Union seeks single collective for Telecom 2000

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) is seeking to bring all 2000 Telecom workers into one collective contract.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) is seeking to bring all 2000 Telecom workers into one collective contract.

EPMU spokeswoman Adelia Hallett says talks concerning a “core” group of Telecom workers got nowhere after several weeks, because the union was unable “to even get anyone in authority to the table”.

Consequently, the EPMU is re-initiating bargaining to cover all Telecom staff.

“That would mean one collective to cover everyone, something that hasn’t been in place at Telecom for about six years,” Hallett says.

The EPMU says its 300 members at Telecom have made repeated requests for negotiations, but it says Telecom prefers individual contracts and has, for the past few years, refused to discuss collectives.

However, under the year-old Employment Relations Act, the union says Telecom can no longer refuse to negotiate with workers.

Telecom spokesman Andrew Bristol says Telecom has received “a number of notes from the union, some of which they have withdrawn. [Last week] we received another and we will be getting in touch with the union about it.”

Bristol says there is no collective agreement at Telecom “because the union has not negotiated one with us”.

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