Today the CWU is formally launching its new website, www.stopoffshoring.com.au as part of a wider campaign against the loss of jobs and skills occurring in the telecommunications industry.
Telstra’s recent announcement that it would offshore nearly 700 roles from its Global Enterprise Services business has highlighted the degree to which this trend is now affecting employment at virtually all levels of the industry.
It seems that any job that can be sent offshore will be sent offshore, basically because it’s cheaper that way.
Telstra is not the only offender. Optus, Vodafone, iiNet and TPG have all offshored at least some functions, ranging from call centre work through to network management.
But Telstra is still the industry’s largest employer and its latest moves, together with the offshoring that is occurring from its Global Operations Centre (GOC), pose serious questions about the future of skilled Information and Communications Technology (ICT) jobs in Australia.
An ICT-skilled workforce is central to a modern economy. Offshoring drains existing skills out of Australia and at the same time discourages young people from entering the industry.
The CWU is also concerned about the impact of offshoring on network reliability and security and on the security of data – that of both companies and individuals.
The CWU Stop Offshoring campaign will build public awareness of these issues. It aims to put pressure on companies like Telstra to commit to the retention and development of a skilled ICT workforce in Australia.
It will include developing a register of companies that offshore Australian jobs and those that don’t.
And it will press government to develop legislation that provides disincentives to offshoring and incentives for keeping work here.
CWU members can get involved in this campaign by following events and activities via the website. Start by signing the electronic petition at: www.stopoffshoring.com.au