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IBM cuts more than 1,600 US jobs

Under the reporting radar

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IBMers from a number of different divisions of the IT giant say that the company initiated another round of "resource actions" on Monday, with somewhere north of 1,600 people estimated to have lost their jobs.

The message board at Alliance@IBM, the local branch of the Communications Workers of America union headquartered in Endicott, New York (where IBM was originally founded nearly 100 years ago), lit up with people saying they'd been laid off starting yesterday morning.

Alliance@IBM has been trying to unionize Big Blue's US workers for decades, without very much success, but does a great job of keeping track of IBM layoffs in a world where companies keep the layoffs small and nearly continuous in an effort to elude state and federal reporting requirements.

As of today, Alliance@IBM has identified 1,614 job cuts, with 104 coming from its Systems and Technology Group, which makes servers, storage, chips and systems software, 149 in its Software Group, 205 in Global Services, and 996 in its Integrated Technology Delivery division (part of Global Services that has already been largely offshored to India in the past several years).

As usual, IBM refused to comment on the layoffs.

IBM has over 400,000 employees worldwide and had an estimated 105,000 workers in the United States. The layoffs appear to have hit the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, IBM facilities especially hard, as the Local Tech Wire business website from the RTP area reports.

IBM has about 10,000 employees in North Carolina. As the site points out in another post, IBM's layoffs have been deep in its home country (if a multinational can be said to have one), with an estimated 10,000 layoffs in 2009 and some 30,000 over the past four years.

Moreover, IBM has been very acquisitive in the US in the past several years, and those net job counts that get to 103,400 jobs today in the States include untold thousands, possibly tens of thousands (IBM never says, and is not required to, as it makes deals) of additional workers that came to Big Blue as part of acquisitions. So the cuts among IBM staff have been deeper than they appear.

As El Reg reported last week, IBM workers in the United Kingdom were being offered voluntary redundancy, and the layoff process was being accelerated to get everything done before the end of the first quarter of 2010. The layoffs in the US seem similarly timed for the same effect. ®

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