Another example of corporate greed – 72 Nortel executives will receive a total of $7.5 million US on top of their current salaries in 2009
Ottawa (27 November 2009) – Nortel Networks executives, already under fire for handing out huge bonuses to themselves while the company is in bankruptcy protection, approved another round of raises to its top managers.
The bonuses come at a time when many laid-off and retired Nortel employees are having to fight the company in court for their severance packages, pensions and disability payments.
The news of the bonuses came from an internal corporate document obtained by CBC News. It confirms that 72 Nortel executives will receive a total of $7.5 million US on top of their current salaries in 2009. Of those 72 executives, 14 will be getting compensation of $500,000 or more.
Nortel’s former employees were outraged at what they say is another example of corporate greed. "I am shocked," Melanie Johannink, who worked for Nortel for 18 years before being laid off in the spring, told CBC News. "It kind of makes you wonder where the money is going."
Former Nortel president Bob Ferchat told the CBC he was also surprised at the extent to which executives at a company in bankruptcy protection were rewarding themselves. "My reaction, frankly, to the document is 'Here we go again'," said Ferchat. "It's another round of people dividing the proceeds, eating the carcass of the company before it's even dead."
Meanwhile, the Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Canadian Auto Workers union representing former Nortel workers regarding severance pay.
The union argued that retirees and terminated employees of the firm were covered by the collective labour agreement and should receive termination and severance payments on top of their retirement payments. The court upheld the Ontario Superior Court's earlier ruling that the stakeholders were not entitled to termination, severance, and vacation pay, and that the collective labour agreement only applied to current employees, and not retired workers
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