CEO Mike Zafirovski was invited to appear before the committee next week as it looks at whether Nortel was OK in cutting pensions while handing out bonuses, all happening as the weight of bankruptcy was coming down on the company. Maybe Zafirovski didn’t want to face the pensioners and laid-off workers who were also invited to the hearing.
But alas, an official statement from Nortel blamed it on the lawyers. “As Nortel is currently in bankruptcy protection, all matters specified in the invitation are before the courts. Consequently, Nortel, nor its representatives, can comment on these issues beyond that which are already evident in court rulings, documents, and related motions,” a company spokesman wrote in an e-mail.
One representative on the committee says this issue has gotten a stronger reaction than any he’s seen in his 15 years of politics.