News that Visionstream will not retain its current contract with Telstra for pit remediation has raised fears of redundancies in the company.
CWU officials learned last week that the current contract for pit remediation work in Victoria and Tasmania had been terminated. A number of redundancies has already occurred in Tasmania but to date the union has not been notified of any in Victoria, with Visionstream saying that they are still investigating options for redeployment of affected staff.
The CWU understands that the contract decision may reflect a move to rationalise the current pit remediation programme, part of which is being undertaken as part of the NBN roll-out and part of which is independent of that project.
If this is the case, Visionstream may win back the work when the revised contracts are put out to tender.
In the longer term though the Coalition’s NBN Mixed Technology Model (MTM) will involve less work on existing pits, ducts and conduit than Labor’s all-fibre plan.
Meanwhile, Visionstream faces further uncertainty as a result of the restructuring of parent company Leighton Holdings by Spanish-owned majority shareholder Hochtief. This has seen key sections of the Leighton business, including construction companies John Holland, Visionstream and Thiess, put on the market.
The CWU will remain in discussions with Visionstream about the likely impacts of these changes on its members in the company.