IBM Australia is believed to have cut 30 administrative jobs in Ballarat.
The Courier understands staff were told at a 3.30pm meeting yesterday that only 10 out of 40 support staff positions would be retained at its Mt Helen office.
IBM Australia spokesperson Katie Burford did not confirm the staff cuts yesterday but said change was constant in the technology industry and transformation was an essential feature of their business model.
“Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans,” Ms Burford said.
However, a female worker who was affected, but who wished to remain anonymous, said staff were devastated.
“We were told it was due to budget cuts because they were moving from a high-cost country to a low-cost country,” she said.
She said the staff had been reassured only a few months ago their jobs were safe after news broke in June that an IBM Australia restructure could result in 1500 jobs being moved overseas.
“Everyone’s really devastated. A lot of people are crying and upset.
“We’re in a regional town and, with so many people looking for work in the admin area, it’s going to be really hard.
“There’s a lot of single mums and families relying on this work.
“I know large corporations have got to meet shareholders’ profit expectations but they have just taken it all away from us.”
The 30 contract staff are employed by Melbourne-based company Manpower Recruitment, who did not respond by the time The Courier went to press.
IBM is a tenant at the University of Ballarat Technology Park and employs about 1000 people.
At the end of last year, IBM said it would create 150 new jobs as part of the new IBM Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence for software testing.