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IBM cuts more than 1,000 U.S. workers

Union reports layoffs across the country

February 28, 2012 11:43 AM ET

Computerworld - IBM has laid off just over 1,000 employees so far this week, and more layoffs may be possible, according to an employee organization.

IBM never comments on the specifics of any cuts, and the only reason that the company's job action is noticeable is due to the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, which gathers its data directly from IBM employees.

The alliance keeps a running tally of cuts by business units while affected employees post comments on a bulletin board.

An alliance spokesman was uncertain as to how many employees will lose their jobs in this latest round of cuts. The employees are from multiple business units and locations in the U.S., and nearly half of the employees "are mobile or work from home," according to a union spokesman.

An IBM spokesman, in a statement, said IBM "is constantly rebalancing its workforce." The company went on to say that "that means reducing in some areas and hiring in others -- based on shifts in technology and client demand. This flexibility allows IBM to remain competitive and relevant in an industry that is constantly changing. And given the competitive nature of our business, we do not publicly discuss the details of our staffing plans."

IBM's workforce shift is global and has led to an overall reduction in U.S. workers. IBM stopped disclosing its specific U.S. head count in 2010, following the practice of many other large technology companies.

In 2007, IBM employed 121,000 people in the U.S.; the last public disclosure of its U.S. workforce size was made in late 2009, when the company said it had 105,000 workers. The alliance now estimates that the U.S. workforce is slightly less than 100,000.

IBM finished last year with revenue of $106.9 billion, up 7%. The company employs some 427,000 people globally.

covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at Twitter @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed Thibodeau RSS. His email address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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