Posted Mar. 20, 2017 at 8:10 a.m.

IBM's pledge to hire vets triggers mix of reactions, anger

Published: 2017-03-20 08:10:05
Updated: 2017-03-20 08:10:05


IBM's announced pledge Friday to hire 2,000 veterans and its public push about open jobs within the tech giant triggered a wave of reactions - many negative. Thinking about working for Big Blue? Check out what ex-IBMers have to say.

Here's about the most positive remark as posted at WRAL TechWire shortly after the hiring pledge news broke:

"To all you people saying "don't work for IBM", you're thinking about it wrong. Work for IBM for 1-2 years, get a good name and some good work experience on your resume, and then shop that resume around. If you're a vet, use this opportunity to get your foot in the door, the work experience on your resume should make it a lot easier to get another job later on."

But this type of observation was in the minority, based on a review of posts at TechWire and at the Watching IBM Facebook page, which focuses on job issues at Big Blue.

"Don't work for IBM! They will not treat you like a decent person," one poster warned.

"They laid off tens of thousands of hardworking employees over the years, and now they are going to hire veterans? It is not a company that you can trust."

And here's what one laid-off IBM employee, who says he is a vet, posted at Watching IBM:

"I'm a Vietnam era vet with 37 years of dedicated service to IBM when they kicked me to the curb last year and replaced me with someone from Hungary. Even made me train my replacement in order to receive a whooping one month of severance pay. This from a company still making $80B a year. The favorable stories this week about them hiring 2000 vets makes me sick. Reporters should be asking them how many veterans they laid off the last 5 years instead."

Kevin Renauer followed that post with a similar one at TechWire:

"I'm at vet with 37 years of dedicated service at IBM when they kicked me to the curb last year with a total of one month severance. My advice to all veterans is to find another company to work for. You don't want to work for IBM."

"New collar" vs. laid off

The vet hiring pledge along with Char/CEO Ginny Rometty's recent pledge to add thousands of jobs - many of which will be watch she called "new collar" as she continues her transformation of the company - left laid-off IBMers very angry.

"Just an observation of a 30+ year IBMer. Ginni's Trump pledge is simply IBM saving money. With the annual layoffs which effect mainly older employees, the co-location layoffs which effect predominantly senior employees who have moved or taken advantage of WFH options, the number of US IBMers will drop dramatically this year," warned one.

"So, Ginni will hire 2,000 unskilled veterans and train them, she will hire - or more like - back fill, the other positions from the laid off IBMers and hire 'new collar' workers. What do both of those groups have in common? Much lower salaries and less in benefits which will result in a much lower cost to IBM for US workers. I would love to see the Net net of US employees before and after all of this hiring is done. I would bet it is basically a 25-40% purge of senior US employees who are replaced by younger, cheaper, less skilled workers."

This worker was referring to IBM's recent move requiring relocation or be laid off.

Rometty a target

Added another:

"Don't work for IBM! I see Rometty cuddling up to President Trump and lying to him like she has to her employees. Vets, don't work for IBM!!"

Rometty's appearance with the new president also set off another poster:

"I am sorry I find it disgusting to see Ginni Romenty on Fox News sitting next to the President in all her glory talking about creating jobs in the US and jobs training...SERIOUSLY! We sit on pins and needles in the US everyday, while she makes her millions tanking IBM and laying off and firing everyone she can in the States!"

​And the spouse of a laid-off IBMer blasted Rometty:

"My husband, who made IBM #1 priority for past 34 years (even over his family), and has proven splendid track record, started getting junk accounts (companies downsizing or forecasting closure) for past two years. Ultimately he was shown the door with one month severance package. Month later, Ginni Rometty announces that IBM will be hiring 25,000 in the U.S.?? Shame on you, IBM!"

WRAL TechWire any time: Twitter, Facebook

Copyright 2017 WRAL TechWire. All rights reserved.
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Dude, how many 30 year IBM employees are there? You would think that at 30 years, you would retire already!
Is there anybody out there at this late date who still believes anything any company spokesperson says? I hope not but if there is, do any of you believers think that creating jobs is an objective in any company’s business plan? Employees are a charge against revenue. There is nothing sacred about employment. It is not, and never has been an entitlement. Corporate employment is devolving from a farming endeavor, as in putting down roots, to nomadic hunter-gatherer subsistence. Plan accordingly.
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