IBM could be the latest technology firm to announce thousands of job cuts as a result of the global economic slowdown, says union Alliance@IBM.
About 16,000 employees will be affected, with the layoff date expected to be 23 January, according to a posting by a union member on the Alliance@IBM website.
Most job cuts will take place in the US, and upper management has signed confidentiality agreements to keep the cuts quiet, the posting said.
Divisional managers are planning job cuts and are moving staffers they want to protect onto projects with government funding, another posting said.
The predicted layoff date is just days after IBM is to announce fourth quarter financial results.
IBM is expected to report a drop in salesof about 1.6%, according to news agencyBloomberg.
Like IBM, Microsoft has yet to comment on rumours that it is considering thousands of job cuts worldwide.
IBM spokesman Fred McNeese has said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation, according to a posting on the Alliance@IBM website.