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IBM to Lose 13,000 Jobs 516

KingDaveRa writes "The BBC is reporting that IBM is losing 13,000 jobs. This comes after disappointing financial results. Most jobs will be going in europe."
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IBM to Lose 13,000 Jobs

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  • by Aussie ( 10167 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @05:57AM (#12439611) Journal
    Must be really bad to lose 13,000.
    • by OpCode42 ( 253084 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:04AM (#12439634) Homepage
      Oh how appropriate/ironic (delete as misunderstood) that the parent post is marked as redundant!
    • by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:29AM (#12439720) Homepage Journal
      Losing your job is hard

      No it isn't. It's incredibly easy to lose your job. You hardly have to do anything. In fact that's the best way. Hardly do anything and I assure you that you will lose your job.
      • I don't know. I'm quite good at the very little I do. As a matter of fact, I'm one of the few who have gotten a raise every year for the past three. Must being doing something right.
      • by mboverload ( 657893 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:59AM (#12439825) Journal
        That "doing nothing to lose your job" thing doesn't seem to work for my boss.
      • Hardly do anything and I assure you that you will lose your job.

        You've never worked in a large company right? Do nothing and you'll be promoted out of the way or moved sideways.

        Someone needs to educate you. Go read some Dilbert and watch the movie Office Space.

      • Hardly do anything and I assure you that you will lose your job.

        Upper levels of government provide a counterexample to this thesis.

        As do beneficiaries of inherited wealth whose job is "stockholder".

        But, then, I'm overcounting some.

      • Not true, I am doing some work for the admin arm of the NHS and doing nothing, all day, is the norm.

        Maybe if you did do something there is a chance it could go wrong and I'd be sacked but more likely me doing something would have the knock on effect of causing someone else to have to do something, a scenario which would no doubt be frowned on and could result in me getting the sack.
    • Especially on the 05-05-05 at 5:55...

      5 was my lucky number.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 05, 2005 @08:03AM (#12440036)
      This article's headline is completely wrong.

      IBM is not "losing" jobs; IBM is firing people.

      The only way IBM could lose jobs is if it's Human Resources Department realized it could not locate the job descriptions for 13,000 people.

      Worse still, can you "plan to lose" something? Of course not. Losses are unintentional.
      • Thank god someone said it. They always try to put such a nice spin on things. They aren't losing jobs. They are firing people because they only made x Billion in profits instead of yx Billion in profits, where y is a number greater than 1.
        • In business, just because you have money now, doesn't mean having money later. There are costs that don't show up on this quarter's report, but that need to be paid later none the less. You also have to return money to the stock holders, many of them middle class people who have invested money into your company and need to support thier life.

          Sometimes you have to make the decision of firing people now, so that others can keep their jobs later.
      • At least... (Score:4, Funny)

        by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @11:15AM (#12441559)
        Hey, at least the article didn't say "IBM looses 13,000 jobs."
  • Hmm not a suprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Foo2rama ( 755806 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @05:57AM (#12439614) Homepage Journal
    Gee maybe becuase they sold the whole PC MFG dept?
    • They still have servers.
      And Lucifer Gerstner is still rich as hell. Satan Palmisano is on his way.
      Not to mention, they are about to settle with the pensioners they screwed six years ago.
      Hell, I got a $63 settlement from it. But I'm not bitter. Pffft!
    • Re:Hmm not a suprise (Score:2, Informative)

      by n9891q ( 863780 )
      Two points.
      (1) the sale of PCD included selling the employees. PCD lay-offs will appear as Lenovo actions.
      (2) PCs are manufactured outside Europe (Mexico, China, etc.).

      The loss of however many jobs is still unfortunate.

  • My uncle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaestroSartori ( 146297 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @05:58AM (#12439617) Homepage
    has just been laid off from the Greenock plant, where he was involved in manufacturing for 20 or so years. He's now working in a call centre handling mortgage applications... :(

    The UK as a whole seems to be moving towards this kind of economy - jobs involving manufacturing, especially, are going, to be replaced by jobs where you can be sacked at the drop of a hat, and are generally pretty poorly treated. Sad.
    • Re:My uncle (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Marcion ( 876801 )
      Yeah thats pretty sad. IBM eventually will not produce any hardware but instead subcontract everything to outside cheap labour. Whether people will be laid off from the software side too is an interesting question.
      • Re:My uncle (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <slashdot@mon k e l e c t r i c . com> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:19AM (#12439693)
        Welcome to the world economy Europe. Thats been going on in the US since the 80s. It SUCKS. We can't figure out a better system, why don't you guys work on it for awhile and get back to us with something. Whats your hourly fee again?
        • Re:My uncle (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Saeger ( 456549 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (jllerraf)> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @08:17AM (#12440113) Homepage
          We can't figure out a better system ...

          A better system would be to provide a living wage (as opposed to the welfare dirty word) to those people whose jobs are increasingly replaced by automation and cheap labor. If you're one of the lucky few who still does USEFUL work in exchange for something, then you get extra incentive gravy for your WANTS, while those not so lucky/smart/quickly-adaptable get enough redistributed gravy to meet their NEEDS. Nobody should have to live in mortal fear of losing their job (unless you're one of those asshole sadists who believes that keeping the serfs suffering is a great motivator and makes it easier to keep control (and if so, fuck you)).

          Robotics, IA/AI, nanotechnology, and other exponentially advancing technology [] will inevitably lead to this kind of world. "It's different this time". We can either choose a humane leisure society fed by intelligent automated production & fair redistribution, or we can choose to continue the greedy ratrace to the bottom as the wealth gap widens [].

          (I'm sure a lot of people who worship at the alter of dog-eat-dog hyper-capitalism and "globalism" will just write me off as some kind of idealistic-socialist-commie-hippie or whatever. Oh, and I am one of the "lucky" ones, but I've also got a conscience.)

          • Re:My uncle (Score:2, Insightful)

            I've also got a conscience

            So do I, and that's exactly why I do not believe in robbing Peter to give to Paul. The fact that government is "giving" to Paul (and -- cough -- taking a cut for themselves) does not, by any rational means, make the act of robbing Peter moral and just.

            And please spare me the lies about the people "choosing" to submit themselves to force. A person cannot voluntarily submit to force, any more than a person can force another person to volunteer.

            • Re:My uncle (Score:3, Insightful)

              So do I, and that's exactly why I do not believe in robbing Peter to give to Paul.

              The trick is in the choice of terms here: what if Peter is an oligopolistic Robber Baron who scammed billions of Peters until their livelhood became untennable? You would like to present it as a case of saintly, highly-talented, God's favourtie child Peter innocently and piously pursuing his "destiny" to great wealth and unlimited power over others and on the other hand a Satanic band of evil, underhanded, greedy wolf-like Pa

          • Re:My uncle (Score:2, Informative)

            by eric2hill ( 33085 )
            A better system would be to provide a living wage (as opposed to the welfare dirty word) to those people...

            That's called socialism []. This is a democracy. Be sure and understand that distinction as it leads to a government-controlled life.
            • Re:My uncle (Score:5, Insightful)

              by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @09:36AM (#12440686) Homepage Journal
              "That's called socialism. This is a democracy. Be sure and understand that distinction as it leads to a government-controlled life."

              This in one of my pet peeves.
              Yes it is called socialism but you can have a socialist democracy.
              You are confusing economic systems with political systems.
              China has less of a socialist economy than Sweden does. But Sweden is far more democratic than China.
              I agree that giving people money for nothing is wrong. It is degrading and self defeating. What we need get back to is the idea that there is dignity in all work. It does not matter if it is picking up trash in a park what you earn is yours.
          • You're right! one day techology will reach a point that nobody will have to work. Then we should either restructure society in foundamental ways or kill ourselves in a survival-of-the-fittest war.

            Unfortunately, it is the latter that I see coming. I don't see people agreeing that 1+1=2, much less conforming to a global social/economic system like the one you describe.
          • Re:My uncle (Score:2, Informative)

            by kayak334 ( 798077 )
            What you say sounds great, in theory. However, that isn't how the real world or economics works. Robotics and automation lead to cheaper goods for everyone and free up a portion of the workforce to do other things. "Other things" meaning other jobs in the workforce that are in higher demand than the job that just got automated. If you think that we will one day just run out of jobs because everything will be automated, then you need to read a book on basic economics and a book on the human spirit.
          • Re:My uncle (Score:3, Insightful)

            by KrackHouse ( 628313 )
            Your idea is exactly what Germany is trying right now. Their unemployment is approaching 15%. Would you rather have a living wage if it meant there were far fewer jobs available? In fact, the living wage increases the incentive for business to use robots.

            Toshiba (the evil greedy capitalist corporation) is producing a new nano-battery in 2006 that has the potential to cut pollution dramatically as it'll be used in cars instead of gasoline. Greed leads to good things and cheaper products much faster and
          • Re:My uncle (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SunFan ( 845761 )
            The irony in the living wage/minimum wage arguments is that the economy adapts within a few years such that the new living wage is worth no more than the old one. There is simply no way that the government waving a magic wand in the law books can change the fundamental strength or weakness of the economy, unless it is the biggies like the federal interest rate or tax law (i.e., money to/from the government itself).

        • [Re: Transitioning manual labour jobs to mechanical automation]

          Thats been going on in the US since the 80s. It SUCKS.

          I respectfully disagree. That automation is what keeps the price of so many products affordable. The increased profits from said automation are what have driven stock price increases that have allowed millions of people to enjoy a comfortable retirement. This is capitalism at its finest. If you don't like it, there are plenty of (miserable, socialist/communist) countries who'd be will
        • We can't figure out a better system

          I have not heard a single complaint from any [mb]illionare CEO. Being that the range of wages between the lowest and the highest paid employees keeps getting larger, I would only expect this type of system to increase until it implodes on itself.

          Fuck benevolence, that does not show up on profits.
    • Re:My uncle (Score:3, Informative)

      by Smerity ( 714804 )
      While yes, your uncle being laid off is certainly not good, it's really not IBM's call at the moment.

      My mum works at IBM and the IBM/Lenovo split is a very short time off now. This is the main transition point for the company. Your uncle losing his job most likely is that Lenovo is unwilling to hire him, not IBM 'firing' him.

      IBM has been making hairline profits on their PCD section for years and years, under very heavy competition. They're changing their whole buisness setup. Losses are to be expected...
    • Re: My uncle (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My sympathies go with your uncle. I've been made redundant twice - it is not fun. What the the election in the UK today there is a LOT of talk about the UK economy (what with the collapse of Rover etc.). The problem is that we are becoming a service industry - which is no bad thing in itself (unless you are a manufacturer). This is the crux of the issue a lot of Brits have with jobs going to India - it is NOT based on racial prejudice as most would suggest - it is simply a matter of job competition. The rea
    • I work in another part of IBM at Greenock, which hasn't been sold to Lenovo. It's just crazy, there are people who have worked in the same area as me for years, who are getting moved to another part of the site simply because Lenovo staff just aren't allowed up our end. I need to badge through four security doors now!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:02AM (#12439627)
    13.000 new OSS developers.
  • See the opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dublinclontarf ( 777338 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:03AM (#12439633) Homepage
    This is an opportunity for all those who lose thier job to go and start thier own company, I think that there is a need in the European market for more small I.T shops. But are we Europeans up to it? At least the Irish are.
    • This is an opportunity for all those who lose thier job to go and start thier own company, I think that there is a need in the European market for more small I.T shops.

      If any UK readers think this is a good idea, bear in mind how the danger of software patents would make life disproportinately harder for small businesses, and vote accordingly in today's general election.

      Yeah, I know it's not a European election; the question is, do you want to support those that will make your life harder because thei
    • by MartinG ( 52587 )
      I'm more likely to start up in India than Europe becuase it's looking likely we are going to have software patents over here and that will kill off all the small IT shops more than anything else.
    • This is an opportunity for all those who lose thier job to go and start thier own company

      Lets weight this out.

      Get laid off from your OK 40 hr per week job with benefits, etc to start a company where your insane to expect to work anything near 40/week plus the responsibilities of managing employees, getting startup loans or capitol, with no guarantee that you will make anything like you were making at your old 40hr/week job. Oh, and all of this is assuming that you are a risk taker and have the minimum k
  • I only noticed this story via the BBC RSS feed as it had some extensive strikethroughs - nothing massively interesting, but it shows that they do indeed have editors! Shameless plug of my blog here with pics: []
  • erm (Score:5, Informative)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:09AM (#12439652) Journal
    The blerb is misleading. This was reported earlier on BBC news 24 (about 5 hours ago) and they said IBM hasn't said where they will be cutting the jobs back. It could be in several places not just Europe.
  • by AdamPiotrZochowski ( 736869 ) <> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:12AM (#12439661) Homepage

    IBM is expanding in Poland, hiring almost 200 people in Cracow alone, and so are
    many other big name companies like Motorolla, KPMG, Lufthansa, 3M, Phillips:,35798,2689839.htm l []

    everyone in europe is moving to Poland, its as nice as Ireland, just as many drunks
    but much cheaper, people are educated, and lots of beautifull clean land.

    /apz, Don't kid yourself. Little is relevant, and nothing lasts forever.
  • Uh, people? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mr_snarf ( 807002 )
    Am I the only one who thinks the article title is odd. I mean 'IBM to Lose 13,000 Jobs'. I would have expected '13,000 IBM workers to lose their jobs'. *shrug*
    • It sounds very careless, doesn't it? It's almost like the author was trying to use some euphemism to soften the image of IBM. Who knows why? They had to re-word what the Beeb said in the original story. They used the word "axe", not "lose".
    • Odd, yes, and inappropriate. Seems to equate 13,000 people with car keys. IBM decided to terminate 13,000 people. I expect it probably had some sort of reason for that... IBM has layed off or terminated large batches of employees before, and I'm sure it's not something that the company takes lightly. Nevertheless, it's the (ex-)employees who are losing something.
  • by Senor_Programmer ( 876714 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:15AM (#12439677)
    they just reallocate.
  • by Ice Station Zebra ( 18124 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:24AM (#12439707) Homepage Journal
    If you work in the corporate environment you should remember that you don't matter. What you do doesn't matter. You should be ready and willing to do anything...anything for the corporate bottom line.

    The stock holders must be paid first, the CE0, the board, everybody with VP in their title second, and --- if there is anything left --- you.

    That doesn't mean they won't take your stapler and forget to pay you. It means that you are nothing to them, all those times you supported the Republician party because you believed in lower taxes and less government, lies. Your pay has decreased since they took (and I really mean took) office. Sure, the price of your home as gone up, but the bank still owns it and you pay even more in property taxes and insurance costs. Oh, and don't use that insurance. Too many claims (and by too many I mean one) and you are off looking to the state for help, because no one will insure your castle. And you now that government help is bad. You don't want to be a welfare queen do you?

    So, follow my advice. When the corporation tells you to bend over and take it up the arse. Just do it. Then, head straight for the nearest pub. You will need a good pint and this may be the last time you can afford one.
    • You are a liar. My pay as a developer has gone significantly up since Republicans took office.

      Keep doomsaying and maybe you'll be back in power. That's a lot easier than coming up with your own ideas and presenting them in a way that brings people to your side.
  • by btarval ( 874919 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:50AM (#12439793)
    For almost all of the last century, when you worked at IBM, you were guaranteed a job for life. I don't know if people realize this, but IBM reportedly didn't have layoffs even during the Great Depression (which made the dot-com bust look like peanuts).

    How times have changed. I'm sorry to hear about how this will impact the lives of all those people affected, directly and indirectly.

    • I think what you meant was:

      The Great Depression was bad. Really bad. You couldn't believe how vastly, hugely mind-boggingly bad it was. I mean, you may think the Dot.Com era was a horrible circumstance, but that's just peanuts to the Great Depression.

    • You apparently don't remember the restructuring that occured in the late 1980s/early 1990s when IBM had their lunch handed to them by Microsoft (Windows), Compaq (PCs), and Sun (Unix).

      IBM cut their global workforce by tens of thousands. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience, but the one thing I've admirred IBM for in the past was the way they treat their employees...even when they have to take drastic measure, they try to be transparent in their decision making process and their severance packag
    • I worked at DEC at corp (maynard) back in the late 80's. that was the first real RIFF blow-out. DEC had a culture of not laying off, either. there was so much room inside to move around in, you could stay in the company for 20 yrs and still find new things to do and work on.

      of course, DEC went belly-up - but it sure had its share of layoffs before that. when I was there, the employee base was about 120,000 people! and we bragged that we had the largest private network in the world (EASYnet). by the t
  • by bobdobbs3 ( 641058 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @06:57AM (#12439816)
    IBM didn't "lose" 13,000 jobs - that sounds as if they misplaced them, or had this happen to them. Not so. IBM *cut* 13,000 jobs. Or *slashed* 13,000 jobs. In a related news item: 13,000 IBM *workers* lost their jobs.
  • Hmmmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    Bill Gates can't find enough IT workers, so he wants to change visa regs to get more in. IBM has too many IT workers, wants to fire them.

    Perhaps Microsoft (European division perhaps) could hire the retrenched IBM staff?
  • The world is happy to sell in Europe but nobody wants to produce in Europe. The unions have strangle hold on the economy and labor/business laws are hostile to corporations. Much of their young talent moves to the US. I firmly believe they might consider changing shortly after hitting rock bottom.
    • The labor laws are there for a reason, due to corporate abuse and dangerous work conditions, if we didn't have the labor laws, there would be 10 year olds still shoveling coal instead of in school or working tech support for some corporation in a little 3 x 5 cubicle (cell).
  • by gregoryl ( 187330 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @09:00AM (#12440424)
    From the article:
    "The news comes just weeks after IBM reported worse-than-expected earnings in the first quarter."

    Why fire 13,000 workers for that? It's clear that it's the profit forcasters that are doing the crap job - fire them.
  • by imr ( 106517 )
    I have seen lately many news like this one where big backers for software patents in europe say they might be obliged to do the same, and always in europe.

  • IBM is a notoriously lawer-centric corporation.

    If their press release said "IBM laid off 13000 attorneys to hire 13000 engineers" I'd be buying their stock. As it is, I hope the hedge fund managers ride this bitch ALL the way down.

  • IBM is not alone. The US oil industry is still cutting jobs [], even though profits have been at record highs along with gasoline prices. The oil industry has been continuing a 25-year job-reduction trend mainly caused by compuer-aided productivity and the migration of oil prodution outside the US. A rational person might think that companies & investors would get even more profit if they employed more people to obtain more oil.

  • Last August IBM said it was adding 19000 jobs. Now they are cutting 10-13k.

    They are 10k employees from their record high in 1991 when most considered IBM the most evil tech company on the planet.

    Are the growing or shrinking? Strange to switch so fast.
  • by RedLaggedTeut ( 216304 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @09:58AM (#12440886) Homepage Journal
    "IBM loses 14,000 jobs" - how pessimistic - why not phrase it:
    "IBM sets free a workforce of 14,000 skilled workers".

    It's all about spin. After all, people thought it was cool when the Sovjet Union collapsed and set free millions of workers employed in the military complex.
  • by thelizman ( 304517 ) <hammerattack@yaho o . c om> on Thursday May 05, 2005 @10:55AM (#12441358) Homepage
    So who do you love?
  • by Jukashi ( 240273 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @12:07PM (#12442136) Homepage Journal
    John: Hi Bob!
    Bob: Yeeeah, Hi Bob. We had a problem over the weekend..
    John: Geez Bob, sounds bad, what happened?
    Bob: Well, its embarrassing, but we seem to have lost your job
    John: You lost it ?!?
    Bob: Like I said, its embarrassing. And it wasnt just yours. Looks like we misplaced a good 13,000 of them
    John: So I'm fired ?!?
    Bob: Oh no not at all. You're a great employee John we'd never fire you. Lose you job yes, fire no.
    John: I'm going to look for a new job..
    Bob: Well if you find your old one let me know!

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears