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Union: Telstra is prioritising cost cutting ahead of customers, workforce

Union: Telstra is prioritising cost cutting ahead of customers, workforce

Telstra outage impacts businesses across Australia over the weekend

Credit: Dreamstime

An outage suffered by Telstra on 3 November causing ATMs around the country to shut down, has sparked concerns over the number of technicians roles the company is said to be axing.

As reported by sister publication Computerworld on 2 November, Telstra was having issues with its machine to machine (M2M) data services.

The issues were affecting EFTPOS devices and ATMs, impacting taxi drivers as well as businesses across the country. The telco said on Twitter that it had replaced faulty vendor equipment.

"We're gradually reintroducing traffic to the link but there are devices that continue to be impacted. We continue to work on restoring all services as quickly as possible and apologise again for the impact on our customers," Telstra told customers via a Twitter update.

The issues started on Friday, 2 November around lunch time and were restored approximately 24 hours later.

According to Shane Murphy, CEPU Communications Union National President, said that Telstra announced on 1 November it would be axing 360 technical field employees.

“This Telstra outage has inconvenienced many thousands of people right across the country,” Murphy said. “The outage comes on the back of Telstra’s announcement that it is forcing 360 of the people skilled in resolving situations just like this out of a job.

“Telstra’s decision to axe 360 technical field employee jobs is about as short-sighted as it gets. These are the people that spring into action when there are issues like this one," Murphy said in a statement.

“Who is going to fix the system if you cut the jobs of everyone capable of doing it? This is another classic example of Telstra prioritising cost cutting ahead of its customers and its workforce.

“This once iconic telco is being driven into the ground, and customers and the workforce are being forced to bear the brunt of it.”

Telstra had just recovered from an outage affecting its cloud services impacting access to some external applications, which occurred on 31 October.

The issue affected access to Telstra.com; MyAccount; Online Billing; Telstra 24/7 app, Telstra Consumer Webmail and some Telstra Wholesale apps.

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