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Now IBM axing jobs in Canada

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : IBM Canada, which has 19,600 employees on its rolls, announced Thursday that it is axing a number of jobs to contain costs.

The US software giant, which is reportedly in the process of laying off 5,000 staff in America and transferring a lot of them to India, said the Canadian cuts will affect the staff from customer care positions to executives.

Without specifying how many jobs will be cut, an IBM Canada spokesman told the Canadian Press that “there is no specific area being targeted and no specific region – it is across the country.”

He added, “From our perspective this is just the way we manage resources depending on the needs of clients and how that changes.”

With 400,000 employees worldwide, IBM is cutting costs by shifting many jobs to low-cost India and other countries to maintain profits.

Meanwhile, the US auto giant Chrysler, which has threatened to pull out of Canada if wages of workers are not reduced by about $20, was reportedly nearing a deal with the auto union.

Chrysler, which has three plants in Canada and employs about 8,000 Canadians, had threatened last week that it will close its Canadian operations if workers don’t take wage cuts to help the struggling auto company.

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union said Thursday that the two sides have reached agreements on a number of points to help Chrysler stay competitive in the current environment.

“We are making solid progress and are trying to get it done within the next 24 hours,” CAW president Ken Lewenza said. Chrysler, which is the second biggest auto seller in Canada after GM, is also seeking $2.9 billion in loans from the Canadian and provincial Ontario governments for its survival.