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IBM staffers have given us more details on the firm's UK redundancy programme.

Yesterday we reported that the company was offering a less than generous voluntary redundancy package worth two weeks salary per year of service across its UK business.

Initially we were told Big Blue was looking for 500 people to take up the offer, but several people have written in to inform us IBM UK wants to shed 1000 workers - 600 from its supposedly cash cow services unit and 400 from the rest of the business. Volunteers will leave by July 5th.

But if IBM fails to meet its 1000 target through voluntary redundancies IBM will introduce a non-voluntary scheme, something it's never done before in the UK, we're told. We understand axed staff would receive the same modest compensation terms offered to applicants for voluntary redundancy.

Quarterly voluntary redundancy packages have morphed into involuntary redundancy programmes in the States, other readers have informed us.

Last month, IBM surprised the market with a profit warning that suggested its sales for its first Q1 2002 would be between $18.4bn and $18.6bn, about 6 per cent less than it had led analysts to expect, and 12 per cent lower than in the same period a year ago. It said profit would be hit even harder, with pre-tax income down to between $1.65bn to $1.75bn from $2.49bn a year ago. ®

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