IBM Layoffs Top More than 1,200, Union Reports
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According to an IBM employee organization, reports and independent sources, IBM has laid off more than 1,000 employees with some estimates going as high as 1.200 or more in the U.S. and Canada.
Alliance@IBM, the official national site for the IBM Employee s Union CWA Local 1701, reports that since Feb. 27, at least 1,202 IBM employees have been laid off in what has typically been known as resource actions at Big Blue.
From Alliance@IBM statistics, most of the job cuts come from the IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) unit. But the IBM Global Business Services (GBS) and IBM Software Group units took hits, as well.
Lee Conrad, national director of Alliance@IBM, said IBM has a history of making head count cuts early in the year, typically around February through April, and he said he would not be surprised to see more cuts come.
According to Alliance@IBM, the IBM job cuts include:
GTS Public Sector Delivery/IBM Global Account: 59
GTS Delivery Application Hosting: 183
Corporate Marketing and Communications: 18
STG Systems Agenda Delivery: 106
GTS finance: 23
GTS Delivery Security Risk Management: 39
BT/IT Global Workforce Web Processes: 22
Software Group East Region Sales: 40
GTS MTS Delivery solutions/support: 23
GTS Delivery SSO: 57
GTS ITS: 128
GTS Delivery Distributed Server Mgmt.: 179
AMS Commercial Delivery: 118
GBS Consulting Services Industrial Sector: 25
BT/IT Application & Infrastructure service Mgmt.: 78
ISC Global Procurement: 50
GBS Application Innovation Services: 54
Those numbers are based on severance documents shared by IBM employees with the Alliance@IBM advocacy group.
IBM did not respond immediately to an inquiry from eWEEK regarding the layoffs. However, in a report on WRAL Tech Wire which covers the Research Triangle Park, N.C., area where IBM employs a large number of workers an IBM spokesperson confirmed that a rebalancing was underway.
Prompted to expand on what the rebalancing means, KRAL reports the IBM spokesperson said: "That means reducing in some areas and hiring in others based on shifts in technology and client demand. This flexibility allows IBM to remain competitive and relevant in an industry that is constantly changing. And given the competitive nature of our business, we do not publicly discuss the details of our staffing plans."
Meanwhile, Conrad insists that the layoffs in the U.S. are part of an IBM strategy to limit the number of Big Blue employees in the U.S. in favor of lower-cost workers in emerging countries.
IBM, which employs more than 425,000 people around the world, in 2009, stopped releasing figures on the number of employees it has in each country. In 2009, IBM listed 105,000 employees in the U.S., down from nearly 134,000 in 2005. Now, Alliance@IBM estimates that in 2011 IBM employed 98,000 workers in the U.S.
The numbers of U.S.-based IBM employees, by years, break down as follows: