Telstra has again emphasised the importance of its push into Asia to its future growth.
At an investor day briefing on 23 October, Telstra CEO David Thodey said that Telstra was ready to invest “hundreds of millions” of dollars to expand its presence in Asia.
That could involve Telstra either building or partnering in networks and services in countries in the region, as well as building on its current assets such as its submarine cables and data centres.
The CWU has always supported Telstra’s efforts to seek growth opportunities, both through new product offerings and through expansion into regional markets. But the union believes this growth should help support local jobs, not lead to their being sent overseas.
At present Telstra is implementing the Global Enterprise and Services redundancies which it announced earlier this year. Some 700 jobs are being lost, mostly through off-shoring, as part of Telstra’s new regional expansion strategy.
At the same time, Telstra now employs 1400 people outside Australia – over and above the many who provide services to Telstra through off-shore call centres in the region. The great majority of these jobs could be performed here, in Australia.
Telstra’s financial position is strong, thanks to the commanding position it enjoys in the Australian market. That’s all the more reason it should put back into the local economy by supporting jobs and skill development here rather than shipping them overseas.