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One.Tel sacks one thousand workers

Internet access and phone services company has sacked most of its Australian workforce, while UK employees await their own fate
Written by Rachel Lebihan, Contributor

One thousand One.Tel staff were sacked on Friday following the collapse of the junior telco.

"They will be marching them out at 11 o'clock," Communications Union organiser Sean Rahui told ZDNet as he made his way to inform workers of their dismissal.

Rahui said a good proportion of the one thousand sacked workers would be Sydney based, however, One.Tel will keep 400 staff on the ground to help with the company's wind down.

Staff cuts have been on the cards since the embattled telco called in the administrators.

After the initial creditors' meeting earlier this week, joint administrator Steve Sherman said staff could expect employment to cease "as early as the end of the week".

The CPSU is calling on industry big wigs Telstra and Optus to do the right thing and provide employment to redundant One.Tel workers.

"If they're taking over sections of One.Tel's business they should give staff the option to move with that work into the new organisation," Rahui said in an earlier interview with ZDNet.

The CPSU is also fighting to have casual workers -- which could account for up to 25 percent of One.Tel staff -- recognised for severance payments, alongside other workers.

The union also revealed yesterday that the telco hadn't made superannuation payments to workers throughout May.

One.Tel's debt is in excess of AU$600m, with employee entitlements accounting for about AU$19m.

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