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Highlights—September 27, 2014

  • CNBC:

    Advice to IBM management: Don’t be jerks. A few years ago, during a family medical crisis, I spent several days in a health-care facility where nurses were learning a new electronic records system. Despite being time-consuming, this training was clearly necessary for the hospital to remain competitive. It would therefore never have occurred to me that the staff might be expected to pay for it.

    This, I believe, is what makes IBM's "pay-to-play" training decision so unsettling.

    IBM recently sent a memo to select employees in Global Technology Services that some of them "have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology, and market requirements," according to a memo to select employees obtained by Computerworld. What's more, they were told they must attend required training one day a week for 23 weeks, during which time — wait for it — their pay would be cut by 10 percent.

    Exactly why is this disturbing? IBM has every right to make such a decision, yet something about it feels wrong. For one thing, this action seems to violate an implicit pact between employers and employees regarding skill development.

    Simply stated, companies are generally expected to provide the training required to keep basic competencies up-to-date. Nurses will be taught to use electronic records. Lawyers will attend annual seminars on legal changes. Auto repair techs will learn to service heavily computerized cars.

    But not in the GTS division, where a technician making $60,000 a year will now be required to sacrifice about $3,000 for training "to address changing client needs, technology, and market requirements." Since this helps IBM compete, shouldn't the company foot the bill? ...

    How about executives? And the board? The GTS group is being retrained in CAMSS — cloud, analytics, mobile, security, and social — IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino is quoted as saying in the Computerworld article. Given that many IBMer's have been with the company for decades, odds are that other folks have also lacked expertise in these areas.

    For example, those technologies certainly weren't around when CEO Ginni Rometty joined IBM 33 years ago. So, did she give up 10 percent of her salary while going through that learning curve? And how about the board? With an average age of 64, they surely required some technical updating – but did they pay for it with a cut to their $250,000 annual fee?

    What does this say about IBM's values? IBM has historically claimed to be guided by core values, one of which is "trust and personal responsibility in all relationships." So, just how is employee trust being affected by this decision? To be informed via email that your skills are outdated and your pay is being arbitrarily reduced by 10 percent would certainly erode trust for most of us.

    Is IBM misleading their customers? In advertising materials, IBM describes GTS as having "highly skilled technical consultants" who "deliver the combination of deep technological expertise and rich industry insight." Really? According to the pay-cut email, many employees "have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology, and market requirements." So, be careful, GTS customers.

    Is IBM misleading job applicants? IBM entices potential recruits with invitations to "deepen your expertise" and "re-invent yourself without ever leaving the company," stating that "few places offer as many opportunities as IBM to gain knowledge in your field". The pitch fails to mention, however, that you could be required to subsidize your training with a surprise pay cut. Anyone receiving an offer from IBM might want to ask about that. ...

    All in all, it's hard to determine the broader implications of this decision. Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions for the IBM executive team: 1) Develop and enforce training policies consistent with IBM values, 2) Do not make employees pay for education required by the company, 3) never tell people about pay cuts or performance problems in an email, and 4) Don't be jerks.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • I once worked for IBM via an acquisition. I am a stock holder and a long term bull. But this is indeed disturbing.

      Let's be blunt. It's downright evil. No way to spin it otherwise.

      At companies like Google, you get 1 day to work on side projects or study new skills. In most tech companies, you teach yourself new skills as projects demand. You aren't fleeced of your salary under the pretext of being skill deficient...which isn't a good way to rectify the situation if even this were true.

      Again, pure evil. WTF IBM! Yeah, I'm keeping my stock. But this one definitely is making me feel dirty right now.

    • The reason training has lagged is because IBM put a froze training dollars about 4-5 years ago. They did not allow training. Now the people are being punished by the management for managements less than desirable policy for the last few years. Shows you how poor the current management's policies are.
    • I think that many people's points here is that IBM used to act more like Google - they would give employees time to learn new skills and even help them with their personal development. IBM stopped doing this 10 or so years ago. Education and self improvement have become bottom of the priority list for IBM, while, they continue to work their people at 60 hours per week (or more in most cases). With that number of hours per week, it isn't easy to keep your skills up - it's a problem trying to get 8 hours of sleep a day. 25 years with them, and multiple 'speak ups' about this problem to upper executives were just ignored... Sad
    • When companies resort to radical "solutions" in an attempt to turn things around, stockholders beware.
    • Great way to purge employees.
    • JC. Please stop talking about you don't know or understand. I have been with IBM for 17 years and still am. I (and most of IBM salaried people) work 14-18 hours day EVERY SINGLE DAY and have been a #1 performer for many years. I have told by my director and VPs that I am the best in this industry they have ever worked with and they come to me for my input for the sector. Just this year, IBM is paying me retention bonus to stay with IBM and promised promotion and raise in exchange for me to give up higher paying job offer outside IBM. Guess what, JC?! I am on the list of 10% pay cut for training. When I was told of this news these were my manager's exact words. "This has nothing to do with your skills or performance.". Employees working 30-50% overtime are NOT REWARDED at IBM. It is Mandatory! There is no such thing as reward at IBM. You sir have no frigging idea what you are talking about so please stop making idiot comments.
    • I consulted for this company in their Global Tech Services division. I was shocked by how poorly IBM managed some of its customer accounts. I don't see how they can turn around and blame their employees for not having up-to-date skill set when mostly what employees do is put out fires on their customer accounts.
    • Instead of innovating in the lab, IBM is now innovating in HR. The one thing IBM fears is a class action lawsuit, like the one a few years ago for age discrimination. Since then, they have gotten very creative in how to layoff the more senior employees. My favorite, was a few years ago, when they hired 600 new college grads, with the sole purpose of grouping them in a layoff 6 months later to help bring down the average age of terminated employees. If only they would use their creative prowess for good.
    • Old TJ Watson is rolling in his grave every time Big Blue screws its employees. It's a long way from the old days when they regularly retrained employees at their own expense when their job went away - that built high morale and a dedicated workforce - which no longer exists there.
    • I worked with IBM for 6 years and I can say that this doesn't surprise me in the least. They are, without a doubt, the most un-ethical company I have ever worked for (and I used to work for a tobacco company).

      Employees in GTS must be billable 95-97% of the time, no exceptions. You get sick, tough, work overtime when you're better. You take a weeks vacation, tough, work overtime when you get back.

      As a manager, I was put in the position of beating employees to make their billable utilization. Those that didn't make it, would often get laid off and replaced with a much less expensive H1B worker. I finally quit 5 years ago out of disgust.

      Sad that a once great and innovative company has become another slave to the investors on Wall St.

    • I worked for IBM for 26 years in their field service division. Lack of ethics by managers and their favorite yes men and women has caused this company to collapse from within. Short sighted goals, sleeping with bosses, nepotism, lack of training when requested, wage freezes, pay cuts...if only the general public knew of the real stories. Don't invest your money in this sinking ship. I jumped this ahip and couldnt be happier. Enjoying watching rhe old tub do a slow belly roll and go down.
    • I'm a current employee who was affected by this cut. I'm not sure where the number '100' came from, there are 1000's. Additionally, I personally am highly skilled and have done a great deal of additional training this year and so have many of my colleagues. We are extremely busy and can hardly keep up with customer demands due to staffing shortages and will now be taking more time away from those customers.

      n any case, the lacking skills as provided to us are high level, vague, and generally do not apply to current roles. This is a cost cutting exercise disguised as an employee skills deficiency. Employees will leave, so IBM won't have to pay severance. Employees will cut back on 401k contributions in order to make ends meet, so IBM won't have to match contributions.

      I wonder how our Strategic Outsourcing customers feel about this information.

    • The way IBM tracks skills is insane. It would take so much time away from doing actual work to properly fill out the skill set page of one's personal profile. Never mind taking any certification tests.

      No company in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street takes certifications seriously. They mean nothing. For that matter, nobody takes any such things from IBM seriously. Google or Facebook will not care what your personal profile at IBM looked like or your band classification.

      Like with all good companies, they will assess you as a software engineer. You will need to demonstrate data structures, algorithms, and programming expertise. You will need to talk competently, using appropriate domain expertise idiom. Nothing more. Nothing else.

      Again, no solid technology company cares about formal certifications. Either you have a good computer science background and can apply it or you simply can't. Once in, you're expected to do what is necessary to be productive...and given time and space to do so.

    • What gets me is how they gave Sam $200 million when he left as CEO. If they stole, on average, 200,000 dollars from each employee when they took their pensions away, right there is about 1,000 people that will have to work until they are 70 so one man can live like a king.
    • I know what you mean about the IBM pension. I am 53 with 25 years with IBM and I have $80,000 in my "cash balance" retirement that is not growing at all. It might be worth $90,000 in 10 years. So I'll have $90,000 for the rest of my life instead of getting about $25,000 a year in a pension. Real fair huh? They said back in the 90's that the cash balance program would benefit younger workers. What a lie. And with no raises in the last 10 years, a lot of us have to cut back on our 401k contributions just to get by. Definitely not my father's IBM.
    • While the cost savings is relatively small to corporate IBM, remember that every manager has bonuses tied to their individual performance targets (i.e. group costs). I'd suspect that these recent 10% cuts had specific targets to enable the GTS SO manager(s) to hit their targets. These would be the same managers that shutdown/restricted the ability of employees to claim time against their engagements last quarter to hit the 2nd QTR cost targets, despite the fact that work was still being performed. Internal accounting and bonuses can drive very unusual behavior. Also the costs are even lower when compared to the costs of layoffs and associated severance pay.
    • I worked for IBM for 25 years (nine years outside before, then 25 years with the company). IBM was a company who respected the individual. In fact, that was one of their motto's and they stood by it. If a new technology needed to be supported by staff, they sent them to training at a beautiful training facility in New York or San Jose. IBM was a place to be admired, and a place where employees stood by their passion for working for such a great employee-centric organization.

      I left IBM in 2013 bewildered and disappointed that a company such as this could change so much. It became less of a place where one not only enjoyed work, but was also extremely productive, to one where management looked upon its employees as sweat-shop-workers and liabilities. This news report just strengthens my opinion that I did the right thing, and I have never regretted leaving. Good luck existing IBM employees, and good luck IBM trying to keep valuable employees.

    • IBM is a sad and pathetic shell of a company. Once focused on employee development, growth, market share, market strategy the only concern now is cutting costs. It's a losing proposition for all involved—stockholders in the long run and employees in the short term.

      Ginni's claim to fame is leading the costs cutting/job cutting efforts that began back in the late 90's. Too bad she has not developed her skills enough to do anything other then that. Like maybe position the company for growth. Like maybe keeping top talent. Or how aobut training and broadening the technical bench with the talented, client focused people they laid off.

      IBM has nothing to offer to draw top talent—they are no longer the best at anything!

      Unfortunately many talented employees with up to date skills, who delivered results to both the company and their customers were laid off. IBM should be embarrassed by such a bird brain ridiculous move.

      They have denied training for years. Heck a certified project manager at IBM couldn't get a current copy of Microsoft Project—had to use the 2003 version. What does that tell you?

      Shame on IBM management—sunk to a new low. A huge 'Fall from Grace'

    • Dear Marie, Your article is spot on, unfortunately it is too late for the title postulate. IBM management became unadulterated bully-jerks about 10 years ago and it has only grown worse. I was there for over 2 decades and finally left the dump out of disgust watching the endless charade. The sinking of this company makes the Titanic look like a row boat.
    • IBM has been screwing employees for a decade while lining executive pockets. Add this to their long list of age discrimination, offshoring, cutting of development and support personnel, then scamming their customers through license audits because no one wants to buy their crappy products anymore. Truly a horseshit company that needs to go away.
    • Sounds like a thinly veiled attempt to cut wages, either by layoffs, or a training scam. These few employees will be laid off, and new employees will be hired at 1/2 the salary. Bet on it.
  • LinkedIn's IBM co/ex workers independent group:

    IBM has initiated a new training program that will cut the pay of participating employees by 10%. Selected posts follow:
    • Let's read past the headline and see that this action, from what we know at this time, only involves GTS strategic outsourcing group. Second, it is applied to both line and management personnel that "...have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology and market requirements."

      From my history isn't this one of the groups that is charged with delivering innovation and "cutting edge" technology to high end clients? If so wouldn't you want these people to be at their best when going into a client? I know that the argument can be made that many of these people work so much that they don't have time for formal training, or that they have the knowledge and skills but just haven't filled out HR's paperwork and dotted the I's and crossed the T's.

      Hey, the bright side is that IBM is saying, from what we can see you need to update your skill sets and we don't want to loss you so we will work together to fix the problem. Actually this is kind of a reverse RA where IBM is saying you are needed and important so we want to get you to where you need to be.


    • So why cut their pay by 10% ? Why not give them the opportunity to learn or hone the skills needed to do the job. Do you really think their workload is going to diminish while their on the hook to take the training. It's just another IBM program that's not gonna be good for the employee.
    • Why are the high level executives not included in this skill improvement/10% salary reduction? Seems to me it's their skills that are lacking.
    • Maybe it is a message to others that if they don't keep up with technology and business changes, they may be next. That is really the only reason I can think of for a pay cut. Some people do work hard but not keep up with change. It's an easy pattern to fall into when you are very busy. So, maybe this is a "heads up."
    • Ken I hear what your saying, the first skill they are lacking is respect for the individual. The employees at IBM have been degraded in pay even when performance is high. After years of no raises no bonuses and increased costs passed down to the employees this is another attempt to get employees to quit without paying severance. When I was hired in 1982 the company paid for all of my training, now you could find yourself in a position to pay for it yourself. Loyalty works both ways you get what you give.
    • There have been some interesting comments from IBM workers here: http://www.endicottalliance.org/jobcutsreports.php. My point as mentioned in the article was, what is the point of cutting pay? It is counterproductive and if IBM wants to keep pushing morale down then this is one way of doing it.
    • It sounds like the early 90's all over again. Whenever you identified education you needed and found a course the answer was always the same.... no expense money to pay for it. I got out a year before they decimated (they went beyond decimation) the workforce. The difference back then IBM's HR practices had created a lot of dead wood by hiring people over qualified for the work they were asked to do and then letting them become complacent at work.

      The layoffs in the early 90s were a sad time but IBM needed to wake the work force up. The people who stayed remained loyal. Today IBM isn't carrying the same kind of baggage but they have also systematically destroyed any sense of loyalty. Don Dieter's comment is on the money...it is a two way street and IBM has failed to maintain their side. Every 6 months lately it seems like IBM comes out with something new to further depress morale. There was that thing with the 401K plan, kicking the retirees to the curb, and now this.

  • Burlington Free-Press:

    GlobalFoundries sets up shop in IBM's backyard. By Dan D’Ambrosio. Excerpts: GlobalFoundries is coming to town, and they have about 400 jobs to fill in their multibillion-dollar semiconductor factory in Malta, N.Y.

    "As you know we're a growing company, we've been doing a lot of recruiting around the country," GlobalFoundries Spokesman Travis Bullard said on Monday. "In order to support our investments in the business and meet our recruiting activity we have opened a small office in Williston at 64 Knight Lane." ...

    The new Williston office follows GlobalFoundries mid-July placement of a full-page ad in the Burlington Free Press, advertising for technicians and maintenance workers at its semiconductor plant in Malta.

    Later in the month, the company announced it had hired three high-level IBM executives for Fab 8, as the Malta plant is known, and in early August, GlobalFoundries held a job fair at the Sheraton Burlington's Conference Center.

    GlobalFoundries has been rumored to be taking over IBM's semiconductor business, including the plant in Essex Junction. Bloomberg News reported on July 25, citing "people familiar with the process," that IBM rejected as too low an offer from GlobalFoundries to buy IBM's chip business. ...

    Bloomberg reported on Aug. 4 that IBM had actually offered to pay GlobalFoundries $1 billion to take the semiconductor business off its hands, an offer GlobalFoundries rejected as too low. GlobalFoundries was said to have demanded at least $2 billion to take the business, in order to offset the division's losses.

    The latest anonymously sourced report on Sept. 17, from tech blogger Daniel Nenni at SemiWiki.com, says IBM and GlobalFoundries have reached a deal that will be officially announced in early October. Nenni reported on "pretty good authority" that IBM will pay GlobalFoundries more than $2 billion to take over its semiconductor business.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “No value of employees”

      Former Employee—Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time for less than a year. Pros: It is IBM and an old and respected name. Cons: Work/life balance is terrible; people with no experience and who are just good at interviewing get in the door. No chance for advancement, nor positions of interest to move into. Advice to Senior Management: Get rid of the old school IBM and adopt something more modern.
    • “Dedicated IBMer, but let down”

      Former Employee—Middleware Anyalyst in Columbia, MO. I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: Diverse learning environment. Great for entry level techs needing to get lots of hands on time. Cons: Lots of work, with little staff to cover all the work. You are asked/expected to do 60-80 hours of work in a 40 hour week. No OT, any work over 40 hours is required to be "flexed out." Employees are severely underpaid! Advice to Senior Management: Pay your people what they are worth, not what Corp. tells you to pay them. Give your team all the tools needed to be successful; paid education!
    • “Multiple jobs, interesting experiences and tough challenges”

      Current Employee—Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Different types of opportunities worldwide in all types of jobs They do have good benefits and promote work/life balance Some great people to meet all over the world. Everyone will know where you work (i.e. name recognition.) Working remotely has great advantages. Cons: Politics galore. Internal tools for employees are archaic. Slow to change and adapt. IBM will let you work as many hours as you want. Work/life balance can be very difficult to achieve. Advice to Senior Management: Invest in the infrastructure and tools so employees can be more productive.
    • “Such potential to be a great company, too bad they treat employees like doo doo”

      Former Employee—Technical Solutions Manager in Detroit, MI. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: The pay is not bad, technology is tops, and they have some nice people to work with. Currently shifting to cloud and consulting, as well as software, not a hardware play anymore. Cons: Pay is being cut, people fired all the time, and only exist to please Wall Street. Terrible place to work. They make you train your replacement, and the work environment is such that you look over your shoulder all the time for the next chopping block session. Advice to Senior Management: Divest and shut down. It's not the IBM of old, time to cut it up and be done.
    • “Unfortunate finance roles”

      Former Employee—Financial Analyst in Rochester, MN. I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: I learned a base understanding of becoming a financial analyst. That's it, nothing more. Stayed at the base—thanks to the location in Rochester, Minnesota. Cons: The level of work (extremely entry level), the atmosphere (felt like I was in college), seemed like there were 300 analysts and two managers (no real growth positions), cheap, we had to vacuum our own offices. Yay. Advice to Senior Management: Open up the pocket book and entice your employees to stay a bit longer.
    • “Disatisfying place to work.”

      Current Employee—Senior IT Architect in Dallas, TX I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Medical benefits are good or if you get sick and go on disability; IBM is very supportive. IBM on your resume looks good. Work/life balance is good. Recommend if you need a job but not for a long-term carrier growth unless you have Excecutive in your title. You've reached a position where you can sit on the confi chair and ride it to retirement.

      Cons: Many layers of middle management, each trying to show their value by mandating unnecessary certifications to acquire. This also creates lots of red tape, unnecessary work and you can't move progress very quickly. When revenue numbers are low all at the bottom of the food chain are held accountable except for sales which are in control. Layoffs are common at the beginning of every year. You just can't settle down because great performance will not save you.

      Lack of training to get your job done. It's learn it on your own or land in the fire.

      It's not a customer comes first type of company. It's sell them something and move on to the next leaving the customer to sink or swim. A lot of cost cutting measures have been put in place so much so that employees are buying their own laptops. Rejections for needed supplies are happening so you have to raid office supply shelves.

      It's a place where you always need to cover your behind and all are in to get credit for others work. The folks that have been around for many years are there because they are master of the game and it reminds me of high school popularity clicques with some bullying that goes around. Provides no sense of accomplishment. Disatisfying place to work at.

      Advice to Senior Management: Eliminate the unnecessary multiple layers of middle management. Hold sales accountable for revenue. Stop creating blanket mandatory certifications on topics that are not applicable to job being performed. Stop being so cheap on supplies needed to get our work done.

    • “Success Is Not Performance Based”

      Former Employee—Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Smart people, remote office, work/life flexibility, many educational opportunities, good pay, reasonable benefits, possibility to influence a global corporation that is in transition.

      Cons: So little value is placed on the employees that drive the business that success is no longer based on performance but, rather, on politics and your budget owner's ability control and/or cut spending. This will likely evolve in to something better and more modern as the old guard continue to retire/be laid off and the company competes with up and coming technology startups that refuse to be acquired (but not before the end of 2015).

      Advice to Senior Management: Centralize, centralize, centralize where your legacy back end systems and behemoth business units are concerned. Demand that your managers actually manage and develop the people who report to them. Influence the industry by valuing and retaining your experienced employees.

    • “Interesting job with good salary”

      Former Employee—Manufacturing Engineer in Essex Junction, VT. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: IBM offered good career growth with very good work-life balance practices. Compensation was among the best in this area and the site received several environmental awards from the local and state governments.

      Cons: The current climate at the local IBM site is poor and declining. Corporate leadership has made it clear they no longer want to be in the semiconductor business and the employees know their employment time is limited.

      Advice to Senior Management: The talent of the workforce is amazing. Allow the site leadership to optimize the product mix and improve the infrastructure and the site will deliver revenue as it did in the past.

    • “Slow moving company”

      Former Employee—Project Manager in Foster City, CA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Enough time to look for next job. Cons: Horrible management/process. No focus on innovation, no technical leadership.
    • “The machine”

      Former Employee—Project Manager/Consultant in Calgary, AB (Canada). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: Well organized and good career opportunities. Very diverse mix of people and skills. Good place to grow your skill set. Cons: It is a heartless machine. There is no family or team here, just the friends you make as they leave to look for some place they feel like they can contribute and not just be a wheel. Advice to Senior Management: You will have to make your own path and it is very political.
    • “Starting point”

      Former Employee—Software Distribution Specialist in Olivos (Argentina). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: Needs no hard experience to get started; the work environment it's like if you are still in high school. Posibilities to learn a lot when you start. Cons: Low salaries and low raises. Once I went to speak to the manager and he says that for a good raise (more than 2%) he would also leave. :S. Long hours, and poor organization.
    • “Get out of GBS!”

      Former Employee—Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: Flexible work location as full-time home-office—but then again, they no longer pay for home-office connectivity and require the family budget to bail out the billion dollar corporate budget.

      Cons: GBS is a repressive culture devoid of innovation as a body shop focused solely on the next quarter's wall street financials who will toss you aside once they're done with you, regardless of employee's dedication.

      Advice to Senior Management: Invest in your people and actually do it—rather than just say it.

    • “No longer the company it used to be...”

      Current Employee—Senior Finance Manager in Somers, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: IBM offers a great deal of opportunity to move to several different areas within the company, which helps keep things interesting and advance the knowledge of the company. There is also the opportunity to work in different countries. Flexibility to work from home is also a plus in most cases.

      Cons: Current environment is extremely challenging and our senior leaders appear lost, with no clear direction on where the company is going. The employee is no longer viewed as an important part of the company and there is very little interest for personal career development. Morale is at an all time low. Work/life balance is basically nonexistent.

    • “Cost cutter”

      Current Employee—Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Great place for senior execs. Cons: Cost cut, cost cut, cost cut. Advice to Senior Management: Take out the huge ranks of VPs and hollow suits.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alerts. This weeks headlines include:
    • Rally at U.S. Capitol Fires up Seniors
    • Alliance President Emeritus George Kourpias is Honored in Iowa, Missouri
    • Alliance Launches Massachusetts Chapter
    • World Alzheimer’s Day – September 21st
    • Older New Yorkers Navigate Unique Housing Issues
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 09/21/14:

    I am curious as the why none of the comments posted here make the mainstream media. Alliance@IBM, any feedback or better yet guidance? How do we tell the world what is "really" happening to the workers at IBM? I think the effort will both bring the effort to the forefront of labor relations AND publicize that the union is ready and willing to organize. -Ex IBMer-

    Alliance Reply: You need to ask the corporate "Main Stream Media" that question. In the mean time, one suggestion would be to start organizing. Don't sit around waiting for the MSM to get "curious'. They never will, unless a large group of US IBMers decide to publicly make noise and take some action.

    FYI...Alliance has its own Facebook account and Twitter account. We use them both to connect with IBMers in the USA AND the rest of the IBM world. Our web site has nearly 10 million hits and gets about 100,000 per month on average.

    The not-so-big media outlets run our press releases without any hesitation. Yet, the MSM will not "bite", as in the past. What we have said over and over and over and over for the past 15 years is still true: The IBMers must rise up and organize in large numbers and stop sitting around waiting for someone else to do it. YOU are the union, if you choose to be.

    And we can help you. If you choose not, then no one else will really care; most especially the Media.

  • Comment 09/22/14:

    The geniuses who thought up the retraining program did not factor in that people from different departments support the same account. So as each manager identified people for this program they decimated account support. We have accounts where their entire GTS technical support team will be at training one day a week. Will the customer be told of this new 4 day a week model?? The SLA penalties alone will exceed any savings from the pay cuts! -CAMSShaft-
  • Comment 09/22/14:

    If my manager even thinks of suggesting me for that training initiative I hope he is wearing a cup. IBM has hired technical leads and PMs that don't have a clue about technology; those are the people who need the training and the 10% pay cut. Actually, they are not needed at all because they have no "value add" to the client. They are all a drain waste, which we are supposed to be eliminating. IBM = top heavy = epic fail. Get rid of middle management already; it's costing the clients way too much. -johnny2times-
  • Comment 09/22/14: I read this on a Zolman site...can some one comment on this or verify this? The products certainly feel in decline from the outside. It feels like IBM is sucking the life out of its own products like you beat dead horse to get an extra feet without ever feeding or watering it:
    "IBM software and mainframe business is already in steep decline. New applications are invariably being put on low cost IaaS cloud, or specialized PaaS or DB engineered systems. Lotus has been a basket case for years, Tivoli is being eaten by the likes of ServiceNow, IM and Cognos suffering from lack of investment and Oracle/SQL Server superiority, Rational long ago lost to HP, services losing out to far cheaper Indian companies and in-sourcing to internalise profit margin. Nowhere for IBM to go from here, particularly with an unmotivated/uncompensated workforce."
  • Comment 09/23/14:

    It's been 15 years since the Alliance came in to inception! And more if we consider its roots with the Binghamton Resistor labor movement! The Resistor movement did not go away and the IBM Alliance isn't going away either. But we need YOUR support and help! Let's all unite now and make it a real anniversary. Let's organize now! Let's show IBM we want to be treated fairly and we don't play with historical dates. Not like the one Palmisano crafted saying IBM was 100 year's old when it really was not. -IBMUnionNow-
  • Comment 09/23/14:

    Ginni what retraining classes have you taken in the past year or so? Have you taken:
    • IBM091 How to be persuasive and get away with it every time
    • IBM100 How to manipulate corporate profits without revenue growth
    • IBM1010 How to manage stock options for your benefit
    • IBM201 Make your own dreams a reality for IBM executives
    • IBM301 Real Vision; Real Leadership

    Sounds like you need a 10% pay cut Ginni or maybe a PBC 3 improvement plan?! -Anonymous-

  • Comment 09/24/14:

    I suspect IBM is testing the waters with the 10% pay cut "for training". If they get away with it (which they likely will with their positive spin machine), they might next do across-the-board cuts and ratchet up other new and creative cost-savings mechanisms. They want you to voluntarily quit as they keep twisting your arm harder and harder. Are you strong enough to stop the tormenting, or will you just put up with it? -ex IBMer-

    Alliance reply: Yes IBM is testing the waters. They have been taking actions like this for years. Why? Because employees keep letting them get away with it. We offer the alternative if people are willing to take it. Organizing and unifying IBM US workers makes it extremely difficult to "twist your arm" when there are so many arms for IBM management to twist at once, when they are together. Organize.

  • Comment 09/25/14:

    Don't know about the rest of you but for the last 6 or 7 years anytime I ask for training its "Nope, there's no money for that". And I'm not alone, we've all been subjected to it. To then hear that IBM is saying people lack training? Boy, that takes a certain level of nerve that I wouldn't have thought possible. If it was me selected in that group, I'd do the training of course. But I'd also be sick an awful lot and forget about after hours work. No OT, no work, I'm training. -Rusty IBMer-
  • Comment 09/25/14:

    IBM is pulling out all the trump cards to get to the 2015 plan. The 10% pay cut is a test vehicle; if it works, others will follow. Can't you see by now—IBM does not want or need US workers! This is why jobs are being offshored, 401k held hostage, RAs for no reason, PBC 3's at the peak of the bell curve. Before long everyone will take a pay cut or be cut! Gone from the rat hole and happier than ever. -X-Ibmer-
  • Comment 09/256/14:

    I wish this company had the same creativity in developing new revenue producing products as they have in stiffing the working man and saving their way to roadkill. I am a rep in the field and SO is understaffed and demoralized to the point they can't meet slas and we can't sell new products. The SO employees are not allowed to travel to conferences, briefings, or get educated. I can't see how this can be good for anyone. Revenue will continue down along with the death spiral. IBM services are the joke of the industry. Nobody wants to work for IGS. My client laughs at the inexperienced new hires they bring in, they should be trying to keep loyal employees not drive them out. -On the Titanic-
  • Comment 09/26/14:

    To Rusty IBMer: "no funding" is definitely the story in at least 2 divs. OTJ only (and fake-fake-fake diet cola Think40 education) for mf and IBM i technical trainees fresh out of university? Recipe for disaster. Then you have poor TSS staff having unbelievably low salary caps to replace the trained people who are now deemed too expensive, then when they are brought in they cannot get training until there are unit wide efforts supported by brands. The training and education curriculum is a sad joke GTS matter or not. -Asst Mgr SCAMS-R-Us Inc.-
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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