Age Discrimination

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richcabot's picture
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Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 226
Age Discrimination

Though it's undoubtedly an issue at many companies, IBM has become expert at dumping older workers and skirting the laws intended to prevent it.  The recent article at ProPublica details their actions.

TechGuy's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 453
Re:IBM Age related layoffs

I am sure this is not going to be popular, but consider that Technology is an ever changing business. Generally Old workers resist change and are less willing learn new technologies. Younger workers are usually more eager learn new technologies.

In the 1980s Computer technology was evolving from mainframe computer into Personal computers. IBM let go workers that supported their declining mainframe market. Companies reduce staff in non-profitable or declining profitable business. Usually older markets are supported by older experienced workers, but when sales decline of older products and services they reduces costs to avoid losses. No company is in business as a charity and can only afford to retain workers that generate a profit or at least break even.

That said, The companies that I work with are retaining older workers and avoiding hiring younger inexperienced & unreliable workers. I see almost no millennials working these companies. However I do see them reducing staff as companies update system with new automation technology that reduces the need for human staff. Companies are getting squeezed by rising taxes, regulation and especally soar healthcare premiums. As employee cost rise, and profits shrink, companies are under pressure to reduce costs anyway they can. Currently the most effective way is to reduce staff.

Older workers can avoid getting downsized by remaining value to the company as the companies business model changes. That involves updating their skills and remaining productive to the companies needs. Companies also can value to adapt to a changing markets and can fail. One must also be willing to switch employers to avoid becoming obsolete. Consider if you were a Mainframe programmer in teh 1980's. It would be prudent to learn about newer technologies to avoid become an obsolete worker. 


MKI's picture
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Joined: Jan 12 2009
Posts: 77
IBM Age related layoffs

They got rid of a group of highly skilled, highly effective, highly respected women, including me, for a reason nobody knows

If these workers are so skilled, effective, and respected, why would other companies not be lined up to get them? Snort. Companies find clever ways to get rid of these special snowflakes just to protect the people who actually do the work. These folk really need to seek a union or government job, where everyone just punches the clock and no actual production has to be done.

We all know the truth: These workers are usually overpaid, have worse attitudes, and have way higher expectations than most younger workers do. Why? Younger workers have had to compete with a flood of foreign workers, especially in tech, and generally get screwed. In addition, non-minority men are actively discriminated against in favor of women and minorities, and thus the ones who are left are generally far better and hungry workers. I've seen it dozens of times.

The whole age "discrimination" is a red herring. I'm the age of the people in the article, and I can honestly say that if anyone has gotten screwed, it's the younger workers in favor of older generations. No pensions. Floods of hungry workers and lots of outsourcing. Many can't even get a job to get any experience to get started! The very last people I'm worried about? People my age, like in the article.

thatchmo's picture
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Posts: 476
Unemployed?  Come to Hawaii! 

Unemployed?  Come to Hawaii!  Unemployment rate reported to be around 2.1%.  But please do your due diligence on how a move might affect all aspects of your life.  My Craigslist ads for employees generally go unanswered....Aloha, Steve.

SingleSpeak's picture
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Joined: Nov 30 2008
Posts: 507


I've found getting better results than Craigslist lately. I'm in CA.


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