Reports of IBM initiating a new round of layoffs have been intensifying in recent days. According to the IBM employee group Alliance@IBM, as of late afternoon Friday (June 14), the total number of jobs that had been reported eliminated totaled nearly 2,300.
According to the Alliance@IBM website, http://www.endicottalliance.org/, some 500 of the jobs that have known to have been eliminated have been from the Systems and Technology Group, IBM's hardware division, which includes not only the company's microelectronics activities but also servers, storage systems and other hardware.
The Bloomberg news service, citing Alliance@IBM, reported Thursday that the layoffs that had been reported so far included at least 165 semiconductor R&D jobs. But that total is all but certain to climb.
Lee Conrad, the administrator of Alliance@IBM, said the group has seen analyst reports speculating that the total number of IBM job cuts worldwide could totally between 6,000 and 8,000. Conrad said that sounds about right and speculated that the number of U.S. job cuts would likely be 4,000 to 5,000.
Conrad said his group should have more complete information next week as reports continue to come in.
Big Blue has been notoriously tight lipped about layoffs in recent years. The firm did not respond to an EE Times request for information about the layoffs.
Conrad's group believes that states where IBM is a major employer should force Big Blue to disclose concrete information about job cuts.
"It should be mandated that IBM publicly release these job cut numbers," Conrad said in an interview. "For many years, IBM has been hiding these things. For a company that gets taxpayer money that should be a mandate."
Conrad notes that the latest round of layoffs—which are taking place worldwide—continue to the trend of IBM decreasing the size of its U.S. workforce. Ten years ago, he said, IBM had over 160,000 U.S. employees. With the latest cuts, that number is now below 90,000 he said.
"There's a lot of stuff going off shore," Conrad said.