Tags: ibm | layoffs | new york | vermont

IBM Layoffs: New York Spared as Vermont Workers Brace for Cuts

Image: IBM Layoffs: New York Spared as Vermont Workers Brace for Cuts

Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 09:31 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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IBM workers in New York have been reprieved from layoffs but Vermont workers were bracing for job cuts on Thursday, according to union officials.

New York IBM employees were expecting a round of job cuts until Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an economic-development agreement in Dutchess County on Monday, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. 

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Cuomo said Monday that "IBM will preserve 3,100 jobs in the Hudson Valley and the surrounding areas. We wanted to make sure."

The state will invest $55 million in IBM so the company can establish a site near Buffalo, which will employ 500 residents.

IBM is the largest private employer in mid-Hudson Valley. The company slashed 697 jobs in Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill in September, leaving some 7,000 employed in Dutchess County. IBM has not officially announced how the deal will affect those who are currently employed.

Vermont's WPTZ-TV reported Wednesday that workers at IBM's Big Blue plant are expecting to hear news about job cuts on Thursday, according to union representatives. IBM cut 419 employees last summer.

The Alliance@IBM told its members this month that layoffs are coming, but it is unclear how many and which departments would be affected.

"Reports from IBM employees are that management meetings with employees will be held tomorrow," Lee Conrad, of the national alliance's office, told WPTZ-TV. "Ideally it is IBM that should be giving IBM workers up-to-date information and not leaving it to the rumor mill, but it appears IBM is shirking that responsibility."

The Vermont Department of Labor has to be notified of sizable layoffs. IBM declined to comment Wednesday on the reported Vermont job cuts.

"We don't comment on rumor and/or speculation," an IBM spokesman told WPTZ-TV.

Dutchess County executive Marcus Molinaro said he hopes the New York agreement will relieve workers of their suspense.

"It's good for those who will not lose their jobs," Molinaro said. "It is good for those who may be reemployed by IBM, and it's good for Dutchess County – in the context of stabilizing job losses and focusing on recovery."

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