ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- IBM is in the midst of one of its periodic purges of long-time employees, according to people affected in Rochester and at other plant locations across the U.S.
The Armonk, N.Y.-based global computer giant has repeatedly told government investigators that the so-called "resource actions" are part of its business model. Community leaders wondering if layoff numbers trigger the required WARN Act advisories are on their own trying to figure out how many workers are being terminated.
And that's nearly impossible.
"Just received RA (resource action) at the Rochester MN site at 9:00 a.m... I am in shock but also a little happy to be out of the hell of "Big Blue," writes one worker who wanted to remain anonymous. The posting is on a blog maintained to track such things by the Communication Workers of America.
A number of people affected by the layoffs at the sprawling IBM complex in northwest Rochester have shared what they know with KTTC NewsCenter, but it's difficult to measure the scope of the work force cuts since the company refuses to divulge details.
"Lay-offs and people losing their jobs this morning at IBM in Rochester. Not sure of the final count or #s," one Rochester-area resident emailed us.
"I work at IBM and a co-worker of mine was laid off today," another tells KTTC. "He informed me that when they told him he would be done after his 30 days they were not terminating his position but rather replacing him with a Manpower position. (A company who hires cheaper labor to work at the plant.)"
From blog postings of those affected so far, significant layoffs are occurring in the Global Business Services (GBS) and Systems and Technology Group (STG) units of IBM. But HR units and many other IBM segments are also taking a hit.
"Counted 178 in the packet for GTS Delivery Distributed Server Management organization," writes another IBMer on the CWA blog.
"RA's hit STG today. 20% of my dept gone. Work won't go away, our work will increase, and other groups work will get dumped on us. Survivor guilt, maybe. Just not in a situation where I can leave without big penalties."
Many of those who are losing their jobs have had 15 or more years on the IBM payroll and are bitter about being selected for termination. Others are bitter that their jobs are being moved overseas.
"Our whole team of 1,2 and 2+ performers in Boulder was outsourced to Poland got the news today. (5 in all). Absolutely no regard for how this will impact service to our customers; it's all about the bottom line; I hope IBM bites it big time," writes one employee, referring to the point system used to identify those terminated.
"M&TS Bus Ops hit today. I am safe but 4 people got the axe. All of their work going to Brataslava," writes another. "More work for me, until they can expand that group and take all of my work as well I'm sure. Good to hear that the 4 did get the std severance pkg at least, since I had heard that may be going away as well."
Others have written that jobs are being shifted to China and India, but that cannot be independently verified.
Along with IBM employees being trimmed, we're also being told that vendors in Rochester are being made to go on "furloughs" for a week, in another cost-cutting move by "Big Blue."
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