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Thread: Inside IBMs purge of thousands of workers

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Inside IBMs purge of thousands of workers

    I swear we will see soup lines again for those in their 50s and 60s...

    For nearly a half century, IBM came as close as any company to bearing the torch for the American Dream.

    As the world’s dominant technology firm, payrolls at International Business Machines Corp. swelled to nearly a quarter-million US white-collar workers in the 1980s. Its profits helped underwrite a broad agenda of racial equality, equal pay for women and an unbeatable offer of great wages and something close to lifetime employment, all in return for unswerving loyalty.

    But when high tech suddenly started shifting and companies went global, IBM faced the changing landscape with a distinction most of its fiercest competitors didn’t have: a large number of experienced and aging US employees. The company reacted with a strategy that, in the words of one confidential planning document, would “correct seniority mix.” In five years, it slashed IBM’s US workforce by as much as three-quarters from its 1980s peak, replacing a substantial share with younger, less-experienced and lower-paid workers and sending many positions overseas. IBM has eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over, about 60 percent of its total US job cuts. In making these cuts, IBM has flouted or outflanked US laws and regulations intended to protect later-career workers from age discrimination.

    “The intended effect of IBM’s Millennial-centered employment branding was and is to signal that younger people are welcome at IBM… IBM’s Boomer employees—being labeled by IBM’s own research as uncollaborative, skeptical of leadership, technologically unsophisticated, less innovative and generally out of touch with IBM’s brand, customers and objectives—were shown the door in droves.”

    By the time IBM’s current CEO, Virginia ‘Ginni’ Rometty, took over in 2012, the company had shifted its personnel focus to millennials.

    https://www.motherjones.com/crime-ju...irs-old-heads/
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    1) I roll my eyes at accusations of age discrimination. Any policy that affects one age group of Americans badly while benefiting another age group of Americans can be said to be "age discrimination." Pensions are age discrimination. Social Security and Medicare are age discrimination. Obamacare is age discrimination. Senior tax exemptions are age discrimination. Many policies are created specifically to cater to the monetary interests of the senior and near-senior demographic, which necessarily means greater cost and burden on younger Americans.

    2) Mother Jones is an extremely biased source of information, almost without exception.

    3) Ultimately, employers should be able to hire who they want and lay off who they don't need. The government should not be analyzing and surmising as to the motives behind employment decisions.

    If I have an 80,000 salaried benefited job, and my employer discovers it can replace me with a 21-year old immigrant from Bangladesh and pay him $15 an hour, should my employer be able to do that, even if my performance has been good? Yes. If a 21-year old immigrant willing to work for $15 an hour can do my job just as adequately as I can at a price that is far below what I'd be willing to accept for it, and they can trust that other person to do the job as well, and they want to, then they should hire that person. The cost vs. benefit to my employer is off the charts in favor of letting me go and hiring that other person. And what if they are wrong, the kid can't do my job adequately, but they do this anyway? Oh well. That is their prerogative. Organizations should be able to make their own decisions, and if those decisions might be bad ones, well that's how life goes.

    Government shouldn't be protecting companies from their own decisions by micromanaging employment decisions. Employers should be able to hire those best-suited to complete the job to the highest standard and/or most competitive total cost. Employers should not be stuck with just-okay types of people they decided to hire 15 years ago or have to go through a ridiculous years-long progressive discipline process to be able to let people go. Employment is not a marriage and should not be treated like one.
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    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Age discrimination is very real as I have a family member that is up against it and know several others. It's very easy to discriminate against older people when a computer spits you out before you even get to the interview due to your age. And we live in a "right to work" state where no notice needs to be given for a pick slip and the company owes you nothing. Never mind most unions my state are long gone. We are going back to the days of robber barons as we have one for president.
    Last edited by EnigmaO01; 2nd April 2018 at 02:32 AM.
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    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    1) I roll my eyes at accusations of age discrimination. Any policy that affects one age group of Americans badly while benefiting another age group of Americans can be said to be "age discrimination." Pensions are age discrimination. Social Security and Medicare are age discrimination. Obamacare is age discrimination. Senior tax exemptions are age discrimination. Many policies are created specifically to cater to the monetary interests of the senior and near-senior demographic, which necessarily means greater cost and burden on younger Americans.

    2) Mother Jones is an extremely biased source of information, almost without exception.

    3) Ultimately, employers should be able to hire who they want and lay off who they don't need. The government should not be analyzing and surmising as to the motives behind employment decisions.

    If I have an 80,000 salaried benefited job, and my employer discovers it can replace me with a 21-year old immigrant from Bangladesh and pay him $15 an hour, should my employer be able to do that, even if my performance has been good? Yes. If a 21-year old immigrant willing to work for $15 an hour can do my job just as adequately as I can at a price that is far below what I'd be willing to accept for it, and they can trust that other person to do the job as well, and they want to, then they should hire that person. The cost vs. benefit to my employer is off the charts in favor of letting me go and hiring that other person. And what if they are wrong, the kid can't do my job adequately, but they do this anyway? Oh well. That is their prerogative. Organizations should be able to make their own decisions, and if those decisions might be bad ones, well that's how life goes.

    Government shouldn't be protecting companies from their own decisions by micromanaging employment decisions. Employers should be able to hire those best-suited to complete the job to the highest standard and/or most competitive total cost. Employers should not be stuck with just-okay types of people they decided to hire 15 years ago or have to go through a ridiculous years-long progressive discipline process to be able to let people go. Employment is not a marriage and should not be treated like one.
    You have no clue what you're fucking talking about as usual. Obviously no real life experience with being on the short end of the stick. You should try and put yourself on someone else's shoes once in a while.
    Last edited by EnigmaO01; 2nd April 2018 at 09:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    Age discrimination is very real as I have a family member that is up against it and know several others. It's very easy to discriminate against older people when a computer spits you out before you even get to the interview due to your age. And we live in a "right to work" state where no notice needs to be given for a pick slip and the company owes you nothing.
    Right to Work has absolutely nothing to do with at-will employment. Learn what Right To Work means. It means union security clauses are illegal. Union security clauses are employers agreeing to fire people the union orders them to fire based on non-payment of dues. All Right To Work says is "union security clauses are illegal." Right To Work does not say "all employment is at-will." If some law or policy was passed declaring that, then that's a separate issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    You have no clue what you're fucking talking about as usual. Obviously no real life experience with being on the short end of the stick.
    Victim-minded entitlement to indefinite employment is an individual psychological problem, not a circumstance. I don't need to personally be laid off for incompetence or other reasons in order to observe the fact that employers aren't going to want to employ increasingly useless people forever and ever. If an employer offered a person an office job 23 years ago and over that period of time they never bothered to develop pertinent skills and figure out, for example, how to type with more than two fingers, send a text message, scan a document, rotate a PDF, format an excel spreadsheet, attach a file to an e-mail, or other painfully simple things to learn, the employer should not be forced to continue employing that increasingly useless person indefinitely, and it's not age discrimination to look to discontinue the employment relationship with people who can't maintain their usefulness.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 2nd April 2018 at 01:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    Age discrimination is very real as I have a family member that is up against it and know several others. It's very easy to discriminate against older people when a computer spits you out before you even get to the interview due to your age. And we live in a "right to work" state where no notice needs to be given for a pick slip and the company owes you nothing. Never mind most unions my state are long gone. We are going back to the days of robber barons as we have one for president.
    Most states are "at will" and thats just as bad. No notice, just get out.
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    Cat-tastic Babba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    You have no clue what you're fucking talking about as usual. Obviously no real life experience with being on the short end of the stick. You should try and put yourself on someone else's shoes once in a while.
    Empathy is in short supply for those who are on top.

  8. #8
    Member fenrir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    I swear we will see soup lines again for those in their 50s and 60s...

    For nearly a half century, IBM came as close as any company to bearing the torch for the American Dream.

    As the world’s dominant technology firm, payrolls at International Business Machines Corp. swelled to nearly a quarter-million US white-collar workers in the 1980s. Its profits helped underwrite a broad agenda of racial equality, equal pay for women and an unbeatable offer of great wages and something close to lifetime employment, all in return for unswerving loyalty.

    But when high tech suddenly started shifting and companies went global, IBM faced the changing landscape with a distinction most of its fiercest competitors didn’t have: a large number of experienced and aging US employees. The company reacted with a strategy that, in the words of one confidential planning document, would “correct seniority mix.” In five years, it slashed IBM’s US workforce by as much as three-quarters from its 1980s peak, replacing a substantial share with younger, less-experienced and lower-paid workers and sending many positions overseas. IBM has eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over, about 60 percent of its total US job cuts. In making these cuts, IBM has flouted or outflanked US laws and regulations intended to protect later-career workers from age discrimination.

    “The intended effect of IBM’s Millennial-centered employment branding was and is to signal that younger people are welcome at IBM… IBM’s Boomer employees—being labeled by IBM’s own research as uncollaborative, skeptical of leadership, technologically unsophisticated, less innovative and generally out of touch with IBM’s brand, customers and objectives—were shown the door in droves.”

    By the time IBM’s current CEO, Virginia ‘Ginni’ Rometty, took over in 2012, the company had shifted its personnel focus to millennials.

    https://www.motherjones.com/crime-ju...irs-old-heads/
    It's the same in my profession. The young ones are prettier and work for less. If I were to lose my job today I'd never get hired again because they'd have to pay me more.

    Of course I'm not as pretty as I once was either. Sigh.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    1) I roll my eyes at accusations of age discrimination. Any policy that affects one age group of Americans badly while benefiting another age group of Americans can be said to be "age discrimination." Pensions are age discrimination. Social Security and Medicare are age discrimination. Obamacare is age discrimination. Senior tax exemptions are age discrimination. Many policies are created specifically to cater to the monetary interests of the senior and near-senior demographic, which necessarily means greater cost and burden on younger Americans.

    2) Mother Jones is an extremely biased source of information, almost without exception.

    3) Ultimately, employers should be able to hire who they want and lay off who they don't need. The government should not be analyzing and surmising as to the motives behind employment decisions.

    If I have an 80,000 salaried benefited job, and my employer discovers it can replace me with a 21-year old immigrant from Bangladesh and pay him $15 an hour, should my employer be able to do that, even if my performance has been good? Yes. If a 21-year old immigrant willing to work for $15 an hour can do my job just as adequately as I can at a price that is far below what I'd be willing to accept for it, and they can trust that other person to do the job as well, and they want to, then they should hire that person. The cost vs. benefit to my employer is off the charts in favor of letting me go and hiring that other person. And what if they are wrong, the kid can't do my job adequately, but they do this anyway? Oh well. That is their prerogative. Organizations should be able to make their own decisions, and if those decisions might be bad ones, well that's how life goes.

    Government shouldn't be protecting companies from their own decisions by micromanaging employment decisions. Employers should be able to hire those best-suited to complete the job to the highest standard and/or most competitive total cost. Employers should not be stuck with just-okay types of people they decided to hire 15 years ago or have to go through a ridiculous years-long progressive discipline process to be able to let people go. Employment is not a marriage and should not be treated like one.
    Good grief! If age discrimination should be legal, why not gender? Race? Religion?

    In your view, workers should have no rights whatsoever.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Good grief! If age discrimination should be legal, why not gender? Race? Religion?

    In your view, workers should have no rights whatsoever.
    While I agree we shouldnt have age discrimination, it does exist. There is nobody that will hire a 50 year old roofer for instance. Or a 55 year old logger. Its also hard to hire a 60 year old software engineer. While its wrong, there is some common sense there, which is why we have so many pockets of poverty out there. If we are supposed to work until we are 68 or 70 to collect Social Security and Medicare what should we do? If you are 60 and get laid off, you arent wanted in a great many professions. Its going to be a massive issue since quite a few people want the age to collect raised to 70.

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