If this is true then I’m glad I didn’t make the jump to Big Blue. This could get very ugly if there is any truth behind this story. This layoff plan from IBM is apparently called LEAN and will take out roughly 150K employees.
LEAN is about offshoring and outsourcing at a rate never seen before at IBM. For two years Big Blue has been ramping up its operations in India and China with what I have been told is the ultimate goal of laying off at least one American worker for every overseas hire. The BIG PLAN is to continue until at least half of Global Services, or about 150,000 workers, have been cut from the U.S. division. Last week’s LEAN meetings were quite specifically to find and identify common and repetitive work now being done that could be automated or moved offshore, and to find work Global Services is doing that it should not be doing at all. This latter part is with the idea that once extraneous work is eliminated, it will be easier to move the rest offshore.
All this is supposed to happen by the end of 2007, by the way, at which point IBM will also freeze its U.S. pension plan.
Ah! There’s the kicker. Pensions are a major headache for a lot of companies to carry. But, hey, that’s the bed they made. So the purge will clear the decks before they have to lock in on the pension programs. I have a few calls into IBM to see if I can dig up some more details. I shudder to think what this will mean for ISS. This is a remarkable story if it turns out to be true.
Read the full article over on I, Cringely.
UPDATE: Welcome to all of readers arriving from CNN and USA Today!
UPDATE 2: (May 11th) OK, well I have managed to get confirmation from an IBM source that the “LEAN” program is real. That being said this tipster does not believe that the predictions are quite as dire as what has been previously discussed. From what I was able to gather, this a program designed to make the company more efficient by stream lining processes and removing redundancies. Sounds a little ominous nonetheless. As I receive more information I will update this posting. If you have have any information that you would like to share send us an email at TIPS AT LIQUIDMATRIX DOT ORG.
[tags]IBM Layoffs, IBM Pension Program, IBM LEAN[/tags]