Think of this layoff as your gateway to an exotic cross-cultural adventure

IBM may be quietly laying off thousands of workers (see “Careers abbreviated at AOL, SAP, IBM“), but it still has opportunities available. Displaced employees at its North American facilities, for instance, are being given an opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the world of cheap offshore labor.

According to an internal document obtained by InformationWeek, Big Blue has a program called Project Match that helps U.S. and Canadian workers whose jobs have been cut relocate to places where the company still has openings — specifically, developing markets like India, China and Brazil. “Should you accept a position in one of these countries,” the notice explains, “IBM offers financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move.” The tradeoff? You have to be “willing to work on local terms and conditions,” living on the low wages that helped undercut the domestic job you just lost.

The employee advocacy group Alliance@IBM sees the program as a slap in the face to go with the push out the door, saying, “IBM is not only offshoring IBM U.S. jobs but they want employees to offshore themselves through Project Match.” The company, naturally, puts it in more positive terms. “It’s more of a vehicle for people who want to expand their life experience by working somewhere else,” said a spokesman. “A lot of people want to work in India.”


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  • Funny, I can’t think of a single friend, acquaintance, or former or present co-worker who expressed any interest in relocating to India. Am I hanging out with the wrong people?

  • JCF

    The funny thing is, IBM’s CEO was one of a group of business leaders who recently met with President Obama. Most likely, Sam will be asking the US taxpayer for a handout/ subsidy/ bailout/ corporate welfare. Most likely, it will be spent on hiring more workers overseas (and giving himself a hefty paycheck and benefits.

  • I laughed my butt off when I first read about this. It’s right from an episode of The Simpsons (the one where Homer gets reassigned to a plant in India).

    “Honey, I’m home. Please gather up the kids. I’d like to have a family discussion in the living room.”

    “Well, I have good news and bad news.”

    “The good news is that I didn’t get laid off as I expected.”

    “The bad news is that IBM has relocated us to … India!!” (or China, …)

    “And did I mention that I’ll be on a domestic package. One-fifth my current comp package. But it’s a high-end domestic package. We’ll be living high among the locals.”

    The next morning the spouse files for divorce …

  • Oh, I forgot to mention something.

    This is equivalent to IBM saying to a U.S.-based employee that they’re not good enough to retain for employment in the States, but they’re still adequate for employment in India/China/… — and at one-fifth or -fourth (or -sixth?) of what they’re currently receiving.

    Did anybody really think this through?

    It may entice some ethnic Indians or Chinese who are now employed by IBM in First World countries to return home, but it’s not terribly appealing to a family with no ethnic or historical ties to the “targeted” countries.

    For a single person in their early 20’s looking for a bit of fun and adventure, it may work. But they don’t seem to be IBM’s target demographic.

    I love IBM; I hate this idea.

    BTW, I live in China — and have lived here for over 5 years. It’s not a place for the meek.

  • JSM

    Sickening, absolutely sickening. Just when you think the execs at IBM can stoop no lower, they pull another slimy move like this. The boneheads in charge are only looking to pad their stock portfolio.

    I know dozens of people hit by this layoff, it’s not 4000, more like 10,000 and none of them, not ONE would take this package with a gun to their head. They all laugh at it.

    If IBM could figure out how to get US employees to work for free, (indentured servitude come to mind?) they would.

    The offshore experiment has been a complete failure, now the execs want US workers to move to some dirthole and work for local wages so the work actually gets done.

    Thomas Watson must be spinning in his grave.

  • IBM Guy

    Neat Idea.


    Just like Planned. I was working in China when I heard the news of the IBM laptop division was sold to Lenovo China. I was shocked as I knew quality would go down. Nowadays a Lenovo/IBM is no longer a desired product. Now Back at the US. I see IBM is outsourcing their major plant to India. Unfortunately this would mean more deficient code. and Lower standard caps in all areas. I am sorry guys from India and China. I have been there. I know you work hard 12 hours or more on daily basis. but you work more to eat than for pleasure. The lack of standards and norms in these countries force to degrade products. least say the software piracy problem.

  • Flem

    Outsource the CEO. And all the other execs. These people should be hung as traitors.

  • Pissed off AMERICAN

    Your angry and disgusted and do nothing. You workers of america will take your layoff and bitch and complain and when your children cry for hunger, when unemployment runs out, like the mindless slaves and peons you are u will beg IBM, or Cisco, or Ford, or whoever for that job in some shitty hellhole. Instead of being true patriots and americans and marching on D.C and taking your country back, you sit at your computer and cry. If you looked up the definition of a weak, mindless slave, you would find a picture of the average middle class american.

    When Will YOU STAND UP!?!? When the CEOs finish taken over our goverment and order their well paid private troops come to take you by gun point to their slave camps to keep them and theirs in the lap of ridiculous luxury?

    Will you stand up when they kick you out of your homes and your children starve? WILL YOU STAND UP WHEN THEY SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO KILL OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN?

    I personally think the lot of you have no spine. You all disgust me. 10’000 laid off and none of you thought to take this to the news? Maybe stage some large protests? Maybe do what some factory workers did in india and storm the factory and show that CEO that his life blood comes from you?!?!

    Continue to blog and cry you sorry sacks of shit…. Maybe when they physically come for your children you might wake up… They are already taken the food out of their mouths, the clothes off their backs and the roofs over their heads…

    The founders of this country would be ashamed of the lot of you….

  • jimmy legaro

    What a joke. In response to this Congress MUST recind the H1-B program. Let these companies sweat as their cheap domestic labor all returns home and… HORROR.. They must hire American labor!!
    Time for massive strikes and protests! We must force Congress to act in our interests else WE WILL STARVE

  • gmathol

    What makes you think that health care is free in Europe or other countries? The only differences to the US is that health care is mandatory and every citizen has to pay half or full for its own insurance and it is tax deductible and cheaper because most of the insurance companies are controlled by the state or government.

    Sure if you can get work in Switzerland you pay at max 22% income taxes which can be reduced by 2% if you pay extra in your private pension fond. Health care in Switzerland cost you about 70-95 Dollar a month and the employer doesn’t participate. Of course you also make much more money before taxes in Switzerland in a high-tech jobs than in the US.

  • Matthew

    I currently work for these Nazi bastards (Check out Edwin Black’s book) AKA IBM and my job is being outsourced to India.

    In fact, I will start training my own replacements very shortly. how lucky me.

    Fuck IBM and Fuck Sam Palmisano for meeting Obama and making it appear like they actually give a shit about their American workforce while all the jobs are going to India.

    Once again, Fuck you.

  • ST

    Retain the talent in the US and outsource the CEO and the top management. The myth of the irreplaceable CEO is just that, a myth. Idiots.

  • Current IBMer

    IBM is not doing anything different from any other Fortune 500 company. The politicians know very well what is going on. It is a concerted effort to try and equalize the global standards of living. Reasoning is that many countries hate us for our conspicuous consumption and standard of living. We are envied the world over. Now since NAFTA (which allows it) and high speed T1 lines, the world is flat, with labor now virtualized. Fortune 500 is taking advantage of this virtulatization to minimize costs and maximize profits. Congress will allow this to happen in order to re-distribute global wealth and better living standards for growth countries, in hopes that they will like USA more, increase their middle class income which in turn will allow USA to sell them more of our products.

  • Deuce Jones

    Just another example of the technocracy selling our once great country down the river. Educate foreigners, outsource jobs and watch average Americans drown in debt. Marxism 101. Our standards once revered the world over are now diluted by corporate greed and packaged and sold in order to enslave workers for massive profits. Thanks a lot douche bags!

  • Ex-IBMer

    I’m an ex-IBM (layed off in 2006 after 13 year at IBM)and to date, I have been consulting with many of their competitors and their customers.
    All you have to do is take your money out of any financial institution that deals with IBM, in which case, IBM trusts your money to unstable overseas countries with little or no security, and your personal or business information is now in the hands of your possible future enemy. (Who knows). Any information that can be read on any screen across the POND, it can be copied and distributed.
    Do not forget, Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
    If they have been scamming imagine what else we do not know.

  • IBMer Overseas

    I’m from one of the countries IBM outsourced to (not India). I don’t see what’s so bad about living here, I mean its not like I come into the office in rags and work beside a dumpster.

    The IBM office hub I work in is 5 minutes from the university park, 1 hour away from a nature trail, and 2 hours away from ANY beach!

    Rent is low, tax is low, and my medical benefits are paid totally by IBM.

    You guys complain that you’ll be getting 1/6th your current salary? More than half your salary goes into taxes and healthcare! Your net pay probably already equals someone who works the same job here.

  • IBMer London

    I’ve worked for IBM for over 10 years in the UK. I joined IBM full of hope and expectation. I was proud to be an IBMer. After a decade in IBM, I’ve given up on them.

    In IBM you are a “resource”, not a human being, not a person. If a company can be “evil”, IBM is that company. It doesn’t give a sh1t about the many fine and talented people in its ranks. IBM has abandonned its heritage, it has forgotten the days when it ostood for something, the days when it had morals, business ethics, when it stood for decency and inspired its people.

    IBM is sowing despair in its workforce in the US, the UK, and I suspect, wordwide. In so doing, IBM is sowing the seeds of its own demise.