news The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has strongly criticised Telstra for its decision to sack hundreds of Australian workers and send some of those jobs overseas.
The move shows the company is “putting profits before customers and staff”, the union said.
The union had originally stated that over 400 jobs were to go at the telco, however, Telstra corrected this figure to 326, according to iTnews.
According to the CPSU, most of the job cuts – including 94 in Perth and 140 in Melbourne – are in customer services roles and at least a quarter of the positions will be sent offshore.
The CPSU has now launched a petition in response to the latest round of staff cuts, which calls on Telstra to end its policy of sending jobs overseas and to “instead invest in Australian workers and innovation”.
“This is a devastating blow to these  workers, who Telstra is throwing on the scrapheap,” said Teresa Davison, Director of CPSU’s Science and Communications Division.
“Customers pay top dollar for Telstra services and as tax payers we’re giving millions of dollars to Telstra to roll out the NBN, yet the company continues to undermine the quality and reliability of its services by callously sacking Australian workers.”
“Telstra hides behind corporate clichés by claiming offshore call centres will deliver better customer service. That’s simply not most people’s experience. Time and again, customers say they want local customer service.”
The CPSU said its analysis indicates that Telstra has shipped more than 10,000 jobs overseas to date, with thousands of Australians working in technical roles losing their jobs in the process, along with customer service and administration staff.
“Is it any wonder that Telstra’s network and services have become less reliable and it’s become harder for customers to speak to anyone about it?” said Davison.
She added that CPSU members working at Telstra now predict that network outages and other problems are likely to become more common at the firm due to the highly skilled people who have been sacked.
“You may not miss those highly skilled people every day but you certainly notice when the network goes down and you’re relying on someone far less experienced in another country to fix it,” Davison warned.
“Telstra’s future success lies in investing in Australian innovation, skills and jobs rather than making decisions based on short-term greed,” she said. “Telstra is not only reducing its own capacity but removing thousands of job opportunities for future generations.”
The CPSU said it will be working hard to help the workers being “unfairly targeted through this process”.
“Telstra must make every effort to minimise the impact of this on these people and their families,” Davison said.