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Heartless Nortel: Wife Berates Execs for Ignoring Husbands Career

Nortel can afford to hand out millions of dollars in bonuses while in bankruptcy, but it apparently can’t be bothered to acknowledge the milestone of an average worker’s 30-year career with the company.

Executives of the insolvent telecom equipment maker recently received – who knows if they actually read – a letter from “A Proud Wife” chastising them for failing to show any appreciation for her husband’s years of service.

“My husband celebrated his 30th anniversary as a Nortel employee this past fall,” the anonymous writer said in the letter, obtained by Mark Evans at All About Nortel. “That is quite a milestone in today’s world. He made it through numerous reductions in force, restructuring, reorganizations, and more CEOs that I can count.”

But did Nortel say or do anything to thank the worker?

“Nothing,” the wife wrote. “Not one thing. Not a phone call, not an e-mail, not a cheap piece of paper in a frame commemorating a job well done.”

She continues: “This same company can afford to pay huge bonuses to the very people that caused its demise. Yet they could not take the time to recognize a lifetime of service to one of the people that kept the company going.”

Nortel executives ought to be ashamed. It makes no sense to fork out $72 million (at the least) to people who brought the company to its sad end. It makes no sense to stiff the pensioners, many of the very people who served as Nortel’s backbone and kept it going in good times and bad. For shame, Nortel. For shame.

As “A Proud Wife” concluded, “I am very proud of my husband and his accomplishments with your company and you should be too. For my husband has always embodied your stated values even when the company abandoned them: Customers are the driving force; innovation fuels our future; people are our strength; accountability brings clarity; quality is in every aspect; integrity underpins everything.”


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