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UK Staff In Firing Line From More IBM Cuts

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

IBM is reportedly planning to shift its workforce to countries with cheaper workers such as India and China

According to reports, IBM is preparing to eliminate thousands of jobs in the United Kingdom and Germany as part of an effort to move more positions to less expensive markets.

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IBM already has laid off nearly 10,000 workers this year in the US and now, according to the Alliance@IBM, which has been monitoring the ongoing cuts, Big Blue is set to eliminate thousands of jobs in Britain, Germany and Ireland.

A report from The Observer, a British news outlet, said: “We expect many job cuts in Ireland, Germany and the UK in the coming months,” said Lee Conrad, national co-coordinator for Alliance@IBM, an American advocacy group for IBM workers.

The job cuts come as IBM stands out as a shining star in the technology sector amid the recession. For its fourth quarter 2008, which ended 31 Dec, 2008, IBM posted a profit of $4.4 billion, up 12 percent over the same period a year before. IBM is set to announce its financial results for the first quarter of 2009 on 20 April. Moreover, the job cuts also come as IBM is vying for stimulus funds from the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, the Alliance@IBM organisation also is calling on workers at HP and Sun Microsystems to organise. A call out on the Alliance@IBM web site said:

“To EDS/HP and Sun Microsystems employees: Tired of not being listened to by corporate management? Maybe it’s time to organize your own “Alliance”. The Alliance@IBM is an IBM employee organization working to get collective bargaining rights with IBM.”