On Monday 30 March 2009, 228 employees at Nortel plants in Monkstown in Newtownabbey, Maidenhead and Harlow were called to a meeting and summarily dismissed without notice or redundancy pay. The redundancy treatment of Nortel staff employed in Northern Ireland has been described by the SDLP’s Alasdair McDonnell as a betrayal of massive proportions. “There are fundamental questions that need to be asked and answered about the actions of both Nortel and Ernest & Young in their treatment of these dismissed employees and that is why we called this meeting today. “We want to know why, despite repeated public assurances given by Ernst and Young when Nortel went into administration in January that it would be “business as usual”, promises that contracts would be honoured have been broken. “We want to know why Ernest & Young clearly failed to comply with the required minimum consultation period of 90 days with employees. “And we want to know why Ernest & Young agreed to pay a £15.5m bonus package for Nortel Executives on 20th March and then took a decision 10 days later to make 228 employees redundant at no notice with no redundancy pay”.
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