IBM Union Calls for a Work Stoppage

A union of IBM employees has asked IBM staffers to halt work for 15 minutes at 3 p.m. EDT today.

Alliance@IBM, a union representing 6,000 IBM employees, is asking Big Blue staffers to halt work for 15 minutes at 3 p.m. May 15 to protest IBMs U.S. work force reduction.

Alliance@IBMs Web site instructs workers to "[s]top work for 15 minutes. Dont answer the phone, Dont answer Same Time. We must stand together and tell IBM to STOP!"

The organization has been at odds with the company in recent months over a work force reduction in the United States that it says isnt over. The union made news earlier this month by announcing IBM would eliminate 1,315 jobs at IBM Global Services, but union officials claim up to 12,000 of IBMs U.S. employees are in jeopardy.

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IBM officials expressed some interest in cost reduction, but not necessarily job reduction, during its April 17 earnings announcement.

"Were putting in place a series of actions to address our U.S. cost base, including a basic focus on resource and cost management disciplines and rebalancing of resources as we execute our global resource strategy," said Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge in a statement to analysts following the announcement.

The union is warning employees that many of the lost jobs will be replaced overseas.

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