Nortel Networks Won't Pay Severance, But Will Pay Executive Bonuses

Eight high-level executives at Nortel Networks, the telecoms equipment maker that filed for bankruptcy protection in January, will share a combined $7.3 million in bonuses after bankruptcy courts in the US and Canada approved the payouts on Friday, reports IDG News.

The bonuses are part of a larger $23 million incentive plan, covering 92 employees and a $22 million retention plan for other employees, both of which were granted court approval on March 1.

The latest decision, along with the combined $45 million in already approved bonuses, has not sat well with ex-Nortel employees, thousands of whom were laid off from the Ontario-based telecoms equipment maker without any prospect of severance pay. The Ottawacitizen.com tracked down Russell Schooley, a Texas-based former software developer for the company, who lost his job, health benefits and eight months of severance in January, and was one of 67 former Nortel workers who banded together and hired a lawyer to voice their objections to the bonuses. He told the newspaper, “Where is the fairness in giving these executives a bonus just a few months after they deny other employees their severance pay?

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