IBM Commences Layoffs

IBM Corp. began the start of what is expected to be about 8,000 job cuts from its ranks, according to a union member with the tech giant.

Lee Conrad, national coordinator of [email protected], said roughly 1,000 jobs were cut from the company’s server group divisions as of today. He said that included about 224 jobs that were cut in the Endicott, N.Y., office, about 150 jobs cut in the Rochester, N.Y., plant and another 144 jobs in the Poughkeepsie, N.Y. plant.

Conrad also said other employees in the company were aware of and had tallied about 475 jobs cut from its storage group division in San Jose, Calif.

[email protected], an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, estimates the job losses could go even higher than the 8,000 that have already been discussed and could be most concentrated in the Global Services Division, which is expected to learn of layoffs next week.

About 160,000 employees work for IBM in the United States; worldwide, IBM employs 320,000 workers.

Industry watchers have been waiting for such news since May 10, when several news organizations quoted analysts as saying that cuts could range from 8,000 employees, or about 3 percent of the U.S. staff.

Five days later, at an analyst meeting in New York City, IBM Chief Executive Sam Palmisano described Big Blue’s long-term outlook and made it clear moves were afoot to deal with operational issues, including a tight rein on lagging business lines as a result of an expected 6 percent decline in quarterly revenues. The discussion turned to job cuts that could also be in the 6 percent range.

Going forward, Thursdays will probably be known as “Black Thursday,” Conrad said, since that is when the job cuts are expected to be announced over the next several weeks.

An IBM spokesperson was not available by press time.

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