IBM and other companies aren't required to notify government officials of layoffs unless the cutbacks reach a threshold set in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also known as the WARN Act. The provisions of that law apply when there are 500 or more layoffs at one location. But at IBM, job cuts can be scattered among different facilities in the U.S. and other countries.
Mark Loughridge, IBM's chief financial officer, indicated that some restructuring was underway at the company during a January conference call about its fourth-quarter financial results. In Loughridge's prepared remarks, he said that IBM "will continue our focus on structural changes that reduce our spending levels and improve productivity in 2009."
The message board on the Alliance@IBM Web site lets people post anonymously, so it's hard to gauge the authenticity of comments - but they're often detailed, and they use acronyms that are familiar to IBM employees. In one post today, an anonymous poster wrote: "My manager has not said anything to me yet but I am already preparing myself for the news."
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