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Highlights—August 1, 2015

  • Alliance@IBM:

    The Disintegration of Employment in IBM. Excerpts: Last week an unknown number of IBM workers were notified they would lose their jobs. The common thread in the reports was that their work was being moved to another country. In the mid 1980’s, the number of IBM employees in the United States was 230,000. Now it is 71,000, and the future of employment growth in the US is bleak.

    In a relentless, ill conceived drive to cut cost and to increase earnings per share, IBM executive management put this once great company on a path of ruin. Business units were sold off and in the case of chip manufacturing IBM even paid a company to take that segment. Job cuts and force outs have been the order of the day. Off shoring of work and the bringing in of foreign workers on guest worker visas have been a slap to the face of hard working loyal US employees who have lost their jobs to this insidious business model. Employees of companies IBM bought face a bleak future as they transition into IBM and then their work gets moved to another country.

    IBM in the 21st century is a shadow of a once great company. It is now a company selling a myth of greatness.

    This didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t go unnoticed by many IBM employees or the Alliance. It did go unnoticed by many in the country. The myth of IBM as a great and successful company lived on. But now that facade is cracking.

    After 13 straight quarters of dismal revenue, questions are being raised about the company leadership. Unfortunately concerns weren’t raised when IBM embarked on this path and the “Roadmaps”. All is fine and good when the stock price is up and dividends are paid off. Nobody cared about the workers losing their jobs or the damage done to their families and communities.

    But with the latest job cuts in July and the push to move more work out of the US, it has to be asked: what is the future for IBM US employees?

    Here are some comments from IBM workers caught in the latest job cut...

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Manager”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Lots of professional training provided. Many responsibilities and learning experiences. Cons: Expect to work hard — may not have life balance you want.
    • “Once a Great place to work”

      Former Employee — Controller/Solution Financial Manager in Armonk, NY. I worked at IBM (more than 8 years). Pros: Smart people, prestigious name brand recognition. Exposure to a wide variety of industries. Opportunity to grow and continue to learn. Cons: IBM stopped investing in their North American talent pool and became solely driven by financial results. Felt stifling as a decision maker, and lacked the ability to "do the right thing" for the customer and IBM. I'm sure it was part of the cycle and they will figure it out, but it became such a frustration that I no longer enjoyed working there.
    • “Constant Layoffs”

      Current Employee — IT Specialist. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Flexible work from home arrangement. No micromanagement. Managers expect you to take initiative and base your ratings on volunteering for projects.

      Cons: Systems administrators/support team are low on the totem pole and don't get much respect. Don't expect raises, even when you've achieved your commitments. Layoffs are a common occurrence. Contractors are also expected to take furloughs when layoffs occur, so that fewer people are left to do the work. You will work many hours on weekends.

      Advice to Management: Respect the employees more and don't layoff employees in the US to hire more offshore workers.

    • “IBM Philippines Graduate Hire — Advance Programming Specialist”

      Former Employee — IT Specialist in Quezon City, National Capital Region (Philippines).

      Pros: Good training. BIG FISH company.

      Cons:

      • A very low wage.
      • Growth level at its lowest
      • Often times, the training that you are specializing from them has no relationship to the project you will work to.
      • Often times, a project candidate is measured by random system generator meaning it's not measured based on talents.
      • There are no overtime pays even though counterparts wants you to work overtime
      • Promotion when you last 1 year in the project, but if you're rolled off from the project (even though the project is just cost-cutting or have minor reasons) the time gap for your promotion will be reset. It means if you are rolled off in the project after 364 or less days, then the promotion duration will be reset.
      • Vacation leaves are earned. You cannot have leaves probably on January-March because you have to earn it first.
      • Holiday offsets is a joke. Because first you have to use it within the next quarter otherwise it would be a waste. Second, if you have many holiday offsets, you cannot use it within the next quarter because there are some project requirements that you have to complete a minimum working hours per week or per quarter so for example, you have to work 40 hours/week, 8 hours per day, then you had one holiday vacation leave on that week, so you have to work 10 hours/day on that week just to cope up your vacation leave which is very FRUSTRATING.

      Advice to Management: Treat every employee equally as the IBM logo means.

    • “Software Engineer”

      Former Employee — Software Engineer in White Plains, NY. Pros: Stable job, even in terrible years. Cons: Giant elephant is not vibrant. People here are using some ancient software strange to externals, Lotus 1-2-3, for example. Advice to Management: I don't think managers can change much about the culture but executives need to do more. They shall have visions and bring more vibration to work force.
    • “My opinion”

      Former Employee — Deskside Support Representative in Joliet, IL. I worked at IBM (more than 8 years). Pros: Great benefits, good work/life balance. Cons: Cut, cut and cut until there's nothing left. Advice to Management: Be more creative with solutions instead of just laying off employees. You are earning big bucks for a reason.
    • “Client Tech Professional”

      Current Employee — CTP in Fresno, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: You can learn a brand portfolio; most have more than one product, which makes for great resume line items when you leave. The people you work with are great and will help you out when they can, but like most organizations, there is more work than hours. The benefits are decent.

      Cons: No pay raises for years, and archaic evaluation system where management hands down the ratings and your manager gets to figure out how to fit everyone into what upper management sent down. There is always failed to meet rating they have to give, and will tell you someone has to get a low rating, they have to give out their allotment, so managers play the favorites. There is little to no movement upwards, and it is a "who you know, not what you know" system. Most have not have a pay increase since the economy dumped in 2008, so don't get your hopes up, and work-life is more work; hope you can find a life in the hour or two we let you have on the weekend.

      Advice to Management: Give a pay raise or two. The good folks leave for better pay. Think of enticing managers to move to new positions so they don't play favorites. The PBC System is a joke; let managers decide what ratings to give. Don't hand them the numbers and tell them to place folks in them. While it looks like the company may still be floundering, not believing in your employees or valuing their opinions will put this place in the grave.

    • “Once was great but now struggles”

      Former Employee — Senior Manager in Melbourne (Australia).

      Pros: Had a fantastic run in IBM because career choices were there. Can always move around within the company. People mostly were of high calibre but deadwoods were there too. Fantastic process. While can be overbearing at times, it made sure everything were done properly

      Cons: Too slow to react to market change. CAMSS had been in the market for several years before IBM decided to enter it. IBM was a market leader, innovator. Now it contends to be a follower (the late move into CAMSS is a prime example). It completely lost its innovation leadership and I fear the end is close ala Nokia. Career opportunities are now limited to presales and sales roles. Not a lot of other roles left.

      Advice to Management: Execs should not only know what the current technologies are but also what the future technologies should be. Have more entrepreneurial Tech leaders run this company rather than promoting people from Sales with no tech knowledge.

    • “Customer Relationship Representative”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Co-workers are the people to work with. Cons: Stress level is high because work load is unimaginable. Advice to Management: Workers are real people that deserve respect and to be rewarded monetarily for their efforts.
    • “Account Executive”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: Outstanding company. Great people. Excellent training. Rich history. Global brand with tons of product, and in the process of re-inventing itself (again) to capitalize on emerging trends toward cloud analytics mobile social and security (CAMMS).

      Cons: Very large global company, with tons of different products/services. Changing strategy/direction always takes time, but it's even harder with a company this big/complex, especially when the world continues to evolve even as you make the changes. Management has its hands full.

      Advice to Management: You have the right plan, but try to go forward with everything you are doing even faster.

    • “A little bit slow”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Cairo (Egypt).

      Pros:

      • Overall nice company to work for.
      • Could potentially have a good pay depending on the department and which band you're in.
      • A lot of tools making it possible to interact and network with IBMers all over the world
      • A CV booster

      Cons:

      • Managers are absolute dinosaurs that like to micro manage.
      • Hard to move up the ladder
      • Little opportunity to move around to other more exciting roles and projects as a support engineer.
      • A lot of bureaucracy
      • The HQ building at Pyramids heights is absolutely hideous. It is the most gloomy and depressing place to work in.
      • Constantly cutting costs at IBM making it harder each year to receive training.

      Advice to Management: Please stop worrying about how good you look and put a little bit more effort in developing the employees under you.

    • “IT Team Lead”

      Current Employee — Computer and Information Systems Manager in Armonk, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: IBM is a good company with lots of opportunities for growth. Good work-life balance and opportunities to relocated. Cons: Highly focused on numbers. Often losing sight of good customer services.
    • “Technical Operations Leader”

      Current Employee — Technical Team Lead in Elgin, IL. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: IBM offers a great deal of education in a shorter period of time than many companies. They are a process-driven firm which helps individuals become familiar with their job role more quickly. They have moved to a pool environment in many areas which provides structure to each of the technical teams.

      Cons: The pool environment tends to limit exposure to other areas of technical interests. This also reduces the ability to focus on any given account or segment of the business causing customer dissatisfaction. The processes documented do not address much more than the most common courses of action which places some additional limitations on staff functionality.

      Advice to Management: Management has taken a more limiting view in technical services as they reduce the skills required to perform the work and become more reliant on documented processes. They further attempt to co-locate their staff in lower wage areas where technical skills are lower. The reduction in skills in their pool environments places a higher workload on their Subject Matter Experts which are becoming a rare breed in the company. The overall customer satisfaction suffers as a result of this model.

    • “IBM lost of values”

      Former Employee — Project Manager in Atlanta, GA. Pros: Large company, name recognition, some work from home work/life balance benefits, good health insurance regardless of the constant increases. Cons: Too bureaucratic due to the immense size and the company has lost touch with employees treating them openly as resources/numbers vs. actual valued, associates. Advice to Management: Change management is needed here in North America to heighten morale and re-introduce the faith that the VPs actually care about the associates...NOT GLOBALLY, but here in the US and Canada.
    • “Must leave to advance”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: The company is working to keep up with industry trends for employee benefits; i.e. they recently increased maternity leave from 6 to 12 weeks. Cons: They have a reputation of having high salary gaps between employees with more experience and stronger backgrounds and new hires who have no experience. Advice to Management" Keep your employees happy first, and your company will succeed.
    • “Availability Manager”

      Current Employee — Availability Manager in Sandy Springs, GA I have been working at IBM (More than 10 years).

      Pros: Great opportunities, to learn different platforms, services, offerings.

      Cons: No Management leadership, direction, involvement. Management never learns from mistakes; you can reinvent the wheel every day. Management cries wolf too many times, they do not know how to manage the customer. Every employee is on death row waiting for the call to come in that you are no longer needed.

      Advice to Management: Listen to your employees. Learn from your mistakes. Manage your customer and quit blaming others when you should be pointing to yourself.

    • “IBM Corp”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Big corporation with opportunities, but only if within areas deemed important at the time. Cons: Way too much internal activities that get in the way of doing your job. History of bi-annual resource actions to reduce head count and jobs.
    • “Once a great company, not so much any more"

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: The people are IBM's greatest assets. Highly skilled and loyal. Cons: Long hours, demanding schedules, low pay. They ship many jobs overseas to low cost providers. Constant cost cutting and job layoffs. Advice to Management: Don't worry so much about keeping share holders fat and happy. Start investing in employees instead of cutting to the bone.
    • “IBM GBS UK”

      Current Employee — GBS Programmer Manager in London, England (UK). Pros: Quality customers and engagements Reasonably clear career path. Fairly good processes. Cons: Whoever you are you are just a small cog in a very large gearbox. Expense payments process is awful and designed to take as long as possible to refund employees. Complex matrix management means often many people chasing same thing. Advice to Management: Make the expense process fairer, quicker and simpler. The current policy is shameful for such a large organisation.
    • “Management has stopped caring for their employees.”

      Current Employee — Service Desk Analyst in Ridgeley, WV.

      Pros: The job has very flexible hours. Decent pay. Work from home options. Decent benefits. A nice quiet atmosphere (most days). Room for promotion (if you are a favorite to management. If not get comfy where you're at.)

      Cons: Don't care about their employee opinions. One manager is rude to most employees. Clear signs of favoritism. Work through lunch on busy days + mandatory hour of over time. They are understaffed most of the time and extremely busy most everyday.

      Advice to Management: Please go back to the service desk attitude. Care about your employees. Don't turn it into an uncaring dictatorship.

    • “Advisory IT Specialist”

      Current Employee — Advisory IT Specialist in Wrocław (Poland). I have been working at IBM (less than a year). Pros: Stability. Benefit system. Good work conditions. And a lot of good people around you. Cons: Almost impossible to grow up as specialist. Only one way to review your salary is to be re-employed after leaving the company. Advice to Management: Think about annual salary review. Do something to encourage good employees inside the company.
    • “Advisory Engineer”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Fishkill, NY. Pros: Advanced technology leader in the semiconductor field. Cons: Company values are just something to decorate the hallway walls.
    • “A Sweat Shop With Lots of Brain Power”

      Former Employee — Manager in Somers, NY. I worked at IBM (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Provides an opportunity to work with some extremely bright people. Forces you to look at issues from every angle (sometimes to a fault), but is invaluable experience for career growth. A great place to learn and then move on so you can advance in your career both level wise and $$$ wise.

      Cons: No life balance at all. Work, work, work at all hours, since the organization has most of its employees outside of the US you need to be available at all hours. Employee morale is horrible (at least in the US) and the focus is always on costs...ALWAYS. Those at the top are very well paid, with lots of incentive; however, the workhorses are not as well rewarded with pay and other types of remuneration. Obviously, I'm not a long term fan.

      Advice to Management: Treat your employees with dignity and respect. Remember that without the workhorses, IBM would not function like the machine that it is.

    • “GTS — Operations Support”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ. Pros: Looks great on a resume, people are really impressed, if they only knew. Education is great. Benefits are great. Cons: They are an old company with a lot of old management. People in US are being laid off every quarter. Advice to Management: Cut management in half. Cut anyone who isn't proficient in Google, YouTube and Facebook. If you can't use those three you have no business being in the tech business in 2015. Cut anyone who still thinks sarcasm, yelling and screaming is the right kind of people management.
    • “Nice company to work short term, but don't expect to grow roots.”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO I have been working at IBM (More than 10 years)

      Pros: Depending on the job, working remotely from home can be a nice perk, although some divisions are beginning to change back to seated positions. Peers and management are generally professional. Employees are more mature and experienced, which could be a pro or a con, depending on your preferences.

      Cons: If you want to build up your resume, not a bad place for a couple of years. If you want to grow with a company, this company is not for you. IBM won't hesitate to offshore, outsource or divest your job in a heartbeat, maybe replace you with an H1b.

      The company has become rudderless and the CEO has led the company to 13 straight bad quarters; it is living off of its past reputation and the IBM stock has dropped like a rock. Only about 82K US employees left and dropping about 5-10% every year. Most jobs now are in India, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Eastern Europe, etc. Company is top heavy and has too many middle managers. HR is from another planet, you can expect tons of propaganda.

      Advice to Management: Advise your employees on getting out before the battleship sinks.

    • “Outsourced from Pepsi and it's been downhill ever since”

      Current Employee — Financial Analyst in Winston-Salem, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: IBM is a good name to put on your resume. Nearly unlimited sick days and good vacation/floating holiday package. Flex scheduling. Ability to work from home part time as long as your accounts are maintained.

      Cons: High turnover, little to no employee appreciation, bad pay, people who were with Pepsi for years are now racing to get out the door, have trouble replacing people as fast as they're leaving so that puts more workload on the employees that are left and even though you may have one person doing two peoples' job, getting overtime is like pulling teeth, mediocre training for new hires (who are all temps, they never hire on with IBM), lack of communication around the office (people who have been with Pepsi and IBM since the beginning are leaving and leadership doesn't even communicate this to the teams, it's all hush hush like people disappear into thin air), this list could go on and on.

      Advice to Management: Appreciate the employees who stuck with you after the Pepsico/IBM outsourcing even after that terrible 10% pay cut — you're going to need their knowledge if you want to be successful. Make people want to stay long term instead of offering no incentives to stay and replacing full time employees that leave with temporary contractors. Focus more on the positives that people do instead of the constant drone of emails stating how terrible we're doing — if you reward the positives you're going to see a heck of a lot more of them! Management needs a complete makeover — most supervisors and managers you only see when you're doing something wrong or they want you to do more.

    • “IBM Solutions Architect”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: Excellent people, highly skilled and motivated. You'll find yourself challenged here and if you like constantly learning about new technology, this is a great place. Cons: Management lacks flexibility and seldom has time to guide your career goals within the company. Also, focus is only on a quarterly basis. Advice to Management: If you foster advancement within the ranks, you'll have more satisfied workforce and people motivated to make their career with IBM.
    • “Delivery project executive”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Long Valley, NJ. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Ability to work remotely a plus. Cons: Management more interested in cutting costs to maximize profits at expense of service being delivered. I've seen vicious cycles where SLAs are missed, so to counteract the penalties, staff is cut, which further exacerbates the inability to meet the SLAs. Advice to Management: Listen to the troops at the front line with customers, not the stock market.
    • “Director Marketing Communications”

      Current Employee — Director in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: The people and the ability to trade on the brand IBM. Cons: Latent old technology, red tape and bureaucracy, lack of care of employees. Advice to Management: Look after your greatest asset — people. Remove CEO Ginni Rometty.
    • “The best and worst of times”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Awesome peer related employees to work with and interesting projects. Cons: Management politics and procedures often get in the way of productivity. Advice to Management: Get rid of PBCs and understand the work performed by your employee.
    • “Finance manger-client location”

      Current Employee — Finance Second Line Manager in Winston-Salem, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Global company with lots of opportunities to work on global assignments. Great company to have on your resume. Cons: Upper management has shared several times that the only reason we are located in the U.S. is because the client mandated it. They would send this work off-shore if they could. Doesn't make you feel valued as an employee. They don't pay for the amount of work we have. Advice to Management: You need to pay for the level of talent you expect. When you give people more work, they need are increase to incent them to take on that challenge.
    • “Good for most”

      Current Employee — Performance Test Lead in Washington, DC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Flexible work schedules, great benefits, good opportunities to learn new things and grow. Cons: Bureaucratic environment, not much leeway on vacation times, hard to get promoted unless you're in sales.
    • “Big Blue needs overhaul”

      Former Employee — IT Specialist in New York, NY/ I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Telecommuting, latitude to work independently, mostly free from micro-management. Cons: Salary not competitive. Raises are rare. Too many managers and VPs and most don't have a clue. PBC review process is unfair and mostly subjective. Promotions are rare. Constant threat of layoffs. Advice to Management: Bring salaries in line with market. Trash PBC process. Reduce management levels.
    • “Managing Consultant”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: GBS — Excellent brand recognition, lot of smart people on team. Commitment to delivery of successful projects. Leverages relationship with software group when it comes to IBM products. Cons: Have to work on projects in other verticals some times, due to billing and utilization requirements. Sometimes the sales cycle is long. Advice to Management: Keep doing what you are doing, but invest more in people training, and further solidify the working relationship between SWG & GBS.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • In Honor of Medicare’s 50th Anniversary, Alliance Members Hold Celebrations Nationwide
    • Alliance Joins Rep. Becerra to Strengthen Social Security’s Disability Trust Fund
    • Rep. Honda Acts to More Accurately Calculate Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments
    • Videos from 2015 Legislative Conference Online
    • Medicare Turns 50: President Obama Celebrates Medicare’s Anniversary

    Download a PDF version.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 07/25/15:

    "I am so tired of Ginni talking about retraining. Has anyone been offered to be trained for one of the many job openings in WATSON?" Only 1,000 or so have been moved to analytics according to IBM. If IBM was committed to retraining as they once were, the number of RAs would not happen like they do. Unions are committed to retraining and continual education on the job. That is why they are TRADE unions for SKILLed workers. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/25/15:

    IBM is skirting employment law by considering employees with 30 years or more or retire eligible retired after an RA. THIS IS WRONG! IBM is doing this to show they are not adding to unemployment numbers. IBM doesn't want to pay more in unemployment insurance (UI) premiums.

    An RA is a firing. IBM management terminated your employment. When you retire you terminate your own employment and leave on your terms. It is a BIG DIFFERENCE!

    If you don't want to say you are retired, it is your right. You can and should commence your retiree benefits when you want to retire. If you don't want to retire you can collect UI benefits if applicable if you don't officially retire and look for another job and work. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 07/25/15:

    If you are under the prior pension plan, RA'd, retired, live in CT, and looking for work you are entitled for unemployment $$ not reduced by your pension amount as the plan has not been contributed to by IBM since 12/2007. Print out the plan document and all RA correspondence in case you need to argue with CT unemployment because IBM on multiple occasions fills out the CT request for information form wrong by stating IBM did contribute to your retirement plan recently. -CT RA'd 2013-
  • Comment 07/26/15:

    Job Title: IT specialist; Location: Work from home, Boston; Customer Account: Largest bank in Boston; Business Unit: GTS; Product Line: IT. Message: 18 years with original company which had IT absorbed by IBM 4 years ago. Working endless hours at IBM; getting 0 in bonus but working 55 hours per week on average. Working with very unskilled India counterparts who simply don't work, and that's where all these cut jobs are going. Old friends blame me for not doing work, but when I need help from say a Unix team, my requests do not get processed. IBM's stock has dropped consistently since I began here, service levels have never been worse. Am I the only one to see the correlation? Very very sad; does anyone think this offshoring solution is best for the security and surety of data? If so, you shouldn't. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/27/15:

    Job Title: IT Specialist; Location: Rochester MN; Customer Account: Various; Business Unit: Cloud. Message: I was forced out/bullied out through bad PBC rating/threats of PIP. I left voluntarily a few months back, rather than waiting for the inevitable layoff (since my 2014 rating was a 3, I would have probably been let go with no package). Once I got my appraisal in January, I started looking around and found another job that pays about the same as my band 10 IBM salary. And, I am evaluating several other offers as we speak. I truly feel for the victims of yet another round of layoffs. But I don't quite understand why some find it "shocking" and "unexpected" that IBM gets rid of them. Your CEO has publicly declared that many of you — especially those in the services organizations — are nothing more than "empty calories." She went on record with those words. What do you expect? Either you organize or you better start looking for something else. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/27/15:

    Job Title: Application Developer; Location: WFH; Business Unit: GBS. Message: Moved off projects and replaced with off shore resources brought to US. Given a hard layoff date in August. -Anonymous-

    Alliance reply: We need more specific information from everyone that is getting replaced by an offshore worker. Please email us at ibmunionalliance@gmail.com. We need customer account name, where you are located and where the work is being moved to or where the offshore worker coming to the US is from.

  • Comment 07/27/15:

    Location: WAH. Message: I've been expecting this and it's one of the reasons I went with the Transition to Retirement plan last year. For those not familiar, the short version is I am working a reduced schedule, must retire Dec 31, but exempt from RA. If not for that, no doubt, I would have been picked off in this round like so many other older employees. It has lowered my stress level considerably to know what to expect. That would have been the 3rd time down this road with IBM. I will still be working next year, but for myself instead of Blue.

    Please, for those not RA'd yet, start looking for another job now instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You owe it to yourself and any who are dependent on your income, don't wait until you are forced to hunt for a job along with thousands of other newly RA'd individuals. -T2R-

  • Comment 07/27/15:

    Ginni is changing the age-old PBC system. Just received an email blast "Reinventing PBCs—be a part of the change." It is a discussion forum and everyone is free to provide their feedback. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/27/15:

    Job Title: Sales Executive; Location: Tampa; Business Unit: GTS; Product Line: Services.

    Message: Kicked out the door after 30+ years with no respect, with a 2+ and making or beating all targets. They could not get together the final severance check on time. They could not find a local manager for exit interview. I got a UPS box to pack up my 'stuff' before they would send me my checks which are 2 weeks late and not given on departure as per the law. On my last day went into the Tampa office to find a roomful of Indian's on H1b's being onboarded. Spoke to several who were happy to be in America. They are being paid about 1/3 of our US workers and quite frankly are too young to have any experience of value to our clients. Just project cannon fodder.

    This company is lost in the weeds. The senior management team knows only 3 things: cut staff, buy back stock, and engineer the financials. That is a road heading to the edge of a cliff.

    The so called CAMSS strategic plays are marketing spin as they have minimal market share and consist mostly of legacy stuff pulled out of the offering stack and bundled to look like there is strategic growth.

    Bottom line is 13 quarters of decline in an industry that turns over tech every 18 months. L for Loser. Happy to be off this insane treadmill of endless CYA reviews done just for show to placate the layer upon layer of redundant directors, VP's and GM's who add no value. They are the ones who need to go, not client facing Americans. Your day will come. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 07/28/15:

    Job Title: Product Safety Engineer. Business Unit: GTS. Message: GTS EA&C, just RA'd the only USA Service Safety Engineer (me.) -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/28/15:

    Job Title: Senior Consultant; Location: Boca Raton. Message: Years ago I asked a friend to "invest" in IBM stock. His answer was that he only invested in companies that he could find some explanation on as to what business they were in. He said that IBM was not in any business that he could discern, thus he invested in other companies.

    Do not despair; simply find another job right away and forget IBM. It is clear that IBM has no idea what business it is in; it is simply cutting expenses to the bone until it can figure out how to place the billions in cash in the pension fund into the pockets of the senior executives. Since THEY have no idea what business IBM is in either, that is really the only path they have to more cash.

    Get out while you can and PLEASE stop whining; IBM is way over and has been for years unless you are a highly-paid executive or have some job where you are protected, so get out, move on, and make a career for yourself somewhere else. Most good tech companies are hiring. The posts from "surprised" employees are getting old; YOU KNOW your job is going away, so GO! -Anonymous-

  • Comment 07/29/15:

    Location: @home worker; Customer Account: Anthem; Business Unit: GTS. Message: My package says don't bother looking for another job in GTS. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on looking for other business line opportunities within IBM, or is it just a waste of time? I read somewhere (a while back) that if you're actively RA'd and waiting to leave that it is highly unlikely that another manager would bother to try to save you because you're like tainted goods. Is that true? Does anyone know for sure? I don't want to waste my last month searching and applying, then hoping for something within IBM if it just won't ever happen. -TIA-
  • Comment 07/29/15:

    I personally know of three people who were RA'd and in each case, they had managers within IBM who tried hard to get them into their department, and the hire/transfer went all the way to the top and got squashed. I seriously would not waste your time trying to get another job at IBM. Their aim is to GET RID OF PEOPLE. Yes, even "good" people. Even 2+ performers. Even people with very unique knowledge. Even people with important accounts. Even people with medical issues. If you think your job is safe because you are "awesome" then you are deluding yourself. Your time will be more productively spent looking for a new job elsewhere. -Gone in 2013-
  • Comment 07/29/15:

    We are at 71,000 USA employees with continued RAs. IBM says they are hiring in the USA. So USA workers should have a shot of getting employed? If you look at CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, State Dept. of Labor job lists, and the newspapers IBM has plenty of job openings in the USA. I believe this is a facade. IBM posts these phantom jobs just so they can offshore and lobby for more landed and H1b resources in lieu of ever increasing RAs. When will the Labor Department get wise to IBM employment opportunity lies for USA workers? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/29/15:

    As for "I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on looking for other business line opportunities within IBM, or is it just a waste of time?"

    It might depend almost entirely on your connections with folks — execs — who matter and what that exec might be willing to do for you. I been RAed twice. The first time I took the package came back as what then called a "term-employee" that was a special case of regular employee with higher pay but less benefits. Upon termination of the five-year term-employee contract I was rehired as a regular employee at the same level — band 10 — as before but only with the intervention of an executive.

    Years later when that exec who I was working for was RAed, I was again RAed. I had an offer from another exec to stay on, but being over 70 I decided to take a package the second time. I'm aware of only a few other similar situations, but it's mostly luck, being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right executive. So, it's possible, but perhaps only slightly less possible than the existence of unicorns. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 07/30/15:

    To -TIA-: IBM has different types of RAs (company wide, division wide and individual departments/teams). If your package has words to the effect that you shouldn't bother looking for another job in IBM as a whole, then don't bother. Even if you find another job and the manager is willing to go to bat for you to hire you, HR will stop the transfer. If it is division wide, you might try to look for jobs in another division.

    When I got hit with my RA in 2013, It was part of a company-wide RA. I had another manager who went to bat for me to try to get me into a job opening he had. Even after management approval up the chain, HR stopped the transfer.

    There are other ways though, If a manager likes you and wants you bad enough for the job, he can bring you back as a contractor. He just has to prove to HR that the new job is totally different than the previous job you had. Hope this helps. -miss_understanding-

  • Comment 07/30/15:

    Never with IBM. Sad though to watch this once great company crumble. Neighbor was recently "transferred" over to Global Foundries in East Fishkill as part of the sale by IBM. Not sure "sale" is the right term because usually the seller is paid by the party taking possession. In this case IBM PAID to have GF take over that entire division along with those 5,000 employees. Just how badly did IBM want those people off their payroll to PAY $1.5 BILLION?

    Well my neighbor has been informed his new position within GF is now in Malta and was given a September 1st start date. Month or two to relocate and change the direction of your life. So much for treating the employee with respect and decency. Have to say how shocking it is for me to hear the suggested surprise those who have been RAed post with. As if this is some great surprise to them. Same sad sorry over and over again. "I did my job well and they let me go anyway".

    Well that has been the case at IBM for nearly 25 years. Did you really think you were the exception to the rule. And this most recent post asking about finding a new position within IBM! My question is why? Why would you wish to get down on your knees to work for a company that has no respect for its workers or its customers? Why would you wish to prolong your being there for even a day more?

    I have to wonder about those who post to this site about their own RAs how many joined the Alliance prior? How many prepared themselves for life after IBM knowing full well this day was coming. How many bothered to be honest with themselves as their coworkers walked out the door before them that their time was coming. The Alliance was the only real hope IBM workers had. Organizing was your only chance. Speaking as a union member for 3 decades. That chance might in fact be over.

    Just have to wonder if those left will do anything or just hide under their desks till their day comes. You teach people how to treat you and what you will put up with. Just what have the former and current employees at IBM taught IBM to this point? Most are willing to little to nothing. Whining here after the fact accomplishes little. At that point it is over. -GF News-

  • Comment 07/30/15:

    As for "I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on looking for other business line opportunities within IBM, or is it just a waste of time?" You were lucky. Real lucky to have an "extended IBM career". To get"recalled". Not many others can say the same. Usually an RA and you're DONE. FINISHED. PERMANENTLY TERMINATED. Yeah, exceptions exist but. So just count your blessings you were lucky, real lucky. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/31/15:

    C I was RAed. Will IBM match my 401K since my severance pay is through January 31st of next year? I can't file for unemployment until Feb.1st since my state considers severance pay part of employment pay. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 07/31/15:

    Job Title: Managing Consultant; Location: Calif; Customer Account: Blue Harmony; Business Unit: GBS. Message: I noticed the comments here have been less and less each day except on days where there are RAs. Is there anyone left here in the US to comment? Has IBM fired all its US workers? -Vic-
  • Comment 08/01/15:

    I was resourced from IBM East Fishkill last month after 28 years of service and received 26 weeks severance pay. Am I eligible to collect unemployment? -Anonymous- Alliance reply: Click this link: https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/ui/p825-english.pdf
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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