A Telstra spokesman said the “majority” of job reductions were through voluntary redundancy.
A Telstra spokesman said the “majority” of job reductions were through voluntary redundancy.

Telstra axes jobs just before Christmas

TELSTRA has been slammed as "heartless" after cutting more than a dozen jobs across North Queensland just weeks before Christmas.

 

Four full time positions in Townsville and nine from across the Cairns region have been made redundant due to a "reduced need" to maintain Telstra's old copper network as the NBN grows.

A Telstra spokesman said the "majority" of job reductions were through voluntary redundancy.

"In early November, Telstra consulted with the Field Service Delivery team on a proposal to remove a number of roles in both metro and regional locations," he said.

"With Nbnco reporting that nearly all homes and businesses outside of major urban areas are now in design or construction stages, or able to order an NBN service from a phone or internet provider, there is a reduced need for Telstra to provide ongoing maintenance of the Telstra copper network in regional and remote areas."

The spokesman said the job cuts were party of a broader company-wide announcement Telstra made in June on workforce changes.

"As our organisation continues to evolve, we remain committed to speak to and consult with our people and their representatives when initial decisions are made that directly impact them," he said.

"Recognising the impact these changes will have on employees, we have made available initial funding of up to $50 million for a Transition program to support our people through the change."

Kennedy MP Bob Katter said the cuts were a "disastrous sign" of privatisation in the telecommunications industry.

"The wonders of privatisation and its callus nature … Sacking employees on Christmas Eve who have devoted their whole life by providing a service, while their CEOs enjoy salaries of more than $5 million," he said.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter said Telstra’s job cuts were a “disastrous sign” of privatisation in the telecommunications industry. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Kennedy MP Bob Katter said Telstra’s job cuts were a “disastrous sign” of privatisation in the telecommunications industry. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

"And word is there will be further full-time job cuts early next year.

"I call upon the people of North Queensland to seek revenge."

Mr Katter said many of the employees who lost their jobs had worked for the company for more than 20 years.

"These companies are profiting at the expense of Australian jobs … ultimately undermining our nation's hard-fought award wages and working conditions," he said.

"When will the major parties leave the fantasy land of the 'Sydney Suits' and realise the 'Struggle Street' you've imposed on Australians."

In June Telstra announced plans to cut 8000 jobs across the country by 2020.

Up to 400 positions in Townsville could be lost, ­according to analysis by the Community and Public Sector Union.



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