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Old 05-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #41
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I'll know more about the details from the Monday morning meeting. My main goal is to keep my job at this company of course.
Supernova,
How did the meeting go? Any surprises? Been in shoes similar to yours and it's no fun. Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:37 PM   #42
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Here they go again!

Boeing did something very similar back in the day. They created an index that supposedly measured the potential of an employee and laid off many with low scores. Need I say it had an adverse impact on older workers? That case consumed file drawers at W/H in Seattle for years. As I recall there was a negotiated settlement.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #43
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DW was the beneficiary of huge amounts of hiring when her megacorp came to town to set up a Center of Excellence (that is exactly what they call it). They hired her in a wave (that is what they called it) of hiring. The pay was usually 1/3 to 1/4 what they were paying in Big Fancy City USA. Productivity appears to be the same and most people that relocated love the low (relative) cost of living and were surprised that the local workers were relatively educated and well spoken, AND still had most or all of their teeth.

Of course one huge cost savings for DW's megacorp was laying off 40-something and 50-somethings in Big Fancy City USA and hiring 21-23 year olds fresh out of college. Which appears to have worked well for them, since sometimes you just need a warm trainable body (with some education and common sense) to push buttons on a computer and speak some modicum of English.

I imagine Boeing will have a similar experience with the fine residents of South Carolina and Missouri.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:31 PM   #44
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Hi, "Going-Early" works for the same company and gave me a good tip. I was in error on the 50% hit to monthly pension. If you are laid off (voluntary or not) the penalty is much less.

so $2900 becomes ~ $2650 vs. $1500 like I thought before. That 50% is if you just up and quit. My error.
Nice to have "errors" work in your favor for a change doesn't it! I am glad for you that the penalty is not so penal, now. My dad had to slog through 3 years chasing his pension after his plant closed down. He had to rent an apartment across state, and then travel home for the weekend. I hope it all works out the best for you.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #45
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Supernova,
How did the meeting go? Any surprises? Been in shoes similar to yours and it's no fun. Good luck.
The meeting went pretty well and was in a webcast format out of Chicago. The VP of HR, our CIO, and the Operations director were present.

The first hour was an update of progress made thus far for the "Future if IT". More information on centers of excellence and some rough estimates on number of those new centers in STL and SC.

It looks like a small % of those spots in STL and SC will be filled with relocations from So Cal and Puget Sound (Seattle). So without saying it, the rest of the statement of work will be filled by hiring locally. I"m guessing level 1's and 2's from the local colleges given cost reduction is one of the main goals here.

It was made very clear that the Voluntary Layoff Pkg (VLO) would be a one time deal.
If you want to be considered you need to submit your name by 5/31 but there is no guarantee you'll be accepted of course. The one drawback of VLO is no recall rights vs. being laid of the involuntary method.

What is not clear yet is for those selected for relo (who don't take the VLO) how your benefits will or will not transfer to the new location or if there would be a pay cut. You could be offered a job at a lower level than you have in Seattle or So Cal. Also the pay scales in those in STL and SC or lower within the same level.

They will hold separate sessions to share the benefit impact for your particular plan (Heritage Seattle, Heritage So Cal, etc.).

I may have pointed out that another poster (Thanks! "going-early") shared with me that if you are laid off and within 6 years of 55 the pension penalty is much less so since I call into that camp at 52 yrs old, that was good to know! I don't recall what is special about the "within 6 years of 55" but I'll take it

I'm trying not to take it personally but it does sort of feel like I"m on mile 24 of a marathon and someone is telling me I may have to pull of the course before I get to mile 26.2. I'll keep that faith...
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:02 AM   #46
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If you were thinking of retiring to a much hotter climate, I guess this is your opportunity to put in for the transfer. You could continue to build pension and then just retire at your own speed.

I have been to Charleston SC several times in the past 5 years. There are actually opportunities there since companies move to take advantage of several factors. However, the climate is not something we would choose.

I am in a tighter spot, as I have been furloughed from similar megacorp. I actually got in at your present age. So now I am 60. If I had your situation I would take a VLO and stay put, so long as the area you live has potential for some career sustenance. The outcome is uncertain, but you do need to take action, IMO.

With your background you will definitely find IT work as the economy continues to come back. It won't be at the level you are at now, but let's face it, the world changes like this every recession.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #47
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The meeting went pretty well and was in a webcast format out of Chicago. The VP of HR, our CIO, and the Operations director were present.
The last meeting I was at like this, mymegacorp guys said they had absolutely no intention of filing for bankruptcy. They did so within a matter of weeks!

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It was made very clear that the Voluntary Layoff Pkg (VLO) would be a one time deal. If you want to be considered you need to submit your name by 5/31 but there is no guarantee you'll be accepted of course. The one drawback of VLO is no recall rights vs. being laid of the involuntary method.
Is there a termination "package" for those who don't volunteer? We had x# weeks' pay for every year worked, fairly decent "retraining" allowance, paid medical benefits for IIRC 6 months. Something to work into the equation maybe.

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They will hold separate sessions to share the benefit impact for your particular plan (Heritage Seattle, Heritage So Cal, etc.).
Make sure you go to every kind of session they have, get handouts, take notes, and keep track of any questions you want answers to. Arm yourself with the facts. If you don't mind my saying so, I'd stay away from those employees who will get really negative (if they're not already) - they can be like a toxin.

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I'm trying not to take it personally but it does sort of feel like I"m on mile 24 of a marathon and someone is telling me I may have to pull of the course before I get to mile 26.2. I'll keep that faith...
But that's really hard, isn't it? I feel that. My advice - this is not your fault. This whole thing was beyond your control or even influence. Take comfort in the fact that you gave it your best all the while you were there. Your situation is not because of anything you did wrong.

There is life after megacorp.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #48
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My former megacorp established an IT center of excellence in SC also (outside of Columbia) about 6 years ago or so. It was piggybacked off of an existing division at the same location. When I RE'd in late 2010, they were still struggling to find qualified people for many of the jobs, and had significant performance issues with many of the people they did hire (skills not up to the level of the folks they replaced). This whole concept is not as easy as senior management thinks it is. And unfortunately a lot of people who have done great work are severely penalized in the process. Bah, humbug.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #49
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What exactly is a Center of Excellence supposed to be/do? My former Megacorp established one too while I was there, in India. Last I heard, they're still struggling with quality issues five years later, yet they want to move more jobs there to cut costs. I still don't know what the CoE was supposed to contribute.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:16 PM   #50
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What exactly is a Center of Excellence supposed to be/do? My former Megacorp established one too while I was there, in India. Last I heard, they're still struggling with quality issues five years later, yet they want to move more jobs there to cut costs. I still don't know what the CoE was supposed to contribute.
CoE's..."grouping like skills or functions in a common location to improve communication between staff..." or something close to that.

It's all about being more productive and reducing costs of course and given we live in a high-tech area (believe it or not), moving staff to the mid-west and the SE will help achieve that.

Ironically enough today in a local Seattle paper IT salaries were ranked 3rd highest in the country. That was a bit surprising at $110K a year.

Washington tech pay averages $110k, third highest in U.S. | Brier Dudley's blog | Seattle Times

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Old 05-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #51
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Ironically enough today in a local Seattle paper IT salaries were ranked 3rd highest in the country. That was a bit surprising at $110K a year.

Washington tech pay averages $110k, third highest in U.S. | Brier Dudley's blog | Seattle Times
Local salaries for everything are very high relative to most of the country. And, "tech" salaries in Seattle and the Eastside are pulled up by very highly paid software developers at MS, Amazon, Google, etc.

As to getting transferred elsewhere and keeping your Seattle salaries, that seems unlikely, as it seems that would create a poisonous atmosphere in the new place. Unless your group would be given some higher level jobs. I hope that you will pull a new title and keep your high pay.

It seems to me that Boeing is pissed at Seattle, and feels that the Machinists' Union and SPEEA have overplayed their hands. When the executive offices moved to Chicago, I felt that the writing was on the wall. It would take a long time, but Boeing was cutting ties. The question is, can they manage to build a good plane elsewhere?

Personally, I am much more attached to Jet City than to Latteland or Hipsterville, and I wish state government had been able to keep Boeing centered here.

Ha
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:45 AM   #52
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When the executive offices moved to Chicago, I felt that the writing was on the wall. It would take a long time, but Boeing was cutting ties.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #53
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What exactly is a Center of Excellence supposed to be/do? My former Megacorp established one too while I was there, in India. Last I heard, they're still struggling with quality issues five years later, yet they want to move more jobs there to cut costs. I still don't know what the CoE was supposed to contribute.
We have a troublesome & nit picky COE that reviews our IT security status, and they just changed their acronym to OCD (oversight & compliance division)
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #54
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... When the executive offices moved to Chicago, I felt that the writing was on the wall. ...

Ha
Chicago and Illinois aren't exactly viewed as being 'business friendly' - I imagine Seattle must have been considerably worse?

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:19 PM   #55
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I think they wanted to move there because Chicago is centrally located geographically and to deliver a message to Seattle metro that they aren't the only town in the country. You have to be from outside of WA to understand the undertone of what I am alluding to.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #56
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I think they wanted to move there because Chicago is centrally located geographically and to deliver a message to Seattle metro that they aren't the only town in the country. You have to be from outside of WA to understand the undertone of what I am alluding to.
I'm from both Chicago and Seattle. What are you alluding to?
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:06 PM   #57
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Seattle, IMHO, tends to take its employers for granted. Watch their local television stations for a while, they ignore significant issues in other communities in their viewing area - let alone the state.

I lived in Seattle Metro for 15 years, the pic to the left was taken from the deck of my home.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #58
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I've gone through this every 6-7 years at my former megacorp with the last one being the worst.

Do you have a mentor or a good open relationship with your boss? You need to find someone who can tell you honestly what the management one or two levels above you is thinking about you and your situation. They most likely have already put you in one of three lists. They are; 1) not needed, 2) maybe can find a home, 3) star performer. The star performers will be given jobs. The Maybe's will have to network their a****s off but may find a position. Everybody else is on their way out but just doesn't know it yet. If they don't accept the early retirement offer, they will be layed off.

It will be hard to find out the true situation because your boss may not know and/or will have been given a script by HR that won't allow him/her to tell you all of the details. The communication details of these large layoffs are all reviewed by the corporate lawyers and your boss will have been told that he'll be put on the layoff list if he doesn't follow the script.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:58 PM   #59
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Chicago and Illinois aren't exactly viewed as being 'business friendly' - I imagine Seattle must have been considerably worse?

-ERD50
Actually Boeing has received a lot of favorable tax treatment from the state of Washington.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #60
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Seattle, IMHO, tends to take its employers for granted. Watch their local television stations for a while, they ignore significant issues in other communities in their viewing area - let alone the state.
You mean things like the endless fussing over getting another pro basketball team while hundreds of high paid skilled jobs at Boeing go to another state?
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