IBM lays off employees in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

IBM lays off employees in Dubuque

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IBM laid off an unknown number of employees this week at its global delivery center in Dubuque, according to an employee advocate group.

After receiving several tips Friday afternoon of the layoffs, KWWL contacted IBM officials, who were not immediately available late in the day for a comment. KWWL has multiple messages out to IBM officials and is awaiting a response.

However, Lee Conrad, the national coordinator of Alliance@IBM Communications Workers of America Local 1701 -- an IBM employee advocate group and organizing campaign seeking collective bargaining rights for IBM workers -- confirmed the cuts.

"Job cuts did occur at the IBM Dubuque site. We do not know how many at this time," Conrad wrote in an e-mail to KWWL. "We believe the state should demand IBM release the number of job cuts and how many are employed at the Dubuque facility."

Alliance@IBM has 300 members and 5,200 supporters Conrad said, adding, "We do not have recognition at IBM or a collective bargaining agreement."

Rick Dickinson is president and CEO of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation. He said he's aware of an IBM "reduction of force" globally but that the impact to Dubuque will probably be "minor."

He called IBM's Dubuque location "very healthy."

While he's aware of layoffs in Dubuque, he said the company is also hiring and "doing very well here."

The hiring and layoffs can be happening in different areas/divisions within the Dubuque location.

"They'll probably hire as many people as they laid off," Dickinson said, adding there's no threat to IBM's Dubuque location.

Tech media website CNET reported Thursday IBM spokesperson Doug Shelton wrote in a statement, "As reported in our recent earnings briefing, IBM continues to rebalance its workforce to meet the changing requirements of its clients, and to pioneer new, high value segments of the IT industry ... To that end, IBM is positioning itself to lead in areas such as cloud, analytics and cognitive computing, and investing in these priority areas."

IBM opened its Dubuque location in 2009, with a goal of hiring 1,300 employees by the end of 2010. Dickinson confirmed there are more than 1,000 people working at IBM's Dubuque location.

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