Union: IBM layoffs now 4200 -- may go higher

IBM won't disclose plan, but union fears as many as 16000 may lose their jobs

The Times Herald Record reported that layoffs there may be close to 700.

In Rochester, Minn. there was a report of layoffs, as well as reports of layoffs at the company's operations at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.

Conrad said Alliance@IBM has heard reports that as many as 16,000 employees may lose their jobs. He said some of the employees who are getting cut are have been training workers from IBM facilities in Brazil, India and other places to take over their jobs.

Others have been cut on the basis of performance reviews, and some because of a general job action. The Alliance@IBM is a Communications Workers of America local that doesn't have enough members to gain official recognition as a bargaining unit.

It is hard to know how many of the job cuts occurring at IBM or any of other firms that have announced cutbacks, are due to the economy or part of the gradual shift of some types of works to overseas locations.

Labour group Washington Alliance of Technology Workers said Monday that Microsoft's India operations were not being reduced in size as part of its plan to cut 5000 jobs, something Microsoft confirms.

But the vendors have also been hit by the general economic downturn as business customers delay equipment purchases and other upgrades.

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Patrick Thibodeau

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