Nortel Insider – by Desk Jockey

The view from one Desk Jockey

Richard Lowe “gets lucky” with “well-timed withdrawal”

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bailout-governmentI’ve been gone for a while, but this most recent article just sickened me even more: Nortel exec gets lucky with deferred income withdrawal From the news posting:

Richard Lowe, the top Nortel Networks executive responsible for carrier network operations, made a well-timed withdrawal of funds late last year from a deferred compensation fund that Nortel provides for high-income U.S. employees.

Nortel disclosed in its annual report earlier this year that he took out $1,701,043 U.S. less than two months before the bankruptcy filing of Jan. 14.

Meanwhile, other employees who weren’t so “lucky” and didn’t make a withdrawal prior to the Ch.11 filing were given the short end of the stick, being told this by HR:

Elena King, the senior vice-president for human resources, told him in a letter last month: “I regret to inform you that it’s become clear that there are no options: Under the terms of this plan, all non-qualified deferred compensation funds are part of the general assets of the company, and therefore are subject to claims by all company creditors.”

Yet another example of those at the top manipulating the system and the rules for their own personal gain. Let’s be real here, there is no such thing as luck. Mr. Lowe’s “well-timed withdrawal” was almost certainly the result of some sort of insider information, but unfortunately there will not be enough evidence to prove this in a court of law.

Meanwhile, hardworking and loyal employees who were kept in the dark and told to keep their heads down suffered from the consequences of a dysfunctional management and inept BoD.

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June 3, 2009 at 7:25 am

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Nortel Downfall Part 12

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The Nortel Executive Management Team plans for the imminent turnaround of the company.

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April 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Nortel Executives again display their Machiavellian leanings

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Remember all that talk about Nortel’s “greatest asset being its people?” Well this week we found out once and for all that Nortel management does not share this view.

In their latest example of “the ends justify the means” actions Nortel management has apparently chosen to break the law and pay the fine instead of treating UK employees with the respect they deserve, simply because this option benefits management more!

The issue stems from the lack of a “90 day consultation period” which is the same as a notice period. Instead these employees, some of whom had been with the company for many years, were given 2 hours to pack up and get out. While Nortel has been doing this in North America ever since filing for Ch.11 over in North America they are allowed to do so while under Ch.11 protection.

In the UK it is a different story. Even while under Administration certain rules apply when laying off many employees one of which is that employees be given a 90 day consultation or notice period. However the fine for breaking this law is a mere £5000, much cheaper than actually having to follow the law and give employees the proper consultation period!

If Nortel management really cared about their employees they would follow the law. But we know that isn’t the case as demonstrated from previous incidents and so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that they decided to deliberately break the law and just opt to pay the measly £5000 fine instead!

This is yet another in a long line of incidents where Nortel has demonstrated contempt for those very employees that helped build company that they eventually destroyed. Even after you are laid off their game does not end there. Nortel HR in the US has been using questionable methods in order to trick laid off employees into signing away their right to severance by making some vague promise of allowing pensions to be accessed quicker. They are able to do this because they know the fragile financial position many employees are in. Instead of helping out in this situation they choose to exploit it for their own benefit. Their aim is to make sure as many employees sign away their right to severance as possible, so that the chances of them disrupting the Ch.11 proceedings are reduced.

It is also not surprising that they decided to hide behind their consultants to let them take care of the whole matter. This time they are using E&Y to deliver the layoff news because they don’t have the decency or respect to tell the employees themselves.

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April 6, 2009 at 6:02 pm

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Nortel Downfall Part 11

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Nortel Executives and BoD successfully argue in favor of bankruptcy bonuses. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=a0TBFPiL4Luc

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March 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Nortel “Enhanced” Severance Package now on EBay

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severancepackage1If you ever wanted your own Nortel severance package, there’s one up for bid on EBay right now. Nope, it doesn’t include KEIP, KERP or a real executive enhanced severance deal or any other bonuses but it does include a good amount of humor, wit and funny writing free of charge.

Sorry to see you go fellow employee, but glad to see you’re trying to make something out of nothing. (E.G. the nothing that management gave you for all your hard years of service)

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March 27, 2009 at 5:48 am

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CBC Newsworld – Henry Juroviesky on Nortel Not Paying Severance

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March 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm

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Letter from Robert L. Kenas urging the court not to grant executive bonuses

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Robert L. Kenas was a loyal and hardworking Nortel employees who received a severance package in December only to be betrayed by Mike Z and the rest of the executives when they prematurely filed for Ch.11 in order to ensure they could profit off the downfall of Nortel.

A few days ago he wrote an impassioned letter to the court urging them not to reward incompetence, greed and downright unethical behavior. Please read it.

The letter clearly outlines in plain language the hardships that have been forced upon the rank and file. It also clearly outlines the malicious and deviant behavior of upper management in their attempts to obtain as much money from the carcass of Nortel as possible, all while mistreating, lying and defrauding loyal employees. (See their latest attempt to defraud laid off employees by trying to trick them into signing away their right to go to court for severance!)

Unfortunately as is so often the case in society nowadays the court ignored his message and decided to go with the big guys. In retrospect he had little chance of imparting any influence thanks to the high priced lawyers the executives hired using company money in order to argue their case.

Nonetheless, I stand and I applaud you Mr. Kenas. You’ve said exactly what is on the mind of so many neglected and abused employees and even though the court may have ignored you, there are many out there who have not.

Written by Desk Jockey

March 20, 2009 at 8:08 pm

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