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From: Occupazione, Attivita' Produttive, Scorpori; Presenza produttiva IBM in Italia: quale futuro? (Italian version); Santa Palomba and Vimercate plants (mainly in Italian); European IBM Committee, IWIS, International Relations (English and Italian)


On Wednesday, February 10, 1999 a meeting between the unions (FIM-FIOM-UILM of Milan, Brianza,
Rome, Pomezia and other areas, IBM RSU National Coordination) and IBM Italy was hold in Milan,
at the Industrial Association of Lombardy: the meeting, according to the agreement of February
20, 1998, had the purpose to verify the results of 1998 and the prospects of 1999 with
particular reference to the situation of the plants.
IBM Italy description of the situation includes:
- positive results in general for 1998
- good prospects for 1999
- employee reduction in 1998 of 244 persons
- expectation of employment increase in 1999 of 346 persons, essentially contractors

IBM declared that for the domestic activities 1999 will be substantially without problems, even
for the branch offices, while for the plants the situation seems to be very serious, especially
because of the decision to transfer to Ireland the AS/400 production.
The company confimed a possible excess of 250 workers in S.Palomba and of 100 workers
in Vimercate and asked to the unions and to the IBM RSU National Coordination to urgently
intevene with costs reduction through:
- the block of the salary dynamics
- the reduction of the better conditions of salary agreed in comparison with the National
  Collective Work Contract
- review of the company benefits
- exceptions to contractual rules and conditions
- further flexibility in hiring personnel and in working hours management

With these interventions IBM intends to achieve a reduction of the labour costs equal to
30 billions liras, to be applied only within the plants.
The company proposed besides the possibility of alternative productions with very low
profitability and, according to us, little development prospects.
FIM-FIOM-UILM and IBM RSU National Coordination underlined the inadequacy of the information
provided and the overall lack of prospects and guarantees for the future; besides, they
emphasized how, after last years agreements allowing costs reduction, flexibility increase
and consequent recovery of competitivity, the company choice intends only to maximize
the profit, continously moving to countries where there are low costs, low taxes etc.,
without keeping into account the conditions and the prospects of the
involved women and men. This is an operation without ethics that follows only market
and globalization logic.
As already happended in the past - as in the case of the peripheric branch offices -
IBM tends to divide the workers of the plants from the workers of the domestic activities,
concentrating his attack to employment and work conditions on the workers of the plants:
we think instead that each worker must worry because after the plants the company will
proceed with a further restructuring of the whole enterprise. Therefore the first thing to
do is to verify the strategy and the activities of IBM in Italy in all fields in order to
have a complete picture.
In this phase, FIM-FIOM-UILM and IBM RSU National Coordination deem essential to open a
discussion with all IBM employees and with the public bodies that must verify and control
the Italian industrial politics, also with the purpose to verify the destination and the use
of the public financing. Therefore, FIM-FIOM-UILM and IBM RSU National Coordination will ask
to meet the Industry Minister and afterwards more detailed information to IBM.
FIM-FIOM-UILM and National Coordination confirm their unavailability to negotiate rules
agreed through collective work contracts.