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Telstra sackings have locals worried

Wednesday, 8th April, 2009

The union representing Telstra workers says the latest job cuts will almost certainly affect Broken Hill workers. The Construction, Electrical and Plumbing Union also accused the telco of scrapping jobs under the guise of over-staffing when it was evident the measure was blatant cost cutting. Telstra announced yesterday that another 92 jobs would go from across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The secretary of the CEPU's Telecommunications and Services branch said Broken Hill's six Telstra workers were not safe, but would probably know their fate soon.

"According to union sources they'll almost certainly hit Broken Hill," Ian McCarthy said. "At the rate they're coming in we'll know within the week." Mr McCarthy said notifications of job losses were coming in daily and didn't seem to be related to workload. "They don't appear to be related to workload despite what Telstra says," he said. "We hear things from our members like, 'if we're over-staffed how come we can't take our annual leave when we apply for it?".

"It's not that people are standing around waiting for work - it's cost cutting." Mr McCarthy said there was also a large amount of overtime being worked by its members. He said Telstra did not appear to be targeting any particular area and that job cuts were spread across the country. Last year Telstra was nicknamed the country's "biggest unemployer" after it sacked 800 staff, including 96 from Telstra Country Wide.

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