IBM doesn’t want to promise that it will maintain jobs in exchange for a new round of discounts on its electric bills. The Public Service Board recently approved the discounts under an economic development agreement between Vermont’s largest employer and Green Mountain Power Corporation.
The board historically has tied such discounts to promises of new jobs. It said that this time, it would reward IBM for maintaining jobs, but that the discounts would end if IBM cuts its payroll by more than five percent.
IBM is arguing that such job cuts would come only if its Vermont plant weren’t competitive in the computer chip marketplace. IBM says that losing its electric rate discounts would only make it worse.