore coming do you think for this geo? They even have the nerve to get rid of grads who have only been in the company for six months! -Anom-
    • Comment 06/14/13: On behalf of all the employees who worked hard to release Cognos 10 a full quarter early to deliver the product to market (by which I mean accommodate Project Mercury), thanks so much for all the emails of congratulation from senior management on meeting our accelerated deadlines. We sure appreciated getting those pats on the back, right up until the Tuesday eGA date, knowing full well that we or many of our colleagues would be axed on Wednesday. When Cognos was acquired by IBM, we were told "It's not just what you do, it's how you do it". Layoffs happen and they always suck. But the people involved in the decisions on how to roll out this particular RA - letting us sweat and stew for two months while they got their legal ducks in a row - should be ranked a 3 this year based on the "how you do it" criteria alone. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/14/13: I know this is a tough time for anyone who received the news that they were RA’d (fired). I was RA’d in April ’10 after 20 years of service. I went through many emotions after giving what I thought was all I had to “big blue”. But my message today is that life does go on and you will secure a job and it will be a better career with less stress and working with people who aren’t afraid that they will be losing their job every quarter. When it happened to me I didn’t know what would transpire but I survived. It took me 5 months to land a job and I think the economy might have been worse at that point then it is now. That company isn’t the same company that hired us … Don’t be afraid you will survive and be better for it. You deserve better and you will not believe how much better you will feel when working for a company that actually treats you with “respect for the individual”……. Good luck and God Bless. - RA'd 4/2010-
    • Comment 06/14/13: RA'd from S&D NA Marketing & Commms. 14 years with IBM and 5 yrs as contractor at IBM prior to that. Almost 2 decades of work for IBM, just wiped out with a 15 minute phone call and no "thank you for your contributions." IBM is being run into the ground. Funny how only 1 VP was on the "selected list" for my organization while 15 Director level and 13 VP level are showing as "Not selected." They continue to get richer! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/14/13: It's surreal in my building. Some RA's are still there, some are"working from home". A few people are seeing this as an "opportunity" to progress within IBM and some with survivors guilt are looking for new jobs anyway. Others want to leave but are unwilling to do so when packages might be on the table. Meanwhile HR are pretending that it's not generally well known what's happening and the senior management that made the decisions (executed by the first lines) are behaving as if nothing's happened. Do IBM not realize that every employee has social media back channels? This isn't 1960 anymore. They need to step-up, communicate what was done and why, and let everyone move on. Currently they have destroyed morale and productivity is close to zero. -Halted-
    • Comment 06/14/13: Exit strategy..u r right. Accenture is stealing our lunch. Amazon MS Google will have us for breakfast. Its time Ginni realises that the Buffett is over and now the bread crumbs remain. Time to get a new menu or a new chef or eat at a better restaurant. . Yum. -hungry-
    • Comment 06/14/13: With regard to age discrimination -- what IBM does to avoid legal trouble is simple: they hire more 'new college grads' than they need, so they can lay off an equal number of old-timers and youth when RA season comes around again. It's called true to the letter but not to the spirit of the law. Thank-you, lawyer- and executive- scum. Perhaps your sons and daughters will experience the bitter fruit of your nefarious deeds. -Rex-
    • Comment 06/14/13: Our little remaining SO group in Canada, formerly 10 people just lost 4 today (14th). Manager is busy trying to explain how that is just a 20%-25% reduction in capacity so the remaining 6 drones should be able to distribute and handle the extra work. 4 from 10 is 20-25%??? I think I see a problem in management chimpanzee logic somewhere. @-Privileged User- No one is safe, our entire group is composed of people with Privileged Loser workstations. External client facing to boot, and we just lost 4 people at least 2 of which had over 30 years service. Waiting for the axe to swing back.-Working drone-
    • Comment 06/14/13: Mood in Raleigh is very gloomy and word at the site is that a portion of the site will be sold. Something is going on because there is a lot of space restructuring occurring. -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/14/13: In RTP, NC, Lotus Domino and Lotus Traveler have been outsourced to Manila, Philippines. For the last 6 months those affected by the RA have been training them to take their jobs. The cuts were made this week and more are expected as Manilla continues to come on board for these products. Lotus Traveler, Lotus Domino, WebSphere Portal. Basically, we gave them the bullet, IBM just pulled the trigger -Jim-
    • Comment 06/14/13: "When Cognos was acquired by IBM, we were told "It's not just what you do, it's how you do it". " Anyone reading this who was part of an IBM acquisition: Take heed. My advice to you would be to find employment elsewhere ASAP. Everything you liked about the old employer will go away, perhaps not the first year, but soon. Pay no attention to what your management chain tells you about your value; THEY value you and want to keep you, but IBM doesn't. You're merely unwanted headcount; a drag on earnings. Welcome to Blue Hell. Been there, done that, got the mugs. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 06/15/13: Was an exec for a number of years and had to do these more often than I'd ever like. My heartfelt best wishes to each of you. WRT seniority, at least from a GBS perspective, this was never a direct consideration. It was strictly by performance, and we were given leeway to identify "trends" which allowed us stack the analysis in favor of who we wanted to let go vs. just quantifiable past ratings. More often than not, senior people were taken off our recommendations due to legal's perception of legal risks. In general, I found the process relatively fair. I can say that because I became the victim later, and it was killing off a relationship that had run its course.

      No one should have been surprised by this action. No one. Any employee listening to or reading the Q1 report transcript would have known what was about to happen. Those around longer (me included) should've known that the $20 EPS by 2015 - rather than a vision to rally behind - was a plan to convert all the deck chairs on the ship to firewood. Rather than harness the 100 years of innovation and patent leadership, the corporation is busy buying back shares, paying excessive amounts to startups in order to catch up in Cloud, and finding every conceivable manouever to reduce cash flow to its employees.

      Those remaining: you may indeed hit $20/EPS in 2015 but then what? What's IBM's mission for the next 100 years? Is it product? Services? Cloud? Until the Inner Circle raises its head up from its cozy confines in Armonk surrounded by CPAs and lawyers, it will not realize the world has passed them buy and the West Coast is going to bury them. Not directly, but just in their wake as they take control of the next century of business. -2 Years Free-

    • Comment 06/15/13: I just posted a review on glassdoor.com. I hope others will post there to counteract what I consider to be trumped up reviews of what a wonderful company IBM is and what a terrific job our fabulous CEO is doing! I referenced allianceibm.org on the review. I don't know if they will post it but it's worth a try. -concerned-
    • Comment 06/15/13: Hey Cognos people. My company also is an acquisition and has not fully integrated with IBM yet. Are we "safe" from RA for a few years? Or are we also screwed? The RA seems to be on-going and we have no news yet in our company. One prevailing fear we have now is that IBM's going to destroy our company and RA us just like you folks in a few years (if not now) -anon-
    • Comment 06/15/13: A must read article about Cognos back in 2009 when it was still in honeymoon with IBM: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9127526/A_year_later_IBM_s_Cognos_views_merger_as_right_move_at_right_time 4 years later, honeymoon's over and the RA's begin. Are you Cognos folks making money this year? If not, are you guys RAed even with good profits? -anonymous-
    • Comment 06/15/13: -glad i have been gone-: Mr. Shelton has said the same thing for YEARS after EVERY RA! In print only. I am convinced he is that Watson computer or a pseudonym for IBM HR staff (maybe MacDonald himself?) He might not really exist?! :) If he does exist lets hear his actual voice somewhere. Sometimes when he is called by the newspapers or periodicals he is not available or doesn't respond to the press. Is that doing the job? Yep, I agree, when is Doug Shelton gonna get an RA? -Doug_the_talking_head -
    • Comment 06/15/13: While I was not selected for this RA, it has hit very close affecting my department and my friends. Being a 16 yr. veteran at IBM I have seen a number of these actions, but this one seems to bother me the most. The IBM business is down due to the macro economic situation in China - the Chinese government has pulled back on their growth, but the response to that situation is to RA globally rather than adjust in the appropriate country. I have met a number of our senior leaders at IBM and have been incredibly impressed by their intellect and passion. I am not impressed by our current CEO. I see her acting more as a referee controlling a fight between three incredibly gifted leaders. Ginni, I ask you to step down. Retire now before you destroy this great company. -StillEmployedForNow-
    • Comment 06/15/13: To the person who wondered if their recently acquired company would be gutted like Cognos has been... probably? There are so many factors. One being that we lost almost our entire sales force because the IBM compensation model sucked compared to Cognos. Many went straight to competitors. Tough to ramp up new sales people in a hurry for complex products. No sales people = no sales.

      Also, an ongoing hemorrhage of long-standing employees (leaving of their own accord or laid off) coupled with hiring freezes had a huge impact on many fronts. Did IBM set us up for success? No. The opposite. Are they punishing us for their lack of investment and long term vision? Absolutely. I don't think they'll be satisfied until the last Cognoid has left the building. Sad.

      After the initial shock of being acquired, I think many of us felt there were interesting and exciting new opportunities ahead as IBMers. In the new year, many of us talked about how impressed we were by Ginni's speech. We participated willingly and eagerly in the Client Jam. We were mostly happy about the 40 hours of training (before understanding it to be the watered down version it ended up being, and just something else for our managers to rank us on). How naive we were.

      Many of us still love our jobs, the people we work with day to day, the products we are passionate about and proud of. But we also know if we were lucky enough to be spared this time, we'd be fools not to be actively looking for something outside IBM (or at least outside IBM Cognos). So good luck becoming one with IBM, but as others have said, don't believe anything they tell you. And keep your resume up to date. -anon-

    • Comment 06/15/13: I was part of the telelogic acquisition and the first 12 months they were pretty much hands off, then after honeymoon that it became a continual bleed of people and capabilities. Product support, dedicated sales teams who could sell and keep customers happy, product development and resources were slowly hacked to the bone resulting in a loss of sales and customers. -AD-
    • Comment 06/15/13: @-quarterCenturySVLer- Same thing happened in Research. Although 65 people were lost. Some First levels were scrambling till early afternoon before they were able to get information to their groups. Head in the sand mentality, if you were not impacted, no need to be told. Morale is at a low point.

      One first level manager who is a decent person, after doing required manager shuffle was honest and told his group that they should take their careers in their hands as IBM has only its own interests at heart.

      There are some YE/Q4 deliverable's that can not be impacted, yet there is a blank space for 2014 work. Asynchronously, prior to Wed, several veteran Industry and IBM SME's (Subject Matter Expert) colleagues were asked what is the value of their work today vs future in-progress? Three as a result have privately communicated that after Wed's actions they have decided to initiate “Plan B's” that do not include IBM. -LongTimer-

    • Comment 06/15/13: Where are all those executives that celebrate our product releases? Now when the situation is less convenient they run away and hide. No comments, no statements. No communication with the infantry. Enough low-level folks left to remove the collateral damage whereas Queen Ginny and Grandpa Sam are in their palace and eat caviar for 10M each day. IBM promoted a great leadership culture in the last decades. The senior leadership team obviously did not attend these leadership classes. Instead they attended the class "how to become a perfect coward".-poor leadership-
    • Send the RA pack to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com so we can validate and count the number of workers fired. Names are confidential.
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • Clark Howard: Health plan choices in 2014. By Barbara Marquand. Excerpts: Before you start shopping for health insurance for 2014, learn the difference among platinum, gold, silver and bronze -- the names for new standardized plans that will be sold through "marketplaces."

    Health plans sold through the state and federally operated health insurance marketplaces, formerly known as exchanges, will be standardized to make it easier to compare prices and benefits.

    The National Conference of State Legislatures has state-by-state information on marketplaces.

    All the plans must offer the same core package of essential benefits, such as coverage for prescription drugs, maternity and newborn care, lab services, emergency services and preventive and wellness care. And none of the plans can deny coverage or charge higher premiums for pre-existing conditions, meaning illnesses or conditions you already have.

    The difference between the four choices will boil down to something called "actuarial value." Simply put, it's how much of the total costs of covered benefits the insurer will pay for an average person.

  • EgbertoWillies.com: Problem Not Obamacare: It’s Healthcare Market Robbing Middle Class & Here’s The Proof. By Egberto Willies. Excerpts: This is not rocket science. If a hospital is for profit then hospitals will do what is necessary to increase their profits. It is their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders.

    Those who want to maintain a virtually unregulated and expensive private healthcare system want Americans to keep their blinders on. They want Americans to disregard math, facts, historical data, and empirical data. They want to treat the healthcare system as if it is a market, a healthcare market in which products would be correctly priced based on supply and demand with private entities keeping costs down through competition. ...

    Simple math dictates that if there are many entities managing the payment of medical bills, each with its own bureaucracy (CEO, President, Board of Directors, advertising, IT systems, shareholder profits, etc.), it is impossible for such an entity to be more efficient than one entity responsible for paying a medical bill. A single payer system, a system where one entity is standardized to pay all medical bills that ALL abled Americans pay into, is much more efficient. It is basic arithmetic.

    Every industrialized country in the world except the US has either a single payer system or some form of it. Most of these countries have better outcomes than the US. Inasmuch as they have better outcomes, they do it at a lower cost. ...

    According to Kroft, after the 60 Minutes piece aired, HMA’s admissions fell and their profits declined. While Obamacare will put more controls to protect the consumer, until a single payer system is implemented to wring inefficiencies out of paying for healthcare, until doctors’ educations are subsidized to protect them against unbearable student loans, and until the government gets paid by drug companies for profits made on research paid for by the American taxpayer, the American healthcare system will remain expensive and inefficient. It will remain nothing more than a wealth transfer engine to the shareholders of hospitals, medical groups, insurance companies, and drug companies.

  • New York Times: Health Care’s Overlooked Cost Factor. By Eduardo Porter. Excerpts: When the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation merged its two hospitals with the neighboring Highland Park Hospital just north of Chicago 13 years ago, the deal was presented as an opportunity to increase efficiency and improve the quality of patient care.

    But when the Federal Trade Commission finally decided to look at the deal, it encountered an entirely different objective: to gain market power.

    Mark Neaman, Evanston’s chief executive, had told his board that the deal would “increase our leverage, limited as it might be,” the investigation found, and “help our negotiating posture” with managed care organizations.

    The commission caught Ronald Spaeth, the Highland Park C.E.O., talking about the corporation’s three hospitals and explaining how “it would be real tough for any of the Fortune 40 companies in this area whose C.E.O.’s either use this place or that place to walk from Evanston, Highland Park, Glenbrook and 1,700 of their doctors."

    It was a great deal for the hospitals. The fees they charged to insurers soared. One insurer, UniCare, said it had to accept a jump of 7 to 30 percent for its health maintenance organizations and 80 percent for its preferred provider organizations. ...

    What was learned from the investigation is more relevant than ever today. It should draw policy makers’ attention to an elephant in the room that appears to have been overlooked in the debate over how to rein in the galloping cost of health care: a lack of competition in what is now America’s biggest business — accounting for almost 18 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. ...

    What is missing from the stampede of policy innovation is something to tackle one of the best-known causes of high costs in the book: excessive market concentration. ...

    Two decades ago, there were on average about four rival hospital systems of roughly equal size in each metropolitan area, according to research by Martin S. Gaynor of Carnegie Mellon University and Robert J. Town of the University of Pennsylvania. By 2006, the number of competitors was down to three. ..

    And consolidation is continuing. Professor Gaynor counts more than 1,000 hospital system mergers since the mid-1990s, often involving dozens of hospitals. In 2002 doctors owned about three in four physician practices. By 2008 more than half were owned by hospitals.

  • Nerd's Eye View: How Coming Health Insurance Exchanges Will Drastically Impact Career And Retirement Decisions. Excerpts: ...separating health insurance from employment status by ensuring individual coverage is available directly from an exchange allows clients to be far more flexible with their job decisions. Deciding where to work will no longer need to be tied to the availability of health insurance, freeing clients to make job changes, start new businesses, or simply retire before age 65 Medicare eligibility, without worrying about how they'll get access to health insurance. How many clients would still be working where they are today if health insurance availability was guaranteed regardless of where (or whether) they worked? ...

    As a result, not only will clients have unfettered access to health insurance coverage starting in 2014, but they will have that access regardless of employment status. This represents a significant distinction from the environment of today and decades past, where individual health insurance policies were individually underwritten - with the potential for coverage being declined, limited due to pre-existing conditions, or rendered unaffordable - and the only guaranteed coverage without pre-existing limitations or potentially severe health-specific premium increases or exclusions was via an employer. ...

    Those who are considering a job change no longer need to ask or worry about whether a new employer offers a comparable - or any - health coverage, because access to health insurance will no longer be contingent on getting it through an employer's group plan. This means clients can actually make job decisions based on the merits and prospects of the job itself, and not feel limited because a new job may or may not offer (good) health coverage! In addition to benefitting clients by allowing for more flexibility in their job decisions, this may also be a big boon to very small businesses that have struggled to offer health insurance and consequently struggled to attract quality employees without having it available. Going forward, providing health insurance through an employer will be less and less of a relevant factor in the job decision-making process at all; instead, it will simply be about total compensation, used to purchase food, shelter, clothing, and now health insurance, along with all other types of insurance employees buy (auto, home, life, long-term care, disability, etc.), and anything else employees wish to do with their money!

    Clients who are considering retirement no longer need to wait until age 65 and Medicare eligibility to ensure health coverage in retirement, which research finds is still a significant factor in the timing of retirement. Although in theory an individual who previously had health insurance through an employer could continue it through COBRA and then HIPAA to ensure ongoing individual coverage, the reality was that HIPAA policies were often significantly more expensive than employer-based health insurance. Now, those who want to stop working can do so and be assured of health insurance coverage that is priced substantively the same as what they already had while working (although premiums may still rise with age), with the exact same availability of benefits and no worry of limitations due to pre-existing conditions or future health changes.

    Clients who are interested in starting a new business - whether as an opportunity to start a career, grow their current career, or as a second (or third or fourth!) career after completing their first - will no longer be constrained to having at least one spouse work for a "larger" employer offering health insurance. Those who want to go start a business can do so without being hampered by worries about whether or how they will get access to health insurance!

  • Physicians for a National Health Program: Affordable Care Act's Achilles Heel? Blaming Patients, Not Profiteering. By Karen Higgins, R.N. Excerpts: With the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act near, it's time to ask if the decision to put the burden of cutting costs on patients, not corporate healthcare profiteering, is the fatal flaw in the plan.

    The law’s tepid cost control measures targeted at healthcare spending that is gobbling up an increasing percentage of the economy and pricing more people than ever out of access to care have been widely viewed as the ACA’s biggest pitfall.

    But from the outset, the Obama administration dismissed the most effective means to reduce costs by:

    • refusing to consider a single payer alternative that combines genuine universal coverage not based on ability to pay with global budgeting
    • rejecting a proposal to authorize the federal government to negotiate bulk purchasing (a concession to the drug companies), and
    • failing to regulate price gouging by hospitals, drug companies, insurers and other healthcare corporations.

    Those fateful decisions left only one option for significant reduction of overall health expenditures – saving money in the delivery of care by shifting costs to those who use health services and discouraging them from getting care even if they have insurance.

    Perhaps that’s not surprising given the decision to craft the ACA in concert with pharmaceutical, insurance, hospital, and Chamber of Commerce lobbyists, and, as recently reported, top Wall Street investment firms and hedge fund executives.

  • Los Angeles Times: Kaiser's Obamacare rates surprise analysts. Kaiser Permanente has offered some of the highest rates in the California health exchanges next year. It denies that it is doing so to avoid treating many of the sickest newly insured patients. By Chad Terhune. Excerpts: In California's new state-run health insurance market, Kaiser Permanente will cost you.

    The healthcare giant has the highest rates in Southern California and some other areas of the state, surpassing rivals such as Anthem Blue Cross and other smaller competitors. The relatively high premiums from such a strong supporter of the federal healthcare law surprised industry analysts, and it has sparked considerable debate about the company's motives.

    Some experts say Kaiser intentionally bid high to avoid drawing too many customers next year who are sick or who have been uninsured for years and may be costlier to treat. Others suspect Kaiser was worried that lower premiums would bring an influx of newly insured patients that could overwhelm its in-house roster of doctors and hospitals.

  • Physicians for a National Health Program: Why does Kaiser have the highest premiums in the California exchange? Comment by Don McCanne, M.D. Excerpts: The strategies and negotiations were secret, so we don't really know. But there are a couple of possible explanations. Initial enrollment may include more people with health problems who need insurance, whereas healthier individuals may opt out since initial non-participation penalties are very small, and they can always join later. By Kaiser setting premiums higher, this initial influx of less healthy but more expensive patients would be diverted to competing plans because of the attraction of their lower premiums.

    Another possible reason is that the current Kaiser patient population is relatively stable at about 40 percent of the California insurance market. When patients change their PPO or HMO plans that use provider networks, they do not have as much disruption as they do when they move into or out of Kaiser Permanente. Such a move always entails a complete change of their physicians and hospitals. Since Kaiser realizes that they have not only dominant market share but also a stable group of satisfied patients who do not want any disruption in their care, they know that they can charge a little bit more for their plans since patients are willing to pay the modest differences to avoid such disruptions.

News and Opinion Concerning the "War on the Middle Class"
Minimize "It is a restatement of laissez-faire-let things take their natural course without government interference. If people manage to become prosperous, good. If they starve, or have no place to live, or no money to pay medical bills, they have only themselves to blame; it is not the responsibility of society. We mustn't make people dependent on government- it is bad for them, the argument goes. Better hunger than dependency, better sickness than dependency."

"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.

  • New York Times op-ed: The Big Shrug. By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: I’ve been in this economics business for a while. In fact, I’ve been in it so long I still remember what people considered normal in those long-ago days before the financial crisis. Normal, back then, meant an economy adding a million or more jobs each year, enough to keep up with the growth in the working-age population. Normal meant an unemployment rate not much above 5 percent, except for brief recessions. And while there was always some unemployment, normal meant very few people out of work for extended periods. ...

    For more than three years some of us have fought the policy elite’s damaging obsession with budget deficits, an obsession that led governments to cut investment when they should have been raising it, to destroy jobs when job creation should have been their priority. That fight seems largely won — in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like the sudden intellectual collapse of austerity economics as a policy doctrine.

    But while insiders no longer seem determined to worry about the wrong things, that’s not enough; they also need to start worrying about the right things — namely, the plight of the jobless and the immense continuing waste from a depressed economy. And that’s not happening. Instead, policy makers both here and in Europe seem gripped by a combination of complacency and fatalism, a sense that nothing need be done and nothing can be done. Call it the big shrug. ...

    Why isn’t reducing unemployment a major policy priority? One answer may be that inertia is a powerful force, and it’s hard to get policy changes absent the threat of disaster. As long as we’re adding jobs, not losing them, and unemployment is basically stable or falling, not rising, policy makers don’t feel any urgent need to act.

    Another answer is that the unemployed don’t have much of a political voice. Profits are sky-high, stocks are up, so things are O.K. for the people who matter, right? ...

    The tragedy is that it’s all unnecessary. Yes, you hear talk about a “new normal” of much higher unemployment, but all the reasons given for this alleged new normal, such as the supposed mismatch between workers’ skills and the demands of the modern economy, fall apart when subjected to careful scrutiny. If Washington would reverse its destructive budget cuts, if the Fed would show the “Rooseveltian resolve” that Ben Bernanke demanded of Japanese officials back when he was an independent economist, we would quickly discover that there’s nothing normal or necessary about mass long-term unemployment.

    So here’s my message to policy makers: Where we are is not O.K. Stop shrugging, and do your jobs.

  • In These Times: Rethinking American Exceptionalism. America is certainly exceptional, but that isn’t necessarily something to be proud of. By David Sirota. Excerpts: “American exceptionalism” is perhaps the most misunderstood phrase in politics. If, like the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, we define “exceptionalism” as “the condition of being different from the norm” - then it's certainly true that America is exceptional. But we rarely stop to ask: Should we always want to be exceptional? ...

    America, for instance, has an exceptional economy. GDP-wise, it is the largest in the world, making it the planet's most powerful engine of technological innovation and wealth creation. At the same time, the economy is exceptional for creating the industrialized world's most financially unequal society; producing one of the industrialized world's highest rates of childhood poverty; and mandating the industrialized world's least amount of off time (paid sick days, maternity leave, etc.).

    In terms of health care, we have an exceptional system that stands out for spending more than any other nation's. According to the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner, that gets us a system that “is at the top of the charts when it comes to surviving cancer (and) drives much of the innovation and research on health care worldwide.”

    Then again, America's health care system is also exceptional for being the only one in the industrialized world that doesn't guarantee health care to every citizen. Results-wise, that contributes to a society that, according to a recent National Academy of Sciences report, is far more unhealthy than 16 other developed nations.

    “Americans have been dying at younger ages than people in almost all other high-income countries,” the report noted. “Not only are their lives shorter, but Americans also have a longstanding pattern of poorer health that is strikingly consistent and pervasive over the life course.” ...

    In terms of military might, America is exceptional for having the planet's most dominant fighting force. We are also exceptional for our spending - we devote more resources to military programs than the next 19 biggest-spending nations combined. And compared to the rest of the industrialized world, we are exceptional in the number of ongoing wars we prosecute; the amount of people we kill; and the amount of casualties we regularly incur. ...

    Can, for instance, we have an exceptional economy without the exceptionally crushing inequality and poverty? Can we preserve the exceptional parts of our health care system, but also have a system that is less exceptional for how it denies access to all citizens and often delivers substandard health outcomes? Can we preserve exceptional freedoms while also being a less exceptional in our incarceration policies? And can we preserve an exceptionally effective military but be a little less exceptional in how much we spend on the Pentagon, how many wars we initiate, how many casualties we incur and how many people we kill?

  • Huffington Post: The Quiet Closing of Washington. By Robert Reich. Excerpts: Conservative Republicans in our nation's capital have managed to accomplish something they only dreamed of when Tea Partiers streamed into Congress at the start of 2011: They've basically shut Congress down. Their refusal to compromise is working just as they hoped: No jobs agenda. No budget. No grand bargain on the deficit. No background checks on guns. Nothing on climate change. No tax reform. No hike in the minimum wage. Nothing so far on immigration reform.

    It's as if an entire branch of the federal government -- the branch that's supposed to deal directly with the nation's problems, not just execute the law or interpret the law but make the law -- has gone out of business, leaving behind only a so-called "sequester" that's cutting deeper and deeper into education, infrastructure, programs for the nation's poor, and national defense. ...

    A great nation requires a great, or at least functional, national government. The Tea Partiers and other government-haters who have caused Washington to all but close because they refuse to compromise are threatening all that we aspire to be together.

  • The Smirking Chimp: Billionaire Says The Rich Are Not Job Creators! By Thom Hartmann. Excerpts: One of our nation’s richest men, billionaire Nick Hanauer, just destroyed the GOP’s economic talking points. In a testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Hanauer explained why rich people like him are not, in fact, the real job creators. He said, “In the same way that it’s a fact that the sun, not earth, is the center of the solar system, it’s also a fact that the middle class, not rich business people like me, are the center of America’s economy.”

    Hanauer talked about a “virtuous cycle,” where middle class consumers have enough money to buy things, which stimulates the economy and creates more jobs. Nick Hanauer was an original investor in Amazon.com, and he founded the company that became Overstock.com. He said that as an investor, he helped start dozens of businesses, but he added, “if no one could have afforded to buy what we had to sell, my businesses would have all failed, and all those jobs would have evaporated.”

    During his testimony, Mr. Hanauer called for higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, and said that money should be used to invest in our middle class. He said, “Prosperity is built from the middle out.” Nick Hanauer understands that we must invest in our nation to get our economy growing again… hopefully, our lawmakers were listening.

  • American Public Media's MarketPlace: Father of modern 401(k) says it fails many Americans. By Scott Tong. Excerpts: Ted Benna -- also known as the father of the 401(k) -- is a decidedly un-Wall Street guy. He grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm. "My dad did a great thing for me there," he tells Marketplace. "I had my own cow when I was seven years old, and we got paid a little money from that." ...

    The backstory of the 401(k). What's he mean? To understand, let's back up, to the accidental rise of the 401(k) -- to the 1960s and 70s. Back then, if you worked for a big company and retired, you got a pension. A regular check.

    Benna helped run these plans. He was a consultant. And in the late '70s, he was unhappy.

    "Most of what I was doing was working with business owners," he says. "Their main interest was, 'how can I get the biggest tax break, and give the least to my employees, legally?'"

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.

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