IBM faces protests

Workers take their beef to the street

Unhappy IBM workers whose jobs are disappearing later this year have taken their protests to the CEBIT computer show in Hannover.

Visitors to the show over the weekend were greeted by noisy protests from German IBM staff. Customer support workers at two IBM sites have been told their jobs will disappear from September this year. The workers warn that customers will suffer when support is offshored to Hungary or China. Development work is expected to go to local companies. Workers praised efforts by Big Blue to retrain people and find them other jobs at the firm.

One anonymous worker told IDG that the layoffs were necessary because when IBM won a support contract with Deutsche Bank in 2002 they agreed to take on Deutsche's support staff - these people have guaranteed contracts. More details here.

IBM said in a statement: ""We have announced to employees our intention to close IBM business services locations in Hannover and Schweinfurt, Germany. We are taking this action to meet the evolving needs of our clients in the most efficient manner possible. We currently are in the consultation process with the relevant works councils.

"IBM can also confirm that the two sites have approximately a total of 600 employees."®

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