Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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5/18/2005
02:14 PM
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IBMers To Protest Cuts With 'Moment Of Silence'

If you need to reach tech support at IBM this coming Monday, you might not get through if you call between 1 and 1:10 p.m. Eastern. That's when an employee group, upset over IBM's plan to lay off up to 13,000 workers, is asking colleagues to observe a companywide "moment of silence."

If you need to reach tech support at IBM this coming Monday, you might not get through if you call between 1 and 1:10 p.m. Eastern. That's when an employee group, upset over IBM's plan to lay off up to 13,000 workers, is asking colleagues to observe a companywide "moment of silence."Organizers at Alliance@IBM are urging IBMers to "Take your coffee break, no Sametime, no phone calls," during those 10 minutes. I'm not sure how many IBM employees will heed the call-most are probably scared enough for their jobs as it is.

I expect, however, that European workers will be the most likely to follow the job action. They're the ones that will be most heavily targeted by Sam Palmisano's ax, and they also enjoy the greatest degree of union protection within the company.

IBM is doing what it says it needs to do to compete in the global marketplace. With tech spending sluggish, offshore competition rising, and its sales flat, the company obviously needs to take action. However, the risk for IBM is that its cost cutting will bleed employee morale-making it even harder to compete.

Is cutting staff the right move for IBM? What do you think?

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