Home Business Telecommunications Telstra set to sack 1400 staff

Telstra set to sack 1400 staff

Telstra will lay off about 1400 workers as part of an ongoing plan to reduce its operating costs by about $1 billion over five years.

The telco briefed the Communication Workers Union and staff about the changes yesterday afternoon. The union is due to meet company officials to seek further details about the cuts.

The cuts are reported to be across all divisions, including line technicians, maintenance and installation workers.

The union said it had been advised of the proposal to sack 1400 workers at 1.45pm on Wednesday.

It said it had known about the cuts earlier in the day – through the media.

"The CWU is shocked by the proposed scale of these job losses. But is it also angry that Telstra has so little respect for its employees and their representatives that it would give the CWU and other Telstra unions no forewarning at all of this announcement," Greg Rayner, divisional secretary and John O'Donnell, divisional assistant secretary (telecommunications), said.

"It says a lot about how much value the company really puts on consultation."

The two CWU officials said the information they first received was lacking in detail and incomplete.

"We have since received a fuller breakdown of affected roles by location and designation. However the figures provided at this stage for the company as a whole still do not appear to account fully for the headline figure of 1400 net reductions."

They said that by Telstra’s own admission, some 500 roles which had been slated for removal had not even been identified at this time.

"All this leads us to the view that this is a top-down exercise, driven more by abstract head-count than by technological redundancy or procedural efficiencies," they said. "It will be Telstra’s customers as well as its employees who will pay the price for this approach as they have so often in the past."

Over the six months to December, Telstra cut more than 1000 jobs and now has a shade over 32,000 staff.

The 2016 job cuts were the biggest in 3½ years after the company sacked about 1100 employees in 2013.

While some cuts have been put down to duplication, the growth of the national broadband network has also been responsible for some of the recent cuts.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.