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‘Absolute rort’ – Union slams NBN Co for splashing $78 million in senior bonuses while leaving workers unpaid and Australians without basic internet


The union representing NBN Co workers says it’s disgusting that the NBN Co has handed out $78 million in bonuses to its most senior employees during the last 6 months of the pandemic, whilst workers are having their pay cut and in many cases, going unpaid, and Australians are left without basic internet. 

The union is calling for the Federal Government to intervene in NBN Co to stop exorbitant bonuses and scrap the pyramid contracting scheme it’s using to deliver the project. 

CEPU Communications Union National President Shane Murphy said “The reports today that NBN Co is dishing out millions of dollars in bonus payments to their most senior employees is outrageous. 

“While the bosses get millions in bonuses on top of already exorbitant pay, technicians are having their pay cut and are struggling to get their invoices paid whilst thousands of customers are still

being left with shonky internet connections. 

“This shows NBN Co’s utter contempt for their customers and their workers on the frontline.  “This is totally un-Australian and unethical.” 

The revelations today come just months after it was revealed in the Sydney Morning Herald that more than three-quarters of its workforce are earning six-figure salaries. 

“The NBN Co axed hundreds of jobs in 2020, and at the same time was dishing out millions in bonuses to its most senior employees already on six figure salaries. It’s a joke. 

“We need the Federal Government to intervene immediately and put a stop to these bonus payments and instead focus on getting their job right – delivering an effective internet connection to Australian homes and businesses. 

“The way to do this is to invest in an effective employment model. What we have at the moment is a Government endorsed pyramid scheme, and if ever is the time to get rid of it, it’s now. 

The NBN contracts its field-based work to their ‘delivery partners’ who then sub-contract that work to their ‘prime contractors’ who then either subcontract it out again again, or hire low paid, under skilled workers to complete a job they haven’t been properly trained to perform. 

“It’s not the workers’ fault that they’re not being offered the training, pay or hours sufficient to get the job done. Nor is it the customer’s fault for being furious about delayed, failed and shonky installations. 

“It’s become so bad that everyday people are avoiding switching to the NBN altogether, over fear that they’ll be in the same boat – stuck with an inferior connection, or none at all. It’s a pretty dire situation when, in many cases, legacy internet infrastructure was outperforming the new, which is billions of dollars over budget, as it is. 

“At each stage of the way, the ‘delivery partners’ get to wipe their hands clean of the mess they’ve made for customers, all the while pocketing taxpayers’ cash and looking the other way. It’s a system that is clearly failing customers, it’s failing workers and it’s failing taxpayers. 

“The only winners are these middlemen who sit back and rake in the profit with no accountability for the mess they create. 

“The Federal Government needs to step in and fix this problem immediately.


Media contact: Amelia Brock, 0430 187 161

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