Update: This article originally stated that the CWU had claimed that Visionstream was planning to cut its workforce by up to 40 percent. Visionstream has since stated that the real figure is somewhere close to 40 workers.
news Telecoms and ICT services provider Visionstream is to slash its workforce, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) has said.
The CWU said that the company had warned both itself and employees that it intends to make “deep cuts” to staff numbers, despite recently having had a major contract with Telstra renewed for five years.
Visionstream incorporates the former operations of SilcarTelepower and its business remains focused on its contract for network integrity and facilities management of Telstra’s exchange and network assets, although it is also an NBN partner providing wireless and fibre network services.
As a result of this reliance on one company, it is “particularly vulnerable to peaks and troughs in the flow of work from Telstra and to the latter’s decisions about the extent to which it will invest in proactive maintenance”, the CWU said.
The CWU added that there has been a decrease in the amount of “proactive works” Telstra will expect under the Visionstream’s renewed contract.
The union said that it had spent “considerable time” during recent enterprise agreement negotiations trying to address these workflow issues with the aim of reducing the likelihood of redundancies.
“The CWU is disappointed that, despite ongoing negotiations, Visionstream has now moved to make such sweeping cuts,” it said.
The CWU also questioned whether the company will be able to meet its contractual obligations to Tesla, since the cuts will “inevitably” lower the firm’s number of skilled workers.
The announcement of job cuts has “cast a shadow” over the enterprise agreement negotiations, the union added. These had recently recommenced, following the rejection of a proposal last month.
“While these negotiations can and will continue, it is expected that voting on a new agreement will not take place until the redundancies have been finalised,” said the CWU.
Visionstream has indicated that it wants the process to be completed by the end of this financial year, according to the union.
In the interim, the CWU has called on Visionstream to make voluntary redundancies its primary option and has further requested assurances that work currently being carried out by employees is not “simply being outsourced to contractors”.
Update: After this article was published, Visionstream issued the following statement:
“We do review workforce requirements from time to time, and are planning to make some adjustments to our project workforce relating to a single piece of work. This is likely to impact up to 40 positions across all Visionstream’s some 3,000-strong workforce. These changes will not affect the services we deliver to our clients.”