Layoff rumours surround IBM

8 Jan 2009

While employees at the Dell plant in Limerick wait to hear about the future of their jobs, technology giant IBM is also garnering attention as unconfirmed rumours circulate concerning potentially huge global layoffs.

Concern over worldwide jobs at IBM began when IBM officials confirmed on Monday that independent contractor employees had been let go, with spokesperson Jeff Couture adding that this included cleaning, admin and security staff.

While these jobs were on independent contracts, an IBM employee site, Alliance IBM – which is not affiliated with IBM – has comments posted to its site claiming that Big Blue may lay off as many as 16,000 employees at the end of the month.

A company spokesperson told that IBM “does not comment on rumours and speculation”.

One commentator on the Alliance site said: “My manager is involved in the layoff planning in our division (part of the technology group). He told me the numbers in our division were going to be very large, a lot larger than what the other managers were expecting.

“Nobody wants to fear-monger, but the layoffs are coming. I used to be in management (I got better), and I can see the familiar patterns here (sudden movements of people they are cherry-picking to protect, the way denials are given, the acceleration of the review process so they have the lambs lined up, etc).”

With over 386,000 employees worldwide, 16,000 job cuts would represent roughly 4pc of IBM’s workforce. These rumours come ahead of the firm’s fourth-quarter 2008 earnings, which are expected to be released at the end of January.

By Marie Boran

Pictured: IBM Spain headquarters in Madrid