IBM conducts secretive job cull

The price of taking all those sweeteners from the US government to bolster your business appears to be taking its toll on the ever shrinking Biggish Blue.

IBM needs to make a few job cuts as part of its restructuring, the only problem, according to ComputerWorld  that it has taken cash from various US states to provide them with guaranteed jobs.

IBM is not saying how many people it is letting go, in fact it is not even calling them layoffs. Apparently IBM claims that the clams the cuts are part of a “rebalancing” of its workforce as it invest in new technologies.

The website at the Alliance@IBM, part of the Communications Workers of America union, estimates that between 4,000 to 6,000 IBM US jobs may be at risk in the latest move, a figure based on previous job actions and IBM’s restructuring goal of $1 billion.

But this week New York Governer Andrew Cuomo announced that IBM had agreed to create new jobs, as well as maintain minimum staffing levels in the state.

Cuomo claimed New York had reached “a major agreement” with IBM to “maintain 3,100 high-tech jobs in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas. The company has committed to increase its minimum job commitment to the state by 750 jobs, and maintain the 3,100 jobs through the end of 2016.

IBM spokesman Douglas Shelton said “IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high value segments of the IT industry”.

Shelton said that IBM was moving to cloud computing, analytics and cognitive computing. He pointed to a $1 billion investment in its new Watson unit and the decision to spend $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud footprint.

So, in other words, IBM is laying off huge numbers, but will hire more. At least that is what it is telling New York. New York, which gave IBM tax breaks to set up shop does not see it that way.

But Alliance has noted that IBM is suddenly being very cagey about hiding the numbers of people being laid off, IBM employees used to receive documents listing the age, title and number of employees selected for a job cut. These resource action documents, as they are called, no longer include this information, which makes it difficult for anyone to know the actual details of the lay-offs. It seems that IBM wants to keep details of the cuts secret from everyone including New York.