IBM on Monday reportedly began telling workers in its x86 server business whether they would be transferring to Lenovo or not.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) won’t comment, but Lenovo reaffirmed its stated commitment to hire some 2,000 IBMers in RTP alone in response to an inquiry from WRALTechWire.

Meanwhile, the proposed IBM-Lenovo deal received government approval in India, but government regulators elsewhere, incluyding the U.S., still have to sign off on the $2.3 billion sale.

WRALTechWire was told Monday that IBMers working in the Systems & Technology Group which are part of the x86 business began receiving official notices about transfers.

Jeff Cross, who works in external relations for the STG group, declined comment.

“We do not discuss the timing or the specifics of internal discussions with our employees,” he said.

WRALTechWire Coverage of IBM X86 Sale:

  • IBM workers in China say they receive $6,000 to accept Lenovo transfer.
  • Many IBMers in China say “no” to Lenovo transfer
  • Lenovo picks RTP location for x86 operations
  • Lenovo says China strike is IBM matter but says workers are important.

Lenovo’s Ray Gorman, who is a former IBMer who transferred to Lenovo when Lenovo bought IBM’s PC business in 2005, said he did not know if x86ers were being told. 

“I do not know if it’s true or not but in either case we wouldn’t comment on IBM employee discussions,” he said.

Asked how many IBMers of some 7,500 involved in the x86 group would be offered the chance to transfer, Gorman replied:

“We have been on record saying that contingent upon and following the closing of Lenovo’s proposed acquisition of IBM’s x86 business, we expect Lenovo’s employee population in the Triangle will approximately double.”

That would mean some 2,000 workers in RTP since Lenovo’s headcount is just north of 2000.

Gorman reiterated earlier Lenovo statements about the importance of IBM workers to the deal.

“Lenovo is buying IBM’s x86 server business intact and we are committed to following IBM’s x86 product roadmap,” he said.

IBM workers remained very quiet about what is going on.

“Nothing,” replied Lee Conrad, the national coordinator of Alliance@IBM CWA Local 1701, which is seeking to unionize IBMers, when asked if he had heard anything.

Asked if he was surprised that workers weren’t speaking out, Conrad said a mix of job cuts in a $1 billion “rebalancing” program plus the sale to Lenovo has left employees stunned.

“I think people are in a state of shock due to not only the sale but the IBM job cuts this month,” Conrad said. “They are keeping their heads down.”

About 1,000 IBMers in China didn’t stay quiet. They rebelled and went on strike. While some were fired, workers told media outlets that IBM agreed to pay them $6,000 to come back to work and accept transfer to Lenovo.

When the strike erupted, Lenovo issued a statement saying the walkout was an IBM matter but also stressed the world’s No. 1 PC maker wanted IBM workers as part of the server deal.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Indian government OK’d the deal, according to the India Times and Economic Times. The Competition Commission of India said the deal “is not likely to have appreciable adverse effect on competition in India,” the commission said.