Editor’s note: The following editorial was published by , the Communications Workers of America union local that is seeking to represent IBM workers, after it was reported that IBM would no longer report annually how many people the company employed in the United States.

IBM seldom if ever discusses layoffs, the most recent of which affected more than 2,900 employees based on data obtained by the union. However, it has in the past included in annual reports the number of employees in the U.S. Alliance@IBM reports that IBM has cut nearly 30,000 U.S. workers to some 105,000 in 2009.

Of those remaining employees, some 10,000 are based in the Research Triangle, N.C. area.

Opposing opinions are welcome. Send them to rsmith@wral.com.

The editorial:

The Information Services Company That Refuses To Divulge Information

It is ironic that a company that advertises itself as an information services company and wants to build a smarter planet refuses to divulge crucial information and wants the planet kept in the dark.

But that is the case with IBM.

Take job cuts. Last year IBM cut an estimated 10,400 jobs.

This information came from Resource Action documents sent to the Alliance.

The true number, which is probably higher, is only known to corporate executives.
On March 1st another 2900 jobs were cut. Probably higher.

Once again only IBM knows the true number and appears to be violating the intent of the WARN Act.

The jobs were cut all across the United States and some in Canada. What locations and communities had job cuts?

Nobody knows because IBM no longer gives out that information.

Now IBM has decided that it will no longer inform employees, the government, communities, the media, or stockholders how many employees work at IBM in the United States.

From now on only the global headcount number will be reported.

It is clear why IBM is doing this.

The US employee population is shrinking due to off shoring.

IBM is also displacing US workers with foreign workers (at lower pay) brought in to work on US client accounts.

Meanwhile headcount in India and other countries is increasing.

In fact, IBM India had an employee population of 94,000 in 2008.

At the end of 2009 IBM USA had an employee population of 105,000, down 30,000 in just a few years.

But with IBM no longer giving out headcount by country we will not know when IBM USA goes below IBM India in headcount.

Is this important?

Yes, because IBM has its hands out for economic stimulus money and tax breaks for so called job creation.

US employee numbers need to be verified.

It is important because IBM, as an incorporated American business has an obligation to inform ALL stakeholders if employment in the US is in decline.

For the past few years we have heard rumors that IBM wants to get the IBM US employee number down to 70,000.

IBM’s latest action seems geared to hiding its continued destruction of the IBM US workforce.

Once again we call on congress to stop fiddling while IBMers burn.

We urge our political leaders around the country to take their heads out of the sand and wake up to the fact that the US and working families can’t have an economic recovery when companies like IBM turn their back on the US; but hold their hand out for tax breaks and stimulus money.

We urge our members, IBM employees, and citizens to call their political representatives.

Tell them IBM must divulge all employment and job cut numbers .

That IBM must divulge how many IBM workers have and are losing their jobs as work is shifted offshore.

That IBM must divulge how many foreign workers have been brought into the US to work on client accounts and the number of displaced IBM US employees.

That IBM must divulge how many foreign workers are employed on taxpayer funded government contracts.

The well being of the country is at stake.

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