||Issue No. 290||18 November 2005|
The Long March
Interview: Public Defender
Legal: Craig's Story
Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
Politics: Queue Jumping
History: Iron Heel
Economics: Waging War
International: Under Pressure
Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
Review: A Pertinent Proposition
The Locker Room
What lucky country
Swimming with Sharks
Save Our Culture
Sol Dials Up 12,000 Scalps
American boss Sol Trujillo fessed up to the strategy, this week, in a bid to boost the telco's share price,
The announcement confirmed allegations made in early September by the CPSU, that were vigorously denied by Telstra spokespeople.
CPSU assistant national secretary, Stephen Jones, was specific about Telstra's intentions, saying a 104-page cost reduction document, authored by chief operations officer, Greg Winn, was calling for another 10,000 - 14,000 heads.
Jones warned that regional Australia would be severely affected, with the axe hanging over thousands of call centre positions in places like Wollongong, Grafton, Murray Bridge, Bendigo, Moe, Geelong, Toowoomba, Cairns and Maroochydore.
On September, 13, Jones called on Telstra to "come clean" on its job shedding agenda.
But the company fudged the issue. A spokesman denied the existence of the cost reduction document and said there were no fixed plans for sackings.
The timing is important because the Jones revelations came as Prime Minister John Howard was forcing legislation through Parliament that allowed the government to flog off its remaining 51 percent holding.
Crucial to the that vote was the support of Queensland National, Barnaby Joyce, who, said, last week, he had backed privatisation after Government Ministers assured him the sackings claims were untrue.
Joyce said that, given the choice between Government and Telstra assurances, and a union "rumour", he had gone with the government and Telstra.
Prime Minister John Howard, whose government is the telco's majority shareholder, gave the plan his seal of approval by telling displaced staff that, in historical terms, it was a good time to lose your job.
"The message to all of those people is that if we have a very strong economy and their prospects of getting re-employment are greater now than they would have been 10 or 12 years ago," Howard said.
Trujillo made his announcement, last Tuesday, as hundreds of thousands of workers were protesting workplace legislation that the Prime Minister says will deliver more jobs.
Joyce called the timing "sneaky".
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