September 12, 2004
Gattung’s huge payrise brings call for rules
The country’s largest union is asking the Government to ensure that rules to stop abuse of a dominant market position apply to the labour market as well as the consumer market.
The call comes in the wake of a 60 per cent pay rise for Telecom chief Theresa Gattung.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that Gattung’s pay rise to a salary of $2.8 million a year was obscene – especially when the people who worked on the phone network were getting virtually nothing.
“Telecom contracts two companies – Downer and Areva – to do all the technical and maintenance work on its network,” Mr Little said.
“Workers at Downer have been told that they can’t have a pay rise this year, and at Areva they’re getting next to nothing. The reason there is no pay rise for them is that Telecom uses it position as the dominant customer in that market to force prices down – and that means wages,” he said.
Mr Little said that it appeared that the Commerce Act did not cover monopolies in the labour market, and that tomorrow he would ask the Government to look at the situation.