More on those IBM redundancies



blog Another day, another swathe of details emerge about the ongoing job cuts happening within the ranks of IBM Australia. This morning’s morsel comes from The AustralianIT, which reports the latest figure as being around 1,400 Australian staff, amid the involvement of the controversial 457 visa program. The site reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“IBM Australia is on a cost-slashing drive, including ramping up on 457 visas, sending local jobs offshore and downsizing offices as 1400 workers are retrenched.”

Delimiter has also been receiving a constant stream of anonymous tips on the issue from disgruntled IBM Australia staff frustrated about how it’s all going down. The story is always the same — layoffs across the board, with a mind towards boosting profits. Take the following information with a massive grain of salt, but here are three of the most legitimate-sounding anonymous tips we’ve received over the past few days. A reminder: These are anonymous tips, so their accuracy cannot be verified. We’ll print any rebuttal IBM wants to make to these claims.

“The first wave has occurred and my understanding is that it was 400 staff – there were some administrative roles that were being shifted offshore, particularly the Philippines. There were some delivery roles, particularly [Global Business Services] where they have had a big bench in the Eastern States and some sales roles across the board. My understanding is that the second wave is coming pretty soon. Probably once they have a good feel about the second qtr results. GBS Australia is one of the most underperforming groups in IBM’s entire Growth Market Unit and this has been a long time coming.”

“IBM Australia is definitely having staff cuts. Last month 200 Aussie IBMers were made redundant. This including people across GBS/GTS, Software Group, Pre-sales techs, sales, etc.”

“The number circulating internally is 1300 (in Aus) which fits neatly within the [range reported by the Sydney Morning Herald]. It is basically a knee-jerk reaction to IBM’s poor 1Q2013 results, and IBM Aus is bearing a significant share of the pain because its 1Q numbers were poorer than most. It may be hard to believe that a major corporation can react with such a short-term view, but sadly that seems to have become the Wall-Street-Way. This is one piece in the jigsaw that IBM calls “Roadmap 2015” (colloquially known as “Road-Kill 2015″). Google it. The plan is to get the EPS up to USD$20 by 2015. Perversely, since earnings don’t seem to be rising, the strategy seems to have changed to cost-cutting and buying back shares. It might work, but IBM is losing its soul in the process, it once had one of the most skilled, dedicated, and professional workforces on the planet. Not any more.”

It’s sad to say, but it seems like all signs are pointing to the fact that there will shortly be a large glut of IBM Australia staff leaving the business and flooding onto the local jobs market. If you’re an IT employer operating in Australia and looking to pick up qualified staff in certain areas cheap, it sounds like now would be a good time to get your recruiters out there in the field. We wish good luck to all of the IBM staff affected. It’s never a good thing in the short-term to lose your job; but we’d also remind people that there are employers with better workplace satisfaction ratings than IBM out there; perhaps this could be a chance for a new beginning in a better overall position.

Image credit: Patrick H, Creative Commons


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