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IBM

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IBM (International Business Machines Corporation), based in Armonk, New York, USA, is the world's largest provider of computer products and services. It makes mainframe computers, servers, data storage systems, and semiconductors. In software, it is number two (behind Microsoft). The company is continuing to acquire other companies. IBM's service arm accounts for more than half of its revenue. In 2006, revenues were US$91 billion with profits of US$9 billion. [1]


Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

IBM has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). [2]

A list of ALEC Corporations can be found here.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


History

IBM was founded on June 15, 1911 as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company[1]. It's name was formally changed on February 12, 1924.[2]

IBM has been a major supporter of Linux, the GNU license based alternative OS to Windows[3].

Labor

IBM is one of the major purchasers of electronics produced at the Lite-On Computer Technology production facility in Shijie Town, Dongguan Province, China (founded 1997).[3] By early 2008, the facility employed about 5000 people who enter the company by paying agencies based in Shijie town, Dongguan, 500-600 yuan (for men) or 200 yuan (for women). [4] While Lite-On production schedules follow a normal 8-hour workday, breaks consist of only 10 minutes twice a day and are unpaid – further, overtime work in the evenings, on weekends, and especially during busy seasons, is mandatory and can reach up to 100 hours a month, in violation of both Chinese Labor Law and the [EICC] standard. [5] Basic wages at Lite-On complied with Chinese minimum wage laws (690 yuan/month in 2007), but until mid-to-late 2007 when overtime began being paid at twice the standard weekend rate (8.24 yuan/hour) the company violated overtime wage laws by paying over 2 yuan less per hour. [6] A fire in the factory in February of 2008 has caused workers to be extremely concerned about their safety, and as of May 2008 production had not yet fully resumed at full capacity due to the damage the fire had caused. [7] Workers are charged up to one quarter of their wages on food, electricity, and water for eating and living in the factory dormitories, which house up to 16 people per room. [8] Research conducted by [SACOM] and [Bread for All] in early 2008 concluded that workers at Lite-On were unaware of their rights under either [EICC] standards or any of the codes of conduct of Lite-On’s customers, including IBM.[9]

Lite-On Xuji Electronics Co., Ltd. Is a keyboard manufacturer based in Dongguan, China. The factory was founded in 1995, and while Dell is its major buyer, Lite-On Xuji sells keyboards to Acer, Apple, Foxconn, Gateway, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, NEC, Sony, and Toshiba.[10] According to a 2008 report conducted by SACOM and Bread for All, the factory employed 3000 workers who work between 10 and 12 hours a day.[10] The factory began paying workers legal wages and overtime wages in 2008, while they had been paying illegally low wages in 2006 and 2007.[11] However, workers continue to work more than 100 overtime hours per month, well about the legal limit of 36 overtime hours monthly.[11] Due to long hours standing, repetitive tasks, and high work speed, workers suffer from swollen legs, back pain, and other repetitive motion injuries, as well as irritation from paint and paint thinner fumes name="high tech 31-2"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 31-2.</ref>. Despite these problems, Xuji factory has no program in place to “identify, evaluate, and control the hazards that arise from physically demanding work.”[11] Management threatens workers who make mistakes with the possibility of the withdrawal of factory client orders. name="high tech 31"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 31.</ref> Worker dormitories are very crowded and noisy, housing 16 workers per room, who must share all facilities in common and often have trouble sleeping due to noise. name="high tech 32"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 32.</ref> While workers were not aware of their labor rights under the EICC, they still “expressed the urgent need” for safety training as well as shortened standing work hours or at least longer breaks and rest periods. name="high tech 32"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 32.</ref>

IBM and the Holocaust

IBM was sued for its alleged involvement in providing punch card and tabulation machines to the Third Reich, primarily through its German division, Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft (Dehomag for short). Both lawsuits, made seperately by a group of Jewish survivors as well as Gypsy survivors, were later dropped.

A significant basis of the allegations were put forth in a controversial book written by Edwin Black, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation.[4] [5]

Lobbying

IBM spent $8,080,000 for lobbying in 2006. Some of the lobbying firms used were Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, and Cassidy & Associates. [12]

Personnel

Key executives and 2006 pay: [13]          Options
exercised
Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer    $6,750,000    $5,350,000
Mark Loughridge, Chief Financial Officer    $1,780,000    $328,000
Doug T. Elix, Group Executive of Sales and Distribution    $1,860,000    $0
Steve Mills, Group Executive of Software    $1,690,000    $1,700,000
Nicholas M. Donofrio, Executive Vice President of Innovation & Technology    $2,000,000    $8,660,000

Selected members of the Board of Directors: [14]

Prior leaders:

Contact details

1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10504
United States
Phone: 914-499-1900
Fax: 914-765-7382
Web: http://www.ibm.com

References

  1. IBM Profile, Hoovers, accessed October 2007.
  2. Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research, project of the Environmental Working Group, Information on American Legislative Exchange Council, archived organizational profile, archived by Wayback Machine December 2, 2000, accessed August 19, 2011
  3. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 10.
  4. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 27.
  5. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 28.
  6. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 28.
  7. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 28.
  8. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 28.
  9. Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 28.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 30.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 31.
  12. IBM lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed October 2007.
  13. IBM Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed October 2007.
  14. Board of Directors, IBM, accessed October 2007.

External articles