IBM Workers In Europe May Strike Over Offshoring - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy

IBM Workers In Europe May Strike Over Offshoring

Shareholders at IBM's annual meeting this week will vote on an anti-offshoring resolution.

IBM workers in Europe may strike this week over what they say is the company's ongoing movement of jobs to low-cost countries such as India and China, according to union sources. Meanwhile, a U.S. employee group is asking IBM stock owners to vote on an anti-offshoring resolution at the company's annual meeting Tuesday.

Trade unions representing IBM workers in Germany have called for protests at IBM locations countrywide on Tuesday. Employee groups at IBM France have voted to strike at facilities in Toulouse and Marseille on Wednesday. IBM workers are unionized in parts of Europe but not in the United States, though some U.S. workers belong to a loosely knit employee association.

IBM union leaders in Europe blame recent layoffs and facility closings on the company's shifting of jobs to low-cost countries in Asia and Eastern Europe. In an E-mail distributed over the weekend to IBM's European workers, union officials outlined their position succinctly: "Our main slogans are no offshoring, no layoffs!" IBM employs about 100,000 workers in Europe. The company recently said it might close German offices in Hannover and Schweinfurt.

An IBM spokesman in France says he's unaware of the impending job actions, but adds he doesn't expect any disruptions to customer service or other IBM operations. "We would expect any labor action to be held responsibly," he says.

Meanwhile, the offshoring controversy is hitting IBM closer to home. Members of a U.S.-based employee group have succeeded in placing several pro-labor resolutions on IBM shareholder ballots. One resolution requests that IBM's board of directors establish an independent committee to study the effects of offshoring on the company's "brand name and reputation." Another resolution calls for "an end to age discrimination in retirement policies." Stockholders will vote on the resolutions Tuesday in Charleston, S.C., at IBM's annual meeting.

Rick White, a staffer at Alliance At IBM, which is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, says he doesn't think the offshoring resolution will pass, "but we nonetheless want to raise public awareness of this issue."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll