July 29, 2004 4:57 PM PDT

IBM downsizes U.S. layoff plans

IBM's plans to move work offshore will result in fewer U.S. layoffs than the company had anticipated.

The hardware and services giant on Thursday said its efforts to shift work overseas have not changed, but that it is taking more aggressive steps to find other IBM jobs for employees slated to lose their positions. Big Blue said the number of offshoring-related layoffs will decrease, but the company did not provide a specific figure.

IBM had projected it would lay off 3,000 workers this year in favor of workers overseas. A source close to IBM said Thursday that this year's layoff count due to offshoring will be closer to 2,000.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday first reported on IBM's internal recruitment effort and the reduced layoff projection.

IBM says it has put more effort into giving workers threatened with layoffs time and training to prepare--and to seek other positions within the company. "Every effort is made to keep an employee here," said company spokesman Clint Roswell.

As part of the initiative--begun around March--workers who stand to be laid off because of offshoring or other shifts in business strategy are given up to 90 days notice, up from the company's traditional practice of a 30-day warning.

Earlier this year, IBM announced a two-year, $25 million program that offers more training to employees who fear their jobs could move overseas. IBM said it will make the retraining money available to business partners as well.

Also as part of an internal recruitment push, IBM is working on software called Opportunity Workplace that aims to match employees' skills with job openings.

IBM is one of a number of companies that have been scrutinized for their plans to shift work abroad. "Offshoring"--sending technology jobs and other work to lower-wage nations such as India and the Philippines--has become a hot-button issue over the past year or so. Defenders of the practice say it ultimately assists the U.S. economy. But critics argue it costs U.S. workers jobs and threatens the country's long-term tech leadership. The exact scale of the trend remains unclear.

In addition to announcing plans to transfer thousands of U.S. jobs overseas this year, IBM also is acquiring Daksh, a 6,000-person company that offers transaction processing and telemarketing services in India.

IBM has announced plans to add 15,000 employees worldwide in 2004, to be spread across the United States, Europe and Asia.


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IBM Mistakes
Employees were given 60 days to find other jobs, not 90, there is NO training avialable to them. They will not reiceve a serverence pay either. Many people are out of a job for overseas workers that will cost, in the end, the same if not more to employ. The rate for overseas resources has grown over the past year, and the tranining is going to be more than expected. IBM made a HUGE mistake. They got a lot of bad press and for no good reason. The high up execs thought it would lead to a better bottom line and boost there stock price. This simply will not happen. Project managers are having a hard time finding good fits for the possitions, and employees that are leaving are scamering to find a new job while having to transfer knowledge to people that barley speak there language. IBM is the strongest computer company in the world and they are being mislead by fancy retotric and promise of more money. They need to get back to the days of treating employees like family. They are in damage control mode all the time these days, and it's a shame. They are a conerstone of inovation, and have been for many years. Good luck Big Blue.
Posted by (1 comment )
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You are correct.
..I am reading many articles about how the outsourcing is costing companies more money. Do you think? There is no replacement for human contact. The Internet is a tool. You must be close to the customer.
Posted by lewissalem (167 comments )
Link Flag
I suppose that the internal displaced workers are going from IT to janitorial services. While the jobs go offshore.

I hope none of these offshore's are working on projects that require a security clearance. Anyone know. You could have foreign militant working on top secret projects.
Posted by waynehapp (52 comments )
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I wouldn't worry about that, but I would..
..worry about the banks who have some of your personal data stored overseas. The Fed is the only sector of IT growing here. Take a peek at computerjobs.com at all of the jobs available around the DC area. If you want to work for the Gov'ment that is. It's only a matter of time before identity theft runs rampant.
Posted by lewissalem (167 comments )
Link Flag
oh it's only 2000 jobs. Ok, whew.
..another sad dissapointment. Another American company more concerned with fellating the shareholders (many of which are upper management themselves) to sell out the future of this country. I'm going to have to move to Hyderbad at this rate.
Posted by lewissalem (167 comments )
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