Big Job Cuts at IBM in the U.S.

Supposedly a lot of jobs of being transferred offshore to places like Hungary and Brazil because of lower wage rates there.

Aren’t there any Dopers who are personally affected or know what is going on?

I work for IBM. My boss gave me a heads up that layoffs were happening but said my job was not going to be affected. I have no other information on the layoffs. I don’t know if the 1/3 figure is accurate or not. The group that circulated that estimate has made similar statements in the past about huge layoffs that turned out to be overestimates. Which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong this time, just that they’re guessing like the rest of us since IBM doesn’t publicize much information about workforce levels.

I like working for IBM well enough, but there is always a ton of churn in the workforce. We’re constantly going through layoffs (“Resource Actions”) and hiring at the same time.

I actually thought I was going to be RA’ed back at the end of 2014, but I managed to escape it. I’m sure my number will come up one of these days.

It might be the biggest “startup greenhouse” in the world, too, judging by how many consulting firms are started by a handful of people who met while working in IBM.

Also a big startup consumer. We’ve been buying up lots of small companies recently. We’ll start using an application, decide we like it, and buy the company.

Man, I remember being at IBM San Jose when they had their first layoffs (I think ever!) back in the mid 1990’s. Nobody could believe it was happening and the managers were in tears at having to break the news to those affected. Back then, you started your career working for IBM and you ended it working for IBM (possibly wearing the same suit). Now nobody expects to stay anywhere longer than 7 years. Sad.

IBM = Identical Blue Men

My father told me it was “Inmensa Bola de Mierda” (immense ball of shit)

What does IBM actually do these days? I remember they used to make computers, but in recent years the only computer I’ve heard connected to them is that Watson that went on Jeopardy.

We still make and sell mainframes. We sell software. We’re doing cloud computing services. We do IT outsourcing services for big companies. We do other general business consulting. We do security consulting and services.

Still a research behemoth too.

I was in south Florida when IBM made big layoffs for the first time in their big Boca Raton facility. This would be mid to late 80s. I did not work there, but heard the stories (which may or may not have been true).

IBM didn’t quite know how to do things regarding layoffs. They first asked for volunteers to take a huge severance (rumored around 2 years salary) to leave. The best people took the payoff, left, and either found another job or started a small company with others laid off. That left IBM without the best employees and a seriously reduced workforce. Didn’t work out the way they expected. Later layoffs tended to get rid of the worst employees first.

Here is the Register article about the layoffs. Only one month severance really sucks, though. It might be 1/3 for very specific divisions (though that isn’t supported by the article) but definitely not for IBM as a whole.

I spent a year and a half working at the IBM Delivery Center in Dubuque a few years ago; this doesn’t surprise me at all. Half the people there were from overseas, and we were just training them up so they could go back home at the end of six months and do the work remotely. Well, more remotely than Dubuque, that is. It looked like they were using the DC’s as testing grounds for a system where the management is onshore and most of the troops are offshore, working out of a cubicle farm in Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore. Accenture’s doing the same thing.

I worked in the Delivery Center in Columbia MO for about a year and a half. Then I left IBM, then came back in a work at home role. When I left the COU center, it was packed with people. Last time I was there, it was practically empty. It was supposed to be such a boost for this town. Very sad to go in there now.

Yeah, I’ve read some commentaries on how Columbia took it in the shorts with that one. There are supposed to be 1,200 people working there; you drive by at 2 pm on a Monday, and there’s maybe 80 cars in the parking lot. They (and Dubuque) gave up all sorts of concessions to IBM to get them to build there, on the assumption that IBM would bring in a couple thousand well-paid techs with families who’d need houses and cars and schools and consumer electronics, and instead it’s just a revolving door of starving ex-college students who take six months on the job so they can list IBM on their resume and then they bail.

Or the aforementioned people from overseas, where you’ll find four guys renting a 2-bedroom apartment and splitting the rent so they can save up as much money as possible before they go back home.

I think COU was advertised as 800, but yeah, overall I agree. And they were always very secretive about how many people were working there, to the point of not wanting to report to the local officials. Uh, when you take government incentives, the government kind of has a right to see if they’re getting their money’s worth. That always really bugged me. I ended up coming back because my alternative was commuting back and forth to St. Louis every day for a job in my field. Not many opportunities for me in Columbia. If I ever live in a bigger city again, the ol’ resume is probably going back on Dice. I got a really good performance review this year… but no raise. Add to that the continuing declines in revenue and the constant cycles of RAs, and I’m thinking I might not want to stick around if I don’t have to.

I worked for IBM, too. (They bought the company I was working for.) They basically stopped development on our product and then the layoffs started (company-wide, not just us). Every single year! It became a very depressing place to work. Finally I left and I’m glad about it. I wish the Endicott Alliance web site was still alive (it exists but it’s not being updated) – they always had accurate news.

Interesting. The guy who went on a drunken rant on the Dope last night worked for IBM.

Oh wow, I saw that. Poor guy!

More articles about the layoffs:

One of the WRAL articles says

Also the person who ran the Alliance site started a Facebook group: