A friend, a retired IBM employee, sent me this extract from a CWA union newsletter. A good example of how the H1B visa program, along with conventional off-shoring, is being used by some big corporations to eliminate US jobs. It’s not just manufacturing jobs.
Note: RA is IBM bureaucratese for “resource actions”, a euphemism for “layoff”.
Last week an unknown number of IBM workers were notified they would lose
their jobs. The common thread in the reports was that their work was
being moved to another country. In the mid 1980’s, the number of IBM
employees in the United States was 230,000. Now it is 71,000, and the
future of employment growth in the US is bleak.
In a relentless, ill conceived drive to cut cost and to increase
earnings per share, IBM executive management put this once great company
on a path of ruin. Business units were sold off and in the case of chip
manufacturing IBM even paid a company to take that segment. Job cuts and
force outs have been the order of the day. Off shoring of work and the
bringing in of foreign workers on guest worker visas have been a slap to
the face of hard working loyal US employees who have lost their jobs to
this insidious business model. Employees of companies IBM bought face a
bleak future as they transition into IBM and then their work gets moved
to another country.
IBM in the 21st century is a shadow of a once great company. It is now a
company selling a myth of greatness.
This didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t go unnoticed by many IBM
employees or the Alliance. It did go unnoticed by many in the country.
The myth of IBM as a great and successful company lived on. But now that
façade is cracking.
After 13 straight quarters of dismal revenue, questions are being raised
about the company leadership. Unfortunately concerns weren’t raised when
IBM embarked on this path and the “Roadmaps”. All is fine and good when
the stock price is up and dividends are paid off. Nobody cared about the
workers losing their jobs or the damage done to their families and
But with the latest job cuts in July and the push to move more work out
of the US, it has to be asked: what is the future for IBM US employees?
Here are some comments from IBM workers caught in the latest job cut:
JobTitle: Project Manager
CustAcct: MAJOR Communications SO account
Message: Got call yesterday. 20 year IBM, 2 and 2+ performance. Client
contract with named PMs and penalties to IBM be-damned. Hits across
account = big client saw issue coming = contract renewal may be
affected. My math does NOT show how this RA will resolve 13 quarter
Revenue miss. Welcome to USA ‘landed’ replacements.
JobTitle: Intel Server Admin
Message: 21 years with the company. Good reviews. Same as all the
others. Finally got my call this morning for the RA. It’s finally my
turn. My main customer requires US workers, but it hasn’t stopped IBM
from trying to secretly send the work to India before (until the
customer found out). Not sure if they will try again, or if they will
just transfer it to another US team. I know that my team is too
overloaded to be able to pick it up. Last RA hurt us bad; this one will
likely drive my department under. So sad to watch IBM implode like this,
as it used to be such a great company to work for. Looking forward to
what the future holds for me!
JobTitle: IT Architect – Consultant
BusUnit: IBM Systems – Middleware (former ISSW)
Message: Got a call from my FLM on Friday to let me know I was RAed. 18
years with the company. Usual severance package. Glad to be making a
boatload of money to be forced out. Massive layoffs will continue to
compensate for the steep decline in revenues. There is just no way
around it. Cloud is already a cheap commodity business but IBM is
willing to bet its shirt on it. We are all witnessing the fall and death
of what used to be a great company… we’ve seen other companies in the
past going that way. No company lasts forever!
I received an unexpected phone call on Thursday. I have always been a 2+
and a 1 rating. Told by a very unfeeling human being jobs were being
lift and shift to India and mine was one of them. I have been with IBM
for 16 years with IT experience of 30 years. This is devastating and
since this is an election year I encourage everyone to reach out to our
lawmakers. I am so tired of Ginni talking about retraining. Has anyone
been offered to be trained for one of the many job openings in WATSON? I
know I haven’t. All you see are positive comments regarding her webcast.
SO proud to be an IBMer, what a bright future, blah, blah, blah. Yeah right.