Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – As Nortel continues to liquidate assets as part of its bankruptcy liquidation, stories continue to surface from former employees who were left angry and financially broken by the company’s demise.

From Canadian pensioners facing loss of benefits to people thrust back into a job search environment that is hardly booming after years working for Nortel in RTP, they have vented a great deal of anger and frustration.

For example, Gwyneth Edwards, a 17-year Nortel employee who was laid off last year.

“I hung up the phone and sat in silence for a very long time,” she wrote in the Montreal Gazette on Tuesday about her own layoff notice.

“And then I screamed for a very long time. I wanted my money. After working so hard, for so long, and after laying off so many of the people that I had hired, I was furious. The Nortel I loved no longer existed. It had been captured and killed by thieves who cared nothing about the company, the employees or Canada, for that matter. Since everything else had been taken away, I should at least get some money.”

Edwards now is a Ph.D. candidate in business strategy and lecturer at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University.

“Nortel paid me well, trained me, promoted me, sent me on trips, and paid for my MBA. In return, I was fiercely loyal,” she wrote.

To no avail.

Nortel is selling off its investments in venture capital funds and recently sold its high-tech headquarters in Canada. Still remaining is the company’s formidable intellectual property portfolio.

Unfortunately, most of the people who helped Nortel amass so much IP are either no longer there, retired and hoping to survive, or working for other companies.

Interestingly, Ericsson says it has added some 150 workers to operations in Ottawa it acquired as part of Nortel’s fire sale. Reports the Ottawa Gazette: “The workforce has grown to 900 employees, up by 150, as Ericsson hires more transition experts and other parts from a bargain-basement Nortel shopping spree.”

Maybe one day Edwards will be back working with a phoenix rising from the Nortel ashes.

For her entire story, read here.

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