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Nortel 're-aligns' 10,000 employees

Nortel's announcment that it will lay off 10,000 workers provoked wicked laughter from Robert Lesieur:

I took so much shit last year when I left that armpit to come to a "risky" startup instead of staying there and doubly from my brother in law who worked for Cisco, whom I declined a job from. "Are you a moron?", got this from my family and a few friends. Same friends are getting laid off, brother-in-law's division is in the shitter. I'm still getting bonuses. hahahahahaha. Too funny.

Simon Turvey is also able to contribute a story about an ex-Nortel employee:

A close friend of mine was employed by Nortel as an embedded systems programmer in one of their many IP access divisions. He was receiving a salary of approximately GBP35K. After the initial shock of the loss of his job the situation began to sink in: he was told in late May, they laid off his department (i.e. he no longer had to go into work) but they won't receive official notice until end of June (so on full pay until then). After receiving official notice of redundancy he will be paid at full rate until the end of September. He will receive payment for all outstanding holiday time owing this year plus the first six months holiday of next. Oh, and a GBP14K redundancy payoff.

Gutted? Hardly, he's already received several offers of employment in the £35-40K range and has substantially increased his deposit for his impending mortgage. Not bad going for a 24 year old, heh?

Indeed. But what about that offer of stock options to retain staff. A contradiction, surely? Not so, says Dan Moyer:

The Stock Options Exchange is intended to retain the engineers and other techoids that generate the IP that will keep Nortel at the leading edge of communications technology.

The 10 kilopersons who are getting pink-slips are the factory workers building commodity bits and pieces. They probably don't have stock options.

Personally, I think Nortel is still a good company and if I had some money, this would probably be the time to buy. They're a leader in a market that will continue to grow (with a few dips like the current one). When this dip is over, either Nortel will bounce back and move on, or will be acquired. Either way, it'll be good for those who bought at the bottom, and I suspect we're getting pretty close to that now.

Oh good - as long as it's only the people on the production line getting the push, then it's business as usual.

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