IBM’s reported plans to lay off thousands of U.S. workers and outsource many of those jobs to India, even as the company angles for billions in stimulus money, doesn’t sit well with employee rights advocates.
Business Week reports that IBM’s workforce increased from 386,558 in 2007 to 398,000 at the end of 2008.
IBM employees are being dealt a double blow, said Lee Conrad, national coordinator for Alliance@IBM, a pro-union group that has been fighting IBM’s outsourcing for years.
“We’re outraged that jobs cuts are happening in the U.S. and the work is being shifted offshore,” Conrad said. “This comes at the same time IBM has its hand out for stimulus money. This to us is totally unacceptable.”
IBM wants a share of the money in President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for projects updating power grids, creating electronic health care records and furthering the use of broadband.
“In the research we’ve done working with the transition team, we know that $30 billion could create 1 million jobs in the next 12 months,” IBM CEO Sam Palmisano said in January.
The problem is where those jobs would be, said Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology.