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Nortel's pension woes: timeline

  • Northern Telecom becomes Nortel Networks

    Northern Telecom becomes Nortel Networks after acquiring Bay Networks. The company says its future is in internet and communication networks.
  • The glory days

    Global revenue hits $30 billion and Nortel accounts for more than one-third of the value on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company employs 94,500 worldwide, with almost 26,000 employees in Canada.
  • Tech downturn hits hard

    The tech downturn hits Nortel hard as it reveals plans to trim its workforce to 35,000, keeping around 10,000 employees in Canada.
  • Questionnable accounting

    An external audit of Nortel’s financial statements finds questionable accounting practices. The company goes on to restate $900 million in liabilities. Investigations would ultimately find some $3 billion had been improperly recorded by company bookkeepers.
  • Senior execs fired

    CEO Frank Dunn and other senior Nortel executives are fired for financial mismanagement. Dunn and other company officials are later charged with fraud.
  • Bankruptcy

    Nortel files for bankruptcy protection from creditors in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The company says it will eventually emerge from bankruptcy protection.
  • Payouts

    Nortel reveals a plan to pay up to $45 million in bonuses to nearly 1,000 executives in order to keep them with the company as it restructures.
  • Pension woes begin

    Ontario and U.S. courts allow Nortel to pay the $45 million in bonuses. Pension holders express anger at the deal.
  • Sale of wireless unit

    Nortel announces the sale of its wireless unit to Nokia Siemens. The company says it will not emerge from bankruptcy protection and will sell its remaining assets.
  • Quebec steps in

    Quebec says it will cover the pensions of Nortel workers in the province for five years if the company’s benefit plan is eliminated.
  • Ontario adds money to the pot

    Ontario injects money into the provincial pension benefits guarantee fund, ensuring Nortel pensioners will receive their first $1,000 of monthly income if their pension plan collapses.
  • Bill passes to secure pensions

    Private member’s Bill C-501 passes second reading and is sent to committee. The bill would give pensions secure status when companies enter bankruptcy protection or go out of business. The current bill does not apply to Nortel pensioners.