Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of WRAL.com.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Alliance@IBM is using the arrest of IBM senior vice president Robert Moffat, Jr. as part of an insider trading case last week to galvanize its attempt to represent IBM workers.
In a , the fledgling union is calling for a broader investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into investigate IBM (NYSE: IBM) executives in general.
Under the heading “A call to investigate,” Alliance@IBM seized on Moffat’s arrest last Friday to raise questions about what’s happening in the Big Blue corporate suites. The union stresses that Moffat is a confidant of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano and was a likely successor to Big Blue’s top job.
Moffat has been placed on leave and is no longer an officer with the company, according to IBM. Moffat’s lawyer also has denied wrongdoing by his client.
However, the Moffat matter is not the only legal headache for IBM. An investigation is underway into its mainframe business.
Plus, the state of Indiana fired IBM last week from a social services outsourcing contract worth more than $1 billion.
In a Website poll, Alliance@IBM is asking if “ALL IBM executives should be investigated by the appropriate Government agencies for unethical or illegal activities in light of the Robert Moffat Jr arrest”.
As of early Thursday, the votes are: 456 Yes, 174 No and 1 “not sure.”
The Alliance@IBM open letter:
“A call to investigate
“Have IBM executives put the drive for riches and personal gain above the health and viability of IBM?
“Over the years as employees faced benefit cuts, pay cuts and job cuts, many IBMers lost faith and respect for corporate executives. They saw a company they once admired turn into “just another business”. They saw respect for the employee vanish. They saw the IBM family disintegrate.
“They saw corporate scandals and wondered if it could happen in IBM.
“With the arrest of Senior VP Robert Moffat Jr. they saw that come true. Now even more IBMers are questioning the ethics and behavior of those that are supposed to be the guardians of the company.
“They are asking: Is this just the action of one executive or are more involved? Has the company been tainted beyond repair by executives whose motto seems to be “greed is good”? Are employees facing elevated risk by executives chasing the dollar for short term gain instead of caring about long term viability?
“Equally disturbing is that Robert Moffat Jr. was being groomed by Sam Palmisano to be the next IBM CEO. What does this say about Sam Palmisano and the type of person he wanted to lead IBM?
“So what should happen next?
“The Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701 is calling on the SEC and the Department of Justice to investigate IBM executives.
• “A full investigation of all of IBM’s executives to ensure that they are following IBM’s Business Conduct Guidelines and/or the terms of their contract.
• “Investigate the timing of all executive stock option sales
• “Investigate all allegations of insider trading.
“What of the future?
“All employees at IBM should be concerned with the direction the company has been taking. IBM executives like Moffat were rewarded with promotions and bonuses as jobs were cut and lives ruined.
“What is good for executives is not necessarily good for the company, shareholders, employees or the communities which are dependent on IBM.
“Let this be the lesson.
“Let us decide today that we will build a different future for IBM. ORGANIZE! “
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