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IBM Offers Retirement With Job Guarantee Through 2013

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the out-to-pasture dept.

Businesses 192

dcblogs writes "IBM is offering employees who are nearing retirement — and may be worried about a layoff — a one-time voluntary program that would ensure their employment through Dec. 31, 2013. The program, described in a letter addressed to IBM managers, 'offers participants 70% of their pay for working 60% of their schedule.' Participating employees would receive 'the same benefits they do today, most at a full-time level, including health benefits and 401(k) Plus Plan automatic company contributions.' In 2006, IBM employed about 127,000 in U.S. The Alliance@IBM, a CWA local, now estimates the U.S. workforce at around 95,000. How far IBM will go in cutting is up for debate, including one radical estimate."

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192 comments

They're acting like they're in trouble! (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871513)

Why the heck does IBM need to cut so many jobs? They're actually doing rather well by all business standards.

Yet here they're acting like they're hemorrhaging money and need to cut costs fast.

American Airlines did this sort of thing too, along with voluntary furloughs... But they're actually in trouble and have a reason to.

WTF?!

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871541)

Cutting jobs that aren't needed is one way to continue doing well by business standards. The longer people on the payroll, the more they cost - if you don't generate more for the company than you cost, why should they keep you on staff?

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1, Insightful)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871665)

This is something that I feel has been lost in recent years, and I blame the political correctness garbage.

I work with people every day that have no job to do. I'm not talking about the typical "I'm the backbone of the company and without me they'd sink" attitude that so many people have. I mean they literally sit and play solitaire all day. They aren't doing bad work, because they don't have any to do.

Yet, they aren't fired, because you need fourteen thousand strikes and a paper trail eight miles long to do it.

I salute IBM in cutting jobs, the global computer market has changed, and IBM is no longer at the forefront of the entire market (nor can they be, it's so much bigger than it used to be).

Does It Involve Being Digitized? (1)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871687)

Or can you stay in corporeal form?

Re:Does It Involve Being Digitized? (3, Insightful)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872885)

That explains Watson: an all-digital mechanical Turk that feeds on the souls of employees who expected a pension.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871909)

Where do you work? Most every state in the US has at will [wikipedia.org] employment; you can fire whoever you want whenever you want, as long as you aren't doing it in retaliation or to discriminate, and even then the burden is o the fired employee to prove. Maybe your company signs contracts with their employees, or explicitly states that you won't be fired without cause, or (more likely in general but given your 'playing solitaire' comment pretty unlikely) maybe they're unionized. But outside of those situations there's no reason your company couldn't fire 90% of their workforce tomorrow morning without warning.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2, Insightful)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872027)

I don't work in the US, I understand that your laws are better, however from what I know you're also a little ways from reality.

While it's true that the employee in the US has to prove discrimination to actually win any sort of suit, they by no means need to do so to cause serious problems for the company.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872073)

Better? That's awfully subjective.

--Jeremy

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872173)

Well inherently the word better is subjective, yes...

You seem to disagree though, what restrictions (aside from criminal discrimination) would you place on a business removing employees?

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872565)

All the snark aside, businesses do, usually, have to be pretty careful about how they fire someone, even in an "at will" state.

Ex-employees sue. This is the US, so people sue over everything and anything, and it usually doesn't cost much of anything to shoot for a big settlement.

This usually ends up as a race issue. So the employer/employee relationship can be pretty guarded and adversarial, even if you don't want it to be. Documenting poor performance for your employees is just good practice, and it's best if you have a witness for each notification, a signature from the employee, or even both, if you can.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872051)

A prime example of theoretical vs practical.

The legal costs of defending someone filing a lawsuit, even a completely frivolous one, are so high compared to the cost of some salary that its cheaper to collect a folder of signed disciplinary actions and formal gathered evidence than to just toss them out on the street like a bouncer in an old western movie tossing a guy outta bar.

There are also numerous legal issues with your exaggerated example of firing 90% of your company... here we have "at will" theoretically, but the company has to pay a rather substantial fine to the state if they fire more than 50 people with less than 60 days warning. I really have no idea why. Technically its not "at will", in the same way that our financial system is not a "free market" but we pretend it more or less is.

Never forget than 50% of management is below median. You might think they would want to dispose of the deadweight, but they may be idiots.

Finally, or they may realize if they get rid of the peons they won't be able to justify their empire based on # of direct reports. One place I worked at, the manager really wanted to be a director, and he's not getting that promotion unless he has the minimum of X front line employees, so lots of solitaire was played. Out of business now, of course, but it was a rational strategy for that boss at that time. I'm sure he's a VP (if not higher) somewhere now.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Xemu (50595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872793)

Never forget than 50% of management is below median. You might think they would want to dispose of the deadweight, but they may be idiots.

You're not thinking it through. 50% of management will always be below median, however the median may change. It only makes sense to fire-and-replace if you actually believe you will end up with a higher median. Consider you are likely to end up with a lower median if your company earns a reputation for suddenly sacking 50% of its workforce. There is also wisdom in the saying better the devil you know.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2, Interesting)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872203)

Where do you work? Most every state in the US has at will employment; you can fire whoever you want whenever you want, as long as you aren't doing it in retaliation or to discriminate, and even then the burden is o the fired employee to prove.

Mostly wrong. Your own link shows that 43 states have public policy exceptions that limit at-will employment, and 37 states have implied contract exceptions. There are also covenant of good faith and fair dealing exceptions.

Oh, then there is federal law.

There is no place in the USA with genuine at-will employment. If you fire someone, there's a chance you're going to get sued. Even if the case is without merit, a sympathetic jury can see you as a villain and nail your ass to the wall. Even you win the case, you can expect huge bills from your attorney.

Then there's the issue of being liable for the actions of your employees while they're on the job if they acted on their own and even in opposition to your directions.

Employing another person in the USA is legally hazardous. The law is definitely not on the side of the employer.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872249)

"At will" isn't what it used to be. Now, unemployment is still a consideration for firing an employee. Furthermore, thanks to lax laws and litigious society, firing people can be very expensive.

My step mother wants to fire someone. She works in an "at will" state. The employee in question is always late, does a poor job, and recently made a $60,000 mistake, which will ultimately come out of my step mother's bonus check (portion thereof). Yet she's not been able to fire her because the paper trail is long, tiring, and huge pain in the ass, and it may still come back to haunt them. Its a great example proving we're not killing nearly enough lawyers every year.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0, Flamebait)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872521)

The problem is unions - I've seen situations in the US aviation industry where a unionized worker was fired because they violently struck a fellow worker with a tool, and the union protested the sacking and prepared to take action against the employer because it was "union policy to contest all terminations and negative actions toward members by employers". The matter was settled with a payoff, because the employer didn't want his work force walking out on a union strike.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872905)

I've seen situations like that too. The tool had just slipped out of place, but the management swore up and down that it was a fight, and their failure to maintain safety had nothing to do with it. Nor the excess hours causing exhaustion and stress.

And that's the places with unions. The one's without had even worse going on. Like the person fired because they violated HIPAA by saying a co-worker had come through surgery OK, or the person fired because they got a call from their child who was overseas in the military.

Anecdotes, everybody has them. I can match yours all day long.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871965)

Sounds like my job, only my bosses really can't get rid of me, cause I'm the only programmer, and the only one who can work on this colassal clusterfuck of a php/mysql webapp.

In fact, I'm so good at doing nothing, that I just got a bump in the bonus pool, and I get to work from home 3 days a week. Of course, I'm not being paid even half of software engineer median pay, but then again I live in the rural south, where everything costs a hell of a lot less than almost everywhere else, so it's a pretty good trade off.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872581)

where do you work? business, govt, academia? union, non union?

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872759)

This is something that I feel has been lost in recent years, and I blame the political correctness garbage.

I work with people every day that have no job to do. I'm not talking about the typical "I'm the backbone of the company and without me they'd sink" attitude that so many people have. I mean they literally sit and play solitaire all day. They aren't doing bad work, because they don't have any to do.

Companies have a choice - you can be overstaffed when there's no crisis and have people sitting (basically) idle - but hopefully doing self-education (hopefully not minesweeper, but...) or be understaffed when there is a crisis. Most companies prefer the former.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871743)

The longer people on the payroll

That's an odd way of making the decision - there are very few businesses where how long somebody is has anything to do with their job performance.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

tattood (855883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872101)

there are very few businesses where how long somebody is has anything to do with their job performance

He wasn't saying it was directly related to performance. If your company pays raises every year, then the longer you work there, the more and more they have to pay you. Unless you are getting more and more responsibilities to work on, then you are not doing any more work for the increased pay. Therefore, his argument that the longer you work there, the more it costs the company with no productivity benefit.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872287)

You missed the joke - SJHillman had accidentally left out a verb, so the word "long" described the person, not the tenure of his/her employment.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872383)

Whoooo...

No, I'll even explain it.

The "longer" people on the payroll.

The people on the payroll, who are longer.

MEGA COCKS = FIRE THEM

It's penis envy.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872147)

It’s not a question of age or productivity. The issue (I am willing to bet) deals with actuary science and low interest rates. IBM has a lot of people on their Pension Plan. They tried to push people to a hybrid plan, but lost a court case.

Pension obligations are based on expected future payments (as calculated by actuaries) and discounted by a interest rate – in this case long term government bonds.

So we have older workers whose future payments are more or less fixed. Government interest tank, so the obligations go through the roof, so the company has to contribute more, so the older work’s (effective) pay goes through the roof. Kind of the dark side of having a defined benefit plan which few people talk about.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2)

Yaotzin (827566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872711)

Tall people do, statistically, earn more money though.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871745)

Cutting jobs that aren't needed is one way to continue doing well by business standards.

Provided, of course, that these are actually jobs that aren't needed. Corporations sometimes suck at that part.

Several years ago, the entire project team I was on was notified we were being let go. As we got closer to our final days, Sales had their knickers in a twist because they had a huge business deal on the line for the product we built.

Trying to explain to a panicked salesman that fixing that bug or adding that feature wasn't going to happen because your last day is the end of the week is always fun. It boiled down to "wow, how unfortunate for you to be trying to close a multi-million dollar sale when the company has decided they don't need any of the people involved". Of course, the salesman was frantic about the sale and his commission -- couldn't quite understand why that was no longer our problem.

I've seen several instances where the bean counters decided to get rid of certain people without actually knowing what their role was.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (4, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871873)

I used to work at a company and they decided that each department needed a 50% cut in staff. This was calculated on actual staff, not on people actually being there.

One department should have 4 people. It was 2 people understaffed, so they fired one. Person got a nice handshake to leave. I believe several months (7 or 8) pay.

That person was re-hired after a month. I would not be surprised ig that person was hired with a higher pay then before.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872093)

Sounds like when IBM implemented LEAN on the old Global Services teams. The powers that be followed a good part of LEAN except the part where you keep staff on while in transition doing things like updating processes. That way if you discover your estimates are wrong you have the staff available. Talk about a mess with managers having to explain to DPE's why they couldn't provide the same level of service and in some cases had to not provide any service.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872469)

Would have be great to be a fly on the wall when the executive in charge of that decision found out what happened. And then when his boss found out what happened.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871765)

The longer people on the payroll, the more they cost - if you don't generate more for the company than you cost, why should they keep you on staff?

That attitude is fine - as long as management is never tries to exploit employee loyalty to work for less than market rates. Goose and gander as it were...

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871819)

Keep 5% extra on staff if you're expecting 5% growth next year and it takes weeks to years to get up to speed.

Dump people if you predict permanent long term economic decline.

Hmm, which future outcome are they apparently publicly predicting, and should I therefore buy or sell IBM stock?

Its not so much a current or historical thing as a future prediction.

Say it costs on average half a years pay in severance and half a year's pay in recruiting costs. You're betting that you won't need to hire people for expansion at least a year, or in IBM's case, frankly probably forever.

There are other hidden costs... only a madman or a desperate man would take a job at IBM knowing its only a matter of time until they randomly get the axe. In fact anyone with the ability to get a job elsewhere should hurry the F up and get out to any job, any where, especially IBMs competitors, because when IBM dies, their competitors will boom with all the new revenue. That has a HUGE medium to long term impact on productivity and corporate survival. IBM's only hope is to try and destroy their competition in the short term... watch for it.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872215)

Ohh another real world example, happened to a friend and coworker of mine.

Multimillion dollar service contract (maybe low 9 figures total?) depends on department being ready to hit ground running to even submit a qualified bid, much less to win. Department also needs regulatory approval for the tariff (yes, this was telecom). Regulatory approval and contract negotiations took over 3 years after my buddy was hired. Much solitaire played for full salary. Wish I was there! They literally did Nothing business related for years. Department wide LAN parties, salaried guys only showed up for an hour or two per day, 3 hour lunches each day (described as like a roman feast, except no togas). Read books, do homework for night school classes... Some weird story about a guy painting plastic dnd miniatures or maybe it was warhammer miniatures for weeks at a time, donno. RC car races around the cubes... nap time after lunch. Watching downloaded movies on the projector in the meeting room. My buddy finished most of a CS degree in night school... helps if you have about 7.5 hours free time to study and do homework each "working" day. He didn't feel bad about it, he considered it like winning a scholarship.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872773)

Cutting people that aren't as profitable is one way to continue doing well by business standards. The longer people on the payroll contributing their lives to make the owners rich, the more they cost - if you don't generate more profit for the company than people in third world countries who are willing to work for 1/10th to 1/300th of what it costs to keep you, why should the greedy bastards keep you on staff when they can cut you and improve their bottom line?

FTFY

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871547)

Because wasted money is wasted money.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871557)

Profit über alles?

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871569)

Let's frame the question differently.

Why do share holders like dividend increases?

Why do executive like larger, rather than smaller, bonuses?

It's self evident.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871785)

Why do share holders like dividend increases?

Why do executive like larger, rather than smaller, bonuses?

So let's start by getting rid of some executives....more bonuses for those that are left, and happier stock holders because the outstanding shares just went down and there's a reduction in losses.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871587)

they can't think of anything useful for them to do.

putting all engineer eggs in one corporation basket like that has a tendency to end up like that... it seems the lead layer doesn't just scale up like that, don't want duplicates of things going on in-house I suppose being part of the problem, so even if you have them on the payroll it's hard to justify using them for some project x which doesn't have a viable route to a viable product or it's too much like product y.

it's old geezers anyways, people who are nearly able to retire anyways. this way they would know exactly how their retirement would go and when they would move to it.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871701)

Who wants to retire? You sit in your house. Alone. Nothing to do. Better to just keep going into the office, and sharing your knowledge/skills.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871875)

Difference between education and training:

Educated guy has stuff to think about and do; hobbies; lasts a lifetime.

Trained guy has nothing to do but go to work, nothing to do at home but watch TV, maybe drink.

I've seen both types retire... uneducated retirement isn't pretty and they don't live long, educated guys have a freaking blast after retirement.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871923)

Who wants to retire? You sit in your house. Alone. Nothing to do. Better to just keep going into the office, and sharing your knowledge/skills.

Who wants to work? You sit in your cubicle. With your fellow cow orkers. You've got things to do - things so odious that others have to actually pay you to valuable money to do it. Better to just sit in your house, working on some project that you, personally, found so interesting you'd do it even though nobody's paying you, and share your knowledge/skills.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871709)

putting all engineer eggs in one corporation basket

it's old geezers anyways, people who are nearly able to retire anyways. this way they would know exactly how their retirement would go and when they would move to it.

Those quotes don't go together.

Prevailing wisdom is IBM is a tech company, this plan applies to people who are retiring next year so they're about 64, right? However the prevailing belief is pro football quarterbacks, heck, pro football linemen have longer professional careers than techies, so you'll never be hired after age 40 ever again. This would seem to imply the only people getting this offer are in finance, accounting, HR, receptionists, blah blah. Cant apply to anyone in tech because everyone in tech gets the solyent green career path around age 40.

That being said, the onsite IBM mainframe CE at a finance corp job 20 years ago was so freaking old he could have been there since the unit record equipment days (1930s), so its hard to say how it is now. Another datapoint is they were firing experienced people around that era and replacing them with recent college grads like a buddy of mine. In summary its unclear whats going on "inside" WRT to techs, unless we get someone "inside" to comment here.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871731)

Your an idiot plain and simple. Of course young can grasp programming so simply no, look at c# its programming for dummies. Old school anything was much more challenging. Grow up slashers, you sound like fools

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871781)

it's old geezers anyways, people who are nearly able to retire anyways. this way they would know exactly how their retirement would go and when they would move to it.

Not quite. There are people in their 50s who are still very productive technically. IBM has a lot of these people because they've been constantly laying people off for years. Everyone is eligible for a resource action at IBM!

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871613)

Because IBM wants to get rid of American employees and replace them with Chinese and Indian employees at a fraction of the cost. I suspect they want to hold a general layoff, but the age demographics that they want to eliminate in the US (ie, mostly older employees) is prohibited by age-discrimination laws. So instead, they do this first, get rid of a number of older employees, then do the layoff in a legal way.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871631)

Why the heck does IBM need to cut so many jobs? They're actually doing rather well by all business standards.

Yet here they're acting like they're hemorrhaging money and need to cut costs fast.

American Airlines did this sort of thing too, along with voluntary furloughs... But they're actually in trouble and have a reason to.

WTF?!

They are getting rid of expensive employees in Europe and North America, and replacing them with people from cheaper countries. When your monopoly crumbles and you can't figure out how to grow organically, there is no option but to cut costs. So much for quality and customer service.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871659)

Perhaps the public, or the majority of their employees, know the whole story.

For some reason this all screams patent violations to me. Severe and purposeful patent violations at that!

I'm suspecting looming litigation, which IBM legal knows about and is just hedging on the timeframe before the violated parties figure it out, which they obviously haven't, and roast IBM in court.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871695)

Too many english speakers on the payroll, most likely.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (4, Insightful)

S77IM (1371931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871723)

They've painted themselves into a corner. They experienced rapid "growth" by decreasing the bottom line. Now investors expect that, and so in order to keep up, they must continue aggressively decreasing the bottom line. If they stop, their stock price will drop as growth slows dramatically. It sucks for all involved, because eventually they'll run out of bottom line to cut, and then everybody's screwed except the investors (and executives) who sell just before that happens.

This is exactly the sort of thing Steve Jobs was talking about in the quote about bean-counters taking over the company and loss of product focus. Making enterprise software on an IBM scale, and doing it well enough to grow constantly, is really super hard. Short-term gains through off-shoring are easy.

  -- 77IM

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872019)

They've painted themselves into a corner. They experienced rapid "growth" by decreasing the bottom line. Now investors expect that, and so in order to keep up, they must continue aggressively decreasing the bottom line. If they stop, their stock price will drop as growth slows dramatically. It sucks for all involved, because eventually they'll run out of bottom line to cut, and then everybody's screwed except the investors (and executives) who sell just before that happens.
  -- 77IM

To borrow a phrase "I don't think that word means what you think it does".

While growth may indeed cause the bottom line to decrease (ie hiring more people, opening a new office, or buying new equipment (growing the business) costs money and reduces (decreases) the amount of cash you have left (the bottom line)), generally investors want to see an INCREASE in the bottom line -they want more money, not less. If you are "aggressively decreasing the bottom line" you are doing it all wrong.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (2)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872461)

This is exactly the sort of thing Steve Jobs was talking about in the quote about bean-counters taking over the company and loss of product focus.

Obviously you didn't read the thing Steve Jobs was talking about (or didn't retain the point he was making)... it wasn't bean-counters running the show that he found problematic, specifically it was salespeople running the show. More generally, it was non-product people running the show.

I know the zeitgeist on slashdot is to hate beancounters, but I think that's misplaced. Usually the beancounters take the bad rap among staff for decision by those made above them -- that's fine, we understand it's one of our roles (I'm speaking as a beancounter myself). But if you're going to analyze it from a higher perspective, you need to understand who is actually calling the shots -- it's rarely the beancounters (and I've yet to see any major company that isn't in bankruptcy (or near it) where finance runs the show -- it's almost always product or sales people).

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871799)

IBM is doing well by short sighted measurements. IBM is not doing well for the long term. Quality is no longer provided. Especially with the India based delivery teams. Nothing and I mean nothing is completed on time anymore. Even two or three years ago the delays on my current customer in implementing the security policy would have heads rolling. Instead delays keep getting reported to the customer. Now with double checks to see if the security policy is implemented we are turning up tons of issues where no work was done.

IBM is well on its way to corporate doom. The great reputation IBM held for many years is the only reason the company is holding on now. The shorted sighted leadership that started with Sam Palmisano and continues with Virginia Rometty should be used as case studies in business schools on how to destroy a company. IBM doesn't even have the excuse of the car manufactures dealing with unions.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872429)

Why the heck does IBM need to cut so many jobs? They're actually doing rather well by all business standards.

Because that's how companies up their short-term profits these days, of course. Any CEO knows that you don't boost profits by making stuff and selling it or any of that nonsense, you just cut costs by firing more workers and making the existing workers pick up the slack (hey, where are they going to go in this economy?). And it's all about the short-term profits. Up those numbers for next quarter and you get a bonus. Sure, it may hurt your company in the long-term, but you'll be long gone with your golden parachute by them. And that's what being a CEO is all about.

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872739)

IBM has become a service company. All they need is a bunch of program managers and they can hire consultants from the market only when they get the big contracts from government, banks, big enterprises. this is what they are doing right now and it's also a part of the reasons they are doing well ...

Re:They're acting like they're in trouble! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872817)

The airlines did it so they could dump the retirement benefits they had agreed to onto the US taxpayer which of course saved them a shitload of money. it was a nice scam, get the employees to agree to all these cuts in return for benefits and then don't actually provide the benefits. As for IBM? They are just showing why the USA is a corpse, they are shedding as many USA jobs as they can because you can hire someone in India and China for a pittance compared to a US worker.

This is why I have been saying for years FREE TRADE IS A LIE because it is impossible to have free trade with a country that has practically zero worker or environmental regulations. it would be like putting your HS football team against the Denver Broncos and then paying the refs to look the other way on fouls. Even if your team played their ass off the other guy has so many advantages, in this case they can have unsafe work conditions, no overtime, dump toxic waste in the ditch, that there is simply no way to compete.

So while the MSM lies to us about "jobless recovery" which is newspeak for "The rich are doing VERY well, aren't you happy?" the reality is if you go to the flyover states and drive through their business districts they look like "Escape From New York" with endless empty factories and abandoned buildings. For the first time ever I have had several businesses that I work with file bankruptcy and close shop, not because they were wasting capital or running debts, but because they could see the writing on the wall and realized it was impossible to compete. A few sold their assets and then retired, a few other moved to mexico, but the one thing I heard over and over was "I just can't compete with those that don't have any regulations" and its a fact. Free trade is a lie, it benefits the 1% while destroying the country and its time we made isolationism and nationalism the policy. Do you think India and China would put up with this kind of crap? They would shut down their borders first.

Trim the old fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871525)

Just like the auto industry tried to do...

old people don't know anything about computers (-1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871531)

Honestly I am surprised that IBM holds on to employees that are nearing retirement age at all.

Re:old people don't know anything about computers (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871645)

Heh, I'm sure you're being facetious.. but in the tiny event that you're not...

A while back we had some IBM big iron on campus, and our regular IBM tech was a guy in his (estimated) high 50s. Never have I seen someone who so *intricately* knows their shit as this man. He casually explained to me, while working, exactly what the capacitor cards do in the p690, why the system is designed the way it is, and so on. His troubleshooting ability was amazing, too.

This is expected when you have three to four DECADES of experience. A newly minted college grad may be able to sling C# code like there's no tomorrow but he won't have this experience.

I think IBM is making a mistake by letting these people go, and I'm betting they'll suffer down the line for it.

Re:old people don't know anything about computers (2)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871761)

They'll save money by cutting back on troubleshooting and move toward throwing in new cards. No need for that experience. Let the guy go and end up with another unemployed nobody who a certain party can blame for their "failure".

Re:old people don't know anything about computers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871707)

Kid....computer and programmers existed long before your parents where born.
Making a statement like this only reveals that YOU don't know ANYTHING about computers.

Google Ada Lovelace, google Donald Knuth, google, Charles Babbage, google Sir Tim Berners Lee, google Steve Wozniak, google Konrad Zuse, google Wilhelm Schickard, google Blaise Pascal, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, google Herman Hollerith. google Alan Turing.

YOU are N0ob. Now go back and play some idiotic shooter game.

Re:old people don't know anything about computers (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872357)

This is the sort of attitude that permeates the computer industry today. This is why we have people building software that absolutely and faithfully recreates the problems that were solved in the 1960s and 1970s - the people doing the work have absolutely rejected the idea that there is anything to learn from the past. History is dead to them because they think everything they are doing is new and different. They think they are striking out in unknown territory when in fact they are just walking alongside the same path that was covered 40 years ago.

Today, many of the same problems that are encountered are simply recreations of things that happened before. A huge problem is file systems that do not have sufficient robustness to deal with unexpected outages and hardware errors. If you have a file system that fails if you shut the power off unexpectedly at the wrong time you have something that was designed from a blank piece of paper. This kind of problem was dealt with in the 1970s in several different environments but nobody working on recent file systems have any experience with those solutions. Mostly because "it is all new" is an attitude and considering anyone over the age of 40 to be outmoded and incapable of dealing with all this new stuff.

Re:old people don't know anything about computers (4, Insightful)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872399)

Companies think they can build systems to retain the knowledge that actual experienced employees would give them. And they end up spending multiples of their salaries to do it. And it never works, and always gets torn down for the next management book of the month.

Really? (3, Interesting)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871561)

I had thought that IBM had a problem with attrition among their mainframe programmers: More of them dying though natural causes than entering the field.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871585)

Perhaps they're going to take the money they save by sacking people and invest it in zombie research so they can bring those programmers back from the dead and pay them a few chunks of raw meat a day.

crossover point (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871601)

If IBM were not closing in the US and moving completely to China and India as fast as they can, just like GE and a zillion other companies, lets figure out the crossover point:
Assume one months pay per year of employment.
This is guarantee of 70% of 18 months or about one years pay. Along with 18 months of health insurance, I'd assume.
So if you have more than 12 years in, you should risk it, you'll probably come out ahead. Less than 12 years in, you'd be better off taking the offer.

Most likely they're going to downsize every american citizen in their corporation, so you do appear to be better off taking the offer because its not a random distribution.

I'm also curious in salaried positions if you're expected to put in 50 hours per week for a "40 hour schedule", then what does 60% of schedule even mean, like you no longer work Monday and Friday at all, or you're still expected to put in 50 hours per week, except now on a imaginary "24 hour schedule"?

And a message for the last F500 employee in america, please remember to shut off the lights on your way out of the office...

Re:crossover point (1)

dimko (1166489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871643)

Worked for them in czech republic, if anyone thinks to rellocate - don't bother, its not worth it.

Re:crossover point (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871767)

Pretty soon if you want to keep your job, you will need to accept a salary equal to what an Indian software engineer would get. ($20,000)

Re:crossover point (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872311)

If they'll accept the same level of software "quality", and if they'll accept made up resume stuffing and imaginary degrees, and if they'd accept everything taking 5 times as long as having a $60K local do it, I'd take that offer. Heck I'd take three or four of those jobs simultaneously. Now we're talkin...

Re:crossover point (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872427)

My first software job paid less than that (in America). You have to get your start somewhere. But Indian software engineers (who aren't just out of colege) make more than that these days, in my experience. $30k, or more if in Bangalore (where costs of living can exceed Silly Valley).

Eventually it will be a global market, and you will have to work for about the same salary regardless of where, but the cost of living (and standard of living, at least for programmers) is rising quite fast in places like India these days - it's not really a race to the bottom.

Re:crossover point (4, Interesting)

Gwala (309968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872763)

As a manager over a team in Shanghai; I can confirm that salaries are rapidly equalising there as well; you also need to pay very high payroll taxes (up to 40%); so the cost advantage is beginning to go away. (Where 5 years ago you could hire a team for the price of a single american developer; now you only get ~2 people)

On the upside; the food is better in China.

Re:crossover point (2)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871771)

I'm also curious in salaried positions if you're expected to put in 50 hours per week for a "40 hour schedule", then what does 60% of schedule even mean, like you no longer work Monday and Friday at all, or you're still expected to put in 50 hours per week, except now on a imaginary "24 hour schedule"?

I'm curious as well. It's not like IBM employees bill for every minute of overtime (especially where I live which falls under legislation lobbied by EA that excludes software developers from requiring overtime pay). My wife, a nurse, gets overtime in 15 minute increments (works 1-15 extra minutes gets paid for 15, 16-30 gets paid for 30 etc). If she was on a 60% schedule it would be explicit and any overtime would be paid out. Maybe they'll work a 3 day week? Sounds good to me, plus I put money you'd get a lot more bang for your buck. People tend to be more efficient when they work less hours and are better relaxed (from 4 days off).

Re:crossover point (0)

dgower2 (1487929) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871937)

LMFTFY: "Science flies us to the moon. ISLAM flies us into buildings."

Re:crossover point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872501)

Your assumption of one months pay per year of employment is incorrect. IBM typically offers30 days notice and then two weeks pay per year of employment in its separation package. So really if you more than about 7 years in, take the deal.

Re:crossover point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872529)

nah, I'll get the lights by remote.

What a crock of shit (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871603)

My father was just released from them last year. He was a senior level engineer 3 years away from retiring, and then they come out with this?

Re:What a crock of shit (2, Funny)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871853)

"Hallo! My name is anonymous coward. You sacked my father. Prepare to learn Mandarin."

Re:What a crock of shit (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871905)

Buddy of mine retired last May. Within a week or so, "See mans" came out with a voluntary retirement program. If he'd stayed 30 more days, he could've been eligible for 3 months pay for retiring just the same. It's hard to know these things ahead of time.

Sorry for your dad, bud...

Re:What a crock of shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872511)

The company my dad works at has rolling buyouts. As long as you are above a certain age, have been there for long enough, and agree to hold harmless and non-compete for 90 days, they allow you to take early retirement. They give benefits until you are at Medicare age (or can get them at another job) and 100% contributions to the 401(k) and a year's salary. You then work there until the next buyout windows starts (the next quarter), and then you retire.

Apparently, by doing it that way, they have had more people retire, rather than waiting until they literally can't work anymore, they are laid off or fired. Plus, they can hire three (almost four) entry level people at the average salaries of the retirees. It also greatly improved company morale as there was more certainty as to what would happen if revenues fell or the like. Plus, they have had the occasional retiree get rehired by the company after the revenues went up.

Incredibly good idea at any time (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871691)

I work for a large company where the senior folks have an attractive retirement plan. Since work is slowing down and there are fewer exciting projects to work on, more of these folks are deciding to leave. They can decide to pull the ripcord rather abruptly with an email saying they've decided to burn up their remaining vacation pay while waiting for their retirement package to be processed. It kind of sucks to need to talk with someone who is the sole holder of some technical data to find out they had announced their retirement the week before and are now gone.

On top of how their abrupt departure can leave some of us more junior people stranded, a lot of these guys don't know HOW to retire. They're so fully part of the Borg that once they separate, they have no idea what to do with themselves. Some come back eighteen months later as consultants or part time employees. Others sit at home and whither away. I don't think is as much a problem for Gen X'ers and younger, as we've got so much going on in our outside lives we can't wait to be free to pursue those interests. However, a lot of the senior people have given so much time to the company they're lost without it... institutionalized, if you will.

Yeah, I think this is a great idea, whether it's to initiate a RIF or not.

Re:Incredibly good idea at any time (3, Interesting)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872185)

It kind of sucks to need to talk with someone who is the sole holder of some technical data to find out they had announced their retirement the week before and are now gone.

This is something many companies do badly, and one reason they may feel they have too many people on the payroll. They have no depth. They're a collection of single points of failure where every single one of them is guaranteed to fail, many in the next decade or so.

If your company has experienced employees who are the only holders of technical (or other) knowledge that is worth keeping, the time to worry about it is before they leave. It's before they get near retirement age. It's before your formerly gruntled employees become dis-. Really, the time to preserve it is not too long after it's become valuable.

Re:Incredibly good idea at any time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872315)

In my case, I'm talking about the guy who did an analysis six months ago that now has to be recreated with all associated extra expense and schedule delay.

It's amazing how when people decide to retire they don't seem to really give a flip about wrapping up their work and tying a bow on it for the next guy, whether they are gruntled or dis. Their minds really seem to be elsewhere.

Re:Incredibly good idea at any time (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872269)

On top of how their abrupt departure can leave some of us more junior people stranded, a lot of these guys don't know HOW to retire. They're so fully part of the Borg that once they separate, they have no idea what to do with themselves. Some come back eighteen months later as consultants or part time employees. Others sit at home and whither away. I don't think is as much a problem for Gen X'ers and younger, as we've got so much going on in our outside lives we can't wait to be free to pursue those interests.

I was in my cube, and I was just like reading Slashdot with my headphones on while my subconscious thought about how all these damn classes and methods fit together,
But then again I was reading about retiring,
And then my boss came in and I didn't even know she was there.
She tapped on my desk because I had the headphones on and I didn't hear her, and then she started screaming "MIKE! MIKE!"
And I go: "What, what's the matter?"
She goes: "What's the matter with you?"
I go: "There's nothing wrong,"
She's all: "Don't tell me that, you're slacking off!"
I go: "No, I'm not slacking off, I'm OK, I was just thinking you know, when a programmer stares at the walls he is working."
She goes: No! That's not Agile!"
I go: "No, I'm just thinking!"
She goes: "No, you're not thinking, you're slacking off! Productive people have more effective habits!"
I go: "Look, just tell me about the RIF programme, please?
All I want is to retire, roll over the 401(k), and she wouldn't let me.
Just a gold-spraypainted parachute.
And IBM wouldn't give it to me!
(I just wanted my retirement. AND THEY WOULDN'T GIVE IT TO ME!)

I'm not crazy! - INSTITUTIONALIZED!
You're the one that's crazy! - INSTITUTIONALIZED!
You're driving me crazy!- INSTITUTIONALIZED!
They stuck me in the Institution,
Building them an agile solution,
To help make sure my career is developed,
To protect them from the competition - myself.

I was sitting in my cube when the my boss and the HR manager came in and they pulled up a chair and they sat down.
They go: "Mike, we need to talk to you."
And I go: "Okay what's the matter?"
They go: "Me and the HR department have been noticing lately that you've been reading a lot of /. lately,
And you've been going off the grid for no reason,
And we're afraid you're going to hurt our bottom line,
And we're afraid you're going to hurt your career prospects.
So we decided that it would be in you're best interest if we helped you find a place
Where you could get the career guidance that you need.

And I go: "Wait, what are you talking about, WE decided!?
MY best interests?! How do you know what MY best interest is?
How can you say what MY best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'M crazy?
When I went to YOUR schools,
I went to YOUR six-sigma centers,
I went to YOUR sensitivity training seminars?!
So how can you say I'M crazy?
I'm not crazy! - INSTITUTIONALIZED!
You're the one that's crazy! - INSTITUTIONALIZED!
You're driving me crazy!- INSTITUTIONALIZED!
They stuck me in the Institution,
Building them an agile solution,
To help make sure my career is developed,
To protect them from the competition - myself.

Doesn't matter, I'll probably get laid off anyway.

Re:Incredibly good idea at any time (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872845)

More likely they come back as consultants or part time employees because they're asked to and there's a need that they can fill that you more junior people aren't filling, not because they don't know what to do with themselves.

I don't currently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871737)

work there, but I'd really like to sign up for this deal! I would like to work 2 12 hour days and have 5 days off a week...

Man think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871835)

about that shit, 4 days straight on drugs and then you sleep for 36 hours and stumble in to work. Friggin sweet, that's almost 100 hours a week on drugs, please hire me IBM and ill show up and look like I'm working to help out the financial sitch.

A Safe Way Out - Anecdotal (2)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871807)

This is purely anecdotal, but from experiences with past co-workers who have been in the IBM trenches, it apparently isn't unheard of to get sacked a few months out from retirement at IBM, thus losing benefits or full retirement or whatever. So I'm guessing to those at IBM in the throes of fear of being sacked, this is perhaps an out to prevent being completely screwed and perhaps from an MBA standpoint a moral stabilizer (or destabilizer depending on your business unit).

Any IBM'ers feel free to chime in? My story is simply hearsay so I'd be interested in knowing how it really is under the various tentacles of that hydra.

Re:A Safe Way Out - Anecdotal (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871839)

*morale, not moral; In terms of corporate morality, well that's all subjective :)

Re:A Safe Way Out - Anecdotal (3, Informative)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871911)

This happened to a good friend of my father's back in the '90s. He was a loyal employee of 27 years and they canned him right before retirement. Seems to be (or was) business as usual up there.

Re:A Safe Way Out - Anecdotal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872007)

This is purely anecdotal, but from experiences with past co-workers who have been in the IBM trenches, it apparently isn't unheard of to get sacked a few months out from retirement at IBM, thus losing benefits or full retirement or whatever. So I'm guessing to those at IBM in the throes of fear of being sacked, this is perhaps an out to prevent being completely screwed and perhaps from an MBA standpoint a moral stabilizer (or destabilizer depending on your business unit).

Any IBM'ers feel free to chime in? My story is simply hearsay so I'd be interested in knowing how it really is under the various tentacles of that hydra.

Well, let's see ... currently working jobs of 2.0 people, so would reduce the workload to 1.3 people for 70% of the compensation received for 1 job. Hmmmmm... you do the math!

Re:A Safe Way Out - Anecdotal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872195)

IBM doesn't offer retirement benefits anymore, its all 401k, so getting sacked right before you retire really doesn't impact you besides not having an income.

Bunch of slime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39871885)

IBM has not been the same since the group of Neo-Con clowns got a hold of the board.
They went from a flagship on innovation (and not in the M$ sense) to a brain dead bonus machine for executives (kind of like HP).

70% pay for 60% of their schedule... (3, Interesting)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871949)

That's an empty promise. IBM will just keep forcing them to work overtime and now only pay them 70% of their salary.

Re:70% pay for 60% of their schedule... (1)

buk110 (904868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872599)

That's an empty promise. IBM will just keep forcing them to work overtime and now only pay them 70% of their salary.

Nothing like some mandatory unpaid overtime to make up for mismanagement and under bidding on work.

I Know It's Idealistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872125)

I know it's idealistic, but you would think companies would *WANT* to treat employees with dignity and actually let them retire when it's time. This constant sending of jobs overseas is going to leave the United States good at making pizzas and delivering them and little else.

One of the reasons I believe in unions is for a simple reason. Yes, they cost employers more, but a company that is raking in the billions should also *WANT* to share with the very people that earned those billions in the first place. Once a company goes public, they lose control (and their soul) to the shareholders. I fail to see to point of even going public sometimes.

IT in this country is dying a slow death. Certain large, popular companies manufacture their very popular phones and gadgets overseas, denying American workers the dignity of having jobs just to save money on employment, but yet have the nerve to *EXPECT* and *DEMAND* these same Americans pay the outrageous costs of the products that were made for a pittance overseas, saving the company billions. Obviously, there are no scruples anymore where money is concerned.

I honestly hope that one day the US government will pass laws that force companies to pay the taxes they are hiding. That close any and all loopholes. That forbid lobbying of any and all kinds from anyone or any group. That state if you are an American company, you will pay up. If they move offshore completely to circumvent the laws, they will be fined accordingly and their products forbidden to enter the country. This country could pay for its infrastructure needs and alot besides if people would simply play honest ball. I hate the fact that everyone is so caught up in money, money, money. It's ruining this country.

Ran it through Google's Bullshit Translator (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872191)

Ran "Guaranteed employment through Dec. 31, 2013 and offers participants 70% of their pay for working 60% of their schedule" through Google's Bullshit Translator and got back "We'll promise to keep you on for another year if you'll agree to a 30% pay cut."

Re:Ran it through Google's Bullshit Translator (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872251)

From: RMAC COMM/Armonk/IBM
To:
Date: 05/01/2012 08:16 AM
Subject: Announcing IBM’s new Transition to Retirement program

Dear IBMer:

IBM is pleased to notify you of your eligibility to apply for a one-time, voluntary program for IBMers in the U.S. nearing retirement. Called Transition to Retirement, it offers a gradual way to retire, with advantages for both you and the company.

If approved to participate in the program, you’ll receive 70 percent of your current pay while working 60 percent of your current schedule. You’ll also receive the same benefits you do today, most at a full-time level, including health insurance and 401(k) Plus Plan automatic company contributions. Due to the experience and skills you possess and the business need to close the gaps your departure would create, you’ll be exempt from any resource actions that may occur during the Transition to Retirement period. You agree to retire on December 31, 2013 -- or earlier, if you choose to do so.

IBM is offering this program to address issues facing American businesses and employees alike.

In recent years, American workers, including IBMers, have been asking for ways to gradually ease into retirement – maintaining a certain level of pay and benefits while freeing up time to explore what to do in their next phase of life.

At the same time, businesses, including IBM, want the ability to forecast when employees may retire so they can better plan.

The Transition to Retirement program was designed to address these issues. We believe it balances the needs of our U.S. retirement-eligible employees with the needs of our business.

For you, it provides a way to scale back on IBM commitments so you can explore what to do when you retire, whether that involves a second career, volunteer work or other meaningful ways to fill your time.

For IBM, it provides advance notice of when IBMers will retire, giving managers time to work with their teams to identify key skills and knowledge, while maintaining commitments to our clients and the business.

Financial planning and retirement resources – including MoneySmart seminars, individual coaching sessions and other programs -- are available to help you decide if Transition to Retirement is right for you. Much more information, including eligibility requirements, start dates, resources and application procedures can be found on the w3 Transition to Retirement for Eligible IBMers resource page.

Whether you ultimately decide to participate, IBM encourages you to use the resources available to help you plan what you’ll do when you are ready for that next phase in life.

Sincerely,

Randy MacDonald
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Acquisitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872641)

If you look at how many companies IBM acquires each year, there is no surprise that there is duplication in the management ranks. Often those let go from IBM find other jobs in the company, seeing the internal job postings, knowing teams that are growing, etc. This seems to be a way to speed up that attrition and get more room to hire people in areas that they need resources in.

Re:Acquisitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872755)

"This seems to be a way to speed up that attrition and get more room to hire people in areas that they need resources in."

Not likely...

They aim to save money by asking people to resign politely and voluntarily before they offshore the job, Why pay an American a decent living wage when you can offshore the same job for a pittance. Notice the end of the year deadline. They want these people gone, and they are doing it slowly but surely.

I recently applied to work for a certain large corporation, and when I was going through the application documents online, I was "politiely" asked if I was over 40. It's this kind of discrimination that needs to be wholly made illegal. Companies should actually *WANT* older workers who have experience with the job and with life in general. I thought it was illegal to ask how old someone is, but there are clever ways they can legally ask and you have to answer. Questions such as "Have you ever served in the US Armed Forces? If so, list dates of service." That's not just discrimination, it's discrimination against vets, the very people who put their lives at risk so unscrupulous people can make a profit at the expense of the 99%.

mo6d down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872693)

The solution is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872901)

If IBM doesn't want to employ Americans then we as Americans can choose not to employ IBM. There are plenty of other companies that are quite good that provide all the same services as IBM and do want to employ Americans. IBM will only change it's strategy if it COST them sales. Nothing else will change their strategy. Lower quality for example only matters to IBM if it cost them sales and hurts their margin. Keep in mind they are moving jobs to other countries specifically for that reason.

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