Australia: Telstra announces another 9,500 job cuts


Australia: Telstra announces another 9,500 job cuts

Oscar Grenfell

23 June 2018

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, announced last Wednesday it will eliminate 9,500 jobs nationally over the next four years. It claimed it will hire 1,500 new workers, meaning a net reduction of 8,000 positions.

This is among the largest mass sackings in Australian corporate history. It is part of a deepening offensive against the jobs, wages and conditions of the working class, enforced by state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal-National alike, and by the corporatised trade unions.

Telstra’s chief executive Andy Penn insisted the cuts would slash “middle management” and streamline the business’s operations. Between two and four layers of management are to be eliminated.

The scale of the sackings, however, indicates that much of the company’s workforce will be affected, including through forced redundancies. Hundreds of jobs are to be destroyed at Telstra’s Sydney headquarters, and sackings are anticipated in capital cities and regional centres across the country.

The company said it is seeking to digitalise many customer service operations, prompting fears that its call centres, which employ hundreds of low-paid workers, may be closed.

The job cuts are part of a broader restructure, dubbed “Telstra 2022,” aimed at slashing the company’s costs by $1 billion over four years, including through a 30 percent reduction in labour costs. One quarter of the company’s existing staff are to be made redundant. The latest cuts follow a restructure two years ago, to reduce costs by $1.5 billion, which included 1,800 sackings.

The extent of the job cuts triggered a nervous response from the parliamentary establishment, which fears that growing…

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