Telstra has advised the CWU that it proposes to close two of its Directory Assistance call centres.
The closure of the centres in Melbourne and Toowoomba will result in the loss of 34 Telstra jobs, 13 in Melbourne and 21 in Toowoomba. A number of agency staff will also be affected.
Telstra says that the closures reflect declining demand for such voice services as customers take up alternative directory and information applications.
It was indeed not long ago that former Telstra CEO David Thodey predicted that most current call centre jobs “would not exist” in 5 years’ time as people moved to digital solutions for their service needs.
But it’s also true that Telstra has encouraged this migration as a cost saving measure.
Employees affected by these closures will be eligible for redeployment. But in the case of Toowoomba the opportunities will obviously be limited. As always, it is the regional centres that are most badly hit by such closures.
The CWU will be meeting with Telstra to discuss the proposed closures next week.