More than 60 Visionstream employees could be affected as the telecommunications and IT services company continues to trim its workforce, according to the Communications Workers Union (CWU).
The CWU revealed on 7 April that it had been notified by Visionstream that the company plans to cut more than 60 positions from its field services delivery workforce, as current contracts expire and work volumes decline simultaneously.
The union said those affected will be both direct employees and labour hire workers. In addition, around 22 jobs that are currently covered by either the Visionstream Field Workforce Agreement or the Silcar Communications Agreement are at risk.
A further 17 non-EA and 27 labour hire jobs are also likely to go.
According to the CWU, Visionstream and Silcar failed to win National Broadband Network (NBN) work when the Operations and Maintenance Master Agreements (OMMA) were announced in December 2015, with current contracts for FTTN build expiring in June.
On 21 December 2015, the company behind the NBN rollout, nbn, entered into OMMA agreements for the provision of ‘operate and maintain’ services on the fixed line technologies: Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP); Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN/B) and Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC).
These works involve activating homes and businesses, along with ongoing maintenance to help access to a fast broadband experience. Work covered by the OMMA relates to operations and maintenance work once an area has been declared ‘ready for service’ (RFS) and end-users are able to order a connection.
Service Stream Limited, Telstra and BSA Limited were each awarded an Operate and Maintain Master Agreement.
Visionstream said the company is also experiencing uncertainty and a drop-off in work in other contract areas.
“The company has been seeking expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies, although as usual it says that it will also consider its own requirements when making redundancy decisions,” CWU said in a statement.
In December last year, the CWU also that it had been notified by Visionstream that the company was set to shed staff after the completion of construction work on the Optus Wireless Project.
While the exact numbers had not been finalised, according to the CWU, the company previously said it expected about 80 employees covered by the current enterprise agreement, and a further unspecified number of staff members not covered by the agreement, such as management, to be affected.
Visionstream has built its reputation as an infrastructure construction partner for some of Australia’s largest telecommunications providers.
In April, Visionstream inked a five-year contract with Telstra, estimated to be worth around $350 million. The deal covered network integrity and facilities management, and enabled Visionstream to supply maintenance and building services to more than 40,000 exchange and network assets across Australia.
In October, the company signed a multi-technology mix (MTM) construction contract with nbn, Australia’s National Broadband Builder (NBN).