IBM job cuts - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

IBM job cuts

ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-TV) -- 24 hours ago, we were reporting the great news of IBM's better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings. But today, shock for some -- IBM is confirming job cuts across the nation, some in Rochester.

IBM will not provide any information on how many people were cut, but did confirm that there were cuts here at the IBM site in Rochester.

According to Lee Conrad, the national coordinator for a pro-union group "Alliance at IBM," those cuts affected Software Group employees.

Just one day after some good news, some not so good news from "Big Blue." Doug Shelton, speaking from IBM world headquarters in Armonk, New York confirmed to the NewsCenter that there have been what the company calls "resource actions": "Employees have been notified... the company continually evaluates its mix of resources and skills and makes changes as needed. It is the nature of our business to constantly assess the resources we need to satisfy the needs of our clients."

"We heard that Wednesday that IBM started a "resource action" in the Software Group and Sales & Distribution. This is job terminations... a day after IBM had a glowing financial report. We've also heard that some Software Group employees in Rochester, Minnesota also lost their jobs," said Lee Conrad, Alliance at IBM.

IBM is not divulging any numbers or locations of lay-offs. Some claiming to have inside knowledge say that 1,400 jobs were shed in the U.S. and Canada.

According to a blogger, on the Alliance at IBM website, five people were laid off from the Software Group in Rochester.

The blogger named "Overworked in SWG Roch" wrote: "My team was just RA'ed from 8 people to 3. Yes, that's 5 people layed off, not because my team doesn't have work to do. It was because we just restructured in 4q08, and through the luck of the draw, this team picked up 4 people who were just axed and reduced one person who has been around for years."

In a day and age where IP addresses are easily traceable, many people come here to the Rochester Public Library where their identity and their IP address can remain anonymous, including IBM'ers.

"We are the only internet cafe in town, if you will, that's free. Or supported by your tax dollars," said Frank Hawthorne of the Rochester Public Library.

And though IBM is not saying much about the lay-offs, bloggers, like "Overworked in SWG Roch" are sounding off all over the worldwide web from all over the country.

"People are very shaken by this right now," said Conrad.

Conrad says that there are more rumors of cuts, specifically in the System and Technology Group, which is also in Rochester. They're supposed to happen next Monday and Tuesday.

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