A global alliance of trade unions will today join with international labour groups, works councils and IBM employees in a show of solidarity against Big Blue's controversial plan to slash 10,000 to 13,000 jobs.
In conjunction with a day of action planned for 23 May, some 25 IBM unions and works councils promised "individual and co-ordinated actions".
The unions are planning solidarity strikes in Europe, while [email protected] members and co-workers in the US will wear black and blue to "signify the pain caused by job cuts". A 10-minute "silent" break nationwide will begin toady at 1 pm EDT.
In another campaign, spouses of "terminated employees" in the US will send emails and other communications to IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano detailing the effects that the job losses will have on their families.
The global alliance issued the following statement calling on IBM to reconsider the job cuts: "The trade unions, works councils and employee representatives at IBM worldwide issue this joint statement expressing our grave concern over IBM's recent announcement of job cuts of 10,000 to 13,000 employees worldwide.
"We believe that the restructuring proposed by IBM senior management is the wrong direction for employees, the company and its customers."
The alliance urged workers and management not to forget that IBM is a wealthy and successful company that acquired 19 businesses in 2004, and recently increased the dividend to shareholders.
The protestors highlighted IBM's first-quarter 2005 profit of $1.4bn, and $9 billion for the whole of 2004, and insisted that workers should not be put before profits.
Representatives called on IBM to arrange for "timely and faithful full disclosure and transparency of the restructuring plans".
They also urged Big Blue to explore cost cutting with employee representatives that would not involve axing jobs, and the establishment of retraining programmes for those threatened with redundancy.
In addition the protestors called for moves to ensure that wages and working conditions are equal for similar work, wherever the job is located.
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