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gwh

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  Reply # 251263 28-Aug-2009 11:50
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Apparently they can band together for economies of scale and I assume some of them already have. They're still effectively one man bands though when it comes to the work place.

Yes, I can assure you there is a shortage of techs and what has happened with Visionstream has introduced a spanner in the works with the training of dozens of apprentices Downer and Transfield employed. Downer and Transfield both were staffed very lean and found it hard to recruit suitable staff. Hence the techs brought in from africa and asia

I'm not sure whether the options are good or not, from my understanding of the VS contract it appears to be a smaller version of the contracts telecom/chorus have always had with Downer/transfield. That degree of risk is do-able for a large corporation who can tolerate a level of risk and aborb losses over an entire country. How well that will translate to small owner-operator businesses I'm not sure.



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  Reply # 251270 28-Aug-2009 12:15
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gwh:
I don't know if you are self-employed, own your own business or work for someone else but surely you can grasp that these people actually may not want to own their own businesses with all the attendant requirements and are actually happy working for wages.



I own an IT consulting firm and can completely understand why the workers might want to strike, but I think it's illogical.



Ragnor:
Is there anything stopping groups of these guys forming their own business together and then sub-contracting to visionstream and/or whoever needs their skills?

If there really is a shortage of skilled lines engineers wouldn't visionstream have to deal with them?

From an outside point of view it seems like there are good options but it's just resistance to change and lack of imagination in the way...



If there is a shortage, it's Visionstream's problem as they created the contract with Telecom.  I'm saying Telecom should be suing these contractors though because their inability to sort their staff/subcontractors out is not Telecom's problem.


My suggestion with the electrical training was just one possibility, but these workers should be getting together and creating engineering businesses that as one line of work deal with Telecom's network, as well as say doing wiring jobs and so on.  There is plenty of money to be made in this.  The 7am-7pm requirement by Visionstream is simply to be AVAILABLE.  I have the same availability clause in all the contracts for our own subcontractors, we don't force them to work between 9-5, they just need to be able to schedule time in for us we have work to be done.


I can think of many cases dealing with our own customers where we have had to arrange data wiring guys to be on site at the same time as Telecom engineers to handle all our wiring needs in a co-ordinated basis.  If the same guy connecting the phone line could also deal with the data wiring (and we'd pay close to $100/hr for really good wiring guys) then that would be fantastic, and the linesman ends up much better off.

gwh

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  Reply # 251289 28-Aug-2009 13:35
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Bender, many, if not most, of these techs on strike aren't the provisioning technicians you are used to working with or associate with Telco work. These are cable faultmen, faultmen , cable location staff, inside/equipment techs. The provisioning staff in cities are already owner-operators and used to dealing with many other companies. Working for Visionstream may well just be a change in master for the provisioners, for the others its a radical change from anything they have done before.
The equipment/Inside plant techs may well be able to work for others if they are in the city, not so much of an option outside a city unless they move into other fields. I know that from my own personal experience.
The cable guys are stuck basically. Visionstream's work is the only game in town for this skill set. yes they can work for the other companies putting cable about in cities but the terms of their contract with VS will effectively stop them taking on large contracts unless they can cover the VS work.
And there's not much money to be made working for telecom as a small 3rd party contractor, that's also from personal experience.
Why isn' Telecom slugging it to the contractors? Don't know, nor do I know why Chorus is publicly sticking up for VS when it could wash its hands of the whole affair. I'm sure you and I could think up all sorts of reasons for that.
In the time the IT side of our industry has been making reasonable bucks, Telecom has seen to it that their contractors don't have any flash ideas about $100/hr rates.

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  Reply # 251320 28-Aug-2009 14:33
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techsupport: How can it not be Paul Reynolds problem? He is the CEO of Telecom. Telecom owns Chorus.
I suggest you take your issue up with him because the buck stops there, utlimately.

Paul Reynolds is not responsible for the day to day running of Chorus, nor for the resolution of any individual customer faults.

Your statement is misguided, and shows a lack of understanding of how business runs at its most basic level.

CEOs are not there to (nor able to cope with) enquiries from end clients about day to day issues.

Cheers,

Tony "The customer is probably wrong." Hughes.







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  Reply # 251346 28-Aug-2009 15:30

there are guys that are wanting to form companies but visionstream arent really wanting any more than 30-40 guys per "contractor"

for the inside plant techs its going to be very hard to make money as they would have to get a sparky in to do the power. he must be approved by vs/telecom to get the server in the rack your going to need to hire someone else to help you install it and for all of these its "built into the codes"

unless you have a company of guys then its going to be really really hard to make the so called "good money" vs are saying. i know one inside tech who has 20years exp and is already a contractor to one of the service companies would be only making $30K after everything is paid. he was making a lot more than that now. he is talking about leaving the industry.

i am still trying to find an inside plant tech that has signed on. these are the ones that install/maintain the routers/switchs/mobile sites/asam/isam etc

only time will tell what happens.

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  Reply # 251417 28-Aug-2009 20:03
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bender:

I own an IT consulting firm and can completely understand why the workers might want to strike, but I think it's illogical.



Yeah, we could tell by your blatant disregard for employees, hatred of organisations that stick up for employee rights, arrogant attitude, and propaganda lines like "diversifying income".  Yup, you're an employer all right.




I finally have fibre!  Had to leave the country to get it though.


Nate wants an iphone
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  Reply # 251424 28-Aug-2009 20:49
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No need for personal attacks, Kyanar.




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Wob

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  Reply # 251713 30-Aug-2009 12:32
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Telecom cannot be excused from responsibility for the state of the Telecommunications industry in NZ, and the anger from contractors should be directed towards Telecom.

Telecom set the stage and wrote the script, by continually setting contracting companies against each other and driving down rates, they are all struggling to survive. It doesn't have to be this way. When TCL went through the same process and selected Astute as their sole contracting service parter in 2003 (this was actually before Telecom narrowed down their contract partners to Downers and Transfield), it was not solely on price, but a wider view with respect to the contract package; value for money, SLAs, quality of work, NZ coverage.

I really feel for the people who are being forced into the Visionstream contract model. As has been stated already in this thread, many have been doing this for a long time and don't want to take on the expense and risk of setting themselves up as an independent, solely dependent on Visionstream for their work and their livelyhood. 

As for banding together and setting up co-ops, they are going to be too far down the food chain to make any money. The contracting companies are not making mega-bucks working for Telecom (Transfield just about pulled the plug on Telecom work last year), so a contractor working for a contractor will barely cover costs or more likely be at a loss.

I would respectively request that before commenting on this, look at the history. I have blogged about this subject (it is very close to my heart), and there have been numerous forum threads.

What has happened to this industry?? 

Visionstream awarded Chorus Auckland patch - another blow against the industry at the hands of Telecom 

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=39&TopicId=39759

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=39&topicid=40145




 




 

Now based in Perth WA.

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Any comments or posts are not necessarily the opinion of my employer - who are bloody marvelous by the way.


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  Reply # 252322 1-Sep-2009 17:28

well i got my notice. so did a load of guys i work with.

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  Reply # 252949 3-Sep-2009 17:15
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Telecom's position cant really be defended in this instance. As people have pointed out, they have shifted all the risk to the individual, without a choice in it.

It appears to be worse than a franchise as there is no area protection, no group marketing, being reliant on another contractor for your income, and a host of other reasons.

What if someone cant get a loan to get the necessary equipment?

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  Reply # 253066 4-Sep-2009 07:27

the lastest news is that visionstream have been told by immigration to employ all of the people on work permits. and to be employed for at least 2 years after they get there papers.

how the hell is that fair for the normal kiwi who has to be owner/op its not at all.

also the vans dont have your own business name on it. and you cant go do ofter work in it as it has chorus on the side. how can you do the "other work" visionstream talk about turning up in a chorus branded van. the customer will think its now chorus doing say tv antenna installs.

Wob

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  Reply # 253081 4-Sep-2009 08:34
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also the vans dont have your own business name on it. and you cant go do ofter work in it as it has chorus on the side. how can you do the "other work" visionstream talk about turning up in a chorus branded van. the customer will think its now chorus doing say tv antenna installs.


Good point! Currently Downers techs doing Vodafone work can't rock on up to a site in a Chorus badged vehicle.

I'm sure Telecom wouldn't be thrilled about a Chorus badged van doing Sky installs, but they are ultimately driving things that way.




 

Now based in Perth WA.

Check out my blog
Any comments or posts are not necessarily the opinion of my employer - who are bloody marvelous by the way.


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  Reply # 253192 4-Sep-2009 14:50
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Quite appropriate they do it the second National get it.......


Unions came about for this very reason, people......

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  Reply # 253307 4-Sep-2009 19:54

Wob:
Good point! Currently Downers techs doing Vodafone work can't rock on up to a site in a Chorus badged vehicle.

I'm sure Telecom wouldn't be thrilled about a Chorus badged van doing Sky installs, but they are ultimately driving things that way.


i know i have had to leave my car at the depot a few times >.<

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  Reply # 254183 8-Sep-2009 21:41
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Visionstream want small groups of contractors, as that will create greater competition.

Greater competition means lower cost.

Lower cost means a reduction in quality of work done, and/or a reduction in the skill level of those doing te work, as people leave for better paid roles overseas or in other industries.

Not only is this whole fiasco bad for the contractors, it is also bad for the industry, and bad for the end users who will have to use the reduced quality products and services from less skilled staff.

Having lost my connection, I'm happy to wait for a while if it helps the contractors get a fair deal.

I survived the first 20 odd years without internet at home, I'm sure I can live a couple of weeks.

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