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IBM’s weird early retirement offer kind of sounded like a good deal—work less, make more per hour! But it wasn’t, IBM employees tell us.And eligible IBM employees are not falling for it, we’re told—in part because they believe the “work less” part won’t actually happen.
“Very few are taking the early retirement package. You would still be expected to get your job done as everyone is expected to work seven days a week, but now for less money,” one long-time IBM employee told us.
As we reported last month, IBM asked employees to declare plans to retire on or before Dec. 31, 2013. In exchange, they’d get to cut their hours by 40 per cent and their pay by 30 per cent.
IBM promised that those who take the deal will not be laid off before their declared retirement date. (Read the email here.) Taking this deal, though, means that an employee can’t work and get full pay until retirement.
But employees say the deal isn’t that straight-up. IBM might force an early retiree to change jobs—pushing a broom, say. Workers still have to meet performance targets. And IBM can trick them into leaving by relocating their jobs.
That’s according to a commenter on the IBM workforce watchdog site [email protected]
Getting laid off is “a better deal as you get paid to leave now, and then collect unemployment before retiring, then get your pension,” an employee told us.
An IBM spokesperson wouldn’t give us numbers on how many IBMers are taking the offer but insists, “The interest is strong. Like our other ‘Transition’ programs – Transition to Teaching and Transition to Service – it’s a innovative choice we can provide IBMers as they look and plan ahead,” a spokesperson told us.
A bigger issue is that workers think IBM is targeting older workers. “What is not being said here is that it is age discrimination. Older employees cost more,” said the employee.
We’ve heard from lots of people laid off from IBM in the past few weeks. One of them was 55 years old and said, “I was told ‘this is not based on performance, you were doing a good job.’ I had received a ‘2’ solid performer rating on my performance review in Jan. 2012.”
“IBM is cutting some of the top, most experienced talent. All in the name of earnings per share. Nothing personal, it’s all about the stock price,” this person said.
IBM has been cutting its U.S. and Canadian workforce as part of its “Roadmap 2015” plan to increase earnings per share to $20 by 2015.
Internally, employees call the plan “Road Kill 2015.”
In 2012 so far, IBM has quietly laid off over 1,800 people in the U.S. and Canada, according to [email protected].
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