back to article Before IBM started axing staff, it told them Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs

In the halcyon days of April, before IBM initiated its latest round of mass redundancies, the IT giant told staff in its Australian and New Zealand operations to take a break – and brace for a deluge of post-lockdown work in the third quarter of 2020. The Register has encountered emails sent by senior management of IBM’s ANZ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM are scum, annual leave should be taken when the employee wants to, not when IBM want to save paying wages.

    there's no point getting 4 weeks a year, if you have to take 1 week a quarter, how can anyone go away for a decent holiday like that?

    You can't de-stress in one week!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Has an employment law been broken here?

      They told everyone to take 5 days leave on the "false" promise of post lock-down work and a potentially busy block of work where leave may not get granted.

      Then laid them off. When you leave, the accrued leave comes off the end date or paid back if you go that day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was thinking the same - 5 days x <# of staff> is quite the discount. It's especially evil because the laid off staff would actually need that money to tie them over while they try and find new jobs.

        That's just filthy IMHO, and ought to cost them a fine of double of what they tried to save with this - and still have to pay out those days.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM was great.

    Sadly I am so glad I took VR when I could.

  3. trevorde Silver badge

    Take some leave DCM

    Don't Come Monday

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    did you write

    IBM think about something ?? Implausible

  5. Bob Vistakin

    Experienced as both customer and employyee

    Late 80's at BT using their mainframes and "support", late 90's as a GTS employee onsite at BAe.

    Both gave exactly the same impression - IBM were no different to any of the others apart from one aspect - they charged the customer 10x more. How did they continue to get business, with only large corporates/gov as clients? Well, the last time I posted anything about that here the post was deleted, so lets leave it to the imagination and see how we get on this time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Experienced as both customer and employyee

      Surely the answer is simple and inoffensive? What seems like a lot of money to an SME is peanuts to large corporates and the US government. It's like footballers giving their one night stands £500 quid not because they think they are whores but because that's what they'd spend on a limo home after a night out.

      IBM runs into problems when it tries to be cost competitive, look at the Somerset County Council saga.

      1. Bob Vistakin

        Re: Experienced as both customer and employyee

        Gritted teeth ... tongue bitten ... tenders lost, then whole process mysteriously scrapped and awarded with no bidding malarkey because that only "costs money" ... Two week Bermudan "conferences" for whole family ... seen first hand ... cough cough

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    double think

    > before the deepening coronavirus crisis prompted IBM to re-think what clients actually need

    Or possibly before the deepening crisis prompted IBM's customers to re-think what they needed.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    .... super busy for the employees ‘fortunate enough’ to keep their job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ahh, of course, those ones a re told they "are lucky to have a job" have to do the work of everyone who has been RAd and won't be getting any pay increases.

  8. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    Most companies are scummy..

    Although IBM excels at it. The company I work for did something similar--we all had to take part of our vacation, plus a work reduction of 1 day/week, plus a pay cut. The temporary pay cut hurts, but I wasn't that upset with it, as between vacation and the work reduction, it's the most stress-free I've been in a decade.

    Of course, 2 months later and still dealing with Coronavirus, there were sudden unexpected layoffs, actually terminations, where people were made redundant. Which really sucks, but I do have my eyes open and have noticed that the economy is not great, and many companies are doing this. One thing I had respected up to that point was that my employer seemed to be doing everything in their power to not reduce staff to cope. Oh, did I mention that these layoffs were permanent? No chance of people getting their jobs back after the dust settles? And a few very senior people, who are going to be hard to replace.

    But what really galls me about the situation though is the global conference call the next day talking about how financially healthy we are and how everything is going great. Our department, chronically understaffed and overworked, like so many IT departments, lost 2 employees to natural attrition, not layoffs. But the positions are not being backfilled--we all just get more work. Yay. And our budget for new equipment is cut to the bone. Of course I'm just grateful to have a job at this point when so many do not.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, Q3 will be super busy, those who still remain will be doing their own work, plus the work of the people no longer employed. by IBM - just don't expect your share of their salary at the same time....

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Super busy for .whom? The company shysters or the regular grunts?

  10. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs

    "Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs" ... and it may even be true, but those jobs are all going to be in India. It's a shame that anyone still trusts IBM to do quality work when they're just shipping it all offshore to be done by people who work for 10% of the cost but only produce 2% of the quality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs

      They might have hired the project manager in India by Q3.

      Actually starting work? They might need to wait for graduation on 2021 for the next lot of naïve graduates to pay as little as possible on systems that were abandoned when IBM made the last admins redundant two years ago.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs

        Vast majority of the IBM project managers are in India and work on the Indian time zone so I was putting in a full day of work before the Indian PM's would start pinging me on Sametime or ringing me at 6pm well into the night. They soon learned that I refused to work with them until they worked the same hours as myself and the customer.

        IBM pushes every quarter for FTE's to take 5 days leave to 'rest and recover' when we all knew it was about the financials. I'm one of those who have been given the flick and I was glad I didn't take any of my leave in 1st or 2nd quarter because IBM pays the absolute bare minimum that the law decrees. They used to be more generous and your got paid out for your years of service but now they use the legislation that was enacted more to help small and medium enterprises by capping total weeks paid to make sure they pay the very least they can.

  11. ZenCoder

    Sadly people that I love and care about work for companies irresponsibly acquired by IBM

    Let's do a poll if you feel the IBM respects and values it's employees down vote me .

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The truth...

    The planned Q3 boom was to fix the Q2 screw ups.

    The reality is lockdown has demonstrated how ineffective IBM outsourcing is - did you need significant business changes to cope with staff working from home? IBM will have a proposal for you in 3-6 months for 10x what you would pay someone competent to do it.

  13. CujoDeSoque

    You were already doing the work of three, so let's do the good news/bad news bit!

    I'll tell you the bad news first: Now you're going to be super busy! You're now doing the work of five.

    Now for the good news! I'm getting my bonuses this year.

  14. richdin

    Once it was the other way around...

    Back in the good ole days, I worked for IBM and the company had a fantastic way to get us to use our vacation days - when we had a short business trip, for example a 48hr jaunt to London, the company would induce us to buy the week long ticket (which was much cheaper than flying out Monday and returning the day after)... and the savings on the ticket was applied to your extended hotel stay. It didn't cost the company a penny more, and got us to reduce our vacation days balance (which was a direct hit on the company's bottom line as these needed to be set aside on the budget). Not to mention doing wonders for morale. A win-win.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much for the humanising influence of Red Hat

    Good way to start, Arvind!

  16. The Pi Man

    Probably only any use if you’re in the UK

    Where the fuck did it all go so badly wrong?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM Lie to employees (time for a new board and to realize employees make a company)

    The last CEO Ginni as the pandemic happened mentioned IBM was going to be ok, enough money etc...that was a lie...then the layoffs...its horrible. The company always lays off to keep the dividend from being cut, very dirty ways of doing business. I hope Him from Redhat can turn things around, I have doubts with Arvind the CEO unless profits return (new marketing and ease to purchase need to be implemented on the site...its like a rabbit hole)....

    For the sake of the dividend, reinvent with the employees, do not axe headcount....learn how to sell, learn how to evolve and invest. Do not can profitable parts of the company for higher profit margins. Learn how to utilize employees better, but do not axe them, it only hurts everyone including IBM.

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