IBM Australia confirms 400 potential cuts

About 400 employees from IBM Australia's Global Services division are looking at redeployment options within IBM Australia.

A spokesperson for IBM Australia said that more than 50 employees have already found placements within IBM, adding that there are close to 160 further opportunities on IBM Australia's internal jobs notice board, which are not publicly advertised.

"Our focus is to ensure employees receive an internal placement," she said, adding that the company is speaking to its employees and union bodies.

When asked if it would impact mainly technical staff, she said, "As far as I understand it is specifically across the services business from varied positions. I would hesitate to say [the program] is defined to one profession depending on the skill set."

She said the cuts are not part of those IBM in the US announced yesterday, this time in its microelectronics unit, which makes and distributes memory, storage networking and PowerPC chips. A total of 1500 jobs, representing 7.5 per cent of the approximately 20,000 employees in the microelectronics unit, will be cut, said Bill O'Leary, director of communications for IBM's microelectronics unit.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) assistant secretary Stephen Jones confirmed that the union met with IBM Australia to voice its concerns.

"We pressed our desire to have as many people redeployed as possible. Some 400 people have been identified for potential redundancies. We want half of those, at least, to be successfully redeployed," Jones said.

Jones was tight-lipped on the meeting, saying IBM Australia has not answered all the union's main concerns, but the company has until Friday to respond to the union's concerns.

Jones also said the union and IBM Australia are discussing alternatives to redundancies, but would not be drawn on further comment on these alternatives at this stage.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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