news On October 27th, Telstra informed the Communication Workers Union (CWU) about its proposed operational changes that will result in making 480 positions redundant. The majority of the affected positions are held by Telstra employees, while the rest include agency staff.
Although the new changes will provide opportunities for a few more people, there will still be a net loss of about 390 Telstra jobs. According to a CWU statement, the union was “shocked” by the scale of these redundancies since the enterprise agreement that was supposed to promote job security was inked only recently.
This is not the first time that Telstra has taken such steps. In 2013, it was revealed that more than 10,000 overseas contractors were working for Telstra when the company was slashing jobs at home to help boost profit. This represented about 26 per cent of the telco’s then full-time workforce of 38,000, underscoring the extent of an aggressive outsourcing program to tap staff in low-cost countries.
In February, 2014, Telstra sent another 1,000 to Philippines and India, following a review by two management consulting firms. At that time, one of the company’s main unions had heavily criticised it for not treating the Australian workforce fairly in its pursuit of ongoing profit growth. In the same month, Telstra announced that its profits for the six months grew 8.8 percent to $1.6 billion, although its revenues grew only slightly in that period.
Of the 480, 367 redundancies are in Customer Service Delivery. Telstra also proposed to close its Perth Assurance centre, which will lead to a reduction of 80 permanent Telstra roles and 25 agency positions.
Further, 70 Telstra staff and 14 agency staff would be reduced due to the changes in CSD Asset Management. The other targeted positions are 2 in GES, 48 in ITS, 11 each in the Whitemail and Billing section of the Global Contact Centre group, 15 in Telstra Business and up to 36 positions in Global Services – IP delivery.
Telstra is encouraging the affected staff members to contact their respective state branch to discuss the circumstances and to provide the union with their opinions and feedback about the likely impacts of these changes.
The company has stated that all losses will be compensated for by giving members the option of either a redundancy payment or redeployment, depending on their choice. For its part, the union will try to oppose all such redundancies in its consultation with Telstra next week.
Image credit: Telstra