Chief Executive Officer Mike Zafirovski won’t appear before a Canadian government committee to discuss why it is paying bonuses to selected employees while denying severance benefits and reduced pension payments to others, Canadian media reported Thursday.
The House of Commons finance committee invited Zafirovski to testify at a hearing on June 18. Nortel declared bankruptcy in January.
Some retired and laid-off Nortel employees also were asked to appear.
“As Nortel is currently in bankruptcy protection, all matters specified in the invitation are before the courts. Consequently, Nortel, nor its representatives, can comment on these issues beyond that which are already evident in court rulings, documents, and related motions,” company spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda said, according to the “Respectfully, Nortel on the advice of counsel, declines the invitation.”
John McKay, a Parliament member, told the newspaper he wanted to hear from both sides about Nortel finances.
“It does seem to offend your sense of fairness that certain people seem to be doing very well out of a bankruptcy and others seem to be left holding the bag. Inarguably, they each made important contributions to the viability of the company,” McKay said, according to the newspaper.
Nortel employs some 2,000 people at a campus in the Triangle.