News briefs (April 23, 2001)

MERGERS COSTING EXECUTIVE POSITIONS
Toronto — Most executives lose their jobs because of mergers and corporate restructuring, according to a Drake Beam Morin-Canada report. In Canada, mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations accounted for 79 per cent of executive job losses in 2000, with only eight per cent of job losses due to performance, the study states. The report also found most of these executives are finding new employment through good old-fashioned networking rather than the Internet.

GOODBYE FRINGE BENEFITS
Toronto — No more first-class travelling, company cellphones or magazine subscriptions for employees who were lucky to keep their jobs at the world’s top telecommunications equipment manufacturing firm. Nortel Networks, rated the best company to work for in Canada by Report on Business magazine, is cutting fringe benefits as it faces a dim economic horizon. The first things to go are travel and living expenses (which the company spends about $8-million on annually). Employees who also work from home will be asked to give up office space in order to cut costs. Nortel, famous for employee perks, will restrict pagers, cellphones and two-way wireless pagers to employees who spend 25 per cent or more of their time outside the office. Employees were sent an internal memo informing them of the changes.

HIGHER SALARIES THROUGH EDUCATION
Ottawa — Going to school does pay off, according to a new Statistics Canada study. It found that Canadians with more education and higher literacy skills get better paying jobs, with

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