Thousands Of IBM Employees Got A Nasty Surprise Yesterday: Here's The Email They Saw

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Photo: AP

Yesterday, employees in IBM’s North American Global Technology Services were told not to expect pay raises in 2012.An IBM employee said the news was, “Just another slap in the face.”

Employees even worry salary cuts might be coming. In an email to employees, Bob Zapfel, leader of IBM’s North American Global Technology Services group, says that IBM wants to ensure “a competitive labour cost structure” and that “there will not be a broad-based salary program.”

We asked IBM to comment on the salary freeze and were told that some employees might get a raise: “In Global Technology Services there are targeted skill groups of employees that are eligible for salary increases in 2012. No executives will be eligible for salary increases.”

Employees are not really surprised. One who just quit IBM a few weeks ago after two and a half years told us, “I never got any pay increase while I was there.  And it looked like I would never get one. I never heard of any one getting any pay increases while I was there.”

IBM is quietly laying off workers in North America. Long-time worker who remain on the payroll are feeling trapped between the number of hours required of them and the lack of salary and career growth.

Here’s the full email:

GTS Employees,

The Employee Salary Program takes into account a number of elements, including compensation competitiveness in markets we serve, our ability to attract and retain people with skills we need, our business performance, and other employee investments.

It is essential for a services business to provide value-added services to clients at competitive price points.  Our objective is to ensure a competitive labour cost structure while moving aggressively into areas that are strategic to our clients and require innovative solutions.  This is fundamental to driving clear return on investments for our clients and to increase opportunities for all IBMers.

To balance our ability to remain competitive with the need to invest in people who have high-demand skills, there will not be a broad-based salary program in GTS in 2012.  Instead, we will target the 2012 investment to skill groups or focus areas as identified by each GTS line of business, based on local market needs.  These decisions do not affect the significant investments IBM makes each year in talent in addition to salary, including bonus programs, recognition, promotions, and skill development.

Your manager or leadership team will communicate additional information to you over the next few weeks.

Bob Zapfel
General Manager, Global Technology Services, North America                  

Richard A. Patterson
General Manager, GTS SO Delivery – Americas


Are you an IBM employee with insight to share? We want to hear it. We are discreet. j[email protected] or @Julie188 on Twitter.

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