Communications Union National President Shane Murphy today welcomed the announcement of Telstra’s profit increase and capital buy back, but said the result demonstrated how dishonest Telstra’s justifications were for offshoring and contracting out local jobs.
He said offshoring and the use of cheap, contracted labour for critical network and infrastructure maintenance tasks had led to mass outages and a significant drop in the reliability of the Telstra network.
“Customers have been pulling their hair out at the regular outages on the network resulting from Telstra’s penny pinching approach to their workforce,” Mr Murphy said.
“Cutting permanent jobs and using underpaid, under-skilled, contracted labour for important maintenance work is having a big impact on the reliability and security of the network.
“There have been unreasonably lengthy periods where customers have been unable to make calls and access the internet because of cost cutting to inflate the company’s profits.
“In light of such a massive profit announcement, we’re calling on Telstra to stop taking shortcuts and employ the skilled workforce that is necessary to deliver 21st century telecommunications infrastructure that their customers expect, and pay for.”
Mr Murphy said the profit announcement would feel like an insult to the thousands of local workers sacked by Telstra in recent years.
“It was only last month that Telstra sacked more than 300 workers, on top of the 400 dismissed last October.
“For those workers, today’s announcement must feel like being slapped in the face by a big wad of cash - it’s disgusting.
“Telstra is putting profits before customers, staff and their network’s integrity and that approach will ultimately come back to bite them in the future.”
Mr Murphy said he would be contacting Telstra to request an urgent meeting to reassess their approach to local permanent jobs.
“If they want satisfied customers and sustainable long term success, Telstra needs to invest in its local workforce.”