Tuesday 20 January 2009

Nortel into administration, ICL, STC and Nortel pensions impact

Disgracefully, most of the coverage of Nortel (UK) going into administration focuses more on the impact on the 2012 Olympics (for which Nortel is a sponsor) than on the 2000 UK employees, many of whom are UNITE members. This BBC report is typical.

Concern about what has happened to Nortel will be even wider than its current employees, their families, friends and supporters.

As Electronics Weekly comments "Nortel is the first major vendor in the ICT industry to have gone into administration as a direct result of the credit crunch". Will it be the last?

There is also likely to be an impact on the pension fund for 43,000 people, as Nortel has asked the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to rescue it.

The figure of 43,000 pension fund members seems extraordinarily large. At least part of the reason is that Nortel used to be Northern Telecom, a firm which took over STC in the 1990s. STC owned ICL (now Fujitsu Services) until 1991. When STC sold ICL to the Fujitsu group, STC kept most of the pension fund, along with all the current and deferred pensioners. In those days of pension fund surpluses, this must have seemed an attractive proposition - it certainly caused a lot of concern to those of us in ICL at the time.

1 comment:

Ian said...

There's an announcement on the Nortel Pensions web site now.

The list of companies some of whose former employees are affected is staggering:

Abbey Life
Alfred Teves
Ashe Laboratories Ltd
Best & May
BT Wales
Cannon Electric (GB)
Commercial Cable Co.
Exacta Circuits
Grohe Ltd
Heynau (GB)
International Marine Radio Co.
ITT Components Group Europe
Erie Electronics
ITT Controls
Flowstream Div
MacLaren Div
ITT Creed
ITT Distributors
EC Pension Trust
Halsey's Electric
Sun Electrical
J H Scott Electrical
Howitt Wholesale
Bennett Fielding
ITT Fluid Handling
Jabsco Pumps
Bell & Gossett
ITT Flygt Pumps
ITT Terryphone
ITT World Directories
J C Carter (UK)
Leifheit International
London & Edinburgh
Newey & Eyre
Northern Telecom (i)
Northern Telecom (ii)
Northray Foods
Phillips Drill Co. (UK) Ltd
Potter Cowan
Rayonier Industries
Rimmel International
Sheraton Corp.
Submarine Cables
TV Rentals
Gardners Telemeter
Pearl Radio
Union Carbide Ltd
Wakefield Fortune