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April 16, 2012

New York lawmakers, paper push for IBM worker numbers

There was an interesting editorial about IBM in Sunday's edition of the Poughkeepsie Journal in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

IBM has a significant presence in that area. Like in Rochester, it regularly lays off (and hires) workers.

Like in Rochester, Big Blue refuses to share layoff numbers or even the total number of workers in the local area.

IBM does get a lot of state and federal government contracts as well subsidies and tax breaks.

In New York, state lawmakers say that IBM should publically release how many people it employs locally. The newspaper is supporting that push.

Here's some from the editorial:

Earlier this year, it was discovered that once again IBM was laying off workers, including in this area.

Yet, once again, Big Blue is being arrogantly tight-lipped about the number of people let go — and it still refuses to answer to the public the rudimentary question of how many people it employs in Dutchess County.

These are troubling trends for the area, for certain.

The company’s disingenuous attitude about such important matters, which clearly can have a profound impact on communities, is alarming. State officials in particular should do everything in their power to force more disclosure.

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Periodically, though, IBM has cut major tax deals with the state, garnering large breaks in exchange for pledging to keep certain groups of workers employed for certain time frames and to make investments in facilities.

130110ibmwalljan10jkState Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, and others believe these tax deals don’t provide enough transparency, and that more information must be forthcoming if the state is to continue these partnerships.

They are correct on both scores.

That latest deal involving IBM and the state is perhaps the most troubling of all. State taxpayers will invest $400 million in the State University of New York’s massive Albany NanoTech Complex, where IBM and many other companies do research and development. But since no state money is going directly to the companies, information about job creation and retention is flimsy at best.

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Under a bill put forth by Ball, corporations receiving public subsidies would have to provide a summary and explanation of the terms and conditions — and that information would be made available to the public and posted on the Internet.

Comments

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Not sure how many people have been laid off lately but seems it's been a VERY long time since anyone has been hired at IBM in Rochesterr.

I know they have been advertising and recruiting for financial analysts in Rochester. I am sure these are "entry-level" jobs aimed at recent college grads.

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