The Communication Workers Union has slammed Optus’ plans to sack 480 workers across the country following assurances to staff and customers just last month that job cuts weren’t planned at the telco.
Optus went into damage control in March following the release of confidential documents from a secret board meeting in Singapore revealing massive layoffs were planned for April, denying all claims.
CWU National President Shane Murphy said that there was little surprise in the news that the workers would be sacked.
“The secret documents from the Singapore board meeting said there would be jobs cut in April. Optus said there wouldn’t be cuts,” Mr Murphy said.
“But no matter how much bluff and bluster Optus was spreading just four weeks ago, here were are in April and they are slashing 480 workers across the country.
“It is appalling to think that Optus covered up their leaks with denials, telling worried workers that they would be safe in their jobs, only for them to find out the next month that they were lied to.”
The Union said that they were consulting with Optus, and are seeking no forced retrenchment of workers as well as the redeployment of staff into other areas of the telco to mitigate the effect on customers’ services.
“The CWU acknowledges that Optus is claiming these jobs will be lost because of business restructuring and changing priorities, but we want to see as many of those workers moved into new and growing areas of the company,” Mr Murphy said.
“Talks with the telco have already identified a number of opportunities for staff retention, reducing the overall number of cuts to where they sit today, but there’s a lot more work to be done – with a lot more room for Optus to move.
“And if they are serious that this isn’t just a cash grab, rather about repositioning the company for future growth in emerging digital spaces; then they should be bringing their skilled, loyal and dedicated staff along with them - guaranteeing customers against any detrimental effects on services.
“The Union 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.”