A widely expected new round of layoffs has begun at IBM sites across the country, including its sprawling campus in Research Triangle Park.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator for Alliance@IBM, a union that has been long trying to organize the technology giant’s workers, said in an email message: “Reports are coming in on IBM job cuts from around the country and in various business units.”
Conrad added that the union doesn’t know the depth of the job cuts.
The company previously said that it would lay off “several thousand people.” This week it derided a widely disseminated report that said that the company planned to lay off nearly one-fourth of its workers, or 100,000 employees, as “ridiculous.”
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“This is not new news,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “IBM announced a $600 million workforce rebalancing charge in 4Q, 2014.”
IBM further noted, as it has in the past, that it is continually “realigning our client teams to provide an optimal mix of skills, so that we can continue to improve service levels, enhance productivity and keep our clients well positioned for the future.
"We continue to hire and develop key skills in the US and global workforce,” IBM concluded. “In fact, we currently have approximately 15,000 open positions, nearly half of which support the growing areas of our business."
IBM employs thousands at its RTP campus but has steadfastly refused to specify how many workers it has locally for years. Nor has it been willing provide details of past waves of layoffs, either in the aggregate or at RTP and other sites.
IBM’s sales have been slumping. Last week it released disappointing quarterly earnings as revenue and profit both declined compared to a year ago.