Telstra is leading the way in draining Australia of skilled technical jobs according to union leaders.
Len Cooper, National President of the Communication Workers Union, said that Telstra’s announcement that it planned to offshore nearly 700 jobs from its Global Services Business was a blow to Australia’s capabilities in an increasingly crucial area of the economy.
“There is a growing awareness worldwide of the importance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills to national growth and productivity,” Mr Cooper said.
“In fact, only last week, Telstra CEO David Thodey was out urging Australians to be more innovative in the digital space and emphasising the importance of education in the core areas of science and technology.”
“But who’s going to commit themselves to years of training in ICT when they see the jobs that should be open to them being shipped offshore?”
“David Thodey should put his money where his mouth is when it comes to supporting the development of the digital economy workers of the future.”
Mr. Cooper said that the technical work that was being offshored from Global Services and from other areas in Telstra could easily be done in Australia.
“In the case of the Global Operations Centre (GOC), for instance, we have seen more and more functions being sent overseas. The work is being performed perfectly effectively here. But because labour is cheaper in India, key network management functions are going off to Pune.”
Mr Cooper said the CWU believed that offshoring of GOC work risked compromising network reliability and security.
“But over and above that this offshoring thins out our technical workforce and undermines the development of a technically-oriented culture,” he said.
Mr Cooper said that the CWU would campaign for greater recognition at the national level of the long-term implications of offshoring.
“We are willing to work with any and all elements of the parliament who want to help reverse this trend,” he said.
For further information contact Len Cooper: 0438 389 302