back to article Cost-hurling IBM seeks more volunteers for employment bonfire

It wasn't only staff in IBM's Technical Services Support (TSS) unit that this week received the memo urging volunteers to come forward to toss themselves on the redundancy heap, folk in IS Delivery (ISD) got it too. Sources at IBM told us the only difference between the letters the departments received was the name of the …

  1. defiler Silver badge

    Fucking hell, IBM

    Is this becoming daily? It feels like I can set my watch to this.

    What are the odds they're using the Christmas break as part of the consultation period as they know most of the staff won't be about to kick up fuss...

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Fucking hell, IBM

      The conveyor belt is running faster than it used to,.... ~three years ago I put in an EOI, but didn't leave until the following February, seems folks have until next Friday to put in an EOI , ... leaving just two weeks later.

      I presume there will be a bung in lieu of notice (although beware pop pickers, if you opt for VR, payments in lieu of notice are taxable, because they are wages, whereas the redundo bung isn't until it's over whatever the limit is now (£30K ish?) so factor in paying tax of some of the bundle.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fucking hell, IBM

      I see this was sent to "Global Delivery" employees this time.

      It is so ironic that linkedin keeps telling me my profile is missing the "Global Delivery" skill that so many employers are looking for these days. Maybe they are employers in India?

  2. Lysenko

    Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

    I'm serious. I don't pay much attention to the recruitment landscape. Is the above a solved problem now? There is an oversupply of IT professionals and companies are snowed under with qualified applicants?

    Because if the answer above is negative - why is anyone still working for unreliable backstabbers like IBM and HPE? I bailed out at the first sniff of being TUPE'ed to Crapita nearly 20 years ago. Even then working for a sleazy outsourcing firm was obviously a recipe for being ruthlessly exploited before being knifed and dumped in a ditch.

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

      ... makes you wonder why our Govt and education experts are so hell bent on teaching our schoolkids ICT and coding, when so many IT jobs are going abroad, doesn't it? Do they really envisage hordes of code monkeys being required, but no Infrastructure Technicians or Business Analysts (because these are the roles being axed right now, amongst others) ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

        Given what's going on I take it that the Tier 2 Visa program will be canned as there isn't a skills shortage?

      2. fishman

        Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

        "... makes you wonder why our Govt and education experts are so hell bent on teaching our schoolkids ICT and coding, when so many IT jobs are going abroad, doesn't it? "

        A glut pushes down the wages - businesses want cheap STEM/IT labor.

      3. wessexchap

        Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

        CIO: "No need for any Infrastructure peeps when it's all in the Cloud... Right? Or did I misread that awesome PowerPoint presentation? Why has the wi-fi stopped working all of a sudden?"

      4. Bob Ajob

        Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

        "...really envisage hordes of code monkeys being required, but no Infrastructure Technicians..."

        That'll be the DevOps movement to replace all infrastructure with code then? Just kidding, anyone want to bet a pint that a GBS 'resource action' will be announced shortly too, probably January?

        Basically, there are so many monster outsourcing deals set to finish at year end and some customers may be choosing to break up and even 'in source' IT back in-house again, after realizing over the last decade that IT is actually a critical dependency for most modern businesses and therefore they should never completely trust all their business systems and applications in the hands of external service providers.

        Sad for all those families out there wondering if the statutory minimum will keep them going until a suitable new job becomes available.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

        greedy multinationals got in the way, and continue to ship every job possible to India so they can pay 1/5th of the wages, and still receive the same income from the clients.

    2. wyatt

      Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

      Interesting question, I've been out of the jobs market for a good few years but know of colleagues who haven't had a problem picking up a new role. Are there jobs our there that are better than IBM/HPE?

      1. EarthDog

        Re: Whatever happened to the critical IT skills shortage holding back the economy?

        any government program which requires citizenship. The chocolate factory. Agricultural companies need AI, GPS, real Engineers, and agronomy people as well as software people.

  3. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Childcatcher

    Culling the 'Herd'

    When I raised tropical fish if I didn't like the results I'd flush them away. That sounds like an excellent qualification for a senior position at IBM don't you think?

    Or perhaps a starving man deciding to amputate his limbs one by one in order to 'save' himself?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Culling the 'Herd'

      When I raised tropical fish if I didn't like the results I'd flush them away.

      When fish take over the world, they'll probably have a special tank of sewage to drown you in. If I'm offered the chance to contrbute, I'll take a shit in it too.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
        Happy

        Re: Culling the 'Herd'

        Not once did they raise a voice in protest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Culling the 'Herd'

      With that attitude to sentient beings it seems you'd make a splendid senior in IBM

      And, just to make it clear, that's not meant as a compliment

    3. Nolveys Silver badge

      Re: Culling the 'Herd'

      Or perhaps a starving man deciding to amputate his limbs one by one in order to 'save' himself?

      That's an excellent description of IBM.

    4. Bibbit

      Re: Culling the 'Herd'

      I put it to you, sir, that you are not a nice chap. I heartily pray all your hopes and dreams go the same way as your poor fish.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The numbers are 1 in 3 will go

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Really? That much? Are you an insider?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yup

        Different AC here. The exact figure is 362 (1118 in scope). I’m sure you’ll read an article about it soon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yup

          Wow, I didn't realise there were actually that many left in the UK tbh.

          Anyone band 8 and above will be high on the list, unless they have pals in the right places

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yup

            Band 7 and above are usually quite safe.

  5. MCMLXV
    Headmaster

    kicked to the curb

    It's a UK article on a UK website, and Paul writes lots of UK-based articles. On this side of the pond it's kerb.

  6. trevorde

    Form letter

    Dear [employee-name]

    your manager [manager-name] in [department] has selected you for involuntary separation. Your last day will be [last-day-of-financial-year]. You will be entitled to [bare-minimum-statutory-redundancy].

    Yours faithfully

    Watson

    PS Merry Xmas

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Form letter

      Ironically that's the actual letter they get because they downsized the last person that knew how to do mail merge

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Form letter

      oops, looks like Ginni cut one little blue man too many, before he could get the mail merge rules written and uploaded to Watson.

      Actually, she'd probably need 100 little blue men to write such a complicated rule for Watson.

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Ala Gwyneth Paltrow...

    There is nothing more romantic than a conscious uncoupling.

  8. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    So much easier if they do it themselves

    ...urging volunteers to come forward to toss themselves on the redundancy heap...

    Reminds me of a Star Trek: TOS episode. "The computer says that management Vendikar has scored a direct hit on your business unit city. Please report to a disintegration booth within 24 hours."

  9. mako23

    There must now exist a toxic culture at IBM were staff are constantly worried when will the axe fall on them. The sad fact is that IBM is profitable yet is cutting staff as if there on their death bed. It does seem that they are callous to their own staff. This is the main reason why I will not purchase anything made by IBM. I wonder if any one else feels this way ??

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      This is the main reason why I will not purchase anything made by IBM.

      No need - the government does it for you. It isn't remotely profitable for IBM to work with customers who are real businesses and demand real results with real penalty clauses. Much better to only deal with governments where the more you fail, the more you get paid to fix it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You need onshore staff for that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          In Mumbai, you are onshore.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @YAAC

        Your last words are so true.

        Any outsourcer on a government account really can’t lose.

        Cost plus terms are the easiest to screw government over with. Need a change for some system, then the outsourcer throws as many resources as humanly possible and also buys the most expensive kit for it as the government customer has no clue and the outsourcer gets to charge a cost plus markup on everything. New virtual os = pm, architect, senior virtual os tech, procurement, networks, change management etc all ~ 40 hours of effort and the outsourcer adds a percentage on top of all that. Those same people can prob do 3 or more projects simultaneously within that time scale which is where the outsourcer earns their money.

        The incentives set for the outsourcer are wrong and encourages over selling and underperforming.

        The outsourcer will not reward their staff for on time delivery, but the sales team will earn more for selling the customer more, when they didn’t need it when the service was in house.

        1. Robert 22

          Its actually worse than that. There are lots of useful tricks:

          - persuade the customer representatives to sign off on milestones that haven't been fully achieved (so they can make themselves look good (albeit temporarily) to their management

          - deliver a system that sort of does what the customer spec asks for, but is unusable.

          Furthermore, the threat of a government customer taking legal action is minimal - they know that a large vendor, such as IBM, has better lawyers and that there is likely to be a presumption that the government people screwed things up on general principles.

    2. PassingStrange

      Wouldn't wish to still be there

      I still meet quite regularly with ex-colleagues still working at IBM; the general attitude I sense is one of slightly depressed fatalism. The younger ones are probably more upbeat, but then again, they'll find it comparatively easy to get new jobs if pushed. the older ones are pretty much just keeping their heads down and hoping the problem will keep going away.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      when was the last time?

      That you had the opportunity to purchase something with an IBM logo (let alone something 'made' by IBM)? I haven't seen anything aimed at individuals in a decade.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Modest Proposal: hire an Indian CEO

    I suggest that IBM (and other large corporations) move the most senior executive positions, including the CEO and their direct reports, to a lower-wage country such as India. They would have no trouble finding thoroughly qualified candidates, many of them educated at top American business schools, who would save the company (literally) millions in compensation.

    As a bonus, an Indian executive team would have much better cultural affinity with the majority of employees.

  11. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hey, look. Someone's gotta pay for the maintenance and cost for the big blue helicopter for Ginni to use.

    Here's an idea: Why doesn't IBM mandate the helicopter pilots to form a Employee Consultation Committees or launch an Open Voluntary Separation Programme?

    I can just imagine the police interview right now ... and it goes something like ...

    Question: So what happened?

    Pilot: She said she couldn't take the guilt and shame. Next thing I saw she opened the door and exited the cabin. She dropped like a rock.

    1. EarthDog

      How about

      pilot unclips from seat puts on parachute opens door

      exec screams what are you doing?

      pilot: I'm taking early retirement and I go on vacation as of now....

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        The BPFH(* pilot from hell)

  12. EarthDog

    The boat is sinking captain!

    1st mate: What do we do?

    capt.: man the pumps and fix the breach. Keep throwing able seamen and carpenters overboard to lighten the load. If that doesn't work jettison some of the passengers.

    1st mate: aye-aye

    Capt.: and make sure our private launch is well stocked with champagne and caviar. This is a beastly job. No one knows how much I suffer...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The right thing for all IBM employees to do right now is quietly down tools and spend 100% of their time working on searching for a new job. Volunteering for statutory minimum would be insane - but also so would continuing as if it was business as usual!

  14. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Typo

    El Reg understands that up to 1,100 new positions in India are becoming available.

    FYFY

  15. FozzyBear Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Bet 'ya, the HR and Finance departments are increasing their head count to cope with the increase in workload.

  16. cloth

    IBM Recruiting in Hursley

    They are recruiting in Hursley for new MQ bods. They culled the oldies and the lags over the years but now need some newbies back.

  17. Terafirma-NZ

    Even worse scams

    So does this now mean that the same people attempting to scam us via phone/email etc. will now have access to just send me an official tax bill with a different account number.

    Or worse that fake IRS phone call now really being the IRS IT guy with a bribe me and get out free.

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