IBM France is preparing to face a major restructuring

IBM France unions, including UNSA and CFE-CGC, say the restructuring plan planned by the French branch of the publisher could be the largest ever known at IBM France. On the UNSA IBM blog, a November 19 post indicates that the new restructuring plan could affect between 1,180 and 1,385 jobs, or a quarter of the French workforce.

Negotiations have been taking place since the beginning of November between the unions and the management of the company. The plan, which is due to be officially presented by management on December 16, is expected to take the form of voluntary departures. But the unions fear, given its scale, that it will also be accompanied by layoffs if the number of volunteers turns out to be insufficient.

In a press release, the CFE-CGC recalls that this plan should be implemented before the reorganization announced by the CEO of IBM Corp, which aims to split the company into two separate entities. The union is therefore worried about the consequences of massive restructuring on employees and calls on the new leader of the France entity on the questions and concerns raised by this announcement.

Not a first

The CFDT for its part gives the breakdown of job cuts planned by Business Unit: the GTS (Global Technology Services) division should be the most affected, with job cuts estimated between 510 and 580, but all internal entities of ‘IBM France will be affected. The figures given for the moment are only indicative, and the exact number of posts affected by this PSE will be communicated at the beginning of December.

This is not the first time that IBM France has faced a plan of this type: the French subsidiary of the publisher had already experienced several social plans in the past years. At the end of the 90s, the French entity of the group had no less than 26,000 employees, a figure which is now reduced to 5,200 people.

IBM’s new leader, Arvind Krishna, announced in October his intention to reorient the company through a split. One of the branches thus created will focus mainly on the cloud, relying on the takeover of Red Hat, while the other company (for the moment only known as NewCo) will take over the activity of managed service currently offered by IBM. This split should be implemented at the end of 2021.

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