IBM employees plan protest at shareholders’ meeting

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(Host) Former IBM employees will be in Providence, Rhode Island on Tuesday to attend the company’s annual shareholder meeting. They plan to protest the company’s recent decision to move some jobs offshore. And they hope to win support for shareholder resolutions that would restore benefits and reduce executive compensation.

Ralph Montefusco used to work at the IBM plant in Essex Junction and now is an organizer for “Alliance @ IBM,” a union for the high tech industry.

(Montefusco) “In fact it’s the only opportunity for employees and retirees to have a chance to voice their concerns. Because this is the only opportunity where you get to communicate directly with the people that run the company, the CEO and the board of directors.”

(Host) Montefusco says the trend by the company toward off-shoring will eventually hurt the company.

(Montefusco) “They may add something to the shareholders’ returns on a very short term basis. But what it does is it have a very negative effect on both the company brand, because you’re hollowing out the company brand by offshoring. It also has a negative effect on the people, who are working there.”

(Host) The former employees will also protest IBM’s decision to make its retirees pay a larger portion of health care costs.

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