Union outrage as Telstra sacks 207 bush technicians

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Union outrage as Telstra sacks 207 bush technicians

The telecommunications workers union (CEPU) has expressed its outrage at Telstra's decision to axe 207 workers in country NSW.

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The telecommunications workers union (CEPU) has expressed its outrage at Telstra's decision to axe 207 workers in country NSW.

Background

The union said Telstra wants to get rid of existing award workers on good wages and conditions and replace them with workers on individual contracts on about $11,000 a year less, with no 36 hour week and nine day fortnight, and other cuts in conditions.

Telstra has laid off more than 50,000 workers since 1996.

'It is just another bad decision Telstra management have made, whereby families and local businesses are already suffering as a result of high unemployment levels across regional NSW,' said CEPU NSW P&T Secretary Jim Metcher.

Metcher said the Telstra phone and broadband network continues to deteriorate from a lack of maintenance, and funding for network upgrades has been recently slashed.

Service problems

Metcher said the question should be asked of Telstra and local federal members of Parliament: 'Who is now going to service and maintain telecommunications services in these country areas without qualified and highly skilled Telstra communication technicians?'

'The Union has already warned Telstra against the disastrous consequences affecting the reliability of the telecommunications network in rural and remote areas of NSW,' Metcher said.

'Country NSW communications network consumers will only suffer as a result of added lengthy delays in new installations and fault maintenance across all areas given weather forecasts of heavy rainfall over the coming weeks.'

The country areas to lose field based communication technical field staff are Canberra and South East NSW (27), Riverina (18), Central Coast and Newcastle area (60), North Coast (43), New England (13), Greater Western area (13), Illawarra (24), plus nine technical data technicians across country NSW.

Long term solution

'The loss of these valuable workers with their local knowledge of phone cable runs and locations of Telstra's infrastructure is something that cannot be replaced over a short period of time and requires long term solutions,' Metcher said.

Telstra workers protested today outside the company's headquarters in Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

Related

Unions demand halt to Telstra slashing - September 2005

  

 

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