October 6, 2008
Transfield and Telecom cut deal, redundancies cancelled – EPMU
Around 1400 telecommunications engineers now have job security after Telecom and its second largest contractor, Transfield, negotiated a deal to keep Transfield in the industry, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
Redundancies of 170 jobs announced a fortnight ago have also been stopped.
The deal between Telecom and Transfield, which was announced today, follows protest action by EPMU members pressuring the two companies to reach an agreement in order to save jobs and improve job security.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little has welcomed the deal and says it will come as a relief to union members at Transfield.
“If this deal hadn’t gone through there would have been 1400 redundancies in the New Year and our members would have faced the prospect of either starting from scratch with a different Telecom contractor or taking their skills overseas.
“This was always an issue about the skills in this industry and the fact that those skills are sorely needed at a time when significant investment in new technology has been strongly foreshadowed.
The EPMU’s national telecommunications and electrical industry organiser, Joe Gallagher, says members have been under extraordinary pressure over the last few weeks.
“Our members didn’t even know whether they’d have jobs next year and were only told of the possibility of redundancies halfway through a nationwide vote for a pay deal.
“Now the dust is settling on the whole Transfield-Telecom issue and there is some certainty for our members and for their employer we’ll be restarting the vote on that deal as soon as possible.”
During the company negotiations late last week EPMU members staged protest action at Telecom’s AGM in Wellington as well as in Hamilton and Blenheim.
The EPMU represents 50,000 New Zealand workers across 11 industries including 6,000 in the telecommunications and electrical industry.