IBM France to lay off 5% of its workforce Computerworld

The French subsidiary of IBM announces a plan to safeguard employment (PSE) which would affect up to 114 people. Hardware and software maintenance activities as well as support and research are concerned. The first meeting with the unions is due to take place on January 5th.

Massive blow for IBM’s France teams. This December 14, the agenda of the CSE Central of December 14 was as follows: “Information with a view to consultation on the proposed reorganization of the activities ofIBM France SAS as well as on the social and environmental consequences of the project (Book II)”. The local subsidiary of Big blue is therefore working on a job protection plan (PSE), resulting in the disappearance of 5% of its workforce, which could represent up to 140 jobs if we rely on the figures. of the CFDT, and 114 people according to a spokesperson for IBM France. The latter adds that the other countries are not concerned. “IBM is liquidating, among other things, its last industrial activities at the Montpellier plant. The company is also making staff reductions in hardware and software maintenance activities, support functions and research laboratories,” said an IBM union.

On its blog, Big Blue’s CFDT reacted strongly to the announcement, remembering the 2020-2021 PSEs which had shaken the company. “IBM is again using a social plan to achieve its strategic alignments and stay in the race against the new challenges of computing in the era of cloud and artificial intelligence. It is therefore a reduction in the workforce in order, on the one hand, to relocate the last industrial activities to the USA and, on the other hand, to increase profits by continuing the policy of moving jobs to low-income countries. cost, in particular from Eastern Europe and India”, specifies the CFDT.

The ESPs of 2020-2021 are remembered

As a reminder, at the end of 2020, IBM launched a massive project to reduce its payroll with, worldwide, up to 40,000 positions affected, including 10,000 in Europe. France had been hit hard with 1,200 to 1,400 jobs at risk on the entire workforce (5,200 people). A month later, in November, she announced a spin-off of its Managed Infrastructure Services entity hitherto attached to its Global Technology Services division, in order to refocus its strategy on the hybrid cloud. The objective: to raise the bar and above all its turnover, which had been falling for several quarters. In the end, this restructuring led to the departure of 1,251 employees representing 25% of the workforce in France.

Shortly after this episode – during 2021 – IBM made headlines again by separating from Global Technology Services and giving birth to Kyndryl, which does exactly what the managed infrastructure services unit did. This new business name later became a separate company from IBM. The separation of the two companies should allow them to innovate and work with new partners. On this subject, the CFDT expresses a deep feeling and indicates that IBM France “continues the policy of “profitable decline”, which risks not being sustainable over time”. The union points to several contradictory facts. IBM France will benefit from €60 million in 2021, has a sufficient cash reserve and benefits from the research tax credit (CIR). Also cited are the end-of-career measures taken by the American to manage his age pyramid (average age close to 50 at IBM France SAS). “A vicious circle has set in where, on the one hand, IBM puts pressure and, on the other, many employees are waiting for a departure plan”.

IBM closes its last factory in France

To date, IBM has approximately 48,000 employees in Europe, including 4,500 in France (including IBM France SAS and various subsidiaries). In the present case, only IBM France SAS, which employs 2,800 people, is affected by the new job protection plan. At the local level, the Montpellier site could be strongly impacted. Since the closure of its Montpellier factory, IBM has only had one service activity there and, according to the statements of the CFDT, around thirty jobs are threatened there. Big blue has other companies in France: an IBM Service Center developer center in Lille with around 600 people, an IBM Interactive consultant center with around 1,000 people and IFF (financing – leasing) which brings together around forty people.

the independent union UNSA IBM indicates that “negotiations will begin at the beginning of 2023 with the aim of signing a company agreement which would improve the proposed starting conditions, these not being, for the moment, at the level of the PSE of 2020 and 2021”. The first negotiation meeting will take place on Thursday, January 5, 2023. Contacted during the writing of this article, IBM has not yet responded to our request for comment.

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IBM France to lay off 5% of its workforce Computerworld


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