IBM to GTS staff: Not volunteering to leave with a redundo cheque? We'll give you a helping hand

Hundreds to be forced out of the door into COVID-19-ravaged jobs market

IBM has slammed shut the window of opportunity for Global Technology Services (GTS) staff to put themselves forward for voluntary redundancy, meaning a requisite number will now be forcibly ejected.

The process began in late February and early March for different parts of the GTS division. Big Blue put 1,248 frontline techies at risk of losing their jobs, with 263 people from Infrastructure Services Delivery and T&T sought to go.

Employees were given the option to make expressions of interest (EoI) in taking redundancy, but not enough came forward so IBM decided to extend the deadline until further notice and urged staff to reconsider.

However, late last week on 7 May, IBM wrote to GTS people confirming that despite the extension too few had wanted to take up its offer of re-entering the job market during a pandemic. Funny that.

"To date, we have not been able to meet our business objectives through the voluntary separation programme and if this remains the case following the closure of the EOI window on Wednesday 13th May it. Will be necessary to initiate an involuntary redundancy programme," a memo from Rudolph Oudeboon, GTS veep for IS Delivery UK and Ireland, read.

The Employee Consultation Committee (ECC), formed to represent staff during the talks, had its final meeting on 6 May and the collective consultation has "now closed", the exec added.

The Reg had wondered whether IBM would postpone this round of redundancies, given the parlous state of the economy, the growing number of unemployed and the uncertainty of when COVID-19 will end. Alas not.

According to ECC notes seen by The Reg in March, IBM said Infrastructure Services was being influenced by customers' switch to the public cloud, meaning the "profile of the work" provided is changing.

Further, it stated GTS was still losing revenue in Q1 2020 and needs to run an "aggressive cost take-out programme" that involves upping the use of automation, displacing subcontractors, and closing some "facilities and data centres", along with reducing comms costs.

A new CEO has landed at IBM and El Reg hopes he brings a new culture of leadership with him to a company that was once considered to be among the best employers in tech. ®

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021