The fun part: Workers started threatening to blow up buildings and staged what turned out to be a mock bomb threat by putting empty gas canisters in front of Nortel's facility in Châteauford, France. Reports say they took their cue from an auto parts manufacturer that's also going out of business.
The dull denouement: Bloomberg is reporting that Industry Minister Christian Estrosi met with the Nortel workers -- on condition that they stop talking about blowing things up -- and struck an unofficial agreement that will keep Châteauford open until Aug. 16, the deadline for submitting bids to purchase the operation.
Separately: The Wall Street Journal says Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has laid off 600 to 700 employees in San Jose, Calif., with more cuts happening in branch offices. It appears to be part of the 1,500 to 2,000 job cuts Cisco had mentioned in April. (See Cisco Awaits the Hammer.)
In terms of mood, the layoffs are an appropriate cap to Cisco's fiscal year, which ends this month. With Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) having reported optimistic earnings for the PC industry -- maybe -- plenty of eyes will be on Cisco's evaluation of the economy when it reports earnings Aug. 5.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading