Optus workers strike too

Optus workers strike too

Summary: A number of Optus sub-contractors have been on strike since Friday last week and are refusing to carry out the installation and technical maintenance work they normally undertake for the telco.

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update A number of Optus sub-contractors have been on strike since Friday last week and are refusing to carry out the installation and technical maintenance work they normally undertake for the telco.

(Credit: ZDNet.com.au)

"There is some industrial discussion occurring at the moment with the Optus sub-contractors," Mark Foley, managing director of BSA limited, which employs some Optus contractors, confirmed to ZDNet.com.au today.

Optus confirmed that a strike was going on, although it said the scope was limited to NSW. It said that its technicians were still working and were treating faults as a priority. "We will get in contact with customers to reschedule any other work," a spokesperson said.

Foley could not specify how many of his sub-contractors had gone off the job but said it would be around 75 per cent of them. He was talking to the contractors and Optus about the matter, he said. "I think we'll resolve it this week," he said.

According to Foley, the object of the strike was not an increase in pay, but to change the way things were processed and the scope of the work. He would not elaborate further on what that meant.

Foley said he didn't believe Optus' in-house team was still handling faults from Friday when the strike began. Other Optus sub-contractors working for Stream Communications were also on strike, he said. Stream Communications and Optus could not provide comment at the time of writing.

The news came as Telstra workers strike this morning after discussions between the company and its unions broke down.

Topics: Telcos, Optus, IT Employment

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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25 comments
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  • optus strike

    ALL of BSA and Stream Techs are on strike, not 75% and its is about pay.. There has been NO pay increase for 9 years..
    anonymous
  • Optus strike

    As anomymous has stated yes 100% of stream & BSA techs are on strike in N.S.W the dispute is over pay there has been no increase in 9 yeasr
    anonymous
  • Shame Optus.

    No increase for nine years, where do I send my support cheque to?
    anonymous
  • Awful

    It sounds pretty bad :(

    We'll continue to cover this story as it develops -- drop edit@zdnet.com.au a line if you have any further info (we'll keep everything confidential).

    Cheers,

    Renai LeMay
    News Editor
    ZDNet.com.au
    anonymous
  • optus contractor strike

    I am a contractor on strike, I also have not had a pay increase in 9 years not even cpi but optus posted 125 million dollars for the quarter.we have to pay for optus brand stock their name on it for top dollar not other stock for half the price.Hey i have a family to feed...........
    anonymous
  • Optus arrogance

    I too have been an Optus contractor for 9 years now and have only seen our pay rates steadily decrease as the cost of equipment and asssociated materials increase , all the while that optus makes record profits . The true value of any company is its workers , NOT the profits its post . SHAME ON YOU ! And to confirm the strike IS about pay .
    anonymous
  • Yeah optus arrogance!

    I have also worked for the evil optus for 9 years! They've taken my babies (except for 1 of them, damn dingoes, streuth!!)) because i didnt meet the weekly quotas of puppies to be burnt! I wished i could work for telstra, that great aussie company, with its shiny next G network of hope, and the.. ever so handsome sol, i dream of him sometimes in my optus cell... but i digress, optus is so evil! im going on strike for better conditions!! if only i could find my way out of optus fortress of doom!
    anonymous
  • Just Unfair

    We had been made to buy stocks bear Optus logos 3 years ago due to Optus wanted reduced their logistic costs, all the stocks could only be used on Optus jobs not any other places. At the time cost of the stocks were added to the service payment. Over time most stocks prices nearly went DOUBLE, and they deliberately ignored this issue, and terminated few good technicans because they dear to bring this issue on to the table..........typical BULLYING, what eles?
    anonymous
  • corporate greed

    It's just so typical, no wonder they can afford to give their customers consistantly free installations. The subbies go in and do the work for a fraction of the price!
    Someone has made millions from the blood sweat and tears of subbies, all they seem to need is a fair go!
    anonymous
  • What about this

    Last year, Optus asked contractors to do a maintenance job for $36, that included pre-job contact with customer, petrol cost, time travel to the job, and around 20-30 minutes on the site, plus if any faulty cable or parts,would be replaced on CONTRACTOR's COST---Believed it !!!!!
    And, there is more, poor contractors have been forced to spend up to 2 hours for the same job--- due to technical requirement, still with the same $36 BIG PAYMENT.
    Bye Bye Optus, I am going
    anonymous
  • Optus is a charity?

    Subbies are supporting optus, doing work for free. Optus charge customers$99 + materials for faults that are not network related, eg customers dog chews through the cable...subbie must replace cable and doesn't recieve payment for it, the subbie wears the cost of putting in and paying for the new cable.
    anonymous
  • FAIR GO.

    And these are the people (Optus) that want to own our NBN. Seriously do Telstra treat their workers in this terrible fashion. If so the whole industry should be ashamed and lift its game.
    anonymous
  • Fair Go

    Yep, you are right here. I wonder what Mel Sommersberg would have to say about this. (I have no doubt that he would try his best to blame it on Telstra !!!)
    anonymous
  • @FAIR GO.

    "And these are the people (Optus) that want to own our NBN. Seriously do Telstra treat their workers in this terrible fashion. If so the whole industry should be ashamed and lift its game."

    No, Telstra workers never strike about pay and conditions ... wait, hang on a minute ..
    anonymous
  • Telstra staff strike but is it justified?

    Terry do you comprehend the Queens English.

    Please be sensible and respond with comparative pay rates. Are Telstra paying better that Optus? Sol could go on strike too but that doesn't mean he is poorly paid.
    anonymous
  • @Telstra staff strike but is it justified?

    "Terry do you comprehend the Queens English. "

    Yes I do, but I'm Australian, not British, so don't expect me to reply using the Queens English.

    "Please be sensible and respond with comparative pay rates. Are Telstra paying better that Optus? Sol could go on strike too but that doesn't mean he is poorly paid."

    Well there's a clear difference here, it's not Optus employees that are going on strike, it's the sub-contractors. In Telstra's case it's their own employees that are on strike.

    I think the indication there is that Optus employees are happy and satisfied with their remuneration, but their sub-contractors aren't. Optus clearly has 2 choices, sort out the issues, or move onto another sub-contracting firm.

    As for answering your bit as to whether Telstra employees strike for similar reasons to what the Optus sub-contractors are? Well sort of, as per the article the Optus sub-contractors are arguing conditions, the Telstra employees are arguing conditions and pay.
    anonymous
  • strikes need people to really be classified as such

    Hi terry

    from what I can see on the photos posted earlier, it seems that 20 telstra people were striking and ummm 28880 were working?

    gosh.. pretty bad disatisfaction there
    anonymous
  • Roll on Christmas.

    Terry thanks for the courteous reply which interestingly highlighted the contractual difference concerning the sub-contractors.

    I do know the history (and struggle) of the Union Movement and also understand that if all else fails the only recourse left for the worker is withdrawal of their labour.

    I think though that this action should be a last resort only. As a friend of mine used to say "no matter how thin the pancake there are always two sides".

    And I expect that this the case here also.
    anonymous
  • lol, not quite

    5000 voted strike, and so far, there only striking on overtime and the such, so there still at work, there just saying no to HR's excessive demands, and in telstra payphones, CNC contractors/cleaners get paid $5 every payphone they clean, the contracting company pay for chemicals and the such, they themselves get $11 a phone, and these things are coated in graffiti, pretty crap if you ask me
    anonymous
  • Stream / Bsa

    Both of these companies should hang their heads in shame. The way they have treated their subbies whilst lining their pockets is disgusting. If Stream concentrated on its core business instead of diverting funds to other useless/failed ventures then it could renumerate it's contractors correctly and still have lots to spare for its greedy directors.
    anonymous