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By | Timothy Prickett Morgan 13th June 2013 09:44

IBM's $1bn layoffs latest: Now axe swings in US, Canada - reports

Union claims 121 storage bods canned after dismal sales

Scores of workers have been made redundant at IBM's Systems and Technology Group in the US, according to a union, soon after the tech titan warned of sweeping job cuts worldwide.

Following a $400m shortfall in mainframe and software sales in the first quarter of 2013, employees were warned that a "workforce rebalancing" act (a Big Blue euphemism for layoffs) will take place in the second quarter. A billion dollars has been set aside for redundancy payouts and related charges, although most of that is expected to be doled out to staff working outside America. El Reg reported two weeks ago that IBM started a 45-day consultation process to let 270 people go at its UK and Ireland operations.

Today, Big Blue employee union Alliance@IBM claimed that 121 peeps on the storage systems development team in the IBM Systems and Technology Group have been axed.

Telly station WRAL - which covers the patch of North Carolina where IBM has development facilities for servers, storage and other stuff - reported that a number of Big Blue workers have been made redundant this week in the US and also Canada. The CBS affiliate added that bods at the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, where Big Blue storage engineers are based, are among the first to be cut - and that "hundreds" of employees will eventually be shown the door.

An IBM spokesperson told El Reg that the company does not comment on staffing plans or rumours about redundancies.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, appears to have an inside source aware of the layoffs, who said that the cuts affect everyone from factory workers and developers to executives.

It is feared IBM will shed something along the lines of 6,000 to 8,000 workers, judging by the size of the $1bn payout pot. All that the company's chief financial officer Mark Loughridge would say is that the bulk of that ring-fenced cash would be allocated in the second quarter, which ends this month - so there is not a lot of time left to complete this "workforce rebalancing" act. ®

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