back to article IBM axes nearly THREE THOUSAND staffers in North America - union

IBM has axed nearly three thousand workers in Canada and the US, according to employee union Alliance@IBM, as its cost-cutting drive begins to bite. Big Blue has been laying off swathes of staff worldwide in the last few years as it attempts to drastically reduce its outgoings, periodically announcing "workforce rebalancing", " …

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Remind me...

... what does IBM do? I've forgotten....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remind me...

Buy up smaller companies for their patents, then wait until enough people leave because of the low pay or draconian corporate rules, or just announce a round of redundancies to prune the 'dead wood' of a demotivated, previously enthusiastic startup workforce.

AC for various reasons....

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Mushroom

Re: Remind me...

"... what does IBM do? I've forgotten...."

Pretty much the same as these guys: http://www.ominous-valve.com/ba-mfrs.html

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Re: Remind me...

Services.

You can't build PCs forever.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remind me...

What do they do?

State of the art contract bureaucracy.

IT services comes a distant second and server hardware and even more distant third.

And after having first hand experience with them, they really should go back to hardware.

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Flame

Re: Remind me...

"... what does IBM do? I've forgotten...." They are merely a croupier at the great casino of Wall Street. Their job is to take the EPS number pulled from the mind of a Bolivian marching powder besotted weasel and contort the operation of what is left of the corporation to meet that figure. Customers? Employees? Naaah, it is a game of financial Twister for the entertainment of the uber-rich who no longer need the money but use their "wealth" as a way of keeping score. After all, how many Lambo's and MIGs can a guy own? FEH!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remind me...

I suggest you read the news then instead of surfing and making snide comments, then you will find out. Also try a tool called Google and enter IBM in the search box.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remind me...

Funny, the IBM I work for is a great place to work. You must be talking about a different one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remind me...

IBM used to be in IT but now transformed itself to be a leader in Consultation process, resource action and workforce rebalancing

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remind me...

IBM does Sales, and Legal, well.

Everything else is an expense (purely so the above two have something to work with).

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Anonymous Coward

Targeted Redundancies.

(AC because I'm in the crosshairs)

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Mushroom

"Targeted Redundancies."

So presumably ditching the competent / more expensive people first then...

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Anonymous Coward

No, the good people walk away first

I really hate to be reduced to anonymity, but you can guess the reasons... Too close for comfort, eh? That and the murder of Michael Hastings.

Actually, the way it goes when management applies pressure is that the best people are the first to leave. They are the ones who have the most options and the least reason to hang around while the company goes to pieces because of the poor morale. You don't have to be a masochist or as sadist to work in management, but it obviously helps, and it evidently doesn't even matter which one you are.

Normal employee who just wants to serve the customers? The door is over there, and don't let it hit you in the arse on your way out.

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Anonymous Coward

Office Space: "workforce rebalancing"...

God I love those euphemisms....'The Bob's' must have been onboard: Office Space (1999)...

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This ain't good

More lost jobs in an economic depression is not good. It doesn't matter who the company is these lost jobs have serious negative impacts on many people and they take money out of the system so there is a very real trickle down impact to other businesses and people.

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Facepalm

In other news, IBM announced....

That they are hiring 4,000 workers in India! (That's a joke, but knowing them they probably are)

And what's with the myriad of euphemisms for a layoff or job cuts? Corporations used to use those terms, and then they moved to the more neutral sounding "Reduction in force" and now they've trotted out a whole new array of euphemisms because RIF has become a morale albatross.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: euphemisms

Sorry, Marketing Hack, I'm going to have to let you go...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In other news, IBM announced....

Wrong country. Think China!

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Unions and IBM?

Are they letting just union employes go? If so, it is a smart move.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Unions and IBM?

Except that we don't have unions at IBM and that suits me fine. A@IBM does not represent IBM. I am anonymous not because I don't want IBM to see what I have written but because I don't want the whingers to get personal.

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Anonymous Coward

The problem is...

Working from home. If you can work from home, you can be outsourced to China/India/Bangladesh. Your manager doesn't see you often, and if he's replaced with a fresh, new inexperienced manager you are in trouble. The order comes down - get rid of ten people from this department. The older managers know how to fight and the ten people come from groups with new managers. Who to get rid of? Why, the people who get paid the most! Doesn't matter how good they are, the manager doesn't see them or get to know them anyway.

I'm been out for nine years now, thank goodness, with a pension. Some of my friends have been let go with a 401K that they can't touch for decades without ruinous penalties. At least one so identified with IBM that he's lost now and is too ashamed to visit his friends.

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"workforce rebalancing"

It sounds like someone took the opportunity to "do the needful."

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Anonymous Coward

Kiss China revenue goodbye

A year ago, IBM's China revenue was growing 20% a year. After Snowden's revelations do you think anyone in China is going to install American hardware or software. Its already down to only 1% growth, and next year will be the pits. Who needs IBM anyway? Even a Seattle online bookstore can do better at running server farms ,ecommerce , 3letter/egovt, and consumer goods. Leaving IBM good at ... what?

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Bronze badge

Re: Kiss China revenue goodbye

Or German revenue, or Dutch revenue or French revenue. Why would any competent non-American company trust an American company with confidential commercial or government secrets?

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Anonymous Coward

Cringely

Cringely has an article about the death of IBM over at http://www.cringely.com/2013/06/20/ibm-to-customers-your-hand-is-staining-my-window/

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BWM

8,000... keep it in perspective

From the human side, every layoff sucks.

But from the corporate perspective... looking at a couple of sources, between 2009 and 2012, IBM went from 390K+ employees to over 420K. With lines of business constantly in flux and that many employees, 8,000 is, cold-hearted as it may sound, an adjustment.

For an even better perpective, go back to the headlines of the mid-to-late 90s, when IBM and DEC were dropping employees by the tens of thousands.

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So you think IBM will now simply disappear like DEC did?

True, DEC had been a fairly major player.

So you think IBM will now simply disappear like DEC did?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 8,000... keep it in perspective

What a load of crap.

In the 90s IBM was near ruin and had to take drastic action to survive. When a company the size of IBM then could not make payroll you could be forgiven for thinking game over.

This is not the same. IBM is still immensely profitable, capable of gulping up entire other companies at will with the billions it is sat on, and is ruthlessly gutting it's core businesses and the assets that are their employees in favor of meeting short term financial goals that are solely focused on making the upper echelons of execs wealthy beyond any measure the rank and file can comprehend. All of these cuts are to prove to Wall Street that they can meet BS earnings goals that have no focus on growing a sustainable real business, just to keep that stock price going up and their pockets fat.

Whilst the number of employee's cut is agreeably small when put against their global workforce the fact that these cuts are being done at all whilst the real root of IBMs problems - the swelling ranks of VPs with an invested interest in only meeting short term Wall Street goals - is left unchecked and free to further drive the company to ruin.

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Re: 8,000... keep it in perspective

But I bet their employment in the U.S. and other developed countries has fallen the last few years, with those jobs and the new growth all going to China/India/Eastern Europe/wherever.

I don't blame IBM for wanting to keep costs in check, but telling U.S. workers that IBM is adding jobs (but they are cutting them by the 10s of thousands in the U.S.) is a little rich.

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Anonymous Coward

I just wish I was in the crosshairs.

It would make the summer interesting at the very least -- instead, at the moment, I think I have 2 weekends free, and enough TIL packed up that the day they let me take it I'll be gone for at least a quarter. I have a decent hiring contract though, unlike a hell of a lot of the crowd around me (including management types)

I've seen two bodies in my neighbourhood go, both of them excellent at what they did, and one of them a manager that actually was a charm to work for. I've seen at least 4 high calibre PM's shipped out the door, leaving the dross behind, which will just make my overbooked weekends worse.

*sigh*

Sure, being WFH 90% of the time -- but the management all know who I am, cause dammit, I'm the first one they call when all hell is breaking loose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I just wish I was in the crosshairs.

That is ridiculous. Obviously a company as successful as IBM didn't get where it is today by firing the best and leaving the worst inplace.

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Mushroom

Re: I just wish I was in the crosshairs.

"That is ridiculous. Obviously a company as successful as IBM didn't get where it is today by firing the best and leaving the worst in place."

As "where it is today" consists of dropping market share in a world where it's army of ageing boat anchors deployed in large corporates are largely becoming replaced and redundant, I cant see that the possibility has been eliminated...

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Re: didn't get where it is today by firing the best

There's a faulty assumption in that statement: The ones who got the company where it is today are still running the show.

HP and Kodak have had similar problems. Dell has a chance to avoid it because the guy who got them where they are is still there. Although whether he stays seems to be in question at the moment.

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Megaphone

Not sure are you?

Seems most posting believe IBM is still only a hardware business. Look, IBM's hardware business is about 15% of the business and will drop to 10% by 2015. 50% is software and service is the rest. Don't be hung up on that mainframe thing... IBM isn't. Whereas HP / Dell.. well they are in the s*&t as they rely on ink and PCs.

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PAW
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The IBM I know

Old IBM had a no layoff policy. Imagine the glut of employees with no real job to do. That changed by necessity in the early 1990's and a Tucson storage division was one of the first to get trimmed. I don't know specifics but IBM gave low level employees a year and a half salary as a parachute. Pretty nice offer for both employees and the local economy.

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