IBM Endicott NY Work To Be Sent To China
March 20, 2001
On Tuesday, March 20, 2001, an "all hands" meeting was held at the IBM plant in Endicott. Chuck Ebel, IBM Endicott plant manager, Microelectronics, held the meeting apparently to quell rumors that were raised by an issue of the Endicott Alliance@IBM flyer that dealt with job security. Richard Roscoe Jr. was in attendance, and provided the following report.
The Monday Endicott Alliance@IBM flyer on job security got his [Chuck Ebel's] attention! He wanted to end the rumors that the flyer raised. To an astounded audience, he proudly admitted to rumors of a partnership between IBM Endicott and China.
With child-like giddiness, Chuck Ebel (IBM Endicott plant manager, Microelectronics) explained why IBM was sending, eventually, "all" of HyperGBA, Blue Devil manufacturing to China.
IBM would be able to pay Chinese operators/workers $30 per month as opposed to what IBM Endicott, NY, workers are paid to operate process equipment.
Chinese operators would be able to send their $30 per month to family back in the Chinese villages. The new Chinese site would have "dorms" for workers. Chuck indicated that free food and lodging was a great benefit, affording the [Chinese workers] the luxury of sending their wages home to family. The auditorium became motionless and silent.
The Chinese government
would charge IBM zero taxes for a number of years. Endicott's taxes are
about 30%, he stated.
Chuck Ebel explained that Endicott workers need not worry. IBM [Endicott] would be an IBM Center of Competency, for at least the next five years. Endicott would be the brains.
Chuck Ebel stated, "Endicott would catch the fish and the Chinese plant would fry them!"
Chuck was proud to inform the crowd that the first Chinese engineers were hired, eight of them. That they had arrived in Endicott and like to wear uniforms. In this case, a gray jacket with a red stripe.
Ebel spoke of the need to make this work and to get the process and yields perfected this year. He hoped that people would consider a transfer to Blue Devil. Ebel feels that it's a great chance to learn something new, meet and work with people of Chinese culture, and perhaps even be sent to China on business. As Ebel put it, "We will run the Chinese site, from Endicott."
What strikes me about Ebel the most is the lack of shame! He described a manufacturing site with "dorms." To be blunt a, work camp! No shame in his voice. He acted more like IBM was opening a Disney theme park!
Ebel does not get it. This is nothing that should make an American proud. Exploiting peasant labor in China is very low, indeed! Betraying your community and country by sending work to China is not a proud accomplishment.
One more thought. Will IBM employ these $30 per month Chinese workers, or will they be provided by the Chinese government? I have the feeling only Engineers, managers and some technicians, will really be employed by IBM.
Also, HyperGBA, Blue Devil is not low tech, it is high tech. Ebel says nobody but Endicott makes it. Gore Co. tries but has little success. Blue Devil can handle high frequencies that nothing else can, Ebel indicated. One has to wonder, can a Chinese scientist ever find a military use for this process and technology? Seems risky, but that is for the experts to ponder.
Ebel says that construction is just starting on the Chinese site. Pylons are being pounded into a enormous rice patty now. Construction will take a couple of years. That is the best news he had to report about the China site.