Visionstream completed its takeover of the Auckland and Northland patch on Thursday and it’s now become clear that they’ve failed to meet the terms of their contract with Telecom as workers have continued to hold out despite being made redundant.
The situation is just crazy. Because of Telecom’s mismanagement there are now hundreds of redundant lines engineers sitting at home without work while Northland suffers from more than 1000 unresolved faults and wait times for faults in Auckland have blown out to unacceptable levels.
As a result Telecom has had to admit that its model isn’t working and has agreed to enter talks with the union to try and find a solution to this mess. That’s a huge change of tone, and offers the first hope this dispute might be starting to near a resolution.
Meanwhile, Telecom and the Government’s mishandling of the migrant workers’ visas has led to dozens of migrant workers stranded in New Zealand without jobs, unable to work legally and with no access to the unemployment benefit. The only source of income they have is a $250-400 a week payment they’re receiving from their union. One engineer from the Phillipines is reportedly stuck in New Zealand unable to afford treatment for his wife back home who’s developed a cancerous tumour in her lung.
That’s just disgraceful. Telecom and the New Zealand Government lured these migrant workers out here promising them a better future. They deserve much better than this.