More than a year after 26 people lost their jobs at the Southbury offices of IBM, the U.S. Department of Labor has certified that their jobs moved to India, and therefore, they qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance. The workers, who were in the communications division, lost their jobs in February 2012.
Trade Adjustment Assistance was first passed in the 1960s, to help factory workers who lost their jobs because of imports or because their employer closed the plant and opened a replacement in a lower cost country. In 2009, it was expanded to cover computer programmers, call center workers and others in the service sector who also were losing their jobs due to offshoring.
Now, one-third of TAA awards are to service workers – in 2012, there were 26,000 service workers who qualified.
In Connecticut, 308 service workers were certified in 2012, and 850 manufacturing workers.
Trade Adjustment Assistance pays for up to two years of unemployment benefits while displaced workers are going to school.
A spokeswoman from IBM said the company does not usually disclose the number of people who work at any one site. Six years ago, the Courant reported that Southbury’s IBM campus had 2,300 employees.
The Southbury campus is part of the Global Services division of IBM. Those workers do not write software, instead they do consulting, run data centers, help maintain clients’ technology and do business process services.