UPDATE: This post has been updated with comment from Alliance@IBM.
IBM employees—whether they are part of today's layoffs or not—are sounding off online.
Since IBM hasn't reported (and generally doesn't) on the number of layoffs that are occurring today, the information that can be garnered comes from an IBM employee organization known as Alliance@IBM—which has a long-term goal of gaining collective bargaining rights with IBM. The WSJ has today's layoff numbers—or what IBM internally calls a "resource action"—pegged around 5,000, which is consistent with the numbers Alliance@IBM has reported.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator of Alliance@IBM, has this to say about today's layoffs:
"We are hearing of 4,000 to 5,000 IBM employees being terminated today. To employees: We need to organize to protect our own interests inside IBM. The executives look out for themselves and their families with no regard for ours. To IBM: Stop slashing jobs in the U.S. and stop shifting work offshore. To the Government: Do something about the loss of IT jobs, penalize companies that offshore work and fire U.S. workers. No tax breaks or stimulus money for companies that offshore."
The Alliance@IBM site is reporting job cuts in a large number of departments across IBM, but is reporting specific numbers (1,674 jobs eliminated) in one department—Application Services.
The Alliance site, which gets information about layoffs, resource strategies and severance packages fed to it from affected employees, is filled with emotionally charged forum commentary from IBM employees who were told they no longer have work at the company. The forum also has commentary from those who still have jobs, but are using the site to show support and inform others of happenings in their respective departments.
Here is a snapshot of some of the comments:
"I was an AMM developer for System x in STG. Two months ago, they cut 30% of the group. Today, they announced that they will be outsourcing the product. They laid off the entire 2nd line (except for 1 manager and all of the architects). No developers were spared. -Squeal Like a Pig-"
"Just got tagged. Architect in GBS SEA&T organization. Looks like the standard package, 1 week for every 6 months up to 26 weeks. Two things irritated me. One, I was extended a few months (not 30 days) so if I leave prior I lose the severance. Two, I can look for a job, just not in GBS. More later after I read the package. Is it too early to break out the scotch? -Incognito-"
"My manager called me this morning to tell me that I was part of the resource action. Here is the information from the package: * 7 people in GTS Marketing * 17 people in Global BCRS * 8 people in General Business Services and Procure to Pay Services * 5 people in Strategy and Business Development * 45 people in Internet Security Systems * 78 people in Infrastructure Services * 16 people in Maintenance and Technical Support * 13 people in GTS Sales-GTS employee-"
Here's a piece of a comment talking about the layoffs from commenter named "-20 years-" (not the full comment here, fyi):
"So far this year, it is approaching 10K (5K in Jan; 5K today) with rumors of more to come in June and in the Fall. This is not a story about moving unskilled work to another country. The layoffs have included highly-skilled and experienced professionals - scientists with PhDs, MBAs, seasoned software developers, marketing experts, consultants, project managers and manufacturing workers. This is a story about throwing near-retirement workers into the layoff pool - and using some of the savings (not sent overseas) to hire lower cost & unsuspecting new college grads. Then IBM can say "See, we're hiring," and continue the relentless march to reduce investment in American workers."
More to come as more information trickles out.