Foxtel blockaded with strikes to continue

Industrial action hampering Foxtel's AU$560 million dollar digital roll-out has escalated with no end to the strike in sight as it enters its fourth day.Secretary of the Communications Union (CEPU), Len Cooper said the sub-contractors have voted to stay on strike indefinitely, and stage vehicle blockades and protests at Foxtel headquarters in every state following the breakdown of talks with the company this morning.

Industrial action hampering Foxtel's AU$560 million dollar digital roll-out has escalated with no end to the strike in sight as it enters its fourth day.

Secretary of the Communications Union (CEPU), Len Cooper said the sub-contractors have voted to stay on strike indefinitely, and stage vehicle blockades and protests at Foxtel headquarters in every state following the breakdown of talks with the company this morning.

The striking workers began staging the Sydney protest immediately after this morning's meeting at 11 am.

Pedestrians in the Darling Harbour area close to Foxtel's Sydney headquarters today played audience to an orchestra of horns and shouts as convoys of vehicles bearing Foxtel markings voiced their protest to what they see as inadequate rates for digital installations.

Cooper said the workers were demanding higher rates for digital equipment installations. The unions argue that the increased time required to install the equipment and train customers was cutting into their hourly rate.

"The rate they're offering leaves the sub-contractor, if they're lucky, with AU$10 so that's the major issue here -- they're out to get their rates increased," said Cooper.

The industrial action has cast a cloud over the success of the roll-out of the 130-channel service, which is widely viewed by industry observers as a gamble.