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IBM puts Global Tech Services staff at risk in 'skills remix'

Re-ee-mind, when the cloud says don't select... er... me

A second round of UK redundancy consultations are set to kick off for IBMers working in the Global Business Services (GBS) division, company insiders have told us.

Big Blue initiated numerous job-cutting programmes this year as it reacted to fewer big ticket outsourcing deals and the rise of cloud computing by sending more services jobs overseas to lower labour cost countries.

In the latest round at GBS, sources revealed the Employee Consultation Committee is to convene a week from today and around 100 staff are expected to be made redundant.

No further details will be available until the ECC forms and begins the formal process on 20 July.

Well-respected Wall Street analyst Bernstein told us in March it tipped 14,000 IBM workers to leave the company this year – in the last decade, IBM cut nearly 97,000 jobs, saving it $6.78bn.

Some 1,352 people in Global Technology Services (GTS) UK were put at risk of redundancy in February to cuts costs and round two in that area was launched in late May. But staff in GBS and UK Labs were also impacted by wider cost cuts.

Sources at IBM said around 70 heads from GBS were due to put their necks on the chopping block on 5 August. Some 185 from GTS are also due to exit the organisation.

IBM has upset employees by offering only the statutory minimum redundancy terms capped at a little over £14,000 because “enhanced terms” were not affordable, the company told them.

Internal documents seen by The Register some months ago indicated IBM wanted, in its ideal world, to have eight in ten service staff based outside of mature economies to cut costs.

A spokesman at IBM sent us a statement: “IBM UK has begun a consultation process with employees' representative groups. Pioneering emerging areas of the IT industry, such as cloud and cognitive, require IBM to continually remix skills – our clients expect no less as they look to IBM to help them take advantage of innovations and new technologies.” ®

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