SYDNEY: True to its nickname IBM staff in Australia have the blues after being told at least 100 of them will go in a major shift at the computer giant aimed at making it slimmer, trimmer and more responsive to clients.

For those facing the sack their last day will be July 31, but they’ve been given one last chance, all be it a slim one of keeping their job.

To survive the purge all they have to do is give a reason, in writing, why and what it would cost the company if they were sacked.

According one of those facing oblivion, the so-called written defence is just a furphy that allows the company to demonstrate it has conducted a consultative process.

The redundancies are part of a global sweep of IBM staff under newly appointed CEO, Arvind Krishna. The redundancies are mostly aimed at sprucing up the computer giant’s global technology services and marketing groups.

In its Australian offices Big Blue is aiming for a slimmed-down workforce to meet client obligations by creating new cross-disciplinary teams. With this approach IBM hopes to develop more agile client responsive services.

To be fair to the company the coronavirus has forced some of IBM’s larger corporate accounts have held back on planned purchases of core hardware and software products due to uncertainty surrounding the global economy.

But here in Oz staff no longer required are still receiving emails pointing out they can be rewarded up to AU$4,000 for referring new hires to IBM. Fat chance . . .