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Telecom’s change of plan a sign of desperation

Press Release – Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union

The EPMU says Telecom’s decision to bring forward the transition of Auckland and Northland work to Visionstream by three weeks is a sign of desperation as fault repair times blow out and workers continue to refuse to sign over to Visionstream. The announcement …

August 31, 2009
Media Release

Telecom’s change of plan a sign of desperation

The EPMU says Telecom’s decision to bring forward the transition of Auckland and Northland work to Visionstream by three weeks is a sign of desperation as fault repair times blow out and workers continue to refuse to sign over to Visionstream.

The announcement comes as lines engineers in Northland enter their third week of full strike action and low-level industrial action continues in other centres.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the accelerated timetable is a sign of Telecom’s desperation.

“We’re aware there’s now such a backlog that 118 faults are lying unfixed in the Northland area and fault repair times in major centres have blown out to three weeks from a baseline of two to three days.

“Telecom clearly doesn’t have the people it needs to maintain the network and this last-minute raising of the stakes is a desperate attempt to compel our members into signing a viciously one-sided contracting arrangement they have overwhelmingly rejected.

“There’s no need for Telecom to continue putting the network at risk like this. We maintain there is an alternative model that can meet both our members’ needs and Telecom’s, but first Telecom needs to show it is willing to sit down and talk to us.

“Telecom talks about the need to have a world-class telecommunications network but that can’t be done without a secure and engaged workforce. We’re calling on them to stop trying to compel our members into a model they’ve rejected and start negotiating with the union in good faith.”

The EPMU represents nearly 1000 Telecom lines engineers nationwide, including 600 in the Auckland and Northland patch that has recently been contracted to Visionstream.

ENDS

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