Monday, 23 March 2020 02:37

Union wants businesses to follow Telstra decision to put job cuts on hold during COVID-19 crisis Featured

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The union representing Telstra workers wants all Australian businesses to follow suit with the telco’s decision to put on hold any further job cuts for the next six months as part of its contribution to national economic stimulus in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

CEPU Communications Union National President, Shane Murphy, says the decision by Telstra is a big win for workers and Telstra customers and encouraged all Australian businesses to “step up during this time of crisis”.

As reported by iTWire last Friday, Telstra CEO Andy Penn has announced that the telco would put on hold any further job cuts for the next six months, adding that its program to cut 8000 jobs in total by 2022 to reduce underlying fixed costs by $2.5 billion would continue as usual.

Welcoming the decision by Telstra, Murphy said the union has been in discussions with Telstra to navigate through this “uncharted territory, in an effort to reduce the risk of infection to workers whilst also protecting their jobs”.

“As a result, Telstra has now confirmed, among other things, that all job cuts planned for the next six months as part of the T22 process will no longer proceed.

“We commend Telstra for their decision to put off T22 job reductions that were planned for the next six months. This means that workers can focus on their work and their health, rather than worrying if they were next on the list to lose their job.

“This isn’t just good news for workers, but also for Telstra customers who are more reliant than ever on Telstra being able to deliver a quality service.

“We know the quality of the Telstra service has been compromised as a result of the huge job cuts across the board at the telco, so it’s good to know that for now at least, Telstra’s experienced and dedicated workforce will be able to focus on doing what they do best – delivering a service for the people of Australia.”

Murphy said that, “in addition to the concessional pandemic leave policy which provides workers with special leave if required to self-isolate or quarantine, we’ve also secured other leave incentives for Telstra workers.”

“In addition to this, all eligible employees who are currently working from home, will continue to work from home through to a new date of at least 20 April.

“We’re proud to have achieved these important wins for our members at Telstra. It’s great to see Telstra stepping up and working with the union to protect jobs and do what they can to ensure that workers reduce their risk of infection, whilst keeping Australia’s telecommunications running.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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