An IBM workers’ group said today it is unaware of any planned job cuts in New York amid an ongoing expectation that a deal Monday with the company will spare any reductions in the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and IBM announced a major deal Monday that will preserve 3,100 jobs mainly in the Hudson Valley and include the addition of 750 jobs in the semiconductor field. Gannett’s Albany Bureau reported that the belief was that the deal would stave off job cuts in New York that IBM planned globally today.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the workers’ group based in Binghamton, said in an email that he would have likely heard of any planned reductions by now, if they were taking place in New York. The union estimates that IBM has 14,000 workers in New York, half of which are in Dutchess County.
“By this time in the morning, if the cuts would take place, we would be hearing something,” Conrad said in an email. “Sometimes it takes awhile because people are working or being sent home. We believe it is IBM’s responsibility to notify the state if the job cuts have been called off.”
IBM spokesman Doug Shelton declined to comment: “I don’t comment on rumor and speculation.”
New York’s expectation has been that because of Monday’s deal, IBM wouldn’t then turn around days later and lay off workers in the state.
The sweeping agreement includes the state’s nanotechnology center paying $55 million to open a high-tech center in Buffalo with 500 jobs in exchange for preserving and adding jobs in the Hudson Valley.
The agreement includes a commitment from IBM to keep at least 3,100 high-tech jobs, mainly in Dutchess County, through 2016. It includes adding 750 jobs in the semiconductor industry that were mainly lost in Dutchess County last year through downsizing.
State officials said it would be up to IBM to officially announce its jobs’ decisions.
IBM CFO Martin Schroeter told analysts last month the company will take a “workforce re-balancing” charge of about $1 billion this year, roughly the same charge it took in 2013. Analysts estimated that could equate to about 10,000 to 15,000 workers. IBM has about 400,000 employees around the globe.