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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—March 22, 2014

  • Nearshore Americas:

    Uncertainty Over How Many Jobs IBM Cut in Mexico. By Duncan Tucker. Excerpts: Nearshore Americas has received reports that IBM has laid off up to 350 workers in Mexico, around 80 in Mexico City and the remainder in Guadalajara. Worldwide job losses could total 15,000, according to the IBM Global Union Alliance.

    When contacted by Nearshore Americas, IBM neither confirmed nor denied the reports. “It is IBM policy not to break out employee numbers by country,” IBM’s External Communications Team Leader, Susana Maldonado, told Nearshore Americas. Maldonado did acknowledge that “IBM continues to re-balance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high value segments of the IT industry.” ...

    The reports of workers being laid off in Mexico come at a time when IBM is making job cuts globally. “IBM has been cutting jobs worldwide since the beginning of the year. We are hearing that up to 15,000 IBM employees worldwide could lose their jobs,” Conrad added. “IBM cuts are being driven by a goal of $20 earnings per share by 2015. This is a poor business model and one that relies on cost cutting instead of business building.”

  • eWeek:

    IBM Master the Mainframe Contest Commemorates 50 Years of Big Iron. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpts: IBM this year expanded its Master the Mainframe Contest to include a new IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship competition. The competition is designed to assemble the best university students from around the globe, ones who have demonstrated superior technical skills through participation in their regional IBM Master the Mainframe contests. As part of IBM's commitment to develop the skills of a new generation of mainframe experts, the competition will highlight the modern capabilities of the mainframe, designed to handle the big data, cloud, security and mobile computing workloads that are prevalent in today's enterprises.
  • EE Times:

    You’d Rather Import Than Retrain. Why? By Carolyn Mathas. Excerpts: According to Scott Corley, executive director of Compete America, large technology companies would prefer to opt for more H-1B workers than retrain experienced American employees. At a media conference this week, Corley, in response to a question on why not retrain experienced American workers, asserted that companies would rather use the H-1B visas to hire less expensive and younger staff.

    Also this week, Standard & Poor’s released a report on how adding skilled labor would heat up economic growth in the US. S&P asserts that skilled immigrants increase innovation and productivity and are more likely to start businesses than US-born workers. It seems that IEEE USA also supports more employment-based green cards for high-skilled tech workers. Both organizations indicate that these workers ultimately will create more US jobs.

    Lest I get email regarding the motivation of immigrants to build lives and work here -- I’m not disputing this. What I want to know is what happened here? Wasn’t the US known for its entrepreneurs? Were the entrepreneurs of 30 or so years ago that spawned so many startups immigrants, or were they home-grown?

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Former PwC Managers brought into IBM are awful”

      Partner (Former Employee), New York, NY. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: IBM has terrific technical talent. Cons: Unfortunately talent is being eroded. Advice to Senior Management: Focus on long term value, not merely the stock value today.
    • “IBM is suffering from rapidly declining employee morale.”

      Hardware Engineer (Current Employee), Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Benefits and salaries are still fairly competitive. Cons: The employee ranking system in combination with increasingly common layoffs make this a difficult place to work. Advice to Senior Management: Invest in your employees and pay less attention to the stock price.

    • “IBM Pakistan: No Job Security; Extremely Poor Employer!!!”

      ERP Consultant (Current Employee), Karāchi (Pakistan). I have been working at IBM for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Just a strong brand name worldwide but “All that glitters is not gold" (Oonchi dukan pheeka pakwan)”

      Cons: 1) No Job Security: The No.1 rapidly raising and biggest con is "No job Security" at IBM GBS Pakistan. They just hire resources on project basis on 3rd party contracts, promise them to convert them to either FTCs or regular in future but instead FIRE them on project completion, even employees working for more than 5 to 7 years. They say in meetings and conferences that IBM is hiring xxx number of resources and has blah blah blah plans for the future, but the reality inside is entirely different and IBM has no plans to even retain their existing employees.

      2) No timely increments/ promotions/ benefits/ allowances: Yearly increments and promotions are promised at the time of hiring but no timely increments, even employees get no raise and forced to work for longer hours on same low salaries for years or either just LEAVE. Even a few benefits/allowances given in previous years have now been seized/withdrawn. The justification provided is profits aside, IBM GBS has no new business.

      3) Below average and low pay packages as compared to industry. People are rapidly leaving IBM Pak and joining competitors or other firms.

      4) No opportunities within IBM even if you have the required skill set to perform in other roles. Even if requested for a better opportunity within, the responses by bosses are extremely discouraging. Whenever you try to move up the career ladder, you will be bitten by a snake up there.

      5) Extremely disrespectful and non-cooperative bosses, no career counseling or periodic meetings as promised at the time of hiring resources. Even after several weeks of repeated requests and follow-ups just for a few minutes meeting with your peoples manager, the response mostly is a Big 'NO'.

      6) IBM GBS was performing very well in the past few years but doesn't have any business in Pakistan in recent years and is rapidly losing both name & business to other even much smaller local companies due to high price bids on projects and poor sales/ followup.

      Advice to Senior Management: Please teach your peoples managers to learn some management and to value your employees/resources. If IBM has no projects or business in Pakistan it should simply close its offices there but the pressures must not be passed on to employees that are being rapidly fired.

      Please pay immediate attention to aforementioned points as these are highly beneficial for the name and better future of the Big Blue.

    • “Very Poor Morale due to Management Practices”

      Senior Consultant (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years,

      Pros: Good brand recognition; looks good on resume. Many substantial projects to work on.

      Cons: No career development, recognition, or raises. Staff is extremely overworked because IBM needs to bid low to be competitive. Leadership only cares about the numbers, "just do the work and shut up" attitude. Very poor morale; key team members sometimes resign in the middle of client projects. Absolutely NO work/life balance. You give up your personal time to work.

      Advice to Senior Management: This is not sustainable. IBM is top-heavy with management who do very little to deliver value to end customers, and the staff is paying the price. How can you continue to deliver top-quality client work in this environment?

    • “A good place to cut your teeth”

      Managing Consultant (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Can learn much about consulting through the intern program.

      Cons: Wouldn't want to make it a career. Uncaring global company that is the Walmart of corporations. GBS is not the best place to stay.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stock prices aren't everything. Good for the 1% not the 99.

    • “A great company going in the wrong direction”

      Senior Engineer (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: I spent 12+ years at IBM and the first 10+ were fantastic—great people, challenging problems, and lots of growth opportunities. The people are still fantastic, the problems are still challenging.

      Cons: Over the past 2 years, there has been a lack of direction and consistent support. The leadership team says one thing, and then does another. The lack of trust is horrible and the morale is as bad as I've ever seen. When I left, I felt like I was one of the lucky ones...and since I landed on my feet, I know that is true.

      Advice to Senior Management: Focus on your people, not just the EPS target. Invest in your people - they are what allowed IBM to have a century of success...you need to find out how to reengage them.

    • “IBM good on resume and for learning experience; long term career opportunities slim depending on organization”

      Manager (Current Employee), Raleigh, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Good on resume, learning experiencing, training, technology innovator, navigating Fortune 500 company.

      Cons: Long-term career opportunities slim depending on organization; continuous layoffs; morale; people are seen as a resource not asset.

      Advice to Senior Management: People are an asset not just a resource.

    • “Lots of potential, terrible execution”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time.

      Pros: Amazing depth of expertise and experience across the global. No matter the subject, there WILL be somebody who is a global expert on the matter (however, they may be difficult to identify).

      Cons: Fixated on EPS $20 by 2015. Random-seeming RIFs multiple times a year. Huge overhead in reporting and re-reporting the same facts to multiple (up to five) lines of management to satisfy the data hunger of The Matrix.

      Advice to Senior Management: Morale is in the can. Everybody is watching their back.

    • “IBM Server & Technology Group used to be great, now cost savings and EPS goals destroy morale.”

      Hardware Engineer (Current Employee), Poughkeepsie, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Pros: Working at the forefront of technology, building some of the most complex and powerful servers in the world.

      Most technology, tools and methodologies are developed in-house, one can easily get hold of the experts on each of them and influence decisions, request features and work on pushing the boundaries of technology further.

      IBM is one of the most flexible companies in terms of working from home/remotely and planning your regular work hours that I know of, additionally the global teaming makes for some great contacts from around the world.

      IBM is so big that making career changes is possible within the company and since they're active in all fields of IT, there's usually a job in any area one would like to explore.

      Cons: Everything is driven by the EPS goals of the 2015 roadmap which results in some extreme measures. Office supplies are barely/not provided any longer; offices are only cleaned once a quarter; all assistants have been consolidated into a few positions off site.

      People are providing their own IT equipment because getting anything (docking station, keyboard, extra power supply) beyond the basic laptop is subject of budgeting scrutiny.

      Due to the constant cost cutting, there have been many rounds of layoffs affecting even solidly contributing employees which results in the remaining team having to cover even more work and there's no adjusting of deadlines due to this either. At the same time the management team preaches that "innovation matters" but there is really no time provided to pursue new ideas and even if you had a great new idea, there's no system for providing awards to employees anymore except for large corporate level awards.

      Training is only provided in the form of free online classes, conference travel is sometimes possible but only if one has a paper to present at the conference.

    • “Cheap sweat shop”

      Program Manager (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Flexibility to work from home when necessary, decent benefits.

      Cons: I have worked for this company for over 3 years and I have _never_ received a pay increase. I accepted this position shortly after the 2008-2010 America job-pocalypse and took a huge pay cut from consultant position with competitor. They are currently paying me half of what my resume is worth.

      Working for this company is like living in a pressure cooker the whole time: there are internal agendas set for you to be accomplished through their very disperse and frustrating complicated systems (for all this AI Watson business, they have not even been able to develop their own single sign on system!)

      They substantially mandate overtime to salaried workers for years at a time through mandating 100% utilization in the Personal Business Commitments and personal reviews are nothing but a game in which managers get together and play toss ups...useless anyway, since IBM always seems to find excuses NOT to pay bonuses or pay increases. It is a sweat shop that more and more employees and customers are fleeing like the plague.

      Advice to Senior Management: Instead of cleaning up the ranks of the workforce that actually provides the services you sell, try getting rid of all the useless vice presidents and leaders management reporting structure. This management structure creates so much "overhead" for the accounts that they can't afford to staff the accounts enough to provide good service to the client.

    • “Take what you can get/use and progress your career elsewhere”

      Security (Current Employee), Sydney (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: (Some) great people, flexibility working from home or different locations; great brand reputation to have on your portfolio.

      Cons: So much political and hierarchical nonsense, so much red tape and paperwork crap in the background. Cost cutting EVERYWHERE, so many jobs cut (both contractors and full-timers), barely any salary improvement unless you literally walk on water or something. They try to work you into the ground with ridiculous work hours with no extra compensations.

      Advice to Senior Management: Get a grip, let go of all these stupid unrealistic objectives to reach a certain goal by 2015, its not going to happen. Wake up.

    • “Not what I expected”

      Sales Specialist (Former Employee), Dallas, TX. I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: Brand recognition is through the roof, and the talent of people here is as good as you will find anywhere. IBM has a process called TA-DA-QA that is designed to insure accuracy and quality on large deals, and for certain opportunities the company will do a deal for pure cost alone. Very aggressive and very focused.

      Cons: Executive management is insane. Quotas are unrealistic; they do NOT give a hoot about work/life balance, and they will work you to death. The same TA-DA-QA process that ensures deal quality often keeps teams of employees on conference calls till 4:00 am quibbling over contract verbiage—I've gone through it many times.

      IBM also manufactures very little anymore so we just resold other companies' products, using outsourced labor at higher prices than the industry norm...makes it very difficult to compete against more nimble, aggressive smaller vendors who can offer the exact same product and delivery subcontractor at a better price.

      Advice to Senior Management: A little more leadership by example would go a long way.

    • “Downward Spiral”

      Senior Engineering Manager (Current Employee), Rochester, MN. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Flexible schedule, Good pay. The want 20 works here but I really can't think of any additional good things to say.

      Cons: Looks like the end of the road is coming. Crazy hours—work mornings and evenings in addition to normal business hours. Business units keep getting sold off and there are 1-2 resource actions (layoffs) every year. Everyone is just waiting for their number to be called. Meanwhile the work keeps piling on to the people remain and the business wants to pull in schedules to get product out the door sooner. Less people + more work + quicker schedules = more problems for the customer.

    • “Great client experiences, Professional and Fun colleagues, but a terrible bureaucratic machine with poor ongoing reward”

      Senior Consultant (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Excellent client projects. Great people. Amazing reputation.

      Cons: Awful clunky systems and processes. Recognition and reward practices are based demonstrating actively an input above and beyond your colleagues...less about actual client feedback. Poor offices.

    • “IBM, it used to be fun.”

      Engineer (Current Employee), Essex Junction, VT. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Excellent work/life balance. Good salary. Intelligent, hardworking, dedicated, fun co-workers.

      Cons: Stagnant salary. Company' s view of the employee has continued to decrease for years. Layoffs, more layoffs, and more after that. Not fun.

    • “Big shiny big blue has problems under the surface—employee engagement being the biggest one”

      Managing Consultant (Former Employee), Atlanta, GA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Lots of credibility built up in the marketplace (from when employees used to care and be proud of working for the company) and a large enough business to sustain itself through challenges for a while.

      Cons: IBM is increasingly being run by the bean counters, with a maniacal focus on financial metrics, at the expense of employee development and engagement. Hard to come by IBMers who are truly proud of the company and enjoy working there.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop running the company to purely meet quarterly and short-term earnings numbers. Employee engagement and satisfaction is taking a beating and this will only result in unhappy clients. You cannot hope to achieve long-term success with the way you treat your employees. IBM USED to be a great company to work for.

    • “Good experience at team level with willing and knowledgeable team leads.”

      Systems Administrator (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: Team efforts and everyone pitches in and tries to help each other.

      Cons: Upper management clueless about IT in the trenches and doesn't care; if a buck can be saved by off-shoring trench jobs to India, they'll do it in a heartbeat. If it turns out that the trench jobs can't be done in India, well, whoops. We'll have to re-hire the temp contractors back or something.

      Advice to Senior Management: Remote management doesn't work very well in the current configurations and there is WAY too much paperwork, even for low-level temp contractor drones.

    • “Horrid”

      Software Engineer (Former Employee), Mulhurddart (Ireland). I worked at IBM full-time for less than a year. Pros: IBM offers a vast array of experience and learning. Cons: Never in my life have I encountered such a management style. I wouldn't be surprised if staff were chained to their desks and told to dismiss the real world and their former lives and family who depend on them.
    • “Used to be a great company to work for but not any longer, sadly.”

      Sales Account Manager (Former Employee), London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years
    • “Very good company with solid reputation”

      Server Solutions Specialist (Current Employee), Atlanta, GA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: IBM is a very reputable, profitable and rewarding company to work for. Cons: The biggest challenge is work-life balance.

      Pros: You get to work with a lot of talented people, with opportunity to develop and grow professionally. Opportunity to diversify if you invest your time making the right contacts.

      Cons: Many of those talented people have left and not replaced, leaving a top heavy management structure. Moral in the hardware side of the business is at rock bottom and looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better.

      Advice to Senior Management: Value your people in actions as well as words.

    • “Google "IBM ROADMAP 2015"...Glad to be finally un-Blued,”

      IT Specialist (Former Employee), Quezon City, National Capital Region (Philippines). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Pros: Perfect for new graduates off for a quick buck (company saves more).

      Cons: IBM Roadkill 2015; 0% chance of specializing in your field of expertise; Outdated PBC methods (your performance rating is already determined even before your form is submitted); Company focuses more on shareholders and uses employees as cannon fodder; Management frowns down on employees who question policies; Labor union not allowed.

      Advice to Senior Management: None at all.

    • “GBS Sr. Managing Consultant”

      Senior Managing Consultant (Current Employee), New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Big 4 consulting org; 6% match on 401k; generous vacation and holiday time off; warm leads from SWG and other sales teams; most funded R&D org in the industry; most patents in world each year; respected engineering firm.

      Cons: Salary is lower than industry average; No pay raises; No bonus in GBS; Not a marketing firm (lacks marketing expertise to bring new innovative products to market: - speech failed, mobile failed, collaboration tools don't hold a match to Google Docs, will see how Watson does); Loads of processes that are costly but ineffective: - DS&P, PMR, Delivery Excellence, etc. Ran by spreadsheets; lots of resource actions all around company to meet 2015 financial goals; lots of offshoring key roles for same reasons; high pressure for over 100% consultant utilization.

      Advice to Senior Management: Balance utilization quota with sales quota. Get rid of all the red tape—work against ourselves on most deals—hard to win with such high markups.

    • “$20 earnings per share is the only thing that matters...”

      Anonymous Employee (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: The people who do actual work are still the best thing about IBM. Too bad management thinks of people as "resources". Cons: Lack of communication from management to employees. The relentless cycles of layoffs while chasing the $20 earnings per share. Advice to Senior Management: Stop blaming the employees and take a look at yourselves for failing to actually lead the company. (Like that might ever happen). IBM continues to look for the best talent and then doesn't do much to retain them.
    • “Too much pressure, no real plan for career development”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Big company, used to look good on your CV. Today? Not that much. Payment is OK. Whatever you get when accepting the job stays the same. No real salary increase.

      Cons: Career development is said to be your own responsibility but each time you ask for advice from HR you're told to talk with your manager. And your manager keeps leading you on, "maybe in the future", it's too early, etc. And, this happens to the employees "top contributors". Extra hours not paid, although "highly appreciated" by management.

      Advice to Senior Management: Act like you care about your employees. Don't ask them to put the client first, when you know they are exhausted and frustrated and you are doing nothing to alleviate the stress. Stop pretending you don't see this.

    • “Great company to build a career...obsessed with EPS instead of innovation”

      . Sales Executive (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Can't beat the access to a worldwide pool of IBMers. There is an ocean of resources available to learn and further your career. Very strong sense of ethics and strong culture of doing the right thing by the customer. Generous pay and benefits, comparable with the best in the business.

      Cons: Great companies balance the interests of shareholders, clients and employees. Since the Palmisano era, management has been enamored with EPS targets and this balance has gone out of whack with too much financial engineering and cost cutting...need to get back to basics of innovation, client service and employee morale.

      With the shift to Software and Services, the great tradition of innovation and pioneering spirit in the hardware business has fallen by the wayside. Surely, IBM can lead in this space, specially when the competition is weakened.

      Obsession with EPS has led to employee morale issues...lots of good people have left and the newbies take time to become productive. GBS has the worst of this problem.

      Advice to Senior Management: Find the right balance between servings interests of clients, employees and shareholders. Need to focus on Innovation like Apple if you want to achieve revenue and EPS growth. Employees are your most valuable asset...they don't feel that today. Stop treating them like widgets.

    • “2014 at IBM”

      Senior Managing Consultant (Current Employee), London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM part-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Reinventing new solutions for latest industry challenges. Good client base. Knowledgeable and supportive colleagues. Supports flexible working.

      Cons: Career progression very slow even when recognised as top performer. Not people focused—all about the money. Training is always cancelled. Hugely process driven.

      Advice to Senior Management: Reduce bureaucracy Allow greater autonomy.

    • “Opportunity in abundance.”

      Project Manager (Current Employee), Sacramento, CA. I have been working at IBM as a contractor for more than 5 years. Pros: Training is available for every topic you may be interested. Opportunity to expand your skill sets in any career path that may interest you. Cons: Work-life balance can be a little skewed from time to time, but I have discovered that by mentioning my concerns they are typically resolved or alternatives identified to regain that balance. Advice to Senior Management: A little more advance planning can be useful to the general rank and file, and allow for advance worker planning.
    • “Great company”

      Deployment Manager (Current Employee), Houston, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Excellent benefits. Excellent management. Talented professionals. Cons: Moving some IT work offshore to be competitive. Advice to Senior Management: Higher level management works a lot of overtime.
    • “More likely to cut cost and hurt quality than find an innovative future with better gains”

      Senior Financial Analyst (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: It's international. You get the title on your CV/resume that you worked for IBM.

      Cons: Instead of pruning and developing employees, paying more to keep high performers, IBM prefers lower cost, less quality employees in order to save money in the short term. (Instead of thinking in the long term this will hurt them). I have seen and continue to see this across all departments—HR, sales!, acquisitions, finance.

      Management is poorly trained and way too young and it seems like the entire company motions through a leadership checklist instead of living it. No respect for employees; they would slit our throats in a moment if it meant the executives could keep their perks.

      Working long hours with no compensation, days off, praise, or whatever value motivates you. Literally you will not get compensated for OT over 12 hours each day although you will often find yourself working 18 hour days.

      Advice to Senior Management: Respect, remember what it's like before you were a manager; read articles on leadership outside of IBM; talk to your employees like people, not disposable slaves.

    • “Terrible, shocking and weird!”

      Sales Representative (Former Employee), Dublin (Ireland). I worked at IBM full-time for less than a year.

      Pros: Base salary is high. Very friendly colleagues.

      Cons: For me, IBM is the perfect example of an unprofessional, unambitious, arrogant and slow company.

      • Processes kills everyone
      • The place is filled up with people who have waited for their manager position for years.
      • There are NO managers, only administrators
      • Absolutely lack of organization and management
      • Terrible, horrible and disgusting physical working environment. The place is dirty and old!
      • My impression was a lot of cheat from sales reps
      • Sad culture - no one smiles!

      Do not believe one word from recruiters or managers during your interview process.

      There is a reason that ambitious, eager and passionate people are leaving!

      Advice to Senior Management: Realize that the world is changing! I could mention 100 things to improve, but really—the inside sales centre in Dublin is a sad, sad story. After I resigned I suddenly understood why people talk about it as the S***hole.

    • “Disappointed”

      Client Executive (Current Employee), New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: experience; the brand name; depth and breadth of IBM. Cons: The company is no longer innovative or relevant. It has become a financial engineering company. Advice to Senior Management: Wake up.
    • “Cost cutting is the order of the day above all else.”

      Enterprise Architect (Current Employee), Toronto, ON (Canada). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: There are still a lot of really talented people working at Big Blue. If you look hard enough you can find deep expertise and learn a thing or two. Cons: The bean counters run the shop. Getting anything done involves way more effort than it should because the company is optimized to keep costs down. With that as the focus, ability to execute suffers. Advice to Senior Management: A profitability target for 2015 is not the same thing as vision.
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New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 03/17/14:

    Does anyone know if this is the first time GDP Payout has been nullified? I have been with IBM since 2004 and have received a meager distribution every year, until now. I might add that the amount that I received broke down to about $7.00 per hour, based on the mandatory 10% overtime rule that IBM imposes on their salaried"resources". I believe the new precedent for GDP payout going forward will be "1" performers only, and we all know how many "1's" there are. This is another, IBM takeaway ploy to cut costs for the Roadkill, similar to pay your own cell phone, pay your own home phone line, pay your own ISP, annual 401k matching contribution, annual increase in healthcare premiums, etc, etc. Yep, GDP is gone forever for the 2 & 2+ population. -Boned_By_Blew-
  • Comment 03/17/14:

    Just got of the phone with my legal counselor to discuss the latest IBM offer to force me to work an extra week to close the quarter. I was offered a package 2 weeks ago and my last day of work was supposed to ve 03/28/14. Now they want me to work an extra week "to close the quarter" or I won't get my severance pay. It is confirmed that IBM has no right to force anyone to work a single minute extra. Unless you feel they are compensating you fairly for the extra time you lose finding another job. -Ed-
  • Comment 03/17/14:

    Here is what I sent management when the 401(k) hold back came out. I didn't send it to them, but I really wanted to:

    Dear IBM: Beginning January 1, 2013, I am changing the timing of my IBM "over and above effort and caring" from 24x7 to an annual contribution at the end of the year. The amount and quality of the work IBM receives—which makes my results among the best in the workforce—is not changing. I must be employed on December 15 of each year for IBM to receive my contribution for that year.

    For eligible projects, my effort and caring contribution will be deposited to the project on December 31, 2013 (and on the last business day of each subsequent year). IBM contributions to projects are not affected by these changes. In the event I choose to leave the company IBM will receive their effort and caring contribution on my last working day, based on the eligible effort and caring credit accumulated during that calendar year. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 03/17/14:

    GDP payouts for PBC 1's are getting 6% as said by Ginni. Slap in the face to anyone who busted their rumps to get a 2+. This was a mistake by Ginni and IBM. It will end up costing them in the end. -bigblusea-
  • Comment 03/17/14:

    I retired 2 years ago at 30 years; had more than enough of a company in decline. My wife still works at IBM and I thus get to hear what is still going on. And things are clearly far worse. I listen to calls with executives using abusive profanity directed at employees and it's clear to me that IBM has lost all that it once had. I wish I could suggest hope but unless something radical happens, IBM is on the road to doom. Great job, Rometty, a failure. -Hope Is Gone-
  • Comment 03/18/14:

    -Boned_By_Blew-: Very good observation! Basically the GDP was a pay "hold back"; IBM kept part of your pay you already should have earned as "competitive pay" and then disburses it later in the next year. Not too many IBMers viewed the GDP as "performance based pay" since it was all based on the PBC process which is a just a budget target exercise by management to weed out and discourage workers: a terrible process and continued failed process instituted by Gerstner. Now IBM will do a hold back to its supposedly best performers. That is not setting a good example! -da_facts-
  • Comment 03/18/14:

    To -da_facts-: You're correct about the GDP hold back I was with Big Blew the year they instituted this. We got no raises that year. (The beginning of the 'no raise for you this year shenanigans), but we also didn't get the GDP as it began the following year. So YES!!! That GDP crap is all a shame. It was a new way for IBM to keep your salary from increasing. If IBM gives someone a 5% GDP, that is a one-time thing. BUT...if you used that same 5% monies as a raise it now becomes the new baseline from which all future raises are based against. This was just another cost savings measure. I am always amazed that people are so happy with the GDP. That was part of your salary anyway. and IBM could say anything they want in order to take it away from you. -dun-4-
  • Comment 03/18/14:

    To -Ed-, who is getting advice that he can't be forced to work an extra week to close the quarter. Ed, I don't know if your adviser is an actual attorney, but you're getting bad information. While no one can force you to come to work, IBM CAN retract the RA offer entirely. They CAN schedule you to work that week. They CAN fire you "with cause" if you don't show up for work that week (meaning you get no RA package AND no unemployment insurance). Even if you DO come to work that week, they CAN fire you anyway with no package. You have very few rights and an attorney should know better. Be careful. -Be Careful Out There-

    Alliance reply: Also extremely important for ALL IBMers to know: You are an "At Will Employee". See this page for more information. Also remember that when IBM makes their own rules, IBM can break their own rules and there's little an employee can do about that; since the State or Federal Labor Dept. has no jurisdiction over company rules *unless* those company rules conflict with those labor laws.

  • Comment 03/18/14:

    RA'd in 2013 within less than a year of 30 years. Will be able to retire at 30 years following the permitted 1 year leave of absence. At the 30 years though I will be 52 and am told that I "...will forgo any/all access to the $25K+ funds on account already (set aside from age 40-50) along with participation in IBM Retiree Benefits at 'group rates'."

    How is IBM able to approve folks 55 (and over) with 15 years of service access to these funds and deny someone age 52 with 30 years of service from these benefits? Decision is purely age based, not recognizing seniority. Is this not a form or age bias or age discrimination?

    The 30 years used to be the "trump card" and still is to some extent for one to declare as "retirement eligible". Wondering if this is something that can be reported to the US Department of Labor? https://www.askebsa.dol.gov/WebIntake/Home.aspx -Dazed_&_Confused-

  • Comment 03/18/14:

    Dazed & Confused: Yes, it's a cruel joke along with the cash balance. You must be 55 years old and retirement eligible to receive the future health account dollars set aside. So, in addition to losing your hard earned traditional pension, you'll have no health care bennies. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/18/14:

    -Dazed_&_Confused- I retired with 31 years and age 51 and am using my FHA and have access to IBM group plans once the FHA runs out. I am on the old pension plan but don't remember if that made a difference. The key was my 30 years of service which trumped the age/service requirement. Unless it has changed you should be eligible for the FHA at 30 years. Who is telling you that you are not eligible and why? If it is HR try another person or supervisor. -anonymous_retiree-
  • Comment 03/18/14:

    -Dazed & Confused- Being an at will employee, IBM sets all the rules. These FHA rules have been documented since 1999. The time has long passed to start complaining now. It does amaze me how many IBMers don't understand the rules laid down by IBM long ago especially regarding the FHA. I always knew two milestones were very important. Age 55 with at least 15 years was first and 30 years was second. I am sorry to see this happen to you. Maybe if we had organized over the past 15 years it wouldn't be. -longtimebeemer-
  • Comment 03/18/14:

    -Dazed_&_Confused-: This is FHA (Future Hell Account) for those that are not 55 years old when they are RA'd from IBM. The Alliance has made this clear in the past that you need to be AT LEAST 55 years old AND (N.B. NOT OR!) have at least 15 years to qualify for the Future Health Account which is used to buy from notional funds retirement insurance from IBM.

    The similar thing happened for those who were 39 years old with 21 years of IBM employment that were forced to the cash balance pension in 1999. Those that were 40 years old with only 10 years of IBM employment got a choice between the traditional IBM defined benefits pension plan or cash pittance heist. -da_facts-

  • Comment 03/19/14:

    More cuts in Australia. Dozens going by March 31. IBM acts like it is going out of business...clients are getting sick of having named resources in contracts RA'd. It's like IBM doesn't want to be in this market anymore:
    • Amenities and perks have disappeared.
    • Stressed and worried bosses
    • Hushed meetings.
    • Departing staff aren't replaced.
    • Plunging stock price and bad press.
    • Risk taking is discouraged.
    • Salespeople are freaking out.
    • No pay rise.
    • The best people are leaving.
    • Low morale. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/19/14:

    @Hope is Gone: They did away with "Respect for the Individual" so they can call you whatever names they want. We want names. Which execs have a limited vocabulary that consists mostly of 4 letter words? Does anyone call the execs to the carpet for creating a hostile work environment? -WeWillSurvive-
  • Comment 03/19/14:

    "I received separation agreement my manager says I have to sign or not get my Sev Pay. The documents mentions age discrimination multiple times, will signing this hurt me later when dealing with IBM. Everything is in IBM's favor."

    Yes, it is all in IBM's favor. Separation pay is given with the proviso that you will not sue IBM for wrongful anything. When I was a manager I had an employee who was fired for a drug issue. HR advised me to give him separation in return for the protection against a future lawsuit. If you think they're giving you "what they owe you" or doing something out of the kindness of their hearts, forget it. It's cheaper than defending against a lawsuit, that's all. -Research RA-

  • Comment 03/19/14:

    I am gonna have to disagree with -Be Careful Out There-. I have a signed separation document from IBM saying my last day is on 03/28. They can't just say the documents we signed are void and we will retract the RA offer entirely or fire you. All I have to do is work until 03/28. I have all the right not to sign another document and stick to that one I've already signed. -Ed-
  • Comment 03/19/14:

    -Dazed & Confused- Are you calling a 1-year leave of absence what was actually a 1-year 'bridge' so that you could qualify for full retirement benefits when it comes to FHA, etc.? One of my team members received a 1-year bridge when he was RA'd to make him eligible. -RA'd IBMer-
  • Comment 03/19/14:

    To Dazed_&_Confused- I left via RA in 2009. I was 52. The "bridge to retirement" gave me 30 years service. I have the old pension and the FHA. I don't know if there have been any changes to the rules since '09. As of 2009, the bridge was automatic for anyone who was within 1 year of retirement eligibility. Whether that eligibility was reached by years of service OR age. -Ant-
  • Comment 03/19/14:

    FWIW, I had the same experience with the FHA. I was within 90 days of being eligible for the retirement bridge. My 1st line went forward with a legitimate business case to move my end date, which would still have been within the RA window. It was denied immediately. A co-worker will turn 54 with 30 years service within the RA window. She was also denied am extension to reach a retirement bridge. -FleetingHealthAccount-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    -Dazed_&_Confused- As far as retirement medical coverage is concerned there are no legal protections if you do not have a contract. This means IBM can make as many arbitrary changes as they wish or cancel the coverage altogether. As this issue applies not to employees but retirees I think claiming age discrimination is impossible. Personally I would not be surprised to see IBM drop all retiree medical funding sooner than later. -anonymous_retiree-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    Ed - "Be Careful Out There" was correct. Your information packet is not a signed commitment—you don't get THAT until your exit interview (as your signing that you won't sue). If you read the packet, it's very clear that IBM CAN pull it back at any time before you leave. The reason doesn't have to be acceptable to the employee and continued employment doesn't even have to be in the same job, at the same level, or pay. Be VERY Careful. -Ed M-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    Re: FHA account. All should be aware, as IBM does not tell this outright that you forfeit your FHA balance in total if you are without medical insurance after retirement for even one minute. This information is available on the Fidelity website but it is hidden in a 'library'. Most of Fidelity's admins do not know about this but when pressed will find out and show you where to see it on the site. Imagine your rage when you have been stripped of your FHA because of a hidden fact you had no reason to suspect. This applies to all retirees not just RA'd employees. -Chris s/n823964-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    -Ant- if you had the old (defined benefit) pension you probably had the old medical plan too, not the FHA. You were born at the right time(!) (over 40 years old in 1999) since if you were born later you would have screwed into the cash balance plan (a legal connived pension heist) and FHA (basically a FUTURE HELL ACCOUNT that IBM reneged on lifetime retirement medical coverage that they promised all employees). To get the FHA you have to be 55 years old AND have at least 15 years of IBM employment or added bridge to retirement if you had a moral FLM to get it for you.

    I can't stress enough that IBM can take the FHA away at any time. Besides, it is funded like with poker chips, not real $money$, a "notional" account. IBMers think they only lose their job with an RA. They usually lose much more than they realize! -anonymous-

  • Comment 03/20/14:

    "I think if you have 25 years or more, or are over 55 you automatically get the option to bridge." I had 25 years when I got RAed, my empty IBM Quarter Century book with no letters in it, a severance check 15% lighter since I was recently "pay remixed", and no notice from my IBM Director that I even existed, and no bridge. I was not yet 50 years old. -I'veBeenMaligned-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    It's worse than you think on those who lost their FHA account due to ineligibility. If you don't make the eligibility rules IBM has set for your FHA account, not only do you forfeit the balance, but you also lose any opportunity to buy into IBM retiree health insurance, even with your own money! Sadly, this is a hard, cold fact in today's IBM. -FHA is Not Yours, It's IBM's-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    Re: FHA—You can only use it to make payments for IBM defined insurance offerings. That means you can not use it for COBRA insurance, i.e. Oxford. Keep up use by selecting IBM dental and or visual coverage. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/20/14:

    A couple of months ago (2013) my manager, in a team meeting, spoke about a new compensation package that was to begin in the new year. Has anyone heard another mention of it, or is that gone too, like our GDP. -GinniGinniWhy-
  • Comment 03/21/14:

    FYI, IBM no longer offers medical insurance to retirees who are eligible for Medicare (including people on disability). No prescription coverage, no Medigap supplemental medical policies, no dental, no vision. Some people get a annual HSA contribution from the company, but IBM has an arrangement with an outside insurance broker to sell us private insurance, and you only get the HSA if you buy a private insurance policy from that broker (even if you can find a cheaper price for an identical policy on the open market).

    There's a lot of discussion about these changes on the retiree comments page—the changes took effect in January 2014, and the broker was originally named Extend Health. I hadn't seen this mentioned explicitly on this page, and it sounds like this may be an unpleasant surprise for a number of people who are retiring in this RA. -Cassandra-

  • Comment 03/21/14:

    As IBM exists the hardware arena, let us pause a moment and remember RCA, GE, UNIVAC, Burroughs, Honeywell, DEC, Cray, Kodak, Xerox, Motorola, Hitachi and most recently fading HP. IBM essentially invented the role of the PC in businesses only to lose the market and sell the business.

    Once IBM led the industry in communications controllers...gone. Sent men to the moon and back safely...no matter, not enough profit in Federal Systems Division and feds too hard to deal with. Led the industry in retail POS systems...SOLD. Premiere provider of check processing systems and competitive in other banking hardware...checks were to be obsolete by 1990; NOT.

    Have long history of leading data storage technology and solutions...IBM is now #3 and will likely lose more market share along with database licenses due to sell of a large part of the server business. Now some analysts are suggesting that the chip manufacturing business is next. -Anon-

  • Comment 03/21/14:

    I read this forum and everyone is discussing after the fact (RA'ed) and not looking at what organizing can do. Those still left will have to unionize or you'll be here making the same after the fact comments or complaints. -samtheman-
  • Comment 03/21/14:

    New IBM compensation package for next year? LOL It'll be called IBM Pay Remix Plus! You all (exempt and non-exempt bands) get paid less since more of your hard-earned paycheck with be at risk pay as determined by your PBC and IBM management subjective whims. -IttyBittyMachines-
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