Hit by an $844 million quarterly loss, Nortel (NYSE: NT) said Wednesday that it would slash its work force by 2,100 and move another 1,000 jobs to less expensive markets.

The layoffs and transfers will affect nearly 10 percent of the Nortel work force of 32,500. Some 2,300 people work at Nortel’s RTP campus.

The loss, which included a one-time $1.06 billion charge related to taxes in Canada, where the company is based, triggered a selloff in Nortel shares.

Traders sent NT to a 52-week low of $9.86 shortly after markets opened, a 14 percent drop. Shares ended the day at $9.93, off $1.52 or 13 percent,

Nortel’s 52-week high is $30.27.

What impact the layoffs and job transfers will have on Nortel’s RTP campus was unclear. A company spokesperson wouldn’t specify details to WRAL Local Tech Wire and WRAL.com.

“We cannot break out by individual metro/campus,” Nortel’s Jay Barta said, “but I would like to emphasize that this is a global restructuring plan.”

The company also plans to sell some real estate assets, according to a statement, but that move won’t affect RTP. “As for real estate, no changes there,” Barta said.

Nortel employs nearly 7,000 people in Canada and nearly 12,000 in the U.S.

"Over the past year, we have driven process improvements across the organization and today we are announcing the difficult but necessary measures that accompany this type of transformation,” Nortel Chief Executive Officer Mike Zafirovski said in a statement.

"I recognize the impact this will have on affected employees,” he added. “Due to the careful planning that has taken place, these reductions will occur through an orderly and considered process. Similar to last year’s restructuring, we will maximize normal attrition and will work to re-deploy affected employees to other opportunities within the company, whenever appropriate. I am pleased to report that in 2007 approximately 30% of the employees in affected positions were redeployed or transferred to other roles in the Company."

A year ago, Nortel cut 2,900 jobs and transferred another 1,000 to other lower-cost locations.

Nortel reported a 4 percent drop in revenues from 2007 to $3.2 billion for the quarter. That total was just short of estimates from analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

The company took a $38 million charge to cover the cost of its restructuring.