IBM would consider cutting around a quarter of its workforce in...

IBM would consider cutting around a quarter of its workforce in...
IBM would consider cutting around a quarter of its workforce in...

A passerby in front of IBM’s headquarters in New York. – John Nacion / STAR MAX / IPx / AP / SIPA

The IBM group, an American IT giant, is preparing a social plan of unparalleled scope, according to the unions. The company would consider removing a quarter of the workforce in France as part of a global restructuring, or between 1,180 and 1,385 positions.

This plan, announced at the beginning of November in the European committee without precise figures for France, is a mixed “PSE (plan to safeguard employment), which must be officially presented to the trade unions on December 16, with a voluntary departure plan but also probably layoffs if there are not enough volunteers ”, explained to AFP Pierry Poquet, central union delegate Unsa.

20% of the workforce in Europe

The CFE-CGC, which confirms this information, called on Wednesday in a press release the new president of IBM France, Béatrice Kosowsky, in order to “ask her for guarantees in the face of the scale of restructuring”. These job cuts are part of a worldwide restructuring of IBM which affects “more than 20% of the workforce in Europe, or 7,700 people”, according to Unsa, “up to 25%”, according to the CFE-CGC.

Asked by AFP, the management of IBM France indicated that its “personnel decisions are taken in order to provide the best support to (its) customers in the adoption of an open hybrid cloud platform and AI [intelligence artificielle] ».

A transfer of employees to a “new structure”

“This reduction of nearly a quarter of the workforce will take place before the major reorganization announced by Arwind Krishna, CEO of IBM Corp, concerning the split of IBM into two separate companies by the end of 2021”, explains CFE-CGC. “This split between on the one hand, NewCo, which will take over the outsourcing activities (infrastructure service) and on the other, RemainCo, provides for a transfer of around a thousand positions in France to the new structure”, Frank Setruk, CFE-CGC central union delegate told AFP. This could lead, according to him, to the “reduction of nearly 50% of the current 5,000 staff of IBM France”.

For Pierry Poquet (Unsa), “it’s a change of strategy, IBM is separating itself from all outsourcing, getting rid of old jobs and older employees (employees over 50 are the majority in France) to focus on the new (cloud, artificial intelligence) with fewer people, younger ”. “The situation for those who will stay is also very worrying because what will be the impacts of these massive departures on their workload? Will they be able to complete their missions next year? “Asks the CFE-CGC.

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