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4,700 IBM jobs for India, China

December 15, 2003 13:18 IST

International Business Machines plans to shift over 4,000 jobs to India and China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The world's largest computer company, in one of the largest moves to 'offshore' highly paid American software jobs, will replace 4,730 of workers at IBM facilities in Southbury, Connecticut, Poughkeepsie, NY, Raleigh, North Carolina, Dallas, Boulder, Colorado, and elsewhere in the United States, said the WSJ.

The unannounced plan, outlined in company documents viewed by the WSJ.

The WSJ reported that managers have already been told, that the company has employed 500 engineers in India to take on some of the work that is to be shifted.

IBM calls its plan, first presented internally to some midlevel managers in October, 'Global Sourcing,' said the WSJ. It involves people in its Application Management Services group, a part of IBM's giant global-services operations, which comprise more than half IBM's 315,000 employees, according to the newspaper.

IBM's plan will be implemented in a phased manner over a period of some months. About 947 people are scheduled to be notified during the first half of the coming year that their work will be handled overseas in the future. It isn't yet clear how many of the other 3,700 jobs identified as 'potential to move offshore' in the IBM documents will move next year or some time later, said the WSJ.

However, the fate of some of the targeted jobs isn't certain: IBM managers still haven't figured out whether all of the work the jobs represent can be performed just as well abroad. The jobs involve updating and improving software for IBM's own business operations, reported the WSJ.

Some workers are scheduled to be informed of the plan for their jobs by the end of January. After that they will be expected to train an overseas replacement worker in the US for several weeks, the paper said.

The IBM workers marked for replacement would have 2 months to find another job inside the company, but this will be a difficult task at a time when IBM is holding down hiring, said the WSJ.

IBM, however, to comment on what it called 'internal presentations,' according to the WSJ.

IBM, the Armonk, New York-based computer giant, has over 315,000 employees globally and plans to build its services business overseas, because it makes IBM more competitive, saves its customers money and frees up funds for other purposes.