Telecom's the latest company to announce job cuts and unions say it's clear the government's jobs strategy is in tatters.
Telecom's confirmed it will cut hundreds of jobs as it tries to reduce costs, meaning these are anxious times for the more than 7000 people who work for the company.
Telecom says its looking at job cuts in every part of its business.
“I'm not sugar coating that. We do have a lot more people in our business relative to competitors, we are certainly talking about a significant number, and I think that will be well into the hundreds,” says chief executive Simon Moutter.
Many within the industry believe the announcement was inevitable.
“Following the demerger with Chorus, we have taken a lot of the business away from Telecom and yet their costs and their staffing structure stayed the same,” says TUANZ’s Paul Brislen.
Telecom plans to make a final decision on jobs by May.
“We'll work through this as quickly as we can because the noise here is ‘do not prolong this, it's just too hard’,” says Mr Moutter.
Telecom may not be the only telco to cut jobs - Vodafone's buying TelstraClear and will be looking at what operations can be merged.
The Telecom cuts come on the heels of redundancies at Mainzeal, Contact Energy, New Zealand Post, Summit Wool Spinners and what could be big job losses at Solid Energy.
“There is desperation out there. I mean 1500 people applied for jobs at The Warehouse last week in Mount Roskill, I mean there is not many jobs out there and it's getting worse by the day,” says the EPMU’s Joe Gallagher.
But the Prime Minister says jobs are being created too.
“Every week I am at the opening of some new production plant, or some new operation that is looking to hire people. Yesterday I was in Rotorua at Red Stag, last week I was at
IBM where they are looking to create 400 jobs, so we live in a very flexible labour market,” says John Key.
Many of the jobs losses at telecom will occur at the company's Auckland head quarters.
Telecom's looking at whether there is too much duplication of work among its staff. Departments that will be looked at include human resources, the legal and accounting teams and even the top executives.
The last annual report showed over 2500 staff here and abroad earned more than $100,000.
Ten of them - including the chief executive - earned more than $1 million.
Telecom believes the job prospects are good for the staff it will have to let go.
“They are highly skilled staff, they are very technologically able. It's a world where technically capable people are in strong demand, so we are quite confident,” says Mr Moutter.