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Nortel Ex-Employee Reminisces on Losing Her Job

You’ve heard the numbers. Nortel Networks has laid off thousands of people in recent months since the start of the global economic crisis. There’s been a lot of finger pointing regarding who is to blame from just about everywhere.

But there are names, faces and stories behind those statistics. The Globe & Mail’s Report on Business has profiled eight Canadians who have lost their jobs from various lines of work since the global economic crisis began in September, including one former Nortel employee. The profile of Paula Klein provides some interesting insight into how Nortel workers learned of their fates.

Klein was the leader of R&D operations for the telecommunications giant. She remembers when Nortel was at the top of the heap in the late 90s – selling $10 billion in optical gear one year – only to suspect her job was in jeopardy last September when she was asked to work on a restructuring plan. Nonetheless, news of the layoffs came as a shock. Klein is still looking for a job and doesn’t expect to get anything comparable soon since she was in a high-ranking position. She is yet to receive her severance and is pursuing legal action.


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