K.O. Raschke, President
231 Pinetuck Lane Winston-Salem, NC 27104 336-765-9765
December 21, 2006
Ms Cindy Christy, President & CEO
Alcatel-Lucent North America Region
600 Mountain Avenue
Murray Hill, NewJersey 07974-0636
Dear Ms. Christy,
Congratulations on your new assignment. The Lucent Retirees Organization (LRO) extends its best wishes for your and Alcatel-Lucent’s total success and well being.
In January 2003 the LRO was founded to present a unified retiree voice. In recognition of the strong competitive demands within our industry, our foremost priority was to offer the total professional support of our membership in any area that Lucent deemed appropriate. Knowing the collective experience and long term Customer contacts that our members had achieved, we were positive that – through volunteer work – we could have a very positive impact on the telecommunications Customer base thus ensuring further Customer loyalties.
Accordingly, we requested and have attended several meetings over these past years with Henry Schacht and Pat Russo and their staffs. In those sessions it was agreed that our offers of assistance would be considered, but, to our disappointment, they were never acted upon. And then several actions were taken that significantly diminished retiree benefits. As a result, it became our primary goal to understand and examine those actions and do our best to support and advise our retiree universe.
Now, in light of the recent Alcatel-Lucent establishment, we would appreciate meeting with you to discuss what may possibly be in the future for retirees. Of course, we would again wish to discuss how the LRO can assist Alcatel-Lucent in assuring Customer loyalties. [We note that you began your career with AT&T Network Systems – the organization that was once Western Electric. It was within those entities and/or with Bell Laboratories, that our members got their vast knowledge and experience.]
Please consider our request for a meeting with you and any members of your staff you deem appropriate. An appointment sometime during the 1Q07 is our suggestion. We would like to understand what effects, if any, the formation of Alcatel-Lucent will have on the retiree universe - - especially in the areas of pension and health benefits.
We also feel that we can be of help with suggestions for better communications and would like to explore that with you as well. For example, one of our members – upon reaching age 65 – was informed that he could no longer continue his contributory life insurance through Lucent. However, he was not advised that he could directly, without consideration of pre-existing conditions, obtain coverage with the carrier during a grace period following his 65th birthday. We have always understood the grace period to be a given. Whether this remains the case or not, the inclusion of an advisory in the termination notice would be a feasible and considerate approach.
Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to your response and advisory as to a meeting and available dates.
K. O. Raschke