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Some laid off IBM employees receive offer to come back as contractors

ABC 17 News learned Thursday night several former Columbia IBM employees who were laid off have received an offer to come back as a contractor.

Employees ABC 17 News talked to, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the offer was advertised as a one year contractor job.

This comes after the state recently suspended some of the tax incentives IBM was receiving because it was only employing 453 people of the minimum 500 required to get some of those tax breaks.

IBM promised the state 800 jobs back in 2010.

“I thought it was shocking, odd and a little curious certainly,” said a former anonymous IBM employee about being contacted and offered to come back to work as a contractor.

“It became a bit of a chuckle because it was so ironic,” they said. “When I first joined IBM, they didn’t say, ‘Oh, you’re only going to be there for one year, two years or three years.’ So when they say, ‘Yeah it’s a one year contract,’ that has about as much grain of truth in it as when you first got hired. They cut you when they need to cut you.”

Some speculate these temporary offers have something to do with getting numbers back up to meet state requirements.

“The absurdity of this situation,” a former employee said. “It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.”

ABC 17 News has continued to contact IBM, but the company has stopped returning phone calls. For the last two stories, ABC 17 News has not gotten a response via email or phone.

Read the about the original investigation here.

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