Nortel has made has taken a leaf out of Visteon and made 220 Nortel employees, including a considerable number of Connect members, redundant at the end of March with no notice, no company redundancy pay and no prior consultation.
The people affected were summoned to meetings at Maidenhead and Harlow on 27 March to be told that their employment would cease on at the end of that month and that they would have to apply for statutory redundancy pay from the state National Insurance Fund.
Although Nortel went into partial administration in January of this year it is still trading. Employees had been told that the objective of administration was to secure the future of the company and that the message to Nortel customers was ‘business as usual’. They had also been assured that if redundancies were unavoidable there would be full consultation with employees and their representatives in line with the company’s obligations under UK employment law. In fact, there was no consultation at all, and dismissal came completely out of the blue for those made redundant in March. Nortel people not directly affected first heard about the redundancies either from their sacked colleagues or through press reports and the blogosphere.
Connect is supporting Nortel members made redundant in seeking what legal redress is available for Nortel’s failure to consult on the question of redundancy. The union is also advising members still working in Nortel on how they can stand up for their right to be treated with dignity and in line with the law, and has written to Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, to highlight the injustice and bad practice of Nortel’s actions. The current difficult economic conditions are no excuse for companies treating employees badly and evading their legal responsibilities.
In other news (and why does this not surprise me) In March, Nortel went to court for the right to pay eight senior executives share in a $45m bonus pool Lets hope Canadas Peremier has the balls to sack the CEO as Obama did to GM.