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‘Sacked’ over Zoom: NBN staff made redundant in 5 minutes

·2-min read
A woman looks concerned with an NBN logo inset
NBN has cut jobs amid company restructure (Source: Getty)

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has sacked 50 staff members over Zoom, The Australian Financial Review has reported, in a move it said is an evolution of the company.

NBN workers told The AFR affected staff were instructed to work from home and assigned a five minute meeting with senior executives where they were told they would be made redundant.

A NBN spokesperson told Yahoo Finance that it is company policy to inform staff members of structural changes over video conferencing.

“Employees at NBN who are personally impacted by organisational change are requested to work from home during the notification of the proposed restructure and start of the consultation process, with conversations held via video conference,” the spokesperson said.

“This is an approach that NBN takes as a nationally located company to ensure a consistent and confidential experience for all employees, regardless of where they or their line management are based.”

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The spokesperson said staff are offered tailored support and assistance through independent counselling and advice programs.

The roles are reportedly office-based positions, and come after NBN removed another 800 roles last year.

At the time, CEO Stephen Rue said job losses were a result of the initial network rollout being completed.

NBN is a Government-owned telecommunications company which has been rife with issues in providing consistent internet service.

And with 5G being rolled out across Australia, many customers have been left frustrated with their NBN connections as 5G is significantly faster.

This comes after hundreds of NBN technicians across Australia walked off the job earlier this month pushing for a parliamentary inquiry into the ongoing issues “plaguing” the network.

The Communications Union (CEPU) National President Shane Murphy called out the company for its poor management and performance.

“The current NBN management couldn’t run a chook raffle, let alone deliver this piece of critical national communications infrastructure in a proper way,” he said.

“The NBN rollout is plagued with issues, not the least of which are dodgy sham employment arrangements, and workers won’t put up with it any longer.”

Murphy said the Government needs the independent inquiry to address the unfair treatment of workers and the effect that has on customer service.

“One of the key areas for investigation is the NBN Co’s pyramid-style contracting model where companies force down pay rates down so they can skim their own profit from the taxpayer funded project. Everyone gets their cut, leaving workers’ pay squeezed and the taxpayer to foot the bill,” Murphy said.

“NBN Co needs to scrap their dodgy pyramid contracting model, improve pay rates and ditch the shonky booking app.”

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