Updated Mar. 31, 2017 at 7:58 a.m.

IBM confirms new layoffs as part of a talent 'remix'

Published: 2017-03-30 15:55:00
Updated: 2017-03-31 07:58:36


A Facebook page set up to give voice to IBM workers lit up Thursday with employees reporting another round of layoffs. An IBM spokesperson confirms that some jobs are being cut but affected workers "are being offered jobs" elsewhere within the company.

Many of the Facebook posts were from senior Big Blue employees.

"I got the call from my manager this morning. After 29 years and 9 months, I've been RA'd.. 90 days notice, and 30 days pay. What a disgrace... I'm 50 years old and have always been a top performer. Still in shock," one said.

"This is a relatively small action as IBM continues to remix skills to meet emerging client requirements in areas such as Cloud and Cognitive," the spokesperson told WRAL TechWire on Thursday afternoon.

What if any impact the job cuts - or what IBM calls a "resource action" - is having on its operations in RTP and across North Carolina is not clear.

However, IBM stressed recently in an announcement about the tech giant's intentions to hire 2,000 veterans that hundreds of jobs are available in North Carolina.

That availability didn't seem to console workers who took to Facebook.

"Well after 43 years, 6 months and 13 days my time at IBM will come to an end! I was just informed that my position was eliminated and I will be part of the current resource action with my last day being June 28th, 2017," an IBMer wrote at the Watching IBM page.

He then followed up with a post to WRAL TechWire:

"I am the 43 year IBMer referenced in this article and while I was told I could apply for another position within IBM I was not actually offered another position. I actually asked if any consideration was made that would have allow me to go back my previous position since my current one was being discontinued and the answer was NO. Past comments from those who were RA'ed before me have stated that in no uncertain terms, managers were either discouraged from taking on RA'ed employees or were ordered not to. At my age knowing the toxic atmosphere within IBM I figured I might as well just retire."

Added another: "[B]loodbath in IBM Power. [S]everal colleagues let go ..."

The latest changes are taking place as IBM Chair and CEO Ginni Rometty continues her strategy of making IBM less reliant on traditional hardware and software services with more focus on Watson supercomputing services, analytics and other initiatives.

"Many of those affected are being offered jobs from among IBM's 5,000 open positions in the U.S.," the spokesperson explained, "and others can choose comprehensive retraining opportunities, completely paid for by IBM, to prepare them for highly competitive jobs in data science, software development, and other in-demand disciplines."

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Interesting, how quickly a herd typically returns to grazing after a hungry predator takes one of them down? Employees subject to ‘workforce reduction’ seem to behave similarly. Seems natural, business as usual these days. So why would anyone, especially with over four decades at IBM, be surprised? Anyone who can afford to retire rather than struggle to find lateral reemployment is blessed indeed. More interesting is how many obfuscatory schemes employers have come with to avoid one of the Trumpet’s former favorite words: FIRED!
I have no dog in this fight, but being someone over 50, this certainly sound like age discrimination. Contact Employment Security, Attorney General or whomever's ear you can chew. Hate to see good talent getting fleeced by the new American way of disposable long-term employees!
Much love and support for those who have lost their livelihoods, dismissed with disrespect after 3+ decades of commitment. Thanks to Watching IBM for providing an forum for impacted IBMers to connect.

This week, the IBMPETITION.ORG campaign has spoken out at major IBM offices against IBM's ongoing age discrimination campaign, implemented through RAs and the colocation policy.

HR insiders have told us that they now have a difficult job: older IBMers are alienated by the severance cuts and age discrimination; the younger, Millenial "top talent" is appalled by Trump's racism, so obvs they're alienated by Rometty's unclear pledge to engage with his "security" projects. So who does that leave us?

The IBMPETITION.ORG campaign has a solution for both problems: clarify IBM's relationship with Trump through action, and giving IBMers meaningful security, restoring lost benefits.

ATL speak out: https://www.facebook.com/IBMPETITION.ORG/posts/1310002539084340
Please post this and my previous comment anonymously as I'll still be working for IBM for the next 90 days and I'd hate to see my comments void any separation package they plan to provide, no matter how small.. Thank you.
I am the 43 year IBMer referenced in this article and while I was told I could apply for another position within IBM I was not actually offered another position. I actually asked if any consideration was made that would have allow me to go back my previous position since my current one was being discontinued and the answer was NO. Past comments from those who were RA'ed before me have stated that in no uncertain terms, managers were either discouraged from taking on RA'ed employees or were ordered not to. At my age knowing the toxic atmosphere within IBM I figured I might as well just retire.
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