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Wednesday, September 9

Waged offer shows Visionstream is failing - EPMU

Telecom's new Auckland and Northland contractor, Visionstream, has started advertising paid permanent positions for lines engineers through Work and Income - a development that shows they are not able to meet their obligations to Telecom using their dependent contractor model, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The change in tactics comes just three weeks out from the full handover of Auckland and Northland operations to Visionstream and against a background of increasing faults including more than 500 faults in Northland and a three week increase in wait times for faults and connections in Auckland.

EPMU national industry organiser Joe Gallagher says Visionstream's move to paid permanent employment indicates the company has failed to recruit enough dependent contractors to service the Northland and Auckland networks.

"We've been in continuous contact with our members and from the feedback we're getting from them and their non-union workmates we're confident Visionstream doesn't have the numbers to maintain the network and this new move seems to confirm that.

"We've said all along that attacking the incomes and job security of these engineers would increase the skill shortage and result in further problems for the industry and it looks like that's being borne out. Anyone who depends on the network should be seriously concerned about what will happen once Visionstream takes over.

"The simple answer to Visionstream's staffing problem is to sit down and negotiate a fair and sustainable employment agreement for the hundreds of workers we represent but at the moment it looks like the company would rather play chicken with the future of the network."

The advertisement for the full-time paid jobs is available at: http://www.epmu.org.nz/assets/Visionstream/waged-advertisment.pdf

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