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Large number of layoffs expected at IBM

A labor union seeking to organize IBM's work force predicts another major layoff at the global technology giant today.

Alliance@IBM, the union, warned of the looming job cuts on its Web site, basing the report of "Black Thursday" on inside tips from IBM employees.

IBM workers have been told to attend a 15-minute meeting today, and supervisors have privately told some employees that the subject of the meeting is a layoff announcement, said Lee Conrad, a national coordinator at Alliance@IBM.

The cuts are expected to target IBM's Global Business Services unit, which has workers at Research Triangle Park, IBM's biggest site worldwide.

"When so many people get that kind of announcement, there's going to be a job cut," Conrad said. "People are saying it's going to be a big cut."

IBM is one of more than a dozen recession-battered high-tech companies slashing jobs in this region. Parallel layoffs at Sony Ericsson, Nortel Networks, Lenovo and others are glutting the job market with out-of-work engineers, programmers and project managers.

An air of mystery shrouds IBM's staff reductions because the New York-based company typically does not disclose the extent of its cuts.

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