IBM lays off workers in RTP, other locations

Posted May 25, 2011

IBM layoffs

— Some employees at IBM (NYSE: IBM) in Research Triangle Park and beyond will not be around to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary this summer. They are being laid off as part of what IBM calls internally a “resource action.”

In IBM speak, affected workers are being “RA’d” – laid off.

An IBM spokesman confirmed Wednesday that some layoff notifications were made.

"IBM re-balances its skills and resources throughout the year to ensure that we meet the evolving needs of our clients," said Doug Shelton, IBM's director of corporate media relations. "IBM does not comment publicly on details of its staffing plans or headcount."

Workers in at least two divisions spread across multiple locations, including RTP where IBM has around 10,000 employees, are being cut, according to reports sent to Alliance@IBM.

The group is seeking to represent Big Blue workers as a union within the Communications Workers of America. also was told about the cuts.

One affected employee described the moves in RTP as a “bunch of layoffs.” Lee Conrad, a retired IBM employee who is the national coordinator for the Alliance, said cuts were made Tuesday in the STG and GTS divisions.

STG is the Worldwide Systems and Technology Group known as the “hardware division.” GTS, which provides such services as strategic outsourcing, is part of the Global Services Group. The other division in that group is Global Business Services, which focuses on consulting.

“We do not have any numbers yet,” Conrad added.

Employees reported cuts in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Rochester, Minn., and California.

One IBM worker based in Charlotte also said he was cut.

“RA’d in Charlotte, N.C., in Global Technology Services,” the worker said. “Informed by telephone and told that final day is June 23 ... Manager said ‘Don’t bother to look for another job, there aren’t any.'"

“Looks as if there were about 70 layoffs in this division and mostly skewed towards age 45+,” the employee added.

IBM workers who are told they are being cut are allowed to apply for open positions within the company.

When Big Blue workers are part of a “resource action,” they receive packets of information about the move and how it affects their group. The ages of employees affected are included.

“RA today in STG in RTP… know a few affected but don't know the extent,” one employee said in a post at the Alliance website.

“I was RA'd in RTP NC today,” added another.

One worker not cut posted about the layoffs anyway.

“I just got the call this morning from my manager,” the person said. “I am safe, but some 'infrastructure and back office support' people on our team are getting the boot. Not sure how many yet.”

For more comments about job actions at IBM, read here.


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  • jet2rdu May 27, 2011

    IBM now stands for where their US jobs are being moved to.



    Mainland China

  • austinposter May 26, 2011

    IBM has been practicing age discrimination in their layoffs (not to mention pension conversion) for many years. This has been facilitated directly by complicity of our politicians and court system. Obviously, IBM has for years been buying off politicians and much of the news media (Forbes article on Palmisano, for example). Is IBM different from other big business in the US these days? Probably not. The root cause is ethics lapses, and the situation continues to get worse as other companies join in the fun.

  • 7birdman May 25, 2011

    Seems like I saw Bev Purdue taking credit for IBM hiring, not too long ago. Is there some back room dealing going on?

    Also, what about getting rid of the over "45" workers, isn't that age discrimination?

  • VoiceMatters May 25, 2011

    First, the IBM of 'today' is not the same as old IBM. Secondly, what corporation wants to only spend money frivolously and never have a profit margin? I'm all for mom & pop, but IBM didn't get to where they are by spending money they do not need, such as unwanted positions.

    Bottom line is, ALL corporations, no matter how big or small must restructure themselves, changing with technology, respectively. This has nothing to do with Obama, Republicans, Democrats, or Liberals; this has to do with cutting costs and profit. Period.

  • Sumo Vita May 25, 2011

    "Outsourcing would not be a problem if our population would get in behind the Fair Tax"

    You have got to be kidding. Few corporations pays anything approaching what they'd have to under your "fair tax" schemes. You're probably not aware that at least one oil company paid NO TAX AT ALL this year.

    "Countries would be competing to bring jobs here to the United States instead of sending them overseas"

    Ok, that made no sense at all. I'm not even going to try to parse that logic.

    "But keep voting democrats in there and letting our nightmare tax code continue."

    Apparently, Wall Street disagrees with you heavily, if the stock market slumps during GOP administrations is any indication.

  • Sumo Vita May 25, 2011

    mep asked: "How can the US compete globally with those less taxed, less regulated, and with a lower standard of living?"

    Apparently, by managing your workforce better. Just ask any IBM executive. The logic behind outsourcing is that you can take the same cheap, substandard labor force that offshore companies use, and somehow make the same quality product. It isn't the architects and the innovators that make the company anymore - its the management, apparently.

  • dennis7x May 25, 2011

    Take hart my fellow ex-IBM'ers. I was "RA'ed" from IBM over two years ago. I am over 50 and African-Americian. I thought life was over. I now have a better job and position and now understand that the IT world is full of ex-IBM'ers. IBM was good to me, it is where I was given the skills to truly make money. Thank you IBM, I was the little bird that had to learn to fly. GO BIG BLUE, Blue 4Ever.....

  • BPractical May 25, 2011

    So sad, once a great company to work for has become a symbol of what is wrong in corporations. The workers used to be an asset at IBM, now they are an expense. They were people, now they are headcount.

  • housemanagercary May 25, 2011

    This happens constantly at IBM. I honestly don't know why a lot of people are surprised... I am not trying to be callous here, just again, I'm not surprised.

  • ifcdirector May 25, 2011

    Outsourcing would not be a problem if our population would get in behind the Fair Tax. Countries would be competing to bring jobs here to the United States instead of sending them overseas or importing workers who will take less pay. But keep voting democrats in there and letting our nightmare tax code continue. Frankly it's one of the greatest wonders of the universe that ANYONE has a job in the private sector in the United States.