IBM begins pink slipping one third of its workforce in US

IBM has begun handing out pink slips to nearly one third of its work force in United States as a part of what it says is a strategy to shift the workforce more toward cloud computing and artificial intelligence operations.

The restructuring exercise which many would describe as “massive”, comes on back of IBM’s January announcement that it would be laying-off staff at its Global Technology Services (GTS) department in the US.  Reports claim IBM has extended its laying-off exercise to many other departments in United States.

“IBM is aggressively transforming its business to lead in a new era of cognitive and cloud computing,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. “This includes remixing skills to meet client requirements.”

The layed-off employees were pissed of at IBM restructuring exercise. An employee in a post on WatchingIBM stated, “I am a GTS Strategic Outsourcing casualty of the mass firing today. My manager told me it was big and widespread, and I’d be hearing from a lot of people that will also be notified today.”

A soon-to-be-former IBM employee spoke to IEEE Spectrum about the situation: “It is bad, really bad. It’s a mass lay-off today. It is a sad day for IBM. People are being told not to talk about it. I was told by a manager in getting the news [of my job being eliminated], who was reading off of a script, that one third of the US workforce is being ‘rebalanced,’ which is what they call it.”

“Latest areas getting cut: AA IBM CMS Cloud Division; AMS Strategic Technical Services; Global Services Parts Operations; GTS Strategic Outsourcing. Workers are also reporting work is being moved offshore to Hungary and Brazil,” claimed another affected by the cuts.

Bloomberg states that IBM had 378,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2015. As part of a strategy to move business focus towards cloud computing services it hired 70,000 new employees in areas key to its new direction and the company claims it has 25,000 current open positions.

However, if the news of this massive lay-off is true than IBM would be left with around 100,000 employees at the end of the exercise.The exact number of employees will lose their jobs in United States is unknown. Also, it is not know whether its global staff will also face the axe but it could also affect IBM workers in the UK after the company warned over 1,300 GTS staff in the UK were at risk of redundancy.

To add salt to injuries, IBM is reportedly paying only one month’s severance pay to the axed employees as opposed to six months, which it used to operate as a policy.

“The big s*** job is that I’m only getting 1 month severance instead of the 25 weeks I am entitled when I was hired,” a disgruntled former employee wrote on the Facebook group.

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