IBM Employee Says The Company's Early Retirement Offer Is A Ripoff

Virginia RomettyIBM CEO Virginia Rometty is sticking to the plan.

We continue to hear daily from employees fed up with IBM.”What is happening at IBM is obscene,” someone in manufacturing told us.

He was just offered IBM’s unusual early-retirement plan—which many employees believe is just a dodge to avoid paying them severance.

IBM asked employees to announce a retirement date of Dec. 31, 2013, or earlier and cut their hours by 40% and their pay by 30%. IBM promised that those that take the deal will not be laid off before their declared retirement date. [Read the email here.] Taking this deal means that an employee can’t work and get full pay until retirement.

This employee points out that it is also a way to get IBM out of paying severance, which would be a big chunk of cash for long-time employees.

This person worked for IBM for 29 years. His dad had a 30-year career at IBM, too, he said.

IBM is aiming to reduce costs so it can deliver earnings per share of $20 to investors by 2015, according to its Roadmap 2015 plan—but employees are bearing the brunt of the pain, we’re hearing.

“They are driving the company into the ground with their Roadmap 2015,” said our contact in manufacturing. “I received their ridiculous offer which is just another method, for the worst HR department in history, to try to chisel people out of severance and save the company money.”

This person manages a team of people. Last week, IBM also told him that the company would no longer be paying any of them overtime: “But, we were actually told, if you’d like to come in and ‘help out’ they would compensate us with comp time. What a joke.

“I am working myself into an early grave in my current assignment, as we are understaffed, and the staffing we have, in one of the most automated, high tech facilities anywhere, is inferior. I’d love to retire, but currently have a 19-year-old in college and another 15-year-old nearing college soon.

“Morale could not be any lower, and respect for upper management any lower. Wall Street loves IBM management, but they are the pits, hated internally and distrusted by nearly all their employees,” says this employee.

Employees believe that IBM is trying to cut its U.S. headcount by 60 per cent—down to 40,000 from its current estimated number of 90,000. It’s shifting many jobs overseas, employees have told us.  IBM stopped disclosing its U.S. headcount in 2010.  So far this year, IBM has laid off about 1,800 workers in the U.S. and Canada, although it has not disclosed these layoffs. That stat comes from an IBM watchdog organisation, [email protected].

Are you a current or former IBM employee with a story to tell? We want to hear it. We are discreet. [email protected].

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