IBM lays off workers in RTP, other locations

Posted May 25, 2011 7:25 a.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2011 12:32 p.m. EDT

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.