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IBM Time Line

Important Dates In IBM History

This list of important dates in IBM's history was compiled from the 2001 Alliance calendar and Alliance members. Many of these dates, unfortunately, are also listed on the "IBM's (Eroding) Total Compensation" page.

Important Dates in IBM History:

  • 1874/02/17 - Birth of Thomas J. Watson Sr.
  • 1911/06/15 - IBM incorporates in New York as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company.
  • 1914/05/04 - Thomas J. Watson Sr. becomes GM of IBM predecessor, Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company.
  • 1915/11/12 - IBM stock begins to sell publicly on NY Stock Exchange for $46 a share.
  • 1917/01/14 - Birth of Nathaniel Rochester, architect of IBM's first scientific computer.
  • 1924/02/14 - Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company changes its name to International Business Machines.
  • 1934/09/20 - IBM provides company-paid life insurance to employees with one year of service.
  • 1944/12/23 - Employees at IBM Endicott and Poughkeepsie plants receive award for outstanding production in war effort.
  • 1955/03/28 - Thomas J. Watson Jr. featured on the cover of Time magazine.
  • 1956/05/08 - Thomas J. Watson Jr. takes over reins as IBM's CEO from his father, Thomas J. Watson Sr.
  • 1956/06/19 - Thomas J. Watson Sr. dies at age 82.
  • 1964/04/07 - IBM introduces System 360, first large family of computers.
  • 1971/06/29 - Thomas J. Watson Jr. steps down as IBM Chairman and CEO, replaced by T. Vincent Learson as CEO and Frank T. Carry as President.
  • 1976/07/01 - IBM employees at Endicott publish their first independent newsletter.
  • 1981/04/14 - Space Shuttle Columbia, aided by five onboard IBM computers, launched in first Shuttle flight.
  • 1981/08/12 - IBM introduces the personal computer.
  • 1982/01/08 - U.S. government drops 13 year anti-trust case against IBM.
  • 1984/05/05 - In Tokyo, IBM workers hold first international meeting.
  • 1985/02/01 - Newsletter of IBM Workers United renamed to Resistor.
  • 1985/06/14 - In Athens, Greece, IBM employees hold second international conference.
  • 1986/06/01 - John Akers becomes IBM CEO.
  • 1987/01/12 - IBM workers from around the world discuss union issues at London conference.
  • 1987/04/24 - In New Orleans, IBM Workers United and CWA co-sponsor third international meeting of IBM workers. Group presents demands at IBM shareholder meeting.
  • 1988/08/15 - Employees in Korea organize IBM Korea Union.
  • 1989/06/08 - In Paris, IBM employees begin fourth International Solidarity meeting (IWIS).
  • 1991/01/31 - IBM announces 10% reduction in pension benefits.
  • 1991/05/21 - In Rome, IBM employees hold fifth international conference.
  • 1991 (or 1992?) - Elimination of medical plan's "coordination of benefits".
  • 1992, April - Elimination of Pre-Retirement Education for IBMers within 5 years of retirement. Plan reimbursed up to $2,500 per employee and another $2,500 for a spouse.
  • 1992/11/12 - In Sindelfingen, Germany, IBM employees hold sixth international conference.
  • 1992 - Rolex removed from 25 year catalog.
  • 1992 - Elimination of $1000 that came with Quarter Century club.
  • 1993/04/01 - Louis V. Gerstner Jr. becomes IBM Chairman and CEO. Coincidentally, this is April Fool's day... we're not quite sure of the relationship here... but many people who thought Lou would look out for IBM's long term well being sure feel fooled now.
  • 1993/12/31 - Thomas J. Watson Jr. dies at age 79.
  • 1994/02/17 - 320 employees laid of at IBM Endicott.
  • 1994/07/27 - IBM announces Kingston, NY plant closing.
  • 1996/02/11 - IBM's "Big Blue" beats world chess champion, Gary Kasparov, marking a machine's first victory over a world chess grandmaster.
  • 1996/10/16 - IBM workers hold meeting with IUE in Endicott to discuss organizing.
  • 1999/05/03 - IBM mails notice of new "cash-balance" plan to employees.
  • 1999/05/10 - IBM stock splits 2 for 1 (15th stock split).
  • 1999/05/18 - IBM employees establish pension bulletin board at
  • 1999/05/21 - IBM employees establish union bulletin board at
  • 1999/06/24 - Over 200 IBM employees in Endicott, NY, hold first union meeting with CWA.
  • 1999/07/01 - Pension reductions for employees under 40 due to Cash Balance Plan conversion.
  • 1999/07/01 - Reduction of retirement medical benefit due to conversion to Future Health Account (FHA) for employees with more than 5 years to go before retirement.
  • 1999/07/15 - Over 600 IBM employees hold first union meeting in Poughkeepsie, NY.
  • 1999/08/23 - Over 500 IBM employees hold first union meeting in Burlington, VT.
  • 1999/08/30 - Alliance@IBM/CWA opens office in Endicott, NY.
  • 1999/09/17 - Bowing to protests by employees, IBM partially restores "pension choice" to employees.
  • 1999/09/21 - Alliance@IBM/CWA founded.
  • 1999/10/21 - Announcement of IBM shareholders resolution for "Pension Choice."
  • 1999/11/01 - Cooper vs. IBM class-action ERISA complaints against IBM Personal Pension Plan
  • 1999/11/12 - Alliance@IBM/CWA activists publish first newsletter with their mission statement.
  • 2000/02/18 - Alliance@IBM/CWA publishes first Think Twice newsletter.
  • 2000/03/27 - California pension system announces decision to vote 9.2 million shares in favor of IBM employee stockholder resolution to restore pension and medical.
  • 2000 (first quarter) - Reduced 2000 variable pay (70% of previous years payout for some employees) due to poor management. Since variable pay is about 10% of yearly salary, this amounts to a 3% pay cut for many employees.2000/04/25 - Sponsored by IEBAC, IBM shareholders' resolution to restore "pension choice" for employees receives 28 percent support at stockholder's meeting.
  • 2000/06/10 - Southbury Alliance web site established.
  • 2000/09/14 - IBM Endicott announces Alternate Work Schedule (AWS), with mandatory 12 hour work days and weekend days. Workers must work every other Saturday. Overtime (and overtime pay) is reduced. 20% premium for AWS called just a "tip" and not worth the extra effort. Endicott management tells employees that day care should not be a problem, but Alliance@IBM research shows just two licensed day care providers in the area with 24x7 coverage.
  • 2000/10/09 - IBM announces that new retirees will have to pay for medical benefits.
  • 2001/03/20 - IBM Endicott holds "all hands" meeting to announce that it was sending, eventually, "all" HyperGBA, Blue Devil manufacturing to China.
  • 2001/09/14 - Alliance@IBM members vote to become a CWA local.
  • 2001/11/28 - IBM Terminates the jobs of over 1,500 workers (500 in Burlington, VT; 400 in Endicott, NY; 200 in East Fishkill, NY; 180 in Rochester, NY; 150 in Fremont, CA; 75 in Raleigh, NC). At the time IBM had plans for an expansion of the East Fishkill facility, which would add 1000 jobs. When asked, managers in East Fishkill were said to have told employees that terminated IBMers will not be brought back, but the positions will instead be filled with temps and contractors.
  • 2002/01/08 - An unknown number of vendors and 30 IBMers laid off in Rochester.
  • 2002/01/10 - Mass termination at Lotus Professional Services (which is owned by IBM). Half of the consultants working there are told to find new jobs or be let go.
  • 2002/06/30 - IBM cuts over 9,000 jobs in the United States.
  • 2002/08/13 - IBM admits to over 14,000 job cuts in a corporate filing. 57% of those cuts were already made.

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Contact Information:

Jim Mangi (jim.mangi at
Site space donated by and a retired IBMer who supports the Alliance@IBM cause.

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