IBM layoffs under way, numbers rolling in
Shouts of "R.A." (Big Blue-speak for layoff or firing) are ringing through the halls of IBM sites across the country, including Rochester's campus.
Workers are posting on the Alliance@IBM union site about being cut after 10, 15 years or more on the job.
Here's one comment from a soon-to-be unemployed IBMer:
Comment 02/27/12: Just received RA at the Rochester MN site at 9:00 am....I am in shock but also a little happy to be out of the hell of "Big Blue" -Anonymous-
I'd love to hear from any area IBMers who were slashed during this round of cuts.To protect severance and possible work at IBM as full employer or contract worker with firm CTG, I am offering to keep such sources anonymous, if the person so desires.
The challenge here for a reporter is that IBM gave up saying anything about employee numbers let alone cuts back in 2008/2009. Not that they were real chatty before that, but it possible to accurately track general trends.
Now the media can only speculate and work from information from emotional people who have just lost their jobs and/or groups with an agenda to organize a union at IBM.
Not sure how that benefits IBM, but I guess that is a moot point because the Big Blue Wall blocking the flow of official information is now more well established than the Berlin Wall ever was. It seems no numbers ever get over this wall.
Most official sites, like the City of Rochester and Rochester Economic Development, Inc. still list IBM as the second largest employer in this city. However, the last time IBM released any specific local numbers was at the end of 2008, when it reported that 4,200 people were employees in the Med City.
Do they still have more 4,000? Do they have more 3,500 or 3,000 workers in Rochester? I haven't been able to find a reliable to confirm such a number.
I'm uncomfortable listing it as the second highest employer, since there is no proof for that. However, that is generally the accepted belief.