IBM employee axe cuts away 1,300 staff

In order to cut costs, U.S. employees of IBM from management to entry-level have been made redundant.

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Following reports that IBM planned to axe U.S. employees, employee group Alliance@IBM says at least 1,300 have been issued a pink slip.

International Business Machines Corp. has fired a minimum of 1,300 employees in a round of U.S. job cuts, according to Bloomberg. Employee group Alliance@IBM says that at least 222 people in marketing have been given their marching orders, as well as 165 in semiconductor research.

Lee Conrad, a coordinator for Alliance@IBM, said that "just about every division at every location is being impacted." On the IBM Employee's Union website, a number of axed employees have chimed in, expressing disappointment in the layoffs and annoyance that "While they are firing in U.S., they are hiring in India."

One poster from Austin said, "More than 30 percent cut in (GBPSAS) Global Business Partner Systems/Application Services (Austin). Her Director was told to go to commercial account. 35 percent cut in IBM Systems & Technology Group, Enterprise Systems & Technology Development eServer CEC Bringup and Integration (Austin). 40 percent cut in GFW IBM (Austin)."

These high ratings appear to be common in this round of layoffs, as many posters say that almost half of their respective departments lost their jobs. One ex-employee said, "Z Virtualization took a big hit. We (including me) lost 48 of 300 positions." Based on the reports, only manufacturing departments appear to have been left untouched.

In a statement, IBM said:

"Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model. Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans."

Lowering staff levels is part of a global restructuring plan that the tech giant announced in April. Following a disappointing first quarter, the goal is to save approximately $1 billion in expenditure, and the latest round of layoffs is part of the process. The United States is not the only target; IBM has also considered its Australian and British workforce — and plans to eliminate 1,226 jobs in France within the next two years.

Analyst Laurence Balter told the publication that based on the $1 billion cost-cutting figure, IBM will probably be lookng to cut away between 6,000 to 8,000 staff globally, which is less than two percent of the company's total 434,246 workforce.

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