Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Alice Campbell Nortel LTD passed away April 2nd 2010

The following is a Memorial for Alice Campbell from the "Rights for Nortel Disabled Employees"

Saturday, April 3, 2010, 1:00 P.M.

Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about the passing of Alice Campbell on April 2, 2010 at 6:00 P.M.

Alice Campbell is a fellow Nortel long term disabled employee, who spoke to CBC National News on November 26, 2009 about the injustice of Nortel not honouring her disability income and medical benefits.

When Gillian Finlay of CBC asked Alice what she would say to Nortel's John Doolittle, she said: "Quit being so greedy. You know. There's a lot of us people in the world. They want to have the whole world for themselves. These people get so greedy. But, they're taking their share and our share. It's not right!"

Alice started the journey with the group of 37 Nortel long term disabled employees, who oppose the Nortel settlement even though it pays for our medical costs for the next nine months, because this settlement forces us to live in poverty for the rest of our lives. Our group believes the effect of Justice Geoffrey Morawetz approving this settlement on March 31, 2010 is:

(i)to deny us the right to sue parties responsible for an alleged Breach of Trust involving Nortel not making required employer contributions into the Health and Welfare Trust (HWT) for many years and the HWT loaning Nortel $37 million. This results in a total shortfall within the HWT of an estimated $112 million for payment of the LTD wage loss replacement income, medical, dental and life benefits; and

(ii) to attempt to prevent a BIA amendment for preferred status of long term disability claims to be applicable to us.

Peter Burns says: "In memory of Alice Campbell, our group will not give up the fight to have our long term disability benefits paid from the Nortel bankruptcy estate on a preferred basis. The missing money in the HWT is ours, not theirs, and we want it back now."

Our future is in the hands of the Ontario appeal court to overturn J. Morawetz's decision, that asks us to accept living in poverty for the rest of our lives.

Josee Marin says: "We urge the Conservative Senators to join their Liberal colleagues in the vote for Senator Art Eggleton's Bill S-216, which gives preferred status for long term disability claims over other unsecured creditor groups. It is a question of human dignity to be able to get the benefits we paid for, it is what we need in order to survive."

"Our lives and our ability to live independently are in the hands of Industry Minister Tony Clement, Finance Minister James Flaherty and Parliamentary Secretary of Finance Ted Menzies, who are examining the matter and will report to Parliament shortly. Our group is not asking for "Special Rights" or government handouts. We simply wish our courts and our Federal Government to ensure fairness in bankruptcy proceedings, such that a Breach of Trust of the disabled is remedied in full to enforce the obligations of employers providing long term disability benefits," says Arlene Borenstein.

Nortel's Directors and governance committees for the HWT could have put the missing money back into the trust for the disabled prior to its bankruptcy filing, since the company had $1.8 billion of available cash world-wide at that time. The bankruptcy law amendment for Nortel's disabled would have incremental cost of less than 2% of the Nortel world-wide estate, which has projected cash of $6 billion for disbursement to world-wide creditors later this year or in 2011. While the Canada Estate has estimated cash of only $134 million at April 24, 2010, it will be getting a future share of the projected $4 billion cash in the lock box from Nortel's business sale proceeds.

The disabled should not be forced into poverty when there are billions of dollars in bankruptcy estates and executives are being paid millions of dollars in bonuses. It s not a Special Right to have quality of life and peace of mind for the most vulnerable people in Canadian society.

For more information contact:
Peter Burns---
José Marin--- (Bilingual)
Arlene Borenstein (Plante)---

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