Report: IBM Set to Cut Thousands of Jobs in Western Europe

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-04-13 Print this article Print

IBM is reportedly planning to lay off thousands of workers in Britain, Germany and Ireland as part of a move to shift its workforce to countries with cheaper labor such as India and China.

According to reports, IBM is preparing to eliminate thousands of jobs in the United Kingdom and Germany as part of an effort to move more positions to less expensive markets such as Eastern Europe, India, China and South America.

IBM already has laid off nearly 10,000 workers this year in the U.S. and now, according to the Alliance@IBM, which has been monitoring the ongoing cuts, Big Blue is set to eliminate thousands of jobs in Britain, Germany and Ireland.

A report from The Observer, a British news outlet, said:

"We expect many job cuts in Ireland, Germany and the UK in the coming months," said Lee Conrad, national co-coordinator for, an American advocacy group for IBM workers.

The job cuts come as IBM stands out as a shining star in the technology sector amid the recession. For its fourth quarter 2008, which ended Dec 31, 2008, IBM posted a profit of $4.4 billion, up 12 percent over the same period a year before. IBM is set to announce its financial results for the first quarter of 2009 on April 20. Moreover, the job cuts also come as IBM is vying for stimulus funds from the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, the Alliance@IBM organization also is calling on workers at HP and Sun Microsystems to organize. A call out on the Alliance@IBM web site said:

To EDS/HP and Sun Microsystems employees:

Tired of not being listened to by corporate management? Maybe it's time to organize your own "Alliance"

The Alliance@IBM is an IBM employee organization working to get collective bargaining rights with IBM. 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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