Australia: One.Tel workers eye exec bonuses

The union backing One.Tel workers is considering taking action against the telco's former executives Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling to recover some of their multi-million dollar bonuses.

SYDNEY (ZDNet Australia)--The union backing One.Tel workers is considering taking action against the telco's former executives Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling to recover some of their multi-million dollar bonuses, following revelations that staff will not receive all their entitlements.

"At this point, we don't know if superannuation has been paid," Communications and Public Sector Union organiser Sean Rahui told ZDNet.

"But no funds have been put aside for annual leave," he added. "The administrators are not in a position to pay this to anyone."

Although the AU$7.47 million bonus payments that Rich and Keeling received last year were revised, Rahui said the extent of executive bonuses was "outrageous" and "at the expense" of One.Tel workers who averaged AU$28,000 salaries per annum.

"We're working through our options at the moment," Rahui said, adding that one option would be to "take proceedings direct against Keeling and Rich to receive some money for staff".

In other developments:
Another party has shown interest in acquiring some assets

One.Tel's administrators are negotiating a deal to restructure mobile operations.

Optus withdraws One.Tel's network coverage.

The move, branded a "corporate raid" is referred to the competition watchdog

One.Tel's UK office is said to be profitable and could split from the troubled Australian operation

The One.Tel crisis emerged after revelations that a proposed capital raising of AU$132 million would be insufficient to keep the carrier solvent.

So far no formal announcement has been made to One.Tel's 1400 nationwide workers.

"People have been ringing me this morning asking 'should I go into work?'" Rahui said.

Rahui said that as staff have been paid through until Tuesday, June 5, they should continue to work as normal, however, salary payments cannot be promised after that date.