IBM has busted the unions

Pinkerton_escorts_hocking_valley_lesliesAfter years of trying to drag IBM kicking and screaming into the 19th century world of collective bargaining,  theAlliance@IBM has given up.

Formed in 1999 to turn IBM into a union shop, theAlliance@IBM, a Communications Workers of America local has announced that the men in suits are too tough and it is “suspending” its organising efforts.

Basically Big Blue has shrunk so much that  theAlliance@IBM does not have the members to pull off any serious action.

The group came close when it had 400 g members at its peak, now it has about 200.

But the whole thing was not a failure. The Alliance became a key source of public information for employees and the news media about job cuts, benefit changes and restructuring actions by the tech giant.

So while it only had 200 members it was the only source of information on job cuts for the rest of staff. During a job layoff, the number of website visitors could reach 140,000 or more.

Employees shared with the Alliance documents and knowledge about the firm’s restructuring activities.

In the mid-1980s, IBM employed some 230,000 in the US. The Alliance estimates that the number of US workers is now about 71,000. IBM stopped disclosing its US-specific headcount about five years ago. IBM is believed to have more employees in India than in the US.

The Facebook page will remain active, and there are plans to build a new website. The existing website will remain up but will not be updated.