IBM stops disclosing numbers, ages, titles in layoff documents
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Research Triangle Park, N.C. — IBM has confirmed that it is no longer including in "Resource Action" documentation for laid-off workers a variety of information that described the impact of job cuts in each worker's group.
Ages, titles and numbers of workers are gone from the RA information, which was distributed to workers across numerous IBM locations in the U.S. on Thursday. The packets also include information about severance, retirement and health benefits as well as retraining opportunities.
Resource action is IBM speak for layoffs. IBM has set aside $1 billion for the latest job cuts. Layoffs have already affected several thousand workers outside the U.S., based on media reports and information provided to Alliance@IBM. It's the union seeking to represent IBM workers.
"Your observation is correct, age [and] title is not in the packets," an IBM spokesperson told WRALTechWire via email Thursday afternoon.
More WRALTechWire Coverage:
- Layoffs hit US, including RTP.
- Workers react: "Liberation Day" to "sad day."
- Layoffs began quietly in U.S. on Wednesday.
The decision is based on privacy concerns.
"IBM is addressing concerns raised by employees that the age/title information IBM previously provided infringed on employee privacy," the spokesperson explained.
"Based on this privacy concern, IBM has removed that data from packets."
Alliance@IBM, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, cried foul.
"For IBM to say not listing age/title/number selected is out of concern for the privacy of employees is absurd," said Lee Conrad, a retired IBMer and national coordinator of the union.
"We were given this information freely by employees with the sole purpose of breaking the secrecy of IBM job cuts.
"Employees who were terminated understood how important this information was to their co-workers, their communities and to the media."
Alliance@IBM and news outlets, including WRALTechWire, have used the documents in the past to calculate numbers of layoffs and for other information, such as layoffs broken down by job titles and age.
IBM seldom formally discloses layoff numbers.
"This is just another attempt by IBM to hide the number of cuts taking place and the continued destruction of the IBM employee population in the US. Federal and State governments should look into this and demand transparency or tell IBM no more tax breaks," Conrad said.
RA documents can run well over 30 pages.
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