Will Pickets Stanch the Bleeding of Jobs from IBM?

Susan Hall

The Alliance@IBM, which touts itself as an IBM employees union, is calling for pickets at IBM locations on April 24 to protest recent job cuts, reports eWEEK.


It plans to conduct pickets in Austin, Texas; Poughkeepsie and Endicott, N.Y.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Burlington, Vt.; Boulder, Colo.; Rochester, Minn.; and Research Triangle Park, N.C.


The article quotes Tom Midgley, president of the Alliance@IBM, as saying:

IBM employees and their communities continue to see IBM cut employee jobs while shifting the work offshore. This destruction of IBM jobs is unacceptable, and we will be sending a message to IBM - 'Stop off-shoring our jobs.'

The statement puts the most recent count of jobs cut by Big Blue at 2,500. The company, however, does not announce layoffs and no longer provides headcount by country, so it's hard to keep track. Business Insider recently ran a piece quoting a laid-off, unnamed former IBM employee complaining about a culture of cronyism there, and commenters have complained that it's getting rid of its "go-to" people.


If former InfoWorld columnist Robert X. Cringely is to be believed, Big Blue plans to eliminate 78 percent of its U.S. headcount by 2015 and move that work offshore as part of a plan to increase earnings per share by $20 in that time frame. He says only top management, sales and people working on government contracts that require workers to be U.S. citizens will be left.


IBM has been moving work offshore for years. The Alliance estimates that IBM employs 95,000 in the United States now, down from 132,000 in 2005. In light of that trend, it doesn't seem that holding pickets will make much difference.

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