IBM’s Spring Ritual: Job Cuts
March 5, 2012 Dan Burger
It’s almost a traditional rite of spring at IBM. Call it spring house cleaning . . . if you have a gallows sense of humor. Jobs were on the chopping block last week as Big Blue added slightly more than 1,200 employees to the unemployment statistics, according to statistics provided by Alliance@IBM, an IBM employee advocate group that is aligned with the Communications Workers of America trade union.
The Global Technology Services (GTS) division received the deepest cuts, with 691 jobs eliminated. The Application Management Services (AMS) division was trimmed of 118 jobs. The Systems Technology Group (STG) sent 106 people packing. Other areas hit included Global Business Services (GBS), Business Technology/Information Technology (BT/IT), and the Integrated Supply Chain (ISC) divisions.
According to Alliance@IBM, the IBM job losses fell like this:
IBM typically doesn’t comment on announcements regarding job eliminations, but when it does it prefers the term “rebalancing,” because people get hired in other jobs. The cause that IBM has repeatedly given is based on shifts in technology and customer demands.
Lee Conrad, the national director of Alliance@IBM points out that IBM continually reduces jobs in the United States and hires lower cost workers from other countries.
The Alliance@IBM website notes that in 2005 IBM employed 133,789 people in the United States. It estimated that in 2011 that number had fallen to 98,000. It also draws attention to the IBM acquisitions of companies during that time, which–you would think–should have increased its employee totals.
The severance package for non-management workers at IBM typically equates to one week of severance pay for every six months worked at the company. Fired workers are also eligible for retraining and job search assistance.
Comments from people who lost jobs in the recent rebalancing action can be read at the Alliance@IBM website Job Cuts Reports page.
Meanwhile, the national debate continues regarding whether companies that move jobs off shore should be denied tax breaks as way to maintain and build manufacturing and employment in the United States.