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  Issue No 61 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 July 2000  

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News

Telstra - Making it Queasier for You

By Dermott Browne

The CPSU has expressed outrage over the treatment of a sick Telstra call centre worker saying Telstra was using South Australia's high unemployment rate to intimidate and bully its workforce.

The union says the South Australian woman, Robin, was admitted to hospital over a weekend. Her teenage daughter called her mother's team leader on the Sunday night to tell her of the situation and to notify her that her mother would be off work for a number of days.

The team leader was not satisfied by the call, and over the next week repeatedly phoned the daughter, insisting the sick woman contact the team leader herself from hospital.

"Telstra's whole attitude to sick leave, and to the welfare of its staff in general is absolutely outrageous," CPSU assistant secretary Communications Branch Stephen Jones says.

"I believe Telstra is using South Australia's high unemployment rate to intimidate workers ... the aim being to erode conditions like sick leave."

"This is another example of how Telstra intimidates and pressures workers. No wonder service standards have plummeted," Jones say.

He made the comments as the Telecommunications Service Inquiry takes evidence in Adelaide this week. The CPSU has lodged a submission with the inquiry detailing the experiences and frustrations of its members working for Telstra.

Jones says staff at Telstra's numerous Adelaide call centres were working under extreme and unreasonable pressures to meet rapidly increasing performance and sales targets.

Of particular concern was the extra jobs consultants were expected to squeeze in between calls, and the fact they were given no time "off the phones" to study their learning briefs for the myriad of new services and products, GST changes and the like. This means customers were often dealing with people who did not have the necessary information to help them.

He says staff are also deeply concerned about Telstra's attitudes to workers with families, particularly in areas like the Mobilenet call centre. Women working part-time for family reasons have not been able to get their part-time contracts renewed.


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*   Issue 61 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Technology: Union Rep for Global Net Body
The godfather of unions and the Internet, Eric Lee, is seeking your support to give labour a voice on the net's governing body, ICANN.
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*  Interview: Downloaded and Done Over
In the wake of the TV Networks' digital TV victory, Internet industry chief Peter Coroneus rues a missed opportunity for Australia.
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*  Legal: The Global Millennium Project
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) has developed a draft proposal for a comprehensive revision and modernisation of international labour standards for the new millenium.
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*  Unions: Sandgropers Get Serious on Stress
The Australian Services Union in Western Australia in conjunction with the University of Western Australia, is surveying workers across the state's call centre industry.
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*  Politics: New Work for a New Millennium
View in full the ALP's Draft Industrial Relations Policy to be taken to the National Conference at the end of the month.
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*  Solidarity: Korean Hotel Workers Seek Global Help
Striking Korean hotel workers at the Swiss Grand Hotel and the Seoul Hilton are worried they could be the next targets of escalating riot police violence.
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*  History: Vince's Parable of the Sundial
How a working man survived WWII and ASIO blacklists to save a sundial.
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*  International: Room for Optimism from African Poll
The performance of pro-Deomcracy groups in the Zimbabwean elections has given supporters hope for better days.
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*  Environment: Mexican Wave Goes Green
American politics has taken on a Green hue with the left leaning National Action Party and the Greens in Mexico picking up nearly 40% of the vote in the recent elections.
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*  Satire: Aussies Celebrate Centenary by Leaving Country
Prime Minister John Howard has defended his government's decision not to involve Australia in the centenary federation celebrations.
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*  Review: A Building Sings of Lives Lived in Music
Mysterious shadows flicker in the windows of the Parramatta Town Hall. Strains of trumpet and sarod float outside. It's all part of the urban Theatre Project's latest work, 'The Palais'.
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News
»  No Guarantees for Email Workers
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»  Hotel Bosses Face Olympic Showdown
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»  Aussie Bosses Embarrassed in NZ
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»  Labour Hire Task Force Begins Work
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»  Costa to Stay at Labor Council
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»  Lockout Sleight of Hand
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»  Owner Drivers Unite to Save Industry from GST
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»  The Future Starts Now for Youth Charter
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»  Volleyball Stadium Accident - Questions Remain
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»  Telstra - Making it Queasier for You
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»  MUA Helps Deliver Rice for Timor
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»  Reith Puts Boot into Health and Safety
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»  Biko Backer Tours Australia
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»  Unchain Your Mind at Melbourne Forum
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»  Union Stalwart Honoured
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Congratulations on the Email Rally in Orange
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»  Dissident Site
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»  Tax Workers Defended
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»  A Reluctant Brown-Tongue
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