Telstra has announced a $5.8 billion profit for the 2015-16 financial year – a massive 36% increase on last year’s numbers.
But it’s shareholders that are set to benefit most from the good news, not employees, say CWU officials.
Some $1.8 billion of the profit figure came from Telstra’s sale of shares in its Chinese venture, Autohome. Without that, profit growth would have been flat, in line with pre-tax earnings growth which actually showed a small decrease.
But that’s no reason why the benefits of the windfall shouldn’t be spread around. A $1.5 billion share buyback and increased dividend should keep investors happy. An extra $3 billion is being ploughed into network development.
But at the same time, Telstra jobs are going out the door as outsourcing and offshoring continues unabated.
CWU National President Shane Murphy called on Telstra to put an end to what he described as its penny-pinching approach to its workforce which has seen thousands of jobs sent offshore and more replaced locally with underpaid, under-skilled, contracted labour.
“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,” he said.