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Canada Government to Nortel CEO: 'You Can't Snub Us'
House of Commons Wants Explanation of Bonuses and Pension Plan Cuts

Vancouver Sun
June 17, 2009

Looks like Nortel CEO Mike Zafirofski’s polite decline to appear before Canada’s House of Commons today wasn’t good enough. Canadian lawmakers have now ordered him to appear Thursday to explain why top executives raked in big cash bonuses while pensioners and employees were seeing a reduction in benefits, all during the company’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Zafirovski last week expressed that he couldn’t talk about this issue since courts are still hearing issues revolving around the bankruptcy. But the House cited “the supremacy of Parliament” and voted to require Zafirovski’s presence Thursday morning.

It was just last month when Nortel said it would cut more than $8 million from the pension plans of nearly 200 former employees. Meantime, executives have come under increased scrutiny for bonus money they collected at the same time.