IBM workers in China strike over Lenovo deal - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

IBM workers in China strike over Lenovo deal

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SHENZHEN, China (KTTC) -- A major strike is underway at an IBM factory in southern China.

More than 1,000 IBM workers went on strike Thursday against the terms of their transfer to a Chinese PC maker.

The transfer was sparked by IBM's sales of its low-end server business to Lenovo.

The employees are demanding higher pay if they choose to transfer, or higher severance packages if they choose to leave.

An IBM spokeswoman said in a statement that workers who choose to leave will receive an equitable severance package.

This Lenovo deal that has workers in China concerned was first announced in late January. At the time Lenovo said it would offer jobs to the 7,500 affected IBM employees in locations around the world.

While there's some server development and software work done in Rochester, server manufacturing was recently relocated to plants in China and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lenovo has collaborated with IBM for years after acquiring IBM's PC unit in 2005.

As for IBM Rochester, KTTC first reported a week ago about a new round of layoffs. Some analysts estimated 13,000 jobs worldwide, including more than 500 in Rochester, were eliminated. Sources tell KTTC those who work for the Systems and Technology Group were hit the hardest.

An IBM spokesman confirmed this re-balancing of the company's work force is to invest in Cloud, Analytics and Cognitive Computing.

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