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1 Aug, 2019 17:33

IBM accused of sacking 100,000 workers to appear ‘cool’ & ‘trendy’

IBM accused of sacking 100,000 workers to appear ‘cool’ & ‘trendy’

Information technology company IBM is facing a number of lawsuits over firing some 100,000 employees to boost its appeal to younger generations and make it appear “cool” and “trendy” instead of “an old fuddy duddy organization.”

IBM, which is short for International Business Machines Corp., has been hit by several lawsuits accusing the tech giant of discrimination against older workers, including a class-action case in Manhattan and individual civil lawsuits in California, Pennsylvania and Texas.

According to the Manhattan case, the company started trying to “correct [its] seniority mix” back in 2014, as Bloomberg reported.

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Back then, IBM began sacking elderly workers to substitute them with the younger generation, who the company’s consulting department claimed to be “generally much more innovative and receptive to technology.

The charge also came up in a case deposition filed on Tuesday in Texas by Alan Wild, IBM’s former vice president of human resources. He claimed the company had “laid off 50,000 to 100,000 employees in just the last several years.” Wild stated that IBM was short of talented new recruits and chose to draw in potential workers among millennials by showing them that instead of being “an old fuddy duddy organization” it was “as cool [and] trendy” as Google and Amazon.com Inc. All of that was done by ridding its ranks of the older workforce, as documents from the ongoing age discrimination lawsuit showed. The company, however, held its ground, claiming that everything was done to please clients.

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“We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher value opportunities for our clients. The company hires 50,000 employees each year,” the company said in a comment to Business Insider.

The tech firm has seen nearly seven straight years of revenue decreases. Over the past 10 years, it fired thousands of workers apparently trying to cut costs as well as reform the workforce. Last year, the total number of IBM employees had fallen to its lowest point since 2013, with its global workforce down to 350,600 from nearly 425,000.

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