Home Telecoms & NBN NBN subcontractor sacks 55 technicians

NBN subcontractor sacks 55 technicians

Fifty-five technicians working for NBN Co subcontractor Trilogie Resourcing have been terminated today.

The workers, from the Port Macquarie, Newcastle and Hunter, Greater Sydney and ACT regions, were told that the company was shutting shop, according to Shane Murphy, NSW/ACT branch secretary of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union.

He described Trilogie as a labour-hire shell company with ownership connections to NBN Co and Telstra-backed training provider Celemetrix.

Telstra denied any direct links to Trilogie, with a spokesman telling iTWire that it had only done work for the company.

Murphy claimed the sackings were a result of what he called the "failed, sham pyramid-contracting scheme employed by Telstra and their contracting partners".

“The federal government and NBN Co are turning a blind eye to these dodgy employment set-ups. This company has been the subject of a number of worker complaints including the failure to provide adequate training, unlawful withholding of overtime payments and unfair dismissals," he said. 

"NBN Co and the federal government know the way their contractors are operating, but they don’t seem to care. They’ve got a lot to answer for. 

“Today’s job losses are a devastating blow for these workers and their families, and also the predominantly regional areas they work in. It’s also a devastating blow to residents and business who are struggling to have their NBN services connected and outstanding faults repaired. 

“The NBN contracting pyramid is seriously flawed. Industry skills are disappearing; wages are dropping and workers are being left vulnerable. These 55 workers are the faces of a system that’s simply not working.”

Three years ago, NBN Co chief Bill Morrow said that the company was simplifying its contracting scheme and introducing incentives and penalties to cut delays in connecting consumers.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.