back to article Big-Blue Euro jobs cull coming?

Big Blue's UK, German and Ireland employees should prepare for layoffs with thousands of jobs reportedly going to eastern Europe, the Far East and South America. IBM has around 41,000 employees in UK and Germany, with contractors in the UK already having received pay cuts. Lee Conrad, from US workers' group Alliance@IBM, is …

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IBM is trying pull the wool over everyone's eyes...

Its going to be costly for IBM to shift EU jobs out of the EU and they'll do it only if they don't think that there will be a customer backlash.

Here in the states, customers who are not already locked in to long term contracts are starting to put the squeeze on IBM. Lets face it. If you're a customer and you just found out that your local support staff's work is now being done in India, you don't think that you'll want to renegotiate the contracts?

The only ones happy are going to be IBM's legal team since they'll have job security with all of the contract issues either going to court or arbitration. They'll point to the T's and C's and offer IBM's assurances that there will be no slip up in the SLAs that were in the contract and that IBM will make them 'whole'. (Or is that hole as in a big black hole sucking all of the customer's money out of their pocket books?)

Sorry but IBM senior management don't have a clue. They're just fattening their nest egg before they jump ship when Sam retires in the next two years or so.

Anyone who's doing business with IBM needs to re-evaluate their T's and C's and consider doing business with someone else who isn't going to shift the workforce out of country.

With respect to federal stimulus monies, IBM supposedly is going to have two new sites in the US. (Iowa and MI). Care to bet that they'll use L1s and H1Bs?

The flame isn't for the Reg, but for IBM.

Bad corporate policy shouldn't be rewarded, right AIG?

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India

My company has shifted a lot of work to India along with all the others. However, India is considered so unsafe that the Cricket premier league has had to be moved to South Africa. Yet here are all these companies firing most of the western world to move business critical work to an unsafe country.

I guess when they start off-shoring politicians we might hear something. By which time we will all be unemployed.

The fat cats are most certainly in charge and will empty our pockets.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ian Michael Gumby

"Its going to be costly for IBM to shift EU jobs out of the EU and they'll do it only if they don't think that there will be a customer backlash."

Not true and not true. They centralized their mainframe systems in the late 90s/early 00s, the work for one of the OSes being done by the Dutch group and the German group. There was then a political decision to move things to the German group who promptly messed up the entire setup. Didn't matter too much as things were pretty quickly moved to Hungary, before finally being moved to China. The last of the main Europe supported systems got moved to China a while ago amongst complaints from the previous support group that the Chinese didn't know what they were doing - not that it mattered, it went anyway.

Conclusion: IBM management only cares about money. Now, there's a surprise!

Annecdotes:

The Dutch group had to drag the UK systems and 50,000 users halfway across Europe in 3 weeks because the UK support group by June 1999 hadn't Y2K-proofed their systems.

The German group spent two days with, amongst others, the Italian representative in a round of meetings only to discover that he didn't speak English.

My favourite support situation was of the French speaking Swiss users who used a network supported in the UK to log onto a Belgian system that ran on a box physically based in Germany that was supported by the Dutch support group.

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Anonymous Coward

India's not the answer

IBM are behind the times. A lot of companies who outsourced technical (skilled) work to India over the past 5/10 years are now beginning to bring the jobs back, for several reasons:

- Wage inflation in Indian tech centers is 20%+, so it's getting less cheap by the month

- People tend to stay 12 months and then move on to another better-paid job, so companies spend a lot of money on training that they get no benefit from.

- Time difference with India makes US/EU/India meetings impossible.

- The level of English in India is very variable, despite claims to the contrary by Indian managers.

Also some EU contries (France, for example) are giving very generous tax breaks to companies doing R&D there. That can amount to 50% of salary, making jobs in France cheaper than those in Czech Republic, never mind the US.

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Wait, There's MORE!

Not only is there heavy turnover in India, but they don't work extra shifts. So if you need call-out people, you will end up actually "hiring" extra shifts to cover what your one shift originally covered with on-call duty.

I have heard from folks who have had to work with off-shore that the turnover is something like 100% within a year. Tell me how well that works.

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