Some 55 telecommunications technicians employed by a Telstra contractor to perform NBN-related work have lost their jobs after the company folded, according to their union.
The Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union said that the technicians had been "sacked on the spot" today.
The technicians were employed by Trilogie Resourcing, which the union described as a labour-hire shell company. ASIC records reveal Trilogie Resourcing shares the directors and head office address of training provider Celemetrix, which lists NBN and Telstra as partners.
The workers were from Port Macquarie, Newcastle and the Hunter, and the Greater Sydney and ACT regions, the CEPU said.
"These workers were called to a meeting, told they no longer have a job, then ushered over to a storage facility where they had to hand over their phones, car keys and other items and then shoved into taxis and sent home," said the union's NSW/ACT branch secretary, Shane Murphy.
"Workers are currently heading home to tell their families they no longer have a job to pay the bills. It's a devastating position to be in."
"These are a mixture of younger workers, mature-aged workers and workers living with disability," the union leader said. "This company has turfed them out with no regard for their future.
"The CEPU will be doing everything we can to ensure these workers get all their entitlements and are engaging with other industry employers to see if we can find them employment elsewhere."
The union has blamed what it says is a "sham pyramid contracting scheme" employed by Telstra for the sackings.
"The federal government and NBN Co are turning a blind eye to these dodgy employment set-ups," Murphy said.
"This company has been the subject of a number of worker complaints including the failure to provide adequate training, unlawful withholding of overtime payments and unfair dismissals. NBN Co and the federal government know the way their contractors are operating, but they don't seem to care. They've got a lot to answer for."
Celemetrix has been approached for comment.
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