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IBM refuses to say where jobs axe will fall

Fears grow over Greenock's future

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The future of thousands of IBM jobs remains uncertain following yesterdays confirmation that it plans to axe up to 13,000 from its organisation.

It was hoped that a briefing today by IBM's CFO Mark Loughridge would shed some light on where IBM intends to make cuts. Instead, Loughridge dodged the issue except to say that Europe would bear the brunt of the job losses and that the first workers will have cleared their desks by the end of June.

Commenting on the job losses Loughridge said: "The majority of actions are planned for Europe, including Germany, UK, Italy and France.

"We anticipate that most of these objectives can be achieved through voluntary programs. Where we see potential for involuntary actions, we have started the information and consultation process with the appropriate agencies.

"The United States will also participate in these plans, on an involuntary basis."

He went on: "Although many of the details have not been worked through, at this time we estimate that we will take a pre-tax charge between $1.3bn and $1.7bn in the second quarter. This charge is primarily to address workforce reductions, which will result in future cash expenditures."

Big Blue's decision not to release any further details has merely added to the speculation that IBM's Greenock location and some 2,500 jobs could be facing the elbow as part of the restructuring.

A spokesman for IBM declined to comment describing any reports about the future of Greenock as "speculation".

However, white-collar union Amicus is unhappy at the way IBM is dragging out the uncertainty.

A spokesman told The Register: "This is another example of a company whose staff are staring into the void while their jobs are hanging by a thread.

"It [today's briefing by Loughridge] was merely a re-run of yesterday's announcement and made purely for the benefit of business analysts and not staff." ®

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