Optus has confirmed that it intends to shed about 480 jobs as the company moves to diversify its service offerings.
The number of jobs being targeted is lower than the 1,000 suggested in earlier reports, based on documents leaked to the press in late February. It is also possible that the redeployment will be an option for at least some of the employees affected.
But staff will still be hard hit, especially in customer facing areas, with large job losses in the Adelaide call centre in particular. The bulk of the 187 jobs being lost in South Australia will come from the Mawson site.
Altogether Optus plans to take 230 roles out of Customer Operations in an offshoring move that will see these jobs performed by “industry partners” based in India and the Philippines.
Further reductions are planned for Optus Business (around 180 roles), Sales (30 roles), Products and Marketing (20 roles) and Wholesale and Satellite (20 roles).
The cost-cutting exercise is designed to offset the impact of Optus’ moves into content, particularly sport, on its overall finances. But the CWU has warned that the cuts will be self-defeating if they compromise customer service at the very time Optus is trying to broaden its base.
The creation of some 80 new positions in content-related areas (especially around the English Premier League offering) does seem to reflect some recognition of this danger but it can hardly be expected to offset the losses in other areas.
The CWU will continue fighting for the redeployment and retraining of all existing staff to protect jobs and the integrity of services Optus customers are paying for. Members affected by these cuts and wanting advice about their options should contact their state branch.