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IBM, one of the key tenants in RTP and a widely acknowledged essential factor to its success over the past five decades, no longer discloses employee numbers by location or country, citing competitive reasons. The company also rarely acknowledges layoffs, although so-called "resource action" notices provided to workers are often provided to the union.
The union, which is seeking to represent IBM workers, says the data shows 7,470 regular employees and 265 executives at its Raleigh-Durham locations as of the end of 2012. The numbers do not include layoffs made in June, which the company said cost over $1 billion. WRAL News was told at the time that "hundreds" of jobs in North Carolina were affected in what was described as a "broad-based" restructuring. ...
"IBM does not comment on the authenticity of any alleged documents provided by unnamed sources, and we do not disclose employee headcount of our IBM locations, for competitive reasons," said Doug Shelton, who is director of corporate communications, when asked about the Alliance numbers. ...
In June, Shelton described the layoffs as necessary to deal with changes in technology. "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,” Shelton said. ...
Using the directory data, the Alliance says IBM headcount in the U.S. has declined to 88,150 from as high as 153,587 in 2000. IBM stopped disclosing its U.S. employee number after 2009 when the count was 105,000.
"They are doing it to save costs," said Conrad, noting that a programmer in India "makes $17,000 a year whereas a programmer (in the United States) makes several times as much money."
Overall, IBM employs 434,246 worldwide today, according to its website.
"IBM is abandoning the United States," Conrad said, noting the continual drop in numbers. "Even with new centers like one in Louisiana, these jobs are for far less money."
Cons: Senior executives are clueless idiots. They are so far removed from the technology and are totally preoccupied with hitting a specific EPS, that the bottom is falling out of this company.
The hardware business is on the verge of total failure. The software business is based on buying smaller software companies, pushing the new product to existing IBM customers, then off-shoring development & support for the product. This is "pump and dump", but for software. IBM has done so poorly in Cloud services, that they had to abandon their current offering and spend a rumored $2 billion to buy another cloud provider. That provider (rightfully so) refuses to integrate solutions like IBM Power because they know what an unmanageable and uncompetitive disaster it is.
The working environment is incredibly toxic. The threat of layoffs is constant. The vast majority of tech people in this company are embarrassed to work here. The ones with skills are leaving in large numbers, even if it means losing stock grants, 401k matches, and retirement benefits.
Advice to Senior Management: Start hiring proven leaders from outside the company. The last time this company was turned around, they hired a CEO from outside IBM. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
For example, there's Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), which receives a lot of its funding from high-tech companies. ITIF vehemently insists that the STEM crisis is real and that anyone who says differently is hopelessly misguided and uninformed. Atkinson argued that, among other things, college students need to be channeled towards “more useful” majors.
“We should be making some value judgments on what kind of people we'll need for the nation to move forward...The distribution of degrees right now is entirely up to students. Shouldn't we be steering them into degree types that are of more value to society, such as computer science or engineering? The American tradition is one of hard-core pragmatism. We're at risk of losing that, and we're in trouble now in regards to competitiveness.”
Atkinson goes on to imply that IT workers in the U.S. will just have to get accustomed to lower wages given that, “Companies can go overseas for workers.” Of course, the ITIF is a strong supporter of expanding the H-1B visa program for its high-tech paymasters, which has helped erode STEM wages, especially for engineers. Additionally, Atkinson maintains that, “there will be work in IT for people with the right set of skills…[and] that lower wages probably won't keep them from accepting jobs.”
I would bet, however, it might discourage many potential engineering and computer students from pursuing those careers, as it has in the past. ...
In fact, Carnevale continues:
“Having experience in technical matters helps them [STEM students] land good non-STEM jobs. They might work in places like marketing or medical-device sales, where their technical backgrounds helped them get in.”
Yep, get an EE or CS degree, and you too can strive to get a job shilling medical devices. Sounds to me like a winning slogan for convincing high-school students to pursue engineering or similar STEM majors. Maybe Carnevale can make up posters and send them to all the high schools to put up in their science and math classrooms. ...
Hira provided a quick overview of the current H-1B visa program, and highlighted the fact that no one knows (or tracks) exactly how many H-1B visa holders there are in the U.S. He estimated that the total is around 650,000, with most working in the high tech arena. Hira also reported that the program does not require U.S. companies to actively recruit U.S. workers before seeking out H-1B visa workers, and that company compliance with the H-1B visa requirements is only maintained through whistle blowers such as Jay Palmer, who exposed Indian outsourcing company Infosys’s rampant abuse of the program. Palmer was supposed to attend the briefing to describe his Infosys experience, but unfortunately, his flight was canceled.
The reduced benefit for a surviving spouse is for only one reason, that is, to save IBM money. There is no other reason. There is no benefit to the retiree.
My point was that since I am single with no dependents and have been for 35 years, why did I have to send in a notarized form? My supposition is that there must be an ulterior motive - pension payment de-risking.
Once again, you can thank the greedy bastards at IBM for this so-called surviving-spouse 'benefit'.
I'm not trying to be antagonistic or belittle your opinion, but I am truly amazed.
Many folks repeatedly post on this forum with an underlying message that seems to be: IBM fundamentally broke their word to us multiple times - don't trust them. I agree. All of the past legal disclaimers may protect IBM legally, but not morally.
But you appear to be saying that IBM is using a new strategy. Let's call it a rebate campaign - if folks don't follow the terms, they'll lose a potential benefit and reduce IBM's cost.
I'm very disappointed that IBM violated my trust, but am not as cynical as you appear to be.
I recall that in 1991 we were told that if we retired before Jan 1, 1992 that the costs for our Medical benefits would never be capped. So, I retired. A couple of years later we received a letter that basically said, we changed our minds and your costs are also capped and because we changed we will cap your costs at $500.00 over people that retired after 1/01/1992. $8500.00 vs $8000.00 if I recall. I still see the $500.00 delta that is carried over to our HRA funding. ($3500.00 vs $3000.00) Then years after that, nobody was capped.
Always remember the fine print on all benefits documentation, for example: 2014 IBM Benefits Enrollment Guide for IBM Retirees not Eligible for Medicare. This is for my non-Medicare eligible spouse.
The company reserves the right,in its sole discretion, to amend,change, suspend or terminate any benefit or plan, program,practice or policy of the company at any time.
Nothing here about a moral obligation. Bottom line here is that we can expend our energies bitching about our current events or try to ensure that clean, concise, accurate information is made available for all effected IBM personnel. We have to play the cards we are dealt in the best way we know how.
In my case I don't think I will succeed in getting my present carrier to give EH Agent of Record for my MA policy that I like. I just found out that I can not just replace that MA policy with a Medigap policy purchased on the open market while getting my HRA by purchasing the Humana Walmart Drug plan through EH. BCBS told me I would have to go to Medicare and get a Special Election Privilege to allow BCBS to replace my 2013 MA plan with a BCBS Medigap plan. Further investigation, s in order. Has anyone else run into this issue?
For non-Medicare retirees and spouses, the IBM plans do not appear to be any great bargain vs buying a policy on an Obamacare exchange. In NY the exchange prices look like they are about 1/3 less than the FHA prices for similar coverage.
For Medicare policies, the EH prices are the same as the open market prices for the exact same policies.
Bottom line - I don't see any disadvantage for a surviving spouse who loses access to the IBM retiree insurance program.
So I finally finished the process of switching my almost 80 year-old mom over to her new plan. I have to say, I am no brain surgeon, but am pretty computer savvy and am a college graduate—but this whole process stressed me out!
I know NOTHING about the Medicare yet personally, and navigating between plans, and wanting to get her the best coverage possible with her limited income was complicated to say the least. I'm still not convinced I made the right choices (she deferred to me as her POA to decide). I can only pray and wait to see. At least she does have the $1300 HRA to reimburse some of her upfront costs. I'm curious if that will continue after this year, or is a one time "perk"?
To add to the process even after all the time researching and filling out all the online stuff we still had to finalize it all on a conference call. The process (including being disconnected once) took almost two hours on the phone.
The GOOD news is that I found YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR AN APPOINTMENT to finalize your plan if you have filled out everything already online. At least here in MD we did not. Which made us both very happy as their next online available date wasn't until December 9. I would suggest anyone still waiting if you have completed EVERYTHING (there are a lot of questions at the end to answer) online and you have an hour or two in the next few days, get it done ASAP to avoid any delays and have to go through a reimbursement process. Can't hurt to try at least! :) I am hoping we got ours in enough time.
Seriously, how are some of the elderly whom are not computer savvy or alone supposed to navigate this? My heart goes out to those going it alone and pray not too many lose coverage (or make a poor choice) by not getting it done in time.
Thanks for this site. I found it very helpful along the process. My Dad (who passed in '92) worked for IBM for over 40 years in the DC area. Anyone remember the Rusty Bucket? That was one of the buildings I remember him talking about. Take care all, Sharon
Not anymore: A new report out this morning from the OECD shows that the United States' average lifespan has fallen one year behind the international average, lower than Canada and Germany, more akin to the Czech Republic and Poland. ...
This 213-page, graph-laden OECD report tells the story of why. It shows the United States as a country that is spending tons and tons on health care--but getting way less than other countries out of that investment. It exposes a country that's really great at buying fancy medical technologies, but not so fantastic at using those medical technologies to extend life. It is, in short, the story of why our health care system is so screwed up. ...
"While life expectancy in the United States used to be one year above the OECD average in 1970, it is now more than one year below the average," the authors write. "Many possible explanations have been suggested for these lower gains in life expectancy, including the highly fragmented nature of the U.S. health system, with relatively few resources devoted to public health and primary care, and a large share of the population uninsured."
We're spending a lot on health care but, when it comes to life expectancy, not getting much back in return.
As inapt as those comparisons are, what is distressingly similar today is how the South is once again committed to taking a backward path. By refusing to expand health care for the working poor through Medicaid, which is paid for by the federal government under Obamacare, most of the old Confederacy is committed to keeping millions of its own fellow citizens in poverty and poor health. They are dooming themselves, further, as the Left-Behind States.
And they are doing it out of spite. Elsewhere, the expansion of Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, has been one of the few success stories of Obamacare. It may be too complicated for the one-dimensional Beltway press. Either that, or it doesn’t fit the narrative of failure.
But in the states that have embraced a program that reaches out to low-wage workers, almost 500,000 people have signed up for health care in less than two months time. This is good for business, good for state taxpayers (because the federal government is subsidizing the expansion) and can do much to lessen the collateral damages of poverty, from crime to poor diets. In Kentucky, which has bravely tried to buck the retrograde tide, Medicaid expansion is projected to create 17,000 jobs. In Washington, the state predicts 10,000 new jobs and savings of $300 million in the first 18 months of expansion.
Beyond Medicaid, the states that have diligently tried to make the private health care exchanges work are putting their regions on a path that will make them far more livable, easing the burden of crippling, uninsured medical bills -- the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. ...
What we could see, 10 years from now, is a Mason-Dixon line of health care. One side (with exceptions for conservative Midwest and mountain states) would be the insured North, a place where health care coverage was affordable and available to most people. On the other side would be the uninsured South, where health care for the poor would amount to treating charity cases in hospital emergency rooms.
Texas, where one in four people have no health care and Gov. Rick Perry proudly resists extending the Medicaid helping hand to the working poor, would be the leading backwater in this Dixie of Despair. In the 11 states of the old Confederacy, only Arkansas and Tennessee are now open to Medicaid expansion.
The South, already the poorest region in the country, with all the attendant problems, would acquire another distinction -- a place where, if you were sick and earned just enough money that you didn’t qualify for traditional Medicare, you might face the current system’s version of a death panel.
"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.
Republicans on Capitol Hill love to argue that welfare programs are costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year, and that welfare recipients are able to live lavish lifestyles thanks to the government.
But in reality, all of the welfare that the U.S. government provides to real, live human beings is just a drop in the ocean, compared to the billions and billions that the government hands out to corporations and big-business.
Each year, the average American family forks over $6,000 to corporations in the form of taxpayer subsidies. ...
There are many indirect but just as costly forms of corporate welfare too. Take Wal-Mart for example.
America's largest retailer makes nearly $35,000 in profit every minute, and as of 2012, the corporation's annual sales were around $405 billion.
But those huge profits don't trickle down to Wal-Mart employees, who on average make just $9 per hour.
Those extremely low wages, combined with very poor benefits, force many Wal-Mart employees to reach out to the government for assistance with healthcare, food and housing costs.
A report released earlier this year by congressional Democrats found that Wal-Mart's low wages and poor benefits cost American taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per store. ...
If we're serious about ending welfare, let's begin with corporate welfare, and use those billions of dollars for things that really matter, like education, healthcare, transportation, and helping out the most vulnerable Americans.
The report, titled Platinum-Plated Pensions: The Retirement Fortunes of CEOs Who Want to Cut Your Social Security, points out that two organizations, Fix the Debt, a PR and lobby machine launched in 2012 and led by more than 135 CEOs of major corporations, and the Business Roundtable, a 40-year-old association made up of about 200 CEOs of Americas largest corporations, are involved in a protracted campaign aimed at cutting, and ultimately, gutting Social Security. ...
According to Platinum-Plated Pensions, The average Business Roundtable CEO has $14.5 million in his gilded nest egg, more than 1,200 times as much as the $12,000 median retirement savings of U.S. workers who are within 10 years of retirement.
Ten CEO members of the Business Roundtable (four of whom are also members of Fix the Debt) have corporate retirement plans valued at more than $50 million. Of these, three have retirement assets of more than $100 million. ...
Although public opinion is soundly against any cuts to Social Security, Fix the Debt and Business Roundtables millionaires, sitting in the catbird seat, will no doubt soldier on in their efforts to gut one of Americas most successful programs.
On Tuesday, he showed a willingness to use tough language in attacking what he views as the excesses of capitalism. Using a phrase with special resonance in the United States, he strongly criticized an economic theory — often affiliated with conservatives — that discourages taxation and regulation.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis wrote in the papal statement. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.” “Meanwhile,” he added, “the excluded are still waiting.”
In reality, it is, according to The New York Times only "half the bank’s annual profit." As BuzzFlash at Truthout has pointed out in the past, that still means roughly $6.5 billion dollars in profit for the behemoth financial institution, no apparent cut in the oligarchical compensation of the likes of JPMorgan's chief executive, Jamie Dimon, and no major changes in the salaries or composition of Dimon's executive team.
Furthermore, the NYT reports that "Marianne Lake, JPMorgan’s chief financial officer, emphasized that $7 billion of the settlement was tax-deductible." In addition, as BuzzFlash reported in an earlier commentary, JPMorgan may -- if you can believe this -- may receive several billions of dollars in FDIC coverage that would offset as much as a third of the $13 billion fine.
But then we get down to the basic fact that the DOJ still cannot answer. How can a bank-too-bit-to-fail commit $13 billion worth of fraud and yet no one committed a crime? Yes, the agreement allows for a Sacramento US prosecutor to pursue some relatively minor criminal charges in California, but that looks like about it.
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