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Adams must act to get Chorus workers paid

Adams must act to get Chorus workers paid

Amy Adams must step in and ensure that people working on the taxpayer funded ultra-fast broadband roll out get paid and that the sub contractors who pay them are not left in the lurch, Labour’s communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“Hundreds of workers laying out broadband fibre around Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Nelson and Rotorua have not been paid for weeks. They have been told by Transfield Services, which contracts directly with broadband networks Chorus and Ultrafast Fibre, that they won’t be paid until October.

“These involve payments of at least $1 million and likely much more.

“This is simply wrong. The Government cannot allow frontline workers, whether they are on contract or not, to be left stranded. The Government’s fibre rollout is falling behind schedule already and the Minister needs to step in.

“Where is the minister? She’s on a taxpayer funded junket overseas. She should get back here and sort her mess out.

“I understand Chorus lawyers are pouring through their contractual arrangements with Transfield. They don’t want to see themselves mired in another messy public PR disaster.

“But the buck stops with the Government on this and Amy Adams can’t hide. She can’t claim the broadband scheme is a big success and then pretend that paying the workforce that delivers it is none of her business.

“Instead of protecting the frontline workforce she and her government have been concentrating on how they can over ride the Commerce Commission and give Chorus a ‘copper tax’ worth an estimated $100 million by requiring all copper broadband prices to be the same as Chorus’s fibre broadband, so the company can’t be undercut.

“This is simply corporate welfare. But despite handing over $100 million the Government can’t even do something as simple as ensure that workers get paid.

“The flaws in the Government’s broadband rollout are multiplying daily. The Kiwi consumer and the frontline broadband workforce are being disadvantaged and the public and industry should be asking whether Amy Adams and her predecessor Steven Joyce are up to the job,” says Clare Curran.

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