Workers at IBM are telling the Alliance@IBM union that layoffs as part of what Big Blue calls a “resource action” are set to begin Wednesday.

IBM confirmed Monday plans to cut thousands of jobs, having set aside some $600 million to cover the cost of a restructuring.

“Reports have been coming in from employees today that point towards Wednesday as the start of the Resource Action/job cuts,” wrote Lee Conrad, a retired IBMer and the national coordinator for Alliance@IBM.

“Employees have told us they have been sent emails with urgent requests for one on one meetings with their managers on Wednesday.

“Although IBM has admitted to 10,000 job cuts it is unclear how many will be in the US/Canada.”

WRAL TechWire coverage of IBM restructuring:

  • IBM to cut thousands as it hires 15,000 in growth areas
  • IBM denies report of 100,000 layoffs
  • Even union is wary of 100,000 layoff report
  • IBM launches major restructuring
  • Inside the reorganization: The new business units

Noted one worker at the Alliance website forum:

“There is an RA. As far as the numbers I can’t comment. Anyone who got a 3 [in personal performance review, what IBM calls PBC, with 3 being lowest] will be RA’d. The Severence package given depends on whether this is your first PBC rating of 3 or your second.

“Severance for first 3 is 1 week for every 6 months up to 26 weeks. Severence for people with consecutive 3’s is half so up to 13 weeks total. Notifications tomorrow and everyone gone by end of February. …

“Waiting for my call tomorrow. Glad the torment will finally be over!”

Restructuring, hiring at same time

IBM employs more than 400,000 people worldwide. Of those, fewer than 10,000 work in Nrth Carolina and well under 100,000 in the U.S.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) no longer reports employment numbers by country.

The cuts are coming as IBM undertakes a major restructuring. The company also has more than 15,000 openings in ares where IBM is shifting resources to exploit areas such as cloud computing, software, services and analytics.

The cuts are being implemented at a much smaller scale than had been reported by a tech blogger at Forbes last week.

“This rumor is ridiculous, and off by a factor of more than 10,” wrote Doug Shelton, director of corporate communications, in an email to WRAL TechWire when asked about the report in Forbes about a 26 percent work force cut – or more than 100,000 of IBM’s some 420,000 employees.

“If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know this. A blogger writing under an assumed name did neither and passed off irresponsible speculation as fact, not for the first time..

“IBM has already announced the company would take a $600 million charge for restructuring. The company also has about 15,000 job openings around the world for new skills in growth areas such as cloud, analytics, security, and social and mobile technologies.”

By setting aside $600 million, IBM is committed a lot of cash to the restructuring, which is already underway.