back to article IBM staffers climb over each other in race for redundancy payout

IBMers working in the Systems Middleware (SM) division are falling over themselves to volunteer for redundancy, with the programme heavily oversubscribed. Some 110 people want to leave the company with a big fat cheque, which is way more than the ten per cent of the division’s 736-strong workforce that IBM had in mind. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In your 50s and done 30 years ?

    Want a juicy fat payout and a nice final salary pension settlement ?

    Not arf !

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Simple solution

    Get rid of all those who DIDN'T apply

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Simple solution

      "Get rid of all those who DIDN'T apply"

      But sometimes those are the people you want to keep, sometimes not. I favour a market solution, of a reverse Dutch auction based on N weeks pay plus a standing severance lump sum. Everybody logs on to press the button as the offer increases (or sets their price in advance), the system tracks up the offer until the magic number have volunteered (with a maximum cost to the company as a cap on all bids). Those who want too much (or messed up their price or bid strategy trying to get the highest price) get nothing and are allowed to stay. Those who will go will be those willing to go most cheaply, and whilst they may be the more employable, if you're prepared to go cheaply then you're already disaffected, so not much of a loss.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some people with mortgage insurance cannot apply for VR. That number could potentially have been far higher

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      "Some people with mortgage insurance cannot apply for VR"

      I'd suspect that they can't be stopped from applying, all that the insurers can do is point to the clause that says the insurance doesn't cover VR. Nothing wrong with that. If you're leaving a business with a wheelbarrow full of cash, on voluntary terms, why should an insurance against involuntary unemployment have to pay out?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC Eh ?

      It just makes you mortgage payment protection insurance null and void . PPI isn't worth the bloody paper it's written on anyway.

      1. Triggerfish

        Redundancy insurance

        Paid for me and missus to go travelling after we both was made redundant a few years ago, they actually paid more on the credit card and mortgage monthly payments than we would have, (I realise this is probably rare).

    3. knarf

      But the Company (IBM here) can't disclose if the employee took it wilfully or were forced, so unless the employee admits to it and even the employee can claim they were forced or advised to apply. Its a sticky mess.

  4. Howard Hanek Bronze badge

    The trouble is the people who SHOULD leave stay and the productive people see the opportunity to take the money and run to their next opportunity. Big companies policies and cookie cutter mentality always do them in. Remember for all us dinosaurs Control Data? Developer and manufacturer of the first hard drives? Dead now 30 years.

    1. ToddR

      And the first Supercomputers

      Flint tools

      Kodak film


  5. Erik4872

    So who will they be left with?

    One of the big things about a voluntary layoff like this is the fact that it naturally selects people who are talented and have a chance getting a job somewhere else. It may not be true for regular corporate paper pusher type jobs, but for tech jobs you're almost guaranteed to lose anyone who is reasonably good. And it gets worse, because the next wave of self-layoffs will be the people who hate the way the place has become, and are lucky enough to find something somewhere else. I don't think I'd want to be working there after those first two waves hit.

    That said, I wonder how much of that division is crusty old MQSeries guys who don't really contribute much anymore. (Not an ageism thing -- I'm old too. I'm talking about the people who have carved out a nice comfortable niche in a profitable product line and just sat there for ages.) The problem is that when you start painting people with the "old" brush, you stand to lose the really talented people who have kept up, know products back and forth, etc.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: So who will they be left with?

      They'll be left with an even *more* top-heavy management structure. Eventually IBM will end up with a system where it's all managers, and no one who actually does any *work*.

      I still think IBM could save a ton of money by outsourcing the CEO/President/Board of Directors overseas. I'm sure they could find someone just as competent (which isn't saying much) in India who would be CEO for 30K/yr.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: So who will they be left with?

        "They'll be left with an even *more* top-heavy management structure. Eventually IBM will end up with a system where it's all managers, and no one who actually does any *work*."

        In which case they will be sued by HP, who not only have that as their central business model, but have surely registered the patent on that process with the USPO.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So who will they be left with?

      IBM don't let just anyone take the voluntary offer. If you have received a top performance rating, you are excluded; if the business thinks you are too valuable, you are excluded, and so on. I know people in SWG who have applied every year and been turned down every year - not because they are desperate to leave, but because they could probably be tempted to leave if given a payoff, and the conduct of the company over the last few years has done nothing to promote any sense of loyalty.

      Either way though, plenty of good people end up leaving one way or another and all the while IBM's strategy of trying to achieve growth by cutting looks ever more hopeless. As they say, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So who will they be left with?

        People were excluded if they were high performers based on PBC rating. Also if they were in client facing billable work they were unlikely to be offered.

        I personally know of two complete IBM teams of over 150 people between them of which 70-80% applied to go, virtually none of them were allowed to as they were deemed 'vital' to customers. The fear from those teams is that when the work eventually goes elsewhere as it will, they will be simply let go with no money at all.

        I kicked and fought my way to the front and got out in Feb. Delighted to leave and feel 10x better every day.

        Not sure what Ginny is going to do, but I'll lay a pound to a pint she's out of a job by the end of this year.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So who will they be left with?

          I purposefully did as little as possible last year to make myself more likely to be accepted. The bastards gave me a good PBC, along with a pathetic pay rise, knowing fine well that I'll probably leave at some point anyway and they won't have to pay me anything.

          Well, the joke's on them. I sit on my fat arse all day playing computer games and they pay me to do so.

          1. J J Carter Silver badge

            Re: So who will they be left with?

            your natural home is in local government IT

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best thing I ever did

    I was lucky, grabbed a package a few years back 'cos my IBM boss was too lazy to find another role & bailed straight into a competitor with a fat package and no strings or gardening leave.

    No wonder there's a long queue.

    Best thing I ever did, career-wise!

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