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Latest Telstra cuts likely not the last: Union

Latest Telstra cuts likely not the last: Union

Telco's "bleeding of jobs" to continue as 'Project New' progresses

Telstra’s latest round of job cuts are unlikely to be the last for the current financial year, a union representative for the telco has warned.

The company this week flagged up to 950 jobs would be lost among senior and middle management staff as part of a restructure that would see a refocusing on local management in its retail network, and the move of chief technology officer, Hugh Bradlow, to the company’s chief marketing office.

The cuts follow 345 redundancies made among management in a separate round earlier in the year.

However, assistant secretary to the Victorian branch of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, John Ellery, told Computerworld Australia that the union - which represents the majority of Telstra employees - had not been warned of the job cuts.

“[I heard it] on the radio this morning,” he said.

He said the union was likely to be briefed by Telstra on the job cuts soon, but said it wouldn’t be the end of redundancies from the telco before the end of the financial year.

“Telstra constantly just bleed jobs, whether they’re technical jobs - which is essentially them reducing staff to cut jobs,” he said. “Whatever they are their ongoing attempts to cut jobs are obviously to satisfy the share market.”

The telco refuted claims from the Australian Financial Review last month that it would look to cut 6000 jobs over the coming three years, but said it wouldn’t know the full extent of the job cuts until October. Secretaries at two unions representing Telstra employees said cuts could amount to 1500 for the current financial year.

A spokesperson for the telco this week wouldn’t confirm how many further cuts would be made.

“When decisions are made which affect jobs, we will communicate with employees directly,” they said.

It is believed a more accurate idea of the job cuts will be made clearer at the company’s annual general meeting, to be held on 19 November.

In its recent financial results, the company boasted of exceeding five-year redundancy targets of 12,000 from 1 July, 2005, with a total of 12,192 cuts made over that period. However, the 2009-2010 fiscal year saw the least amount of redundancies made over the period, at just 527.

“We’re dealing with job cuts day in and day out from Telstra,” he said. “There’s been a constant bleeding of jobs.

“Telstra might be arguing that they don’t have to advise people because they’re management [but] they just make these announcements constantly. It’s almost like ‘here we go again’.”

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