200 NBN rollout jobs to go in Tasmania


July 31, 2013 22:22:17

It is expected up to 200 workers helping roll out the National Broadband Network in Tasmania will be out of a job by Friday.

The NBN rollout has been plagued by problems.

Asbestos concerns halted remediation work in Telstra’s cement pits about nine weeks ago, depriving subcontractors of work.

Telstra has not set a date for it to recommence.

“We understand the impact our current stop work may have on some of our contractors and subcontractors,” said a Telstra spokesman in a statement.

But the situation has now reached a crisis point.

Industry sources have told the ABC subcontractors will halt work on the rollout this Friday, leaving “200 people” without jobs.

“It’s only the start of the avalanche,” said one source.

One Hobart-based subcontractor contacted by the ABC confirmed he has already started laying off “30 staff”.

There are fears it could be “up to 12 weeks” before remediation work in Telstra’s pits recommences.

Subcontractors are still involved in a pay dispute with Visionstream, the company responsible for the NBN rollout in Tasmania.

It’s seeking to alter the way subcontractors are paid.

“We were on an hourly rate, now it wants to change to a per metre rate,” said a subcontractor.

Subcontractors say the new pay rate is inadequate and would see them operating “below cost”.

Communications Minister Anthony Albanese is refusing to intervene, claiming it’s a commercial matter.


First posted

July 31, 2013 18:20:27

Source Article from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-31/200-nbn-rollout-jobs-to-go-in-tasmania/4856810

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