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Layoffs reported at IBM, union organizers say

Workers at IBM's Research Triangle Park campus are braced for another round of layoffs in the wake of reports that the technology giant is implementing job cuts across North America.

Alliance@IBM, a group that has been trying to unionize Big Blue's work force for years and serves as an unofficial clearinghouse for layoffs at the company, reported on its website Wednesday morning that so far the jobs of 121 employees in the company's storage systems development group have been eliminated. The tally wasn't broken down by location.

"There will be more," union organizer Lee Conrad said in an email. Alliance@IBM, part of the Communications Workers of America, estimates job cuts based on the notices affected workers receive. The notices disclose how many people in a worker's particular units were laid off.

Several anonymous posts on the Alliance@IBM website Wednesday reported that jobs are being cut in RTP.

IBM spokesman Doug Shelton said in an email: "Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model. Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans."

IBM has thousands of workers in RTP but hasn't specified how many for years.

Mark Loughridge, IBM's chief financial officer, said during a conference call in April that the company anticipated a nearly $1 billion charge for "workforce rebalancing" this year, and that the job cuts would be concentrated in the second quarter.

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