Telstra Sheds 78 More Jobs
9 February 2015 at 10:30 am
Telecommunications giant Telstra is set to shed 78 jobs with the majority coming from a regional Victorian town.
The company confirmed that 64 back-of-house roles would go from its Ballarat workforce by April.
"These roles are not customer facing and the proposed changes are designed to consolidate similar functions and remove duplication," a spokesperson for Telstra told AAP.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) lead organiser for Telstra, Teresa Davison, said the news had shocked workers and that it would “rip the heart out of Ballarat”.
She claimed that the move was part of a wider push by Telstra to move jobs offshore, particularly Asia.
“Workers are devastated and shocked by the news. They didn’t see it coming. After all this is hardly a business that’s in trouble,” Davison said.
“Telstra made more than $4 billion net profit last year, thanks in no small part to the support of the Australian community, and this is how Telstra repays them – by outsourcing these jobs and sending them offshore.”
Davison said most of the workers facing unemployment came from single income families with young children.
She said Ballarat would struggle with the losses.
“This community already struggles with an unemployment rate of 7.7% – we should be making sure that people can build lives and families here, not chasing opportunity out of town,” she said.
“Telstra says it wants to make customer service a priority. These workers are the people who activate your order once you’ve bought a Telstra service. An error at this point can literally mean you have no service. It doesn’t make sense to throw these workers on the scrap heap.
The CPSU said late last year Telstra gave assurances that it would initiate a plan to manage change within its workforce and train its staff up for the types of roles needed for the future.
“There are hundreds of new jobs in Telstra but most of them are in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,” Davison said.
“Workers know they might have to leave Ballarat and relocate their families if they want to find another role. We want a commitment from Telstra to locate some of those new jobs in Ballarat.”