When International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) lays off staff, the company calls it a “resource action.” IBM employees have shortened the term to “RA” and even created a verb — fittingly in the past tense — “RA’d.” The term is getting a lot of use these days.
According to a January report in the U.K.’s The Register, IBM plans to reduce its Global Technology Services (GTS) workforce by “productively redeploying” about a third of the 100,000 or so of the employees. A detailed report by ProPublica and Mother Jones published late last month indicates that older U.S. workers have been hit hardest by IBM’s job cuts.
The report estimates that over the past five years about 60% of the 20,000 employees IBM have fired have been age 40 or older.
An independent website called Watching IBM includes an area where (mostly) former employees can post comments. Here’s a recent sample:
Anon: I too was RA’d on April 19 from Cloud Platform. Yesterday was an awkward conversation with an ill prepared team of managers who fumbled through a script.
Anon pls. RA’d a week ago from GTS Australia. Job moved overseas. Age 57, with 11 years at IBM. ~90 days notice, plus statutory 14 week redundancy pay. Very sad about what the once great IBM has become.
Please post anonymously. 12 years with the company, good ratings. Got the notice today. Age 59. 90 day work, 30 day severance. Are we eligible to collect unemployment, or is that signed away? I won’t receive my package until Monday. Thanks.
Please post anonymously: IBM RA actions in UK in Account Management, 15 years in IBM busting a gut to fuel those on plans bonus, 1 performer, delighted client etc Job outsourced to Eastern Europe. Statutory minimum redundancy which is in effect 1.5 mths salary.
Post anonymous please. RA today after 17 years of technical consulting. I have not been on the bench in the last 13 years. My current project is just about up and I found another assignment in 2 days. This is a position that has been open since December. I thought I was doing good in helping IBM avoid contractors for this assignment. Received 1 month of severance pay for 17 years.
IBM declined to supply ProPublica researchers either with numbers of job cuts or the age breakdown of those who lost jobs. Nor has the company has acknowledged the level of job cuts suggested by The Register in January.