Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Telecom snouts in the trough

Although multi-million dollar payouts to NZ big business bosses are not unusual, eyebrows are being raised about the $7 million paid last year to Telecom boss, Scotsman Paul Reynolds. This is more than twice what his predecessor got and is despite a 44% fall in Telecom's profit. Barack Obama's disgust at people being "rewarded for failure" is very apt. Of course Reynolds is not the only Telecom bigshot who gets in excess of $1 million a year (the next 7 pay themselves $20 million a year between them); at the same time Telecom wants to reduce the pay and conditions of its linesmen who make about $40,000 a year.

Telecom has long been known for its greedy exploitation of its monopoly position to milk revenue sources to the max (for example, in the 1990s charges for line rentals in NZ were about 6 times those in the USA), its technical retardation, particularly in broadband which has cost NZ dearly, and its autocratic authoritarian attitudes. Naturally big business will answer that they need to throw millions of dollars at people to attract talent. Yeah right. There are umpteen people in the country who could do a far better job than people like Reynolds who would be happy with 10% of his pay. It's time for big organisations to change their way of thinking.

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