Why is this happening?
Because Sam made a promise to Wall Street that Earnings Per Share (EPS) would hit $10 - $11 by 2010. How can you achieve this when revenues are falling? By cutting expenses, not just the cost of stationery but all expenses including salaries and pension costs. Sam has done a great job of achieving this, in 2008 he predicted $9.20 for 2009, he has actually likely to achieve $9.70.
Take a look at this analysis http://seekingalpha.com/article/149843-the-arithmetic-behind-ibm-s-2009-eps-guidance-revision
So who benefits from this EPS Increase? Well Sam and probably his senior managers have targets for EPS, Sam is paid primarily in shares (circa $20M) and of course he gets a very healthy pension pot topped up every year by the company.
The rest of the employees have to make do with average salaries and there pension which is rapidly losing value (UK Pension Pot lost over £150m in value based on the last report).
Its time the board of directors considered the employees as well as the shareholders and the government protected the workforce from this form of theft.