Feeds

Union takes aim at Big Blue

Growing union plans unofficial action

Boost IT visibility and business value

Union officials are planning picket action at IBM offices across the US in retaliation for the firm's freezing of employee pensions.

The Alliance@IBM arm of the Communication and Workers of America union is also hoping to drum up enough new recruits over the dispute to seriously consider seeking recognition.

Linda Guyer, president of Alliance@IBM and a project manager at the IT firm, said: "We are talking of demonstrations at all the major sites."

IBM sites in major cities would be the likely targets and could include: Burlington, Vermont; Austin, Texas; San Jose, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Raleigh, North Carolina and the headquarters in Armonk.

CWA has not won recognition from IBM in the US to date, but its Big Blue chapter was formed after the last time the firm reneged on its pension commitments. Following the downgrading of IBM pensions in 1999 the CWU attracted 6,000 affiliates under the Alliance@IBM banner.

With 125,000 staff in the US, the union has some way to go before it can expect to win 30 per cent favour in a vote for recognition. It may seek to ensure it can get 60 per cent backing before it commits itself.

However, the union is drawing up reasonably sized bargaining units so that it can seek recognition in individual sites or corporate groups.

Those 6,000 affiliates that there are have few members among them. Most are associates who do not have full rights, but have been adopted by the union anyway in the hope their numbers might help overall membership snowball.

Guyer said a "couple of hundred" more IBM employees had signed up to the union since the pension freeze was announced last week.

Job cuts across IBM world-wide, meanwhile, have left many employees fearful for their jobs, said Guyer: "Big layoffs happen all the time. Some of the sales people call them drive-by firings. You never know when your time might be up."

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.