Chorus’ announcement that Downer will lose the fibre rollout contract in the lower North Island is bad news for workers and bad news for customers.
That’s the damning view of E tū communications industry coordinator, Joe Gallagher, who believes the telco is “hell-bent on contracting out these jobs to owner-operators, to the detriment of working conditions and the service provided.”
“It’s a de-skilling of the network, it undermines health and safety, and allows for migrant workers to be exploited, undercutting well-paid New Zealand jobs,” Gallagher adds.
As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, Visionstream will be carrying out fibre installations in Wellington, Kapiti Coast and Manawatu.
Visionstream will take over from Downer, however Downer will continue to carry out fibre installations in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.
Chorus expects that some Downer employees will be affected by the change, however, as demand for fibre is increasing significantly, more technicians will need to be recruited than will be affected by this change.
Consequently, Gallagher believes the move will put more pressure on contractors and affect quality.
“We’re already seeing quality issues in Auckland, and customers are sick of the constant delays and mismanagement of this essential infrastructure project,” he adds.
“The Minister needs to get a better handle of what’s going on, and we’re disappointed that she’s not taking a more active role as this is becoming an embarrassing fiasco.”