IBM to Cut 1,315 Jobs in U.S., Union Says

IBM, the world's largest technology services company, is cutting 1,315 services-related jobs in the United States, a union trying to organize IBM workers said on Tuesday.

The cuts affect employees in a variety of areas including computer server systems operations, technology integration and management and financial services, said the Alliance at IBM , a union group affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, on its Web site.

Union representatives were not immediately available for comment. International Business Machines had 355,766 employees worldwide at the end of 2006, according to its annual report.

IBM spokesman John Bukovinsky said he could not confirm the number of job cuts. He said such cuts "should not be a surprise" as the company indicated after its latest earnings report on April 17 that it planned to cut costs in the United States.

Bukovinsky said the company does not anticipate a charge against earnings for the job cuts, which he characterized as normal for a services business that is dependent on the changing demands of clients.

"We're putting in place a series of actions to address our U.S. cost base, including a basic focus on resource and cost management disciplines and rebalancing of resources as we execute our global resource strategy," Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge said on a conference call with analysts on April 17, according to a transcript of the call.

Loughridge said in April that IBM's first quarter was "noticeably weaker" in the United States, especially in the industrial, financial services and communications industries.

The job cuts follow an IBM announcement on Monday that it planned to hire 500 people at a new customer call center in Daleville, Indiana, through 2010. The $2.9 million project is in addition to other IBM plans to hire another 500 employees in Indiana in the next three years.