I was just informed that I have been “selected” …… which means, fired without cause. No reflection on my performance, it’s just IBM’s way of getting rid of older workers and replacing them with younger and/or foreign (in other words, cheaper) labor, with no regards to skills. I’ve known for years that this would eventually happen. Now I just have to figure out how to make it work to my advantage. I’m not the only one selected, there have been MANY people selected this week, and many of my coworkers and friends were impacted by the previous one in early March. My last day will be sometime in August (I haven’t read through the paperwork yet). and I get 30 days severance pay. (That’s the insult. My 33rd anniversary with IBM is on July 6 of this year, and 30 days severance is all I get….)
Many have questioned the legality of IBM’s actions in this area, specifically for “firing without cause” and also for age discrimination.
Unfortunately it’s a gray area. We are “at will” employees. We have no contract. We can leave IBM for no reason, and IBM also does not have to give us a specific reason for firing us. (Note however, that the executive team all have contracts. Go figure.) IBM also does not have to give us ANY severance pay….
IBM employs a HUGE legal team whose responsibility is to find every possible loophole to get around age discrimination. We all know that they are targeting people over 40, and especially those (like me) who are retirement eligible. Somehow they’re getting around it.
Many of you may ask, “If this is happening all the time, to so many people, why isn’t it being covered in the media?” Many people just like me have contacted the media. The media’s first response is to call up IBM and ask “What’s up?” IBM refuses to respond other than “IBM is continually reshaping its workforce”, but they will NOT discuss any details. Without a response from IBM, the media doesn’t have a story…. and so it doesn’t get covered in the newspapers or on your TV news. I might add that our mainstream media are all owned by big corporations, just like IBM is a big corporation…. and they all have similar goals.
It’s been 90 minutes since I was told about this. I’m confused, scared, angry, REALLY PISSED OFF. And, in a way, relieved. After years of knowing this was going to happen, it finally has.
Now I can actually start to plan the rest of my life. Without this huge eight bar shadow hanging over my head. (For my musical friends, that’s not eight bars of music. For my fellow wine and beer lovers, that’s not a reference to watering holes.)
If you’re still confused, check out the IBM logo… specifically the number of horizontal lines it has…..