IBM began its $1 billion cost-cutting "rebalancing" effort on Thursday, and the full impact on New York remains to be seen.
The Alliance@IBM workers group says its members reported layoffs in Poughkeepsie and Endicott as well as about 140 in Burlington, Vt., home to one of IBM's semiconductor factories.
There was no word on layoffs in East Fishkill, site of IBM's most advanced computer chip factory. The facility is closely aligned with the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, where IBM does much of its early-stage computer chip manufacturing research.
IBM, based in Westchester County, agreed to a deal on Monday with the NanoCollege, preserving hundreds of jobs in Albany and East Fishkill through the end of 2016.
But officials at IBM and in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office have refused to say how much the agreement — which covers 3,100 jobs in the state — will protect IBM jobs in the Hudson Valley in this round of cuts.
IBM was eliminating as many as 15,000 jobs worldwide Thursday as part of a $1 billion companywide cost-cutting program that targets IBM's hardware divisions, which have their roots in upstate New York.
In a statement issued Thursday, IBM did not give details of the job cuts, although it said it plans to create 500 new jobs in Buffalo and that it has 3,000 jobs openings across the United States.
"As reported in our recent earnings briefing, IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high-value segments of the IT industry. To that end, IBM is positioning itself to lead in areas such as cloud, analytics and cognitive computing and investing in these priority areas," IBM spokesman Doug Shelton said in a statement. "IBM's total workforce has remained stable over the past three years, and IBM now employs more than 400,000 people worldwide."
Although many Hudson Valley political leaders were glad IBM agreed to maintain thousands of upstate jobs over the next two years and add jobs in Buffalo, some were upset that IBM did not disclose the exact number of cuts and where they occurred.
"I commend the governor's recent deal with IBM, and have been advocating strongly on behalf of the jobs in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill," said state Sen. Terry Gipson, a Democrat whose district includes Dutchess County, home to thousands of IBM workers. "However, I remain very concerned with the lack of transparency on IBM's side, especially because (it receives) taxpayer dollars, and that these are hard-working families whose jobs we are talking about. I continue to watch the situation very closely, and remain in touch with local and state officials."
"In the Hudson Valley, IBM cut over 3,500 jobs after receiving $93 million in subsidies," said Tomas Garduno, political director of the Alliance for a Greater New York, a public advocacy group in Manhattan. "Without reforms such as mandatory clawbacks, there's no guarantee that Buffalo won't have a similar experience."
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