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Union says IBM may cut 4,000 U.S. jobs as part of work shift to India

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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 04:52 PM
Original message
Union says IBM may cut 4,000 U.S. jobs as part of work shift to India
Cutbacks could come tomorrow, Alliance@IBM says; message board dubs it 'Black Thursday'

March 25, 2009 (Computerworld) IBM may be getting set to make its largest single workforce reduction thus far this year, according to the Alliance@IBM employee union, which says it has heard that the cutbacks will affect about 4,000 U.S. workers at IBM's Global Business Services unit.

Lee Conrad, the union's national coordinator, said he has been told by IBM employees that the expected job cuts may take place as early as tomorrow. That day already has been dubbed "Black Thursday" in one anonymous post on a message board on Alliance@IBM's Web site.

The expected cuts were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources at IBM in a story saying that the company plans to eliminate "a large number" of U.S. jobs at the Global Business Services division and shift more of its work to facilities in India. An IBM spokesman contacted by Computerworld today said that the company doesn't comment on "rumor or speculation."

Conrad said he can't be certain about the size of the latest cutback until IBM actually begins letting workers go. But like the Journal, he added, Alliance@IBM has heard that "big numbers" will be involved and that what may be driving the cuts is "the offshoring of U.S. jobs to India" and the Asia-Pacific region.

The Reuters news service and other media outlets reported later today that the reductions may be even larger than first indicated, with as many as 5,000 jobs perhaps being eliminated.

IBM's U.S. workforce has been shrinking, while its overseas head count has been on the increase. The number of IBM workers in the U.S. dropped from 121,000 to 115,000 during the course of 2008. However, the company's overall employee count grew by 13,000 people last year. And already this year, IBM has cut more than 4,600 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, according to earlier counts by Alliance@IBM.

The union a Communications Workers of America local that doesn't have enough members to gain official recognition as a bargaining unit has been the source of most of the information about the recent job cuts made by IBM. The company has confirmed that reductions were made, but it hasn't publicly announced them or said how many workers were affected. In addition, it has refrained from describing the earlier cuts as layoffs, instead saying that they were part of "an ongoing process that we do throughout the year to match skills and resources with our client needs."

IBM and other companies aren't required to notify government officials of layoffs unless the cutbacks reach a threshold set in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also known as the WARN Act. The provisions of that law apply when there are 500 or more layoffs at one location. But at IBM, job cuts can be scattered among many different facilities in the U.S. and other countries.

Mark Loughridge, IBM's chief financial officer, indicated that some restructuring was underway at the company during a January conference call about its fourth-quarter financial results. In Loughridge's prepared remarks, he said that IBM "will continue our focus on structural changes that reduce our spending levels and improve productivity in 2009."

The message board on the Alliance@IBM Web site lets people post anonymously, so it's hard to gauge the authenticity of comments but they're often detailed, and they use acronyms that are familiar to IBM employees. In one post today, an anonymous poster wrote: "My manager has not said anything to me yet but I am already preparing myself for the news."

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=...

Bastards. :mad:
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Then India can add to the bailout funds...
Sam Palmisano: IBM CEO begs Obama for bailout

http://gawker.com/5078804/ibm-ceo-begs-obama-for-bailou...

Greedy fucks.
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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Sounds reasonable to me. n/t
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. The outsourcing of American jobs by American companies must stop!
How the hell do they expect anyone to buy their products, if no one has a job?

We've got to end the loopholes that allow companies to profit by outsourcing jobs. Give them tax breaks for creating jobs here, instead.

This is ridiculous. Talk about cutting off your head to spite your throat! :mad:
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. You're absolutely right.....vent here:
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Why doesn't Mark Loughridge volunteer to outsource his own job?
Isn't he devoted to reducing IBM's spending levels and improving its productivity?
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. OK, so why aren't all IBM employees members of the Alliance?
Every single employee should join and get a union in ASAP.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. As far as I'm concerned, the Indians can buy all they want of IBM products from now on.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sounds like IBM should get some new "surtaxes" levied on them for not being AMERICAN!
Edited on Wed Mar-25-09 07:09 PM by cascadiance
I'm now more worried for my friends still working at Sun who might be a part of these "outsourcing" plans if and when IBM buys them...
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. 5,000 jobs per Bloomberg:
Courtesy of Babylonsister. :)

IBM Said to Be Cutting 5,000 Jobs, Mostly in Services (Update2)

By Katie Hoffmann


March 25 (Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp., the worlds biggest computer-services provider, will cut about 5,000 jobs today and tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The reductions will primarily affect U.S. jobs in the business services unit, according to two people with knowledge of the situation who declined to be identified. Worldwide, the division accounts for about a fifth of sales.

IBM had already cut at least 4,000 positions since January, joining technology bellwethers Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. in trimming payrolls to cope with the recession. U.S. employers have eliminated more than 823,000 jobs since November, driving up the jobless rate to 8.1 percent last month, the highest level in a quarter-century.

IBM had previously eliminated positions in other divisions, such as software and sales, according to severance agreements sent to affected employees. Those documents were provided by the Alliance for IBM, an employee group seeking union recognition. The company, which also cut more than 2,000 positions in 2007, had almost 400,000 employees at the end of last year.

I dont believe this is the end, said Lee Conrad, coordinator for the group. Were losing jobs at a record rate inside IBM.

more...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aZ4...
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
10. ........
:kick:
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