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IBM Businesses The Almighty Buck

IBM Begins Layoffs, Questions Arise About Pact With New York 182

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fire-ten-hire-three dept.
dcblogs writes with news that the rumored IBM layoffs have begun. "IBM is laying off U.S. employees this week as part of a $1B restructuring, and is apparently trying keep the exact number of cuts secret. The Alliance@IBM, the main source of layoff information at IBM, says the company has stopped including in its resource action documents, given to cut employees, the number of employees selected for a job cut. The union calls it a 'disturbing development.' Meanwhile, two days prior to the layoffs, NY Governor Cuomo announced that it reached a new minimum staffing level agreement with IBM to 'maintain 3,100 high-tech jobs in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas.' The governor's office did not say how many IBM jobs are now there, but others put estimate it at around 7,000. Lee Conrad, a national coordinator for the Alliance, said the governor's announcement raises some questions for workers and the region. 'Yes, you're trying to protect 3,100 jobs but what about the other 3,900 jobs?' The Alliance estimates that anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 U.S. workers could be impacted by the latest round of layoffs. IBM says it has more than 3,000 open positions in the U.S., and says the cuts are part of a 'rebalancing' as it shifts investments into new areas of technology, such as cognitive computing." Alliance@IBM has a page collecting reports from people terminated today.
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IBM Begins Layoffs, Questions Arise About Pact With New York

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:53PM (#46363333)

    They're constantly looking to move jobs from areas of relatively high pay (USA, England, Australia, etc.) to areas of relatively low pay (India, Philippines, China, etc.) Which is all well and good if the standard of work were maintained - but it's not. They pay peanuts, and they get monkeys - I've worked with some fantastically competent people from India and China, but the salary they'd command back home is more than IBM is prepared to pay.

    I remember an anecdote of a change on a major financial company's test mainframe. It included, amongst other things, an IPL (Initial Program Load - the mainframe equivalent of the three finger salute.) The Chinese staff IPLed the production mainframe. The financial company blew its lid over that, and demanded the work be moved back to their home country, which it duly was ... and two years later, it was back in China again to save money.

    I contracted for them for a while. They don't allow an increase in rates (if you want more money, go elsewhere, and you may be able to get back in later on), whilst frequently demanding that you take extra days off so they can balance the books, with next to no notice, and often unilaterally cutting your rate by 10%. Suffice to say that, if I were told about a contract at IBM, my response would be akin to Jack's in Halting State.

    There are companies I would happily work at again if given the chance. Then there are companies I would only work at if I were desperate. IBM is in the latter group, despite (or perhaps because of?) their name.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:08PM (#46363923)

    Maybe they tought Watson to program?

    You guys are bitching that the tech firms are hiring the Indians and look at yourselves ... you can't even spell correctly !

  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @08:28PM (#46364075)

    You're taking an overly simplified lesson from the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

    1) It was beyond extreme. It raised the average tariff to 60%. Nobody is talking about anything near that. Even before Smoot-Hawley we had average tariffs of 40%, which is way beyond what anyone is seriously talking about nowadays.

    2) Even as devout of a free trader as Milton Friedman said that Smoot-Hawley had only a minor effect on the Great Depression. It's significance has been greatly exagerrated.

    3) If tariffs are necessarily a bad idea, then why did the US prosper so much for so long with high tariffs that started when Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury? (see Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures").

    4) The US at the time Smoot-Hawley was passed was in the opposite situation as today. It was a net exporter, so retaliatory tariffs had a greater effect than our tariffs, and reduced demand for US products. Today the US is a net importer, which means the effect would be reversed, and increase demand.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:26AM (#46365703)

    They're constantly looking to move jobs from areas of relatively high pay (USA, England, Australia, etc.) to areas of relatively low pay (India, Philippines, China, etc.) Which is all well and good if the standard of work were maintained - but it's not. They pay peanuts, and they get monkeys - I've worked with some fantastically competent people from India and China, but the salary they'd command back home is more than IBM is prepared to pay.

    as someone who lives and (sometimes) works in the silicon valley area, I could say this about 100% of the places I've been at the past 20 yrs. every damned one of them has done this. not a single exception. 'please work with our china office on this bug' etc. and you dread it.

    my last gig was a silicon valley based company but we laid off 1/3 of the US staff (all americans) and yet everyone who was not US born was left untouched. we had some folks in foreign offices get the sack, too, but much much less than the US.

    1/3 of our office. due to money. they cleaned out of the most senior people and left, well, freshers, essentially.

    software is no longer about quality. its a 'churn and turn' that is just a notch above factory work, at least to the managers and bean counters.

    this is not an IBM thing, its a whole software+hardware+services thing. no one wants to pay western wages when you can hire 10 people back east (way way back east) and get an almost passable product (that you charge the customer the same amount for. and you don't care one whit if he's happy, since you'll find another customer to sell to, etc).

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