No free tea or coffee for staff at IBM offices from May 1

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Melbourne, Apr 14 (ANI): IBM worldwide has begun cost cuts in order to battle the effects of the global financial crisis and will scrap office amenities such as tea and coffee, and even company-funded home internet access.

From May 1, IBM will cease to reimburse Internet access for staff working from home. Direct pay corporate managed and contracted home Internet services will also be scrapped.

"IBM will cease the reimbursement of home internet access for employees," The Australian quoted the company, as saying in an email to staff.

"Secondly, over the next several months the provision of some office amenities, including tea and coffee supplies, will be phased out. Where it makes sense, our intent is to replace this with user-paid vending machines at selected sites."

IBM said the expiring home Internet policy was developed in the 1990s, when home Internet was not the norm.

The cost-cutting measures would allow IBM to continue workforce programs including a salary bonus pool, a single-cycle salary review later in the year, funding education to support revenue generation and continuing to invest billions in research and development, it said.

IBM Australia declined to reveal how much money it expected to save from the cost-cutting initiatives.

IBM reported a 12 per cent gain to 4.4 billion dollars in net income for the fourth quarter of 2008, but slipped 6 per cent in revenue to 27 billion dollars when the recession hit technology spending.

In January, IBM sent layoff notices to more than 2800 people in its sales and software groups in the US. The latest round of job cuts at IBM was announced last month, when industry sources said another 5000 IBM workers in the US would lose their jobs. (ANI)

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