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Join your fellow employees who are fighting for your benefits - Join the Alliance!

Retirees, Vendors, Contractors, Temps, and Active Employees are all eligible to become members of the Alliance.


    IBM Retirees and the Alliance@IBM

A letter to retirees from Lee Conrad, National Organizer, Alliance@IBM/CWA

Most IBM retirees remember well the promise of the "old" IBM-- that employees who retired before 1992 would not be subject to any reductions in medical benefits.

The "new" IBM is changing the rules and breaking their promises to retirees. Recent notification to retirees on changes to their medical benefits have alarmed and angered retirees across the country. The recent "adjustment" in retiree pensions is a reaction on the part of the company to retirees vocal calls for long overdue cost of living raises. It remains to be seen how much of this one time adjustment gets wiped out by the changes in medical benefits.

But IBM retirees are not letting these things pass without a fight, and that is the reason for this letter.

Many of you on this e-mail list are members or subscribers to the Alliance@IBM, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America. Some of you are new to this organization. Briefly this is what the Alliance is about:

Alliance@IBM is made up of career-minded IBM employees from all occupations who are concerned about our future. We are concerned about recent actions which undermined the retirement security of tens of thousands of IBM's most devoted employees. Over the last several years, we watched as management made reductions in other benefits. We formed the Alliance to restore policies that value us for our contributions. We are committed to IBM's success, but we are also stakeholders in IBM and we deserve a voice in shaping policies that affect pensions, healthcare benefits and livlihood.

While the Alliance is most active among current employees of IBM, it is clear that the issues of retirees (which many IBM employees hope to be someday!) are an integral part of making a better future for us all. It is with that in mind that we have formed a Retiree Council as part of the Alliance. It appears to me that in recent years, IBM has cut retirees out of the picture. Activities for retirees that were commonplace years ago have almost vanished. The Retiree Council is bringing IBM retirees back together for the most important reasons--to preserve and protect retiree benefits and to let IBM corporate management know that retirees should not be taken for granted.

We have started some activities.

1) The recent issue of THINK TWICE had an article about retiree medical and pensions. We hope to have a regular retiree column. If you haven't see an issue let me know.

2) We had our first retiree conference call in December and are planning on another one in February. If you would like to participate let me know.

3) We have postcards printed up for you to send to IBM. It says "I am an IBM employee or retired IBM employee. I am asking you to stop the plan to raise the cost of health insurance for IBM retirees. IBM retirees are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the increased expense. Additional, these fixed incomes are slowly being eaten away by inflation. Please allocate a portion of the pension fund surplus to grant much need cost of living increase."

We encourage IBM retirees to spread the word of our existence. We hope the Retiree Council (which will be run by IBM retirees) will be not only a national organization but have local chapters as well. In the meantime we can get bundles of our newsletter to you as well as the postcards. We also want this e-mail list to be a "2 way street". If you have news you want to share with other retirees this is the place to do it. Just send it to me. It is clear that current employees and retirees must band together or most certainly our benefits will continue to be eroded.

Our web site is http://www.allianceibm.org. There is also a link to the yahoo retiree club My e-mail is endicottalliance@stny.rr.com

Take care,


Lee Conrad (26 years at IBM)
National Organizer
Alliance@IBM/CWA

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.