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IBM shifts remaining US-based AIX dev jobs to India – source

Around 80 positions moved to another continent, Big Blue stays silent

The Register has learned that IBM has shifted the roles of US IBM Systems employees developing AIX over to the Indian office.

Prior to this transition, said to taken place in the third quarter of 2022, AIX development was split more or less evenly between the US and India, an IBM source told The Register. With the arrival of 2023, the entire group had been moved to India.

IBM has twice failed to respond to requests from The Register to confirm that this occurred.

Roughly 80 US-based AIX developers were affected, our source estimates. We're told they were "redeployed," and given an indeterminate amount of time to find a new position internally, in keeping with practices we reported last week based on claims by other IBM employees.

These people in 'redeployment' limbo within IBM are all older, retirement eligible employees

Evidently, the majority of those redeployed found jobs elsewhere at IBM. A lesser number of staff are evidently stuck in "redeployment limbo," with no IBM job identified and no evident prospects at the company.

"It also appears that these people in 'redeployment' limbo within IBM are all older, retirement eligible employees," our source said. "The general sense among my peers is that redeployment is being used to nudge older employees out of the company and to do so in a manner that avoids the type of scrutiny that comes with layoffs."

Layoffs generally come with a severance payment and may have reporting requirements. Redeployments – directing workers to find another internal position, which may require relocating – can avoid cost and bureaucracy. They also have the potential to encourage workers to depart on their own.

We're told that IBM does not disclose redeployment numbers to its employees and does not report how internal jobs were obtained – through internal search, with the assistance of management – or were not obtained – employees left in limbo or who choose to leave rather than wait.

In February, 2022, IBM Chief Human Resources Officer Nickle LaMoreaux took the unusual step of denying accusations that the company discriminates against older workers, a conclusion reached by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

IBM, however, made its claims harder to verify in 2014 when it stopped disclosing the age-specific demographic data about laid off employees. Access to such data would make it easier to assess the median age of those subject to Resource Actions and to redeployment.

Numerous lawsuits have alleged that IBM has discriminated against older workers by targeting them for layoffs.

Lately, many of those lawsuits have settled under confidential terms, with no admission of guilt. The latest of these, Kinney v. IBM (1:20-cv-00969-DAE), was dismissed [PDF] on Monday after the eight remaining plaintiffs agreed to a settlement. Individuals involved in these cases who have spoken to The Register in confidence have described the evidence arising from discovery as damning enough to motivate IBM to settle.

One of the few discrimination cases against IBM to go to trial, Kingston v. IBM, focused on race and wage theft rather than age. It didn't go well for IBM.

The jury awarded the plaintiff $11.1 million in damages, plus $3 million in attorney fees and other damages. IBM appealed and had the award reduced by $6 million; the plaintiff's attorneys meanwhile are trying to have some of that award restored. ®

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