Nortel Pensioners Might Not Lose Benefits Wednesday

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Nortel Networks pensioners may not be in such dire straits as feared.

Last week, those retirees watched as an Ontario judged tossed a proposed $57 million deal to preserve benefits through the end of the year. Judge Geoffrey Morawetz of Ontario Superior Court said the agreement was flawed and not fair to others who are still seeking money from the bankrupt telecom giant. That promised to spell an end to medical, dental, life insurance and income benefits as of tomorrow.

But on Tuesday, word came that Nortel and pensioner representatives may have come to an agreement to keep benefits intact through the end of 2010. The Ottawa Citizen said Koskie Minsky, the law firm representing up to 20,000 Nortel pensioners, long-term disability recipients and former employees with severance and future pension claims, announced the deal on Tuesday.

Nortel pensioners’ troubles have mounted since their former employer declared bankruptcy in January 2009. While Nortel has auctioned off its various assets, it has placed creditors such as bondholder MatlinPatterson at the top of the list, rather than ex-workers.

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