Western Perspective

Downers buys Astute. Downers now SP for Telecom, TCL and Vodafone

By Rob Anderson, in , posted: 29-Apr-2008 10:02

I had a call from the South Island Manager on Thursday while I was on my way to a job in Clinton:
"Downers have bought Astute, as of today you are redundant"

Nice! I turned around and headed home - really looking forward to telling my wife that news!!

It is not as bad as it seems though. When Downers took on all the TCL work for the SI, all the Astute techs were offered jobs by Downers. The same will probably happen for everyone in Astute now.

I have a clause in my contract:
"we will use reasonable endeavours in the courese of negotiating the restructuring to persuade the new employer to offer employment to you in the same or a similar position and on terms and conditions no less favourable than these, and on the basis that your service will be regarded as continuous"

I really hope this happens!! My family and I will really struggle if we have to take a cut in income.

I have blogged about this before. Now the situation is even more interesting (interesting because I can't decide if it's more or less complicated).

Downers are now:
  • One of the two (along with Transfield) exclusive service partners for Telecom.
  • The exclusive service partner for TelstraClear.
  • the faults and maintenance contract company for Vodafone.
Wow! Looks like I might be working for Downers, as is just about everyone else in this industry.

Other related posts:
Visionstream awarded Chorus Auckland patch - another blow against the industry at the hands of Telecom
Transfields future as Telecom SP on knife-edge
What has happened to this industry??

Comment by chiefie, on 29-Apr-2008 10:35

Good luck and all the best... I've noticed this when Downer came and installed our second digital decoder.

Comment by hellonearthisman, on 29-Apr-2008 12:36

I'm worried for you as it looks like downers have remove their market compilation, now they can work on holding down the wages of people like yourself. I hope your clause holds up for you.

Comment by antoniosk, on 29-Apr-2008 19:44


It's not all bad... I'm driving some cool stuff that will create work for people...

Comment by TheBartender, on 29-Apr-2008 23:09

I hear ya...

I know all about it through my old man...
Currently works for Downer in Wingate, Lower Hutt

Hes a 'designer'...although hes held various titles over the years as the company restructured and made him reapply for his job on 3 separate occasions...

He always got it back though, as supposedly his expertise is in high demand/there is a shortage...

He was originally Telecom, Telecom restructured and he was forced to reapply twice for his 'new' job with them...

Then faults was separated and became Connectel...so he then worked for Connectel...

Then Connectel restructured, he got his job back again, another title, additional tasks etc etc...

Then Connectel was brought by Downer...so he now works for Downer...and again they restructure often and his job title and associated tasks change regularly.

If my old man if someone to go by, I don't think you will be made unemployed, as there is more work then they can handle, not enough staff...my old man is one who goes and scouts for the work, creates the jobs for others...

But I also warn ya, Downer 'restructure' regularly and they result in job losses, for the good of the company's bottom line.

Good luck

Author's note by Wob, on 29-Apr-2008 23:26

antoniosk - thanks, keep me in mind.

Bartender - I too worked for Telecom back in the early days, and have been through enough restructurings in Yurp to know that they do nobody any good apart from senior management. My lovely wife has some theories about restructurings and how they are meant to keep the rank and file on their toes - control mechanisms at their finest!! Say gidday to your dad for me and mention that we'll catch up for a beer the next time I'm in our nation's capital and swap war stories.

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Rob Anderson

Ex Telecom Radio Technician, still in the industry working for everyone except Telecom.

Had enough of the cold, upped sticks and moved to Perth, WA.
Now working for NBN Co on Australia's largest infrastructure project ever.

Samosa lover.