More on today's IBM layoffs

Master inventors chat about creating @ IBM
Master inventors chat about creating @ IBM

Many IBM workers in Rochester and across the U.S. started the week by being laid off.

As usual, Big Blue is not releasing any information about the job cuts.

However,  Alliance@IBM is estimating the national total at about 500 in at least eight different business units as of 3 p.m. Monday. The group had no estimates on individual IBM sites like Rochester.

"We do expect that national number to go higher," said Lee Conrad, national coordinator for the pro-union IBM group in Endicott, N.Y., early Monday evening.

One Rochester IBM worker who wishes to remain anonymous said he was notified of his fourth layoff from the company with a phone call.


IBM offered him one week of pay for each six months of service. The maximum is 26 weeks of severance pay.

When Conrad was asked if the cuts were part of a trend, he said the only trend is the reason for this reduction and most other recent ones.

"It still hinges on offshoring. We're hearing many people are being asked to train their replacements in Argentina or India," said Conrad. "That's what this is all about. IBM is abandoning its U.S. employees."

In at least one case in Rochester, a worker being laid laid off reportedly was told to train someone in Argentina to replace them.

The pro-union groups says the offshoring is bad enough, but IBM is amplifying the situation by using those international workers to service U.S. government contracts.

"We're in midst of pretty bad recession and IBM is not just offshoring work. They are also getting federal, state and city contracts and staffing those contracts with foreign workers. That's while American workers are losing their jobs," he said.

Alliance@IBM is reporting that IBM has cut  its employee population by almost 30,000 since 2005.

IBM had 4,200 employees in 2008 and it has not updated that number for 2009 yet.

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