The CWU met with Optus via teleconference on Friday 18 March to discuss job losses arising out of a proposed company restructure.
Last month the media carried reports that Optus was planning to slash staff numbers by up to 1,000, a figure that would represent over 10% of its current staff.
Optus has now told the CWU that it is unlikely that job losses of that magnitude will occur.
But it has confirmed that a company-wide restructure is underway involving most areas of its operations and that several hundred jobs are definitely at risk.
Optus insists that at this point no final decisions about the numbers and locations of any redundancies has been made, although obviously the process is well advanced. It appears likely that some degree of outsourcing and offshoring will be involved, but again no detail was provided.
The CWU continues to regard the level of information being provided by Optus as inadequate, especially given the wide publicity that the proposed cuts have received.
The union has also reiterated its view that such cuts are counterproductive in an environment in which Optus is trying to expand its customer base and where TPG is nipping at its heels. But while not dismissing the CWU’s arguments, Optus clearly intends to seek savings through what is potentially a self-defeating strategy of staff reductions.
A further meeting has been scheduled for 30 March at which the CWU hopes to receive detailed information about the scale and location of any job losses.