NEW YORK (CNN) -- IBM employees being laid off in North America now have an alternative to joining the growing ranks of the unemployed - work for the company abroad.
Only "satisfactory performers" who are "willing to work on local terms and conditions" should pursue the jobs, the document says. IBM would not immediately confirm if it means that the workers would be paid local wages and would be subject to local labor laws.
One need only look at the compensation and stock options available to IBM's CEO and Chairman Sam Palmisano to grow angry: his salary alone is $1.8 million. On Feb. 1st he sold 55,253 shares worth $5,103,167. Let's see him go to India and work for local pay.
Workers at IBM say the technology company launched a round of layoffs Wednesday, a day after announcing a boost in profits. A union official estimated the cuts at 2,900, but said an exact count isn't available.
On Tuesday, IBM reported a 12 percent increase in earnings in the fourth quarter of 2008 over the same period in 2007.
The next day, Alliance@IBM, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, posted news that job cuts had begun. Laid-off workers began leaving comments about their own statuses on the Alliance@IBM Web site. "I was whacked yesterday," wrote one, who signed the comment as Lexington. "29 years 10 months."
Doug Shelton, an IBM spokesman, declined to say how many people were being let go. "We are not communicating that information," he said.
International Business Machines Corp.'s chief executive, Samuel Palmisano, advised the Obama transition team last month that $30 billion in government investments in expanding broadband access, computerizing health-care records and improving the electrical grid could create more than 900,000 U.S. jobs.
The IBM presentation came in response to a November request from the Obama advisers for an analysis of the job-creation impact of information-technology investments. IBM said that Mr. Palmisano made the presentation in a conference call with transition team members including Carol Browner, who has been named the White House coordinator of energy and climate policy, and Julius Genachowski, a top technology adviser for the president-elect.
There's a certain inevitability to that last. In the quest for really horrible advice from cretinous IT CEOs, Obama was handicapped. Carly Fiorina, Hewlett Packard's quondam destroyer, had already been snapped up by McCain. Poor old Democrats. Always having to settle for second best.