Around 200 Telecom lines engineers are being laid off today as Telecom's new contractor Visionstream takes over operations in Northland and most of Auckland.

Members of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union refused to sign on to new contracts, claiming they will lose thousands of dollars of income.

Union spokesman Joe Gallagher says Telecom customers with phone faults have a long wait ahead of them because he claims Visionstream does not have enough engineers.

He says faults are building up and there are more than 600 in Northland alone.

Mr Gallagher says the big question on Monday will be, who is doing the work.