IBM Outsourcing Thousands of Jobs to India

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IBM draws criticism for job cuts, outsourcing

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.

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34 responses to “IBM Outsourcing Thousands of Jobs to India

  1. …and so is DELL, APPLE, HP, and MANY other companies. They’re offshoring jobs to India and hiring US employees as contractors so they don’t have to pay benefits to US employees!

  2. …and they only have to hold onto a contractor for about 8 months…then they lay off the contractors, wait 100 days (according to the law) and then they can rehire them again as contractors without benefits.

  3. First AIG, and now IBM! Main street continues to get the shaft! No stimulus money to IBM!!!! This is an OUTRAGE!!!!!

  4. Hey you know what, don’t buy anything from IBM.
    What do you have to do to get Americans to join together
    and boycott large corporations that sell out on them?
    Taking your jobs away isn’t enough? The explanation about
    how those jobs will encourage foreign companies to
    turn around and buy more from the U.S. weighs in far below
    the need for Americans to be spending that money here in
    their own country given the current situation.

    If the government has companies like this are already lined up to have
    a stimulus paycheck handed to them and the companies are so adamant
    about having people overseas work for them, if they are going to have
    their cake and eat it too, I’d say subtract from the stimulus package
    whatever they will be saving by outsourcing. Only companies
    that don’t outsource at all should get the whole paycheck.

    If the government did it that way, maybe companies like this
    would see up-front how much stimulus they COULD have before
    outsourcing is factored in.

  5. Carlos Martinez

    Sadly, IBM is not the only company doing this. This is what is ruining our nation and IT NEEDS TO STOP!

    SHAME ON IBM AND THE OTHERS, INCLUDING MY EMPLOYER (I am using a computer company, so I cant disclose the name)

  6. not only should anti-america companies like IBM get NO share of the stimulus $, Congress should impose an additional tax on companies that ship US jobs overseas

  7. I worked for IBM when it was rated one of the ten best companies in the US to be employed by. Now, it doesn’t rank in the top one hundred. The problem is greedy scumbags like Sam Palmisano who are only interested lining their pockets
    ( http://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/51143.htm) and to hell with the employees who make the company the success that it is. IBM should not get one penny of bailout money as long as it is being run by pigs like Sam Palmisano.

  8. Not only is it IBM but Target and Best Buy are also two companies who are outsourcing to India. Target just laid off 600 employees in the U.S. due to “financial downturn” but almost all of those jobs went to India. I do not understand how these companies CEOs can sleep at night knowing what they are doing to the American people but I suppose when you have a $500 pillow in your $10,000,000 dollar house you can sleep well as the people you just laid off are now losing their houses. When are the politicians going to do something about this? I know I haven’t shopped at Target or Best Buy since I found out this information but the problem is all large corporations are now outsourcing to India. How do you boycott everyone?

    • Sadly, American friendly, American made goods are near impossible to find anymore. And as long as people keep supporting the likes of Walmart, family-owned businesses will all die out. My consumption habits have changed drastically in the last few years. I try and find things used (Craigslist is a great resource) or look for companies that are fair trade and if possible, American made. I boycott goods coming from China if at all possible, though that’s near everything.

  9. I am not pro union, and I think all unions suck, but outsourcing any jobs to India is bad taste. I have been on the receiving end of work that was outsourced to India and we always spent the same amount of money supposedly saved fixing crappy work by them.

  10. I spent 17 years at IBM up until 3 years ago when I finally had enough. They’ve been outsourcing quietly since the 90s under the radar and it’s about time that they get their hand slapped. Record earnings, record profits, hands out for stimulus, shipping jobs overseas (more jobs in India now than the US) and it all comes down to Palmisano’s need to driving the stock price so he can pocket more money then he can spend. He’s been reducing expenses by taxing his employees (removed pension, shifting costs to employees, won’t pay for overtime, moving jobs overseas and telling Americans to move if they want their job). On top of his 30M salary and incentives, he sold 50 million dollars worth of stock at the end of August before the early September market crash. Coincidence? Yeah right. ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Obama needs to put an end to IBM’s corporate ways.

  11. Jusplainhacked

    Why single out IBM? Just take a look at the major electronics manufacturers in the U.S. I watched as both of my last decent paying jobs left to go to the other side of the world. Now I’m in my late 50s. Who in heck is going to hire me now? If it happened to the CEOs, the jobs might stay here.

    • Most of the major corporations have outsourced, a phenomenon that has been going on for years. I’m not sure how many of them are outsourcing while at the same time asking for a bailout.

  12. I was one of those laid off from IBM yesterday after 22 years dedicated service. The numbers are much higher than the 5K reported in the news. Rumors internally have it at around 16K. And there is a plentitude of my same job available in India with the primary job requirement to be fluent in English. Go figure.

    Thing is, we as end user consumers can’t boycott IBM because IBM doesn’t market to the end user. They just go for the huge services contracts and then send the money and jobs to India. And most of those huge services contracts are government contracts.

    • Sorry to hear of your job loss. I was once offered the opportunity to teach English in India. It was to teach Indians to sound American. Even though consumers may not be able to boycott IBM there are plenty of other corporations that we can and must.

  13. DisgustedAmericanEngineer

    I am outraged at the politicians that seem to think that these jobs are low paying jobs. I guess they are listening to the CEOs of these companies. My friends have just been fired that have BS’s in computer science and make about 80K a year. I guess 80K a year is a low paying job compared to the people’s salaries at AIG and other corrupt financial institutions getting bailouts. The jobs that are being lost are NOT call-center jobs with people making minimum wages. These jobs are highly skilled engineering and computer science jobs that are being shipped overseas. Some of these jobs here in the US are even being filled by H1B visa workers also in this outsourcing action. I think Congress and the President have and continue to sell out the American worker to satisfy Wall St. profiteers.

    Disgusted American Engineer

  14. Take it to the streets. Boycotts don’t work with people that are ‘addictied’ in some ways, to cheap products from Wal-Mart… A company that has NO respect for its employees. Employers, these days, see their employees as ‘needy’, overweight, over-consuming, over-indulged morons that refuse to fight for any of the rights they inherited when they were born in the USA. The USA has been on track, since 1950, to be the number 1 ‘consumer’ prosperous minded country in the world. We have consumerized God and religion into Halloween costumes and candy, Christmas toys and candy, Chocolate Easter eggs and cheap toys for decades. Marketing!
    We built the economy on phony promises of ‘wealth’ of materials and things. Google the history of the USA and how in the 1950’s; Supermarkets were driving small business groceries and stores into oblivion. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. Americans are the ultimate ‘spoiled brats’ of the world. It’s no wonder our enemies are tired of being plundered by our “greedy” society and it’s practices.
    For God’s sake, step back and think about this. America as we know it, is disappearing into the haze of a Third world country….and we’re all driving the Hummers to get there in style.. Wake UP!

  15. Ira —

    It’s true, boycotts will have little effect unless and until they are massive, collective ones. Nor will the masses take to the streets until they are torn from the arms of their comforts. This time is coming, as America sinks deeper into debt. When unemployment, homelessness and hunger are rampant, the reality will kick in of what we have become and where we are headed – into 3rd world status.

    Thank you for your comment.

  16. Nothing is going to change until Americans grow some balls and take to the streets, and maybe even burn some shit down like Sam Palmisano’s house.

  17. Ex-IBMer,
    While I can relate to the sentiment, I can’t relate to the crime
    of burning anyone’s home. Taking to the streets..absolutely.
    The focus for current IBMers should be to organize and make their voices heard through all the media levels there are. As soon as Sam Palmisano sees the organization taking place and the strength of the movement toward a union contract; he will begin to wish he hadn’t dared to steal the company blind and screw all of its USA workers…

    Ira..

  18. barbara raisbeck,

    Do you have a twitter account? Do you think that using every means of media available, will help get the word out that IBMers, still employed there, need to organize and be pro-active regarding the rumor of more job cuts in June?

    I have a contact within Alliance@IBM that has a twitter account. His name is Rick White and he is an organzier and webmaintenance for the allianceibm.org web site.
    His twitter account is: http://www.twitter.com/iwisweb

    I can ask him to post a link to your Blog, but I think that’s where some of the IBMers commenting here actually got your blog address.

    My whole point is that IBM continues to get away with staying under the media radar with job cuts; because hey think that they are immune due to a “BAU excuse” they use from the SEC.
    What’s your opinion on this?

    Ira

    • Hello Ira —

      I don’t have a twitter account, and admit to having little knowledge of it’s application, especially as used in activism, aside from the woman who was recently arrested for the charge of causing a twitter revolution and the related story: Moldova’s Twitter Revolution. Perhaps it’s time to research its merits beyond the common chit-chat i’ve seen associated with it.

      You’re correct in that the recent flurry re the IBM story on my blog has come by way of IBM’s Job Cut Status so someone already linked the two blogs. When I first posted the story, I had a glut of traffic from the newsource that it came from: CNN.

      Other than media coverage, which will likely be predominately an online phenomenon, another idea is to start an online petition. There are free sites that offer this service. The petition could be widely circulated online, especially in blogs and sites pertaining to this specific issue, as a way to raise awareness and ask that they IBM be held accountable. Once signatures and comments are collected the petition would need to be presented to a governing body that can do something with it. Do you think this may be a useful tool?

  19. barbararaisbeck,

    Thank you for jumping into the fray, by posting concerns
    from posters to our Job Cuts comments section: http://www.endicottalliance.org/jobcutstatusandcomments.php

    As for your suggestion of an online petition;
    We have actually done that several times for various labor issues, all related to IBM employees. The petitions have been direct petitions, from one of the free ones you suggested and also in the form of “Take Action” links that have taken the visitor through to a page that contacts US Representatives of the House, the Senate, and the President on the petition signer’s behalf.
    There is some satisfaction with that approach, but not enough to accomplish the basic intention: Organize a union of IBM employees that will ultimately garner a majority vote for a union in IBM. We are making progress; but it is slow.
    Some of the reasons for that slowness is that many IBMers
    are unaware of their lack of rights as an “At Will Employee”
    in IBM. They are also seriously uninformed of their own state’s labor laws and the way those laws are skewed in favor of corporations such as IBM, and unfavorable to the individual employee.
    Many, many employees don’t discover these inequities until they are fired from their job; short of their full retirement from a full 30 year service. This is indeed a sad and tragic ending, in some cases, to a once happy life story.
    This happened to thousands of employees in the 1990’s and early 2000’s…and continues to happen as we speak.
    To add insult and egregiousness injury; IBM’s CEO had the audacity to ask President Obama for stimulus money on the day IBM was firing 5,000 IBMers…. Some of which were offered jobs in India, China, Brazil and Russia as part of IBM’s “Project Match” basically an opportunity to work for the same wages-no benefits and no living expense in the chosen country-Leave the USA. Of course, the anti-Obama crowd immediately accused the Pres of agreeing with Sam’s demands. That has yet to be proven. One thing is certain;
    IBM no longer declares itself an “American” company. They even say that they have no responsibility to notify the public at large, that they are firing masses of people because the SEC ‘allows’ them that advantage and because it is BAU for a Global Corporation.

    I’m sorry for going on and on, but as you can see; this whole issue is very very quiet in the MSM…compared to all the other Corporate malfeasence that has occurred in the last 8 months. The workers need to move and stand up on their feet and organize. It’s the only answer.
    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to post this to your Blog.
    Rick White
    Treasurer, Organizer, Web Maintenance
    and Health & Safety Rep
    CWA Local 1701
    Alliance @ IBM
    http://www.allianceibm.org

  20. There are a lot of jobs out there and there is no need to worry about offshoring IT jobs. We at the Home Depot are having trouble findind many skillsets and thus those layed off should get retrained say by their local community college.

    Charles Boarden
    charles_boarden@homedepot.com
    Home Depot, Atlanta, GA

  21. Gretchen Schwartz

    I officially resigned my position today with IBM Human Resources after months of watching my team mates be resourced while their jobs are shipped to Bangalore, causing a chain reaction of manager and employee escalations because the fall-out has been a disaster! HR is over-worked and yet every day we are told that the team in Bangalore can not grasp American Employment Labor Laws (shocking!) and we are assigned more work without bringing back old resources or finding new ones to assist us. IBM is having one of their most profitable quarters in a decade and such practices are unacceptable. We are working 12+ hours per day, nights, weekends, early mornings and last week had to attend mandatory “refresher” training which was completely useless and yet we were still expected to stay on top of our workload which meant 18-20 hours per day.

  22. Thank you Gretchen for your comment and for having the courage to speak out and refuse an unworkable situation. I look forward to learning more from you!

  23. Gretchen you are so brave for having the courage to speak out here the issue you are facing with the company you are working with.

    Phil

  24. Thank you Gretchen and Philam.
    It seems that we haven’t made any progress since I last interviewed with you, Barbara.
    IBM is still firing people by the thousands. What’s worse now is, that the Supreme Court has given Big Corporations;
    like IBM, carte blanche permission to “buy” our Washington DC representatives through campaign contributions.
    We, the working people of the USA, are yet again underwater… as if we weren’t already with forclosures and health care costs.
    Here is a link to a ‘watchdog’ site that shows the receivers of Stimulus funds; specifically IBM:
    http://stimuluswatch.org/2.0/recipients/by_char/i/600/title/asc

    We working Americans, will lose/lose. Oh and by the way…
    Anyone who thinks that the Supreme Court decision also benefits unions for the same campaign funds allowance, is kidding themselves.
    Unions have a fraction of the money that Corporations have to spend on candidates.
    Nationally, union membership in the private sector is still in the single digits.
    Our one hope is that the Employee Free Choice Act will pass Congress this year…
    but with the election coming up, you can expect a fervent campaign against EFCA;
    along with funding, funneled to the anti-union candidates.
    It doesn’t look good for working people in the USA. …and does anyone really care, anymore?
    Please visit us at: http://www.endicottalliance.org/jobcutsreports.php

    • Hi Rick – it seems that not only has there been no progress made, things are steadily eroding. I have been in India the last several months, and see their economy growing, while watching ours declining. Of course, in both countries it is a matter of those who have and those who do not. The middle class is growing exponentially here, while the poor get poorer. I recently read an article about the U.S. economy and how most jobs have either been outsourced or have been given to (illegal) immigrants or immigrants who are brought to the U.S. on a work visa.

      Who cares? Those are have lost everything. But what is the solution as we watch America crumble?

  25. This is really frustrating on your side Rick. We really do understand what you feel.

    Phil

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