Christchurch action: On Monday 24th August, Telco technicians will be marching from the EPMU offices at 298 Cashel St, through the High St Mall to picket Telecom at 109 Hereford St (Between Durham and Colombo Streets). They will be taking donations to help workers saying no in Auckland. March leaves at 1130am and the picket will likely finish at 1pm.
Background: On June 25th 2009 Telecom announced it was ending its network engineering contract with Transfield and Downer EDI for the Auckland and Northland regions and instead providing the contracts to Visonstream. Because of this change 700 lines engineers are now facing redundancy and are being told by Visionstream that they will only get work if they transfer as dependent contractors to Visionstream.
This would mean these workers would have to front up with up to $60,000 to buy their own vans and equipment, set up limited liability companies and take on the financial risks associated with the industry. They’d also face a drop in income of up to 66%, have no negotiating power and be left with no employment rights. There would be no job security, without knowing when the next work would be coming in. It also allows Telecom to skip all the rights that have been fought for by the working class, such as sick and holiday pay, the 8 hour day etc etc.
The EPMU has more than 500 members who are affected by this change. And they are fighting back – currently Visionstream needs these workers to agree to their terms by October the first. If they don’t Visionstream won’t have the capacity to fulfil its contract.
That’s why the EPMU is saying “NO” to Visionstream. But with redundancy looming saying no is going to get a lot harder. That’s why we are calling on the public to support these workers by donating money and food to get them through the next couple of months.
Because if Telecom and Visionstream successfully strip these workers of their rights and successfully attack their incomes, this way of treating workers will spread.
It’s time for every working Kiwi to say “NO” to this kind of corporate greed.
For more information download the FAQ here.
Click here to find out how to donate to the hardship fund.
Send Telecom’s CEO, Paul Reynolds, an email telling him to step in and sort this mess out. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively use the Global Union mailer to send him one.
You can also help by lobbying MP’s, writing letters to the editor and ringing talkback. The list of MP’s contact details is available here. Try your local MP first and see if you can get an appointment with them to discuss the situation.
The two main talkback numbers to ring are Newstalk ZB on 0800 80 10 80 and Radio Live on 0800 Radio Live (0800 723 465).
An A5 flyer that you can download and print off here.
You can join the Supporters’ Group on Facebook here.