Not planning to get any decent handovers from the staff leaving the building then? Good luck with that.
IBMers at risk of losing their jobs have reacted with “fury” to Big Blue’s confirmation it can only afford to pay the bare statutory minimum in their redundancy packages. Staff at IBM's Global Technology Services (GTS), Global Business Services (GBS) and UK Labs entered into a 45-day consultation period recently. Around 400 …
I once worked at a famous british PC manufacturing place just outside Burnley. I got out a good year or so before the company wound up. They did pretty much the same thing offering the staff the bare minimum and the sysadmins that were left pretty much walked off. I was telephoned by the management begging me to help them get into the system even though I had left a good while before. I did stifle a laugh as I was putting the phone down.
the handover will be to the person who has subsumed your role. In the consultation they will be quite clear that the distinct role you are working in is no longer relevant to the company and can be incorporated elsewhere. It will all be legal and above board of course, big companies tend to know the minimums they can get away with.
It is amazing how much you forget, sure you can have the passwords, good luck figuring out all the nuances (im sure there used to be some cron.daily scripts that needed to restart those services before the log drive went bananas etc)
"45 days to utterly ruin a multinational."
It is odd. IBM hoses workers on their severance, in the US they received one month salary, but then doesn't show them the door immediately and gives them three months until their out date. 1) Who is going to do a lick of work in those 90 days? 2) You would think IBM would be concerned with workers just throwing wrenches into everything they can find before they leave. Why didn't they just give everyone four months severance?
"Not planning to get any decent handovers from the staff leaving the building then? Good luck with that."
What handover? You don't make people redundant - you make roles redundant.
If you declare someone redundant, there can be nothing to handover.
My (teacher) mum was declared redundant from one post some years ago on the grounds they were discontinuing the course she taught. They then asked her to "handover" her (apparently redundant/obsolete) course materials to a new member of staff...
After a sit down with the bursar, he chose to enhance her redundancy package in preference to getting a call from her Union's solicitors after she handed over the offending emails.
A previous place I worked at made my position redundant. They paid the Stat minimum to everyone leaving but thanks to a wave of generosity they offered an enhancement of £75 per complete year of service. Rather than being a genuine "enhancement" (in the generally accepted meaning of the word), it was more a case of Senior Manglement flicking a sizeable second bird at those being shown the door....
No, the deadwood isn't going just the remaining loyal people who have shouldered the extra work as people have left due to them being very loyal to a previously paternalistic company that used to look after its staff. In our part of the business our manager got rid of the poor performers which he defined as the people who he didn't really like or challenged his lack of ability. He bought them off with the then very good packages and the rest stayed and put up with the increased workload because they thought IBM would look after them. In reward for that loyalty the whole team is now going and he is keeping the one position that was required due to government and regulatory rules for an in-country person. That job was never offered to any of hi "team" that are now being penalised for doing the right thing by the company.
I noticed that in the name of being "agile" they have reduced the oversight role from 600 globally to around 60 of which 25 only do reporting with the remaining being the managers. Given the people being let go used to review accounts and proposals to make sure they were not too risky but still satisfied the client and IBM's needs and that these managers have never actually done this work then I think you can say that the deadwood is definitely remaining. That is okay as everything will be automated but this function is all about knowledge and experience and unfortunately for them that experience won't be around to teach the new beaut "cognitive Watson" what is what and so the 90's will occur again.
The tragedy is that they took this approach back in the late 90's with the result of an enormous number of "troubled" accounts that costs the company hundreds of millions of lost profit (not just revenue). History repeats itself and in 2 years time we will see an large number of troubled accounts again that will continue to drag down the profits of the company. Ginni will have retired by then so why would she care?
BTW - it isn't just in the UK but across the board that they are doing this and I suspect that the GTS part of the business will be sold off to someone like Microsoft once the "deadwood" have gone.
I suspect the hack has confused the (in Eng+Wales) 45 day statutory consultation period (previously 90 days for more than 20 redundancies) with the contractual notice period that applies between notice being given and your final date. In the Eng shops I've worked at, a Senior Eng usually has a 3 month notice period which would only apply once the consultation period is complete, the company has identified those positions that will be made redundant and informed those involved that they will be losing their jobs.
I'd add to the various other musings about "If your position is redundant there isn't anything to hand over" that an employer is on shaky ground if they ask you to continue working through the consultation period or your notice period once you've been told your position is redundant.
Usual IANAL disclaimer applies.
The reason for offering higher is it is a bribe to stop people suing for unfair dismissal. With only statuatory payout IBM has to be 100% confident they have clearly followed every letter of the law otherwise they could end up with some rather expensive employment tribunals costing far more.
> IBM has to be 100% confident they have clearly followed every letter of the law otherwise they could end up with some rather expensive employment tribunals costing far more.
I would hope that the soon-to-be-ex-IBM'ers are lawyering up. The notice period seems fine - it used to be 90 days for mass-layoffs, but I seem to recall it was reduced to 45. For the amount, IBM *may* be treading a fine line in reducing the offering , but it may well depend on for long long/often the previous offering has remained unchanged. I was once told that because my employer had not varied the payout in 10 years (with it being used a lot in that time), it would be difficult for them to offer anything different as it may become an implied contractual term.
Additionally, there is the complexity of working out if there have been cases of someone being refused the earlier redundancy terms when they were offered for volountary, and then subsequently getting shafted in this round. And if you can find cases like this, you can argue for everyone getting the old, enhanced package.
IANAL, but individually it will cost you <£400 (means tested) to bring a claim to the employment tribunal - but there will be a possibility of being responsible for some legal fees if your claim is judged to be very weak....
Pretty poor show on IBM's account, either way.
I was recently (03/02/16) RA'd from IBM. My last work day with IBM is 05/31/16. I too believe I am a victim of age discrimination. I have 33 years with IBM, and I have always been reviewed as a solid contributer (2) or better (2+). I contacted Sara Blackwell at: http://theblackwellfirm.com/ and http://protectusworkers.org/ Sara reviewed my severance package at NO cost and she gave me good advice. She has offered to help other IBMers that have been RA'd. Sara has a new video on her webite for IBMers that have been RA'd. Sara's phone number is: 941-961-3046 email: email@example.com If you have been RA'd by IBM, do your self a favor and contact Sara.
It's a great signal to the market for talent that it's a complete and utter waste of time becoming a permie with IBM, so if joining them, you should only ever do it as a contractor.
That perception will cost a lot of money in the long run. As a people-focussed business, it's a bad idea to tell your people their loyalty is valueless
Then you're an idiot as well as a shareholder (sadly too common a problem: short-term views of idiot shareholders). Chucking people out on statutory terms creates enormous ill feeling, both among the directly affected staff and their colleagues who remain. Many talented people are leaving of their own volition, at least part in disgust at how the company is being run. Those who do not leave for whatever reason generally have greatly reduced motivation and loyalty due to the way that their collegaues have been treated, not to mention because they are being expected to work harder to fill the void. It's a myth that just deadwood is being chopped - after so many rounds of this there is not so much deadwood left. Firing people on statutory minimum terms like this is bad news for the company on many different levels; it's another false economy.
It is also worth repeating - this is not just GTS, GBS, Labs but across the business. The IBM divide and conquer layoffs approach is to split all these things up so it is harder to build a complete picture. Sometimes El Reg itself seems to forget this. I know it's happening in Analytics too. I think it's telling that more leaking to the press, including of actual employee 'consultation' documents, has happened this time around. People feel betrayed.
When we are talking technical people, we are far far beyond deadwood, being fired. We are talking people on fasttrack to high band, people with global technical leadership roles (these only contribute to their local management with cost recovery remember that). Many of them go cause local managers fear them, and their technical and business insights.
Now the problem for IBM with these technical people with technical leadership, typical with OpenGroup (IBM) certifications and a kickbutt CV, is that they these people are well sought after by other Companies. Typically customers of IBM. Many of these (I am one myself) then get hired as Enterprise Architects, technical leaders etc. etc. . in other Companies that are looking for quality technical people,
Now do you as IBM really want to have the people who form your customers technical IT-strategies, that write the technical guidelines for what technology to choose, to be former disgrunted employees that hold a grudge agaist you as a Company ?
"...that minimum wage you're talking about ...it just got a lot, lot lower"
Problem just being that now you don't have the local people to cleanup after the band 2 people who struggled just cutting and pasting from the Operational Manuals.
People who don't understand that pasting this example from the Operational procedures:
"# lsvg -o | ".....
will never Work... as it becomes a comment due to the fact that you've included the '#'.
So, on revenues of $32.01bn and profits of $11.97bn gross profit, you don't think they could afford to pay above statutory minimum redundancy without taking food out of your mouth as a shareholder? Those 400 people have been loyal employees for many years and you "bought a bit of paper", yet you feel that you deserve the money more than they do when they're cast aside? Capitalism is an ugly thing, sometimes.
When I took a voluntary package from IBM I signed an agreement stating that I wouldn't slag off IBM or discuss the terms of the agreement with anyone.
I would assume that those who are forced out will not have this holding them back. Isn't IBM concerned that the negative publicity will have a significant effect?
>>IBM said it had considered the impact that statutory redundancy terms might have on future hires, but reckoned “competitive pay and benefits, global opportunities, career and skill development and flexible working options”, were the “key drivers”.
well there's some truth in there:
Pay in IBM is not competitive. Far from it. I went to another job and earn 1.5 times what I did at IBM.
Benefits on the other hand are actually reasonably good in IBM. Pension contributions are above average. Not enough to negate the poor salaries. When you get a job it's the package that's important. Overall, IBM is still a poor option in general.
Another thing to remember is if you join IBM, pay rises are few and far between and if you get one, it will be below inflation. In real terms you take a pay cut each year. I say that as someone who got a PBC 1 every year. I pity those who don't.
Global opportunities tend to be "we have a customer in country X and we have nobody local with the skills. We want you there tomorrow morning - we'll stick you in an overnight flight in economy". There are also programs for working abroad. You need a PBC 1 to put your name down and you need to be pals with the guy organising it to actually do it.
Career development = we will do whatever we can to avoid promoting you. We'll tell you you're great and dead valuable though.
Skills = We need someone with these skills and we want that to be you. There's no education budget so please go to customer X and tell them you have these skills.
Regarding flexible working, this was actually very good in my experience. Setting your own hours was rarely a problem particularly as the older managers who wanted you on-site retired. Having said that, the new job's no different.
My advice to anyone thinking of joining IBM is yes you should do it. Get what you can out of them. Get a decent package when you join as you will not get a rise while you're there. Stay for 3 years tops. Do not expect training or career development. It's still a good name on your CV, although that's quickly diminishing along with IBM's reputation. You are unlikely to have a worthwhile career there.
Would I go back? Yes, actually. They'll have to pay me a LOT though.
Was there a time limit on not slagging them off?
IBM used to be a good a employee, at least up until the 80s.
It paid slightly above average. Benefits were good - providing you jump through the hoops. And if you did jump through the hoops they would make sure you were not out of pocket or uncomfortable.
Those days are long gone.
Its just one embarrassing episode after another.
"Would I go back? Yes, actually. They'll have to pay me a LOT though"
And they most likely won't. Here there are a LOT of free jobs at IBM, they are looking for experienced Young Proffesionals for Senior [Hybrid] Cloud Architect positions, with experience in
Such people don't really exist, they did on the other hand fire the ones they had, and the rest left :)
"...Owners matter too
As a shareholder, I'd be pissed off if IBM offered anything more than the statutory minimum..."
Don't worry Mr typical-nasty-comment-made-anonymously...the way IBM are heading, they are already in the death spiral. Enjoy your dividends whilst you can, because I predict it's not going to be much longer before IBM can no longer fund any.
I might not feel so aggrieved if it was announced that Ginni's job had been outsourced to an Indian paid 10% of her salary. But the executives continue to feather their nests very, very comfortably. I presume the original poster of 'Owners matter too' voted against the offensively huge salaries being paid to a bunch of failures who have driven the company value down so far whilst rewarding themselves so well (I did).
"Owners matter too
As a shareholder, I'd be pissed off if IBM offered anything more than the statutory minimum."
Happy staff give better customer services & make companies more profitable. Seeing what has happened to the current lot being chucked out the door will crush the morale of the surviving "lucky ones".
As an owner, how do you feel about IBM's revenue growth? The trend of its market share? Its status within the industry? Are you happy with the erosion of your capital as the share price declines?
Of course IBM has to watch its costs, but it also needs to attract the callibre of people who can deliver a leadership position and a revenue-generating value proposition. And it has to give them conditions where they can do their job. As an owner, you need to ask whether excessive cost cutting had damaged or even destroyed this.
They say they are able to attract the people they need. I say their financial results tell a different story.
Competitive pay and benefits? Sounds like that whoever responded has been smoking/injecting something very interesting or has drank too much of the Kool-Aid.
Everyone I know (myself included) s being paid considerably below PMR i.e. the company is freely admitting that they pay well *BELOW* the market rate. Doesn't matter what your banding/PBC result is.
Still - Ginni got her £4.5m bonus along with her continued £1.8m fat salary, while those of us lucky enough to receive GDP bonuses saw them utterly slashed to laughable figures. It takes real skill to miss targets for 15 quarters on the trot.
There's a special place reserved in hell for that lying incompetent cow.
"There's a special place reserved in hell for that lying incompetent cow."
Is it the board of another IT company? These fuckers seem to move between firms, claiming fat salaries whilst slashing any talent that existed, solely for the benefit of their own pocket.
As others have noted however, these type of decisions are rarely IT led - it will be some hidden finance twat, equally scamming millions for personal gain.
If there have been previous rounds of redundancy which paid more than the 'statutory minimum' rates then staff made redundant on poorer terms may have a very good case to take to an employment tribunal. i.e. past 'custom and practice' not statutory minima establishes the baseline.
A number of ex-colleagues of mine who were faced with such a situation won their cases. The only problem is that for the last few years it has been quite costly to initiate employment tribunal actions ( a few years ago it was free, but the Conservative government changed that, it now cost circa £500 - £1000). However I know from personal experience that if the award is successful it is likely to far exceed costs. Get good advice on your situation!
@John Miles 1 -If there have been previous rounds of redundancy which paid more than the 'statutory minimum' rates then staff made redundant on poorer terms may have a very good case to take to an employment tribunal. i.e. past 'custom and practice' not statutory minima establishes the baseline.
This paid off in HP when it tried to make ex-DEC employees redundant on HP terms. The HP redundancy terms were terrible compared to the the DEC terms (one months salary per year served, no cap) and the precedent was cited (DEC employees had got this package whilst DEC was still in existence). This was written in the DEC employment contact and most (all?) had refused to sign the HP equivalent when COMPAQ-DEC was bought by HP. HP rolled over and paid out - YAAH!
Perhaps the IBMers could cite that previous redundantees had got a better deal than they are being offered?
.. of course, bound by the legal red tape I can't possibly discuss the terms of my separation, but I think I came off better. And it was a separation agreement, not a redundancy, so I wasn't eligible to claim on redundancy insurance.
Earlier in my career, I was told my hardware design job had moved to Scotland, and I had to remind them at that time that I was owed either a replacement job within walking distance of my current workplace, or they should offer me redundancy.
I was sent to an interview with a slightly grumpy software manager, who told me that his understanding was that he had no choice but to offer me a job, and I had no choice but to accept it. Was that my understanding?
Lovely place to be from. Looks good on the CV - except when interviewing with one of the other major IT services companies, who may turn you down, as they did me for not being 'culturally compatible' with their company.
First you cut costs by laying off the workers, and then you cut costs on the cost-cutting by falling back on the statutory minimum severance package, and then you charge the redundant employees $5 apiece for the boxes to put their stuff in , and then you turn off the heat and lights after lunch to make sure the former employees GTFO by close of business!
(Not great form, IBM. I guess that Big Blue doesn't think these jobs are ever coming back to the UK, otherwise they wouldn't be sending out the message to the broader UK tech workforce that you can work for IBM for years and when you get canned, you get the bare minimum.)
At our place, we go through a process of being compromised, because the American employer can't stand the idea of following British employment laws. In effect, you are given a set of terms to agree to, and are asked to resign. You have to take these terms (known as a compromise agreement) to a lawyer. Now, because of the experience of others, we all know a good lawyer or two, who will make it very clear that what they're are doing is illegal. Better terms are then extracted, and everyone agrees you've effectively been made redundant. Those who've been through this process (and who have talked, in private) say the end result is marginally better than legal minimum.
Of course, it wasn't alway like this, otherwise I wouldn't have accepted the job in the first place (and I wouldn't work for IBM either).
Anon because, well, your average American corporation is surprisingly similar to a Mafia Family. You don't rat out your employer.
Eventually, Ginny Rometty will be sitting in a porta-cabin in Armonk, with a photo of Sam Parmigano and all the redeemed shares as insulating wallpaper, since the won't be able to afford the heating (*).
* (They used to turn the heating off in their offices over the weekends in the UK, when I worked there, in order to save £££. Mondays were freezing - quite a few staff elected to WFH on a Monday...
IBM have tried aggressively laying off people in Japan a few years back. They are currently having their balls kicked in a series of lawsuits. It's going to end up costing them waaaaay more than acting like a decent company. I hope the shareholders are happy with all their money being spent on lawyers and, ultimately, vast payouts. I thought managers were supposed to look after shareholders funds?
... what upsets so many is that the CEO has a bonus thats out of proportion for the devestation thats being poured on the UK staff.
I feel very sad having supported this company through so many cost cutting exercises. We've knuckled down, we spend less, we cant even get items we need for the job..and then... they come along and pretty much say "so long and thanks for the all fish"... I'm afraid this isnt the way to look after staff and make the company grow... happy staff look out and look after making customers happy...
go figure that one out...
After the years I've put in, I'm genuinely insulted by the companys attitude..
After many years with IBM I separated on a previous round of redundancies in the UK, and it transformed my life for the better.
I'm obviously not going to join in the negativity and venting, but I do understand what these people are going through and experiencing and I feel for them and want to help them to move on.
My demon was that I would never work again - I think that's a sort of institutionalized view from the inside because of PBC.
In fact I very quickly had multiple offers of employment at significantly higher pay and taken together this made up for e.g. pension contributions.
I now work for a local employer where my skills are put to good use and I can learn new ones. I know what I need to do to succeed at a task. Intrinsic motivation and job satisfaction are high as I strongly believe in the cause for which I am working (which is not share holder value). I respect my employer's inclusive and supportive ethos. The managing director knows me by name. We take ideas forward together. It's so refreshingly different from big corporate.
It seems to me that Right Management are still part of the redundancy. Use them - they're good.
If IBM chooses to get rid of large numbers of loyal and capable employees, then the natural consequence is for those employees to go work for competitors. So be it.
So there is a certain satisfaction that I now work in competition with IBM.
My employer is expanding and has multiple vacancies for skilled, intelligent and enthusiastic engineers.
Do look to see what is outside IBM.
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