Rober Cringely ran a story that 110,000 IBM employees laid off and the ever shrinking Big Blue said it would be more like 8,000. However writing in his bog Cringely said that Big Blue is spinning.
“I think IBM is dissembling, fixating on the term 110,000 layoffs, which by the way I never used. Whatever the word, what counts is how many fewer people will be paid by IBM on March 1 compared to today,” he said.
He said his sources tell him that IBM has other ways of getting its workforce down rather than ordinary layoff. He claimed that IBM is pushing some people out using poor performance rathings.
This includes people who were on IBM’s “bridge to retirement’ program that took that option, thinking it kept them ‘safe’ from layoffs/firings.
“There is a loophole that says they can be dismissed for ‘performance’ reasons, which is exactly why many of my long-time, devoted, hardworking peers are suddenly getting the worst rating, a 3. It’s so they can be dismissed without any separation package and no hit to the RA, or workforce rebalancing, fund,” Cringely said.
It used to be something like 10 percent of employees ‘had’ to be labeled 3s, but recently IBM required an increase in number of 3s.
Cringely said IBM got rid of some employees by ‘stuffing’ them into the Lenovo x86 acquisition, shipping tons of people over there that never even worked on x86 stuff.
Lenovo has discovered this and has given some of them a way better package – year salary and benefits, and taking it up quietly with IBM, he added.
Still it would be hard to fire a quarter of your staff by the back-door in this way, but as Cringely said the 110,000 figure was not suggested in his original story.