|Issue No 63
|21 July 2000
Telstra - Making it Sleazier For You
By Dermott Browne
Telstra call-centre staff have begun a major industrial and lobbying campaign against a plan to tape all calls customers make to the company.
The personal details that Telstra intends to tape include customers' sex and marital status, their home addresses, commercial and financial details and even silent numbers. Anyone trained in the use of this technology will be able to access this information on demand.
Staff are concerned for their own privacy and for the privacy of the tens of thousands of Telstra customers who regularly discuss sensitive issues with staff.
Assistant secretary of CPSU, Communications Section, Stephen Jones, said, 'What Telstra want is completely over the top. It's ASIO stuff. Call-recording is not warranted and we can't see a way that it can be done that protects the customer's privacy or the rights of staff.'
Telstra is claiming that the new recording technology is being introduced as a quality control and training initiative, however the union suspects a darker motive.
"Telstra is planning to shed 10,000 jobs and our members are concerned that the taping calls is going to be used thin out numbers. Staff are already being monstered for saying 'Thanks for calling Telstra' instead of 'Thank-you for calling Telstra'. In this sort of environment, it is easy to understand our concern about the widespread introduction of taped calls."
But it is not just Telstra staff whose rights are being trampled, as Mr Jones explained.
"Telstra are gung-ho about creating a market advantage over their competitors and we suspect they will use the taped information to cross-sell other products to customers. Well, business is business but they are actually invading your privacy.''
"We want the public to make their views known to Telstra about having their private conversations recorded." added Mr Jones.
Interview: Paul Keating's Big Picture
The former Prime Minister is still painting on a broad canvass. He talks to Workers Online about the new economy, fair trade and political chi.
Unions: War in the West
Only six months after signing individual staff contracts, the gloss has worn off for some of BHP's Pilbara iron ore workers.
Environment: Farmers Fudge DNA Dangers
Farmers have missed the chance to have a meaningful debate into the use of genetically modified crops.
International: 'Dot Union' Proposal on the Table
ICANN, the global governing body of Internet domains, has released the following expression of interest in proposing a top-level domain for trade unions
Economics: Edge of the Abyss
Political economist Frank Stilwell argues that a constellation of events gives good reason to be worried about the Australian economy.
History: Taming the Tigers
Prominent labour historian, Dr Ming Chan, is visiting Australia to report on how workers are faring in the new Hong Kong.
Review: Music is Crap
It's already the second half of the first year in the new millenium. Who would have ever predicted a crisis in the popular music industry when we are at such an advanced stage ?
Satire: Last Kosovars Found Behind Couch
State Emergency Services personnel were called to a house in Brighton this morning, where the last five remaining Kosovar refugees have been found wedged behind a couch.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005