LRO And Lucent Executives Meet And Agree To Work Together On
Issues Important To Retirees
Representatives from the LRO and Lucent met on January 14, 2005 at Lucent's Murray Hill, NJ Headquarters. The meeting was an effort to begin the process of exchanging meaningful information that will hopefully rebuild retirees' confidence in the security of their pensions and understand the financials associated with health care coverage, life insurance and prescription drug benefits.
The LRO was represented by Jim Breslin, LRO President, Board Members Bill Kadereit and Herb Zydney, and Bob Ardis, retired attorney and member of the LRO Public Affairs Committee.
Lucent's representatives were Chairman and CEO Patricia Russo, CFO Frank D'Amelio; Mark Gibbens, Treasurer; John Hickey, Vice President of Finance, Pamela Kimmet, Senior Vice President of Human Resources; Collette Chilton, President of LAMCO, a wholly owned Lucent investment company; Bill Carapezzi, General Counsel, and Steve Kronheim, Attorney.
On a conference call with the LRO Board on January 17, the LRO representatives described the 4 ½-hour meeting as "very productive," "a good start toward building confidence," and "opening a door to an on-going dialogue."
Jim Breslin said Pat Russo reflected a receptiveness to listen to issues of concern to retirees and work with LRO leaders. He said the LRO representatives -with support from a number of LRO Board members- had done extensive preparation for the meeting, gathering and analyzing data from Lucent's filings with the SEC and researching independent sources on pension and health care issues.
"It appears that Lucent has a genuine interest in sharing information that is important to retirees,"
Breslin said. The LRO representatives discussed with Board members priorities for obtaining detailed information from Lucent on the pension, health care and life insurance trust funds and the future funding of prescription drug benefits.
"This meeting provided clear evidence of the LRO's credibility in advocating retirees' rights. We are hopeful that we can work together with Lucent to reduce the concerns of retirees," Breslin said.
"The potential for forthrightness between our two organizations is certainly now light-years ahead of where we were before the meeting."
The LRO intends to follow up with Pat Russo and her team with requests for specific information on selected issues. Also, the LRO will explore with Lucent what the next steps will be to move forward as allies while keeping the focus on retiree's concerns.