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back to article Nortel to cut 3,200 workers

Nortel Networks plans to lay off 3,200 workers worldwide, about a tenth of the total workforce. The latest round of reductions follow 1,800 job cuts the company announced in December. The Toronto-based telecom equipment maker, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, said today it will also drop employee bonuses for …

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Unhappy

Sad, very sad

What's happened to this company? At one time, they were up there with CISCO and had a much broader product range (e.g. 38GHz microwave transmission equipment).

I hope they survive in some form, however, the stock market obviously doesn't think this will be the case.

I feel very sorry for those losing their jobs without severance pay; at this time some cushion is needed as it could take some time to find new work. Those left in Nortel will have more work to do, an uncertain future and little reward.

Sad is perhaps an understatement.

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Bronze badge

@Sad, what happened?

What happened was a series of CEOs and executives (including a certain former head of their "GES" I.T. division) who had no vision other than maximising their own bonuses in quarterly chunks. Unfortunately, there were rewarded for short-term thinking while pretending to "maximize" shareholder value. They trashed R&D (not immediately profitable after all), they sold all the manufacturing facilities (nice dividend boost while emasculating the deep connection between design and manufacturing Nortel used to have), they reorganized again and again in order to make shareholders think something was happening when in fact they were just draining the company dry. They did everything to maximize short-term gains - and thus their bonuses - while completely ignoring and in fact deliberately harming long term health of the company.

This is the result of those policies.

In my opinion, those executives - starting with Stern onwards - should be hunted down and jailed. Since a corporation is considered an "individual" in law, what they did was equivalent to torture and murder of that corporate individual.

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Anonymous Coward

@raving angry loony

I guess from what I read you have personal knowledge here - I really feel for you guys, honest!

I have great respect for Nortel (& in fact my son has been trained in Nortel technologies) so it is very sad to see so many good people dumped.

Personally I work for another large IT company, and whilst we will never be the hottest babe of the stock market & not immune to cut backs (yes, I have lost valued colleagues recently) we will always be around - OK so we don't hire the latest new guru to lead us, it's always someone who has come up through our organisation (for good or bad) - it is usually one of "us" . . . so come what may we will always pull together to deliver

good luck & God bless to anyone who is looking for a new job right now

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@raving angry loony

This is so typical of engineering-centric companies in the UK. Shed R&D, fail to develop new products, revenues declines, then shed manufacturing...and end up with the square-root of fuck all.

Design and manufacturing earns real money and pays the bills. Sadly, no bean-counter ever understands this. 9000 new jobs at McDonalds does not replace 2000 quality jobs at somewhere like Nortel - nor do they stimulate the local area economy.

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Unhappy

Ugh

I have a family member who worked at Nortel (well, Bell-Northern before it was swallowed up). He was laid off, then rehired but before long his entire division was sold to Alcatel. There were complications with his corporate pension, but aside from that I don't think he could be happier to be done with Nortel for good.

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Bronze badge

@Nigel Wright

Aboat* Nortel, it's Canadian, eh. Nortel has historically paid quite well, so I'll give you that that does stimulate economy a bit, but it hasn't made much profit since 2000. Only profitable companies stimulate the economy long term. Nortel was also chosen by the Canadian government as a national champion corporation, we know how well that worked for British Leyland.

* how do you tell the difference between a Canadian and US accent? it's how they pronounce 'out'. Usually the tell-tale is 'about' pronounced as 'aboat'. And don't forget the 'eh'.

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Anonymous Coward

Only in North America

It is only the weak employment laws in Canada and the US that ALLOWS them to get away without paying severance. What a wonderful thing to do to your long serving employee's.. show them the door with nothing as a cushion.. heartless is what I say it is.

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Anonymous Coward

@Only in North America

Have you see what the UK Statutory minimum payments are?

Worst case, it's 0.5 weeks pay per year capped at 20 years and £350 per week salary

Best case, it's 1.5 weeks pay per year, capped at 20 years and £350 per week salary

Best case example, someone aged 61,20 years service on £40k gets £10,500 tax free

Medium case example, someone aged 42, 20 years service on £40k gets £7175 tax free

Worst case example, someone aged 22, 5 years service on £40k gets £875 tax free

Data from UK Gov site: http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/employment/employment-legislation/employment-guidance/page33683.html

I'm amazed the government can discriminate based on age - however, it's better than Zero offered to Nortel employees in Canda but nowhere near as much as banks and even companies such as Dell are offering (c. 4 weeks pay per year of service, no salary cap).

Nortel are in administration - that their excuse.

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