Business

IBM cuts keep growing; union exec 'at a loss' to predict if more are coming

Posted March 4, 2010 8:19 a.m. EST
Updated March 4, 2010 8:55 a.m. EST

— Reports of layoffs as part of a “resource action” across IBM (NYSE: IBM) operations in the U.S. continue to trickle in after a tsunami on Monday.

The latest group to join is the CIO Operations and Enterprise Portfolio Management group, which is cutting eight workers, according to data reported to Alliance@IBM, the union seeking to represent IBM workers.

These additions push to 2,552 across 23 groups. The employees were “RA’d” – Big Blue slang for being laid off – starting Monday. And what happens next is unpredictable, according to Lee Conrad with Alliance@IBM.

“I am at a loss right now to guess,” said the retired IBMer, who worked at the company for 26 years, when asked if more layoff news is coming. “It is possible.”

The Alliance@IBM Web site has been flooded with reports and comments from IBM employees about the layoffs.

While IBM cut 10,000 employees in 2009, many came in small actions.

But the size of Monday’s wave caught Conrad by surprise, even though he had been predicting that a “resource action” was planned.

“This is the biggest one-day cut I have seen in a long time,” he told Local Tech Wire and WRAL.com. “It is very disturbing, considering it doesn't have to happen. Many of these workers are losing their jobs because IBM sees no value in employing American workers."

IBM reported record profits for 2009 despite the global recession and a decline in revenues.

The running total of IBM cuts by work group as reported through Alliance@IBM:

• STG Technology Development: 24
• STG Sales Support: 80
• CIO Application and infrastructure: 160
• Software Group WPLC: 50
• Software Group Information management: 99
• GBS Global Account: 98
• GTS Security Systems: 41
• ITD Transition, Quality & Service Mgmt: 276
• ITD Application Hosting and Database: 158
• ITD Service Management Delivery: 66
• ITD Storage Management: 178
• ITD Distributed Server Management: 318
• ITD SSO (IDMM): 120
• GTS North America East IMT Region Maintenance & Technical Support: 66
• Sales and Distribution Headquarters: 73 ITD
• Complex Engagement Services: 34
• Tivoli: 51
• SWG Application & Integration Middleware: 119
• ITD Shared Services, Security & Risk Management: 216
• Sales and Distribution Global Sales: 57
• Human Resources Global Administration: 124
• STG Global markets: 12
• CIO Client Value Tranformation: 76
• Corporate Marketing & Communications: 48
• CIO Operations & Enterprise Portfolio Management: 8
• Total cut so far: 2,552