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Source: IBM workers in Columbia furloughed as early as 2011

IBM employees in Columbia who were part of the latest round of layoffs said the company has moved up their last days, meaning they now have less time to find new jobs.

ABC 17 News is told their new departure date is June 30.

For the last month, ABC 17 News has been investigating after the state suspended some of the tax credits IBM had been receiving because the company isn’t meeting minimum staffing numbers.

On Wednesday, a former employee who wanted to remain anonymous said IBM has had trouble keeping employment numbers up since the facility opened in 2010.

The former employee told ABC 17 News some employees were furloughed back in 2011, only about a year after the Columbia facility opened its doors.

“It just seemed all wrong from the get-go,” the former employee said.

They said the staffing issue is nothing new.

“I would say toward the end of 2011, around November, December, contractors were getting furloughed,” the former employee told ABC 17 News. “They had worked reduced hours or taken comp time and what not.”

They said they believe the employment numbers reported to the state by IBM are false.

According to the Missouri State Department of Economic Development, IBM received nearly $2 million for training.

But some seem to question where that money went.

“I did have to sign off on a few things for the state, in regards to the grant that IBM got ’cause they quote unquote ‘trained me’ to do my job, but there was really no training involved,” the former employee said. “It was just, ‘hey, this is what you’re going to do,’ and that’s what I did.”

This employee told ABC 17 News while some were furloughed back in 2011, others were unhappy with the work environment and left of their own will.

“It got to the point where essentially everyone’s home page was,” they said. “Honestly, I feel like it was probably a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

ABC 17 News called IBM Wednesday to ask if there were plans for more layoffs over the summer, but calls have not been returned.

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