Telstra sends jobs offshore
Regional communities are furious at Telstra’s announcement that it will axe 651 jobs from Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Last year, Telstra made $3.4 billion profit.
Local councils say the 126 job cuts in Townsville and 116 job cuts at Lismore will devastate communities there.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said the cuts were “a huge loss”. Lismore councillor David Yarnall called on residents to ring Telstra to protest the decision. He told the Lismore Northern Star he would insist “that council cancels its contract with Telstra and I urge other Telstra customers to do the same”.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill told ABC radio the plan was “absolutely abhorrent”.
Telstra blames the sackings on customers using online services rather than call centres, but this does not explain its move to offshore some of the jobs to call centres in the Philippines.
Defending the decision, a Telstra spokesperson told AAP: “Having our offshore providers dealing with calls isn't actually new.”
The Communications Workers Union’s Len Cooper told AAP on August 22 that his union opposed the job losses and would pressure Telstra to limit the jobs moved overseas.
ANZ millionaire says cut the dole
ANZ CEO Michael Smith, who pocketed a $10 million package earlier this year, has called for a cut to the $243-a-week dole to “boost jobs”.
Smith told a business conference that welfare in Australia “is such that it doesn’t provide an incentive for people to move”. He added: “In the US if you don’t move, your house goes and you don’t eat. So that is the difference.”
The Newstart unemployment allowance is far below the official poverty line, which is $459 a week for a single person. For many unemployed, weekly rent alone takes up most of their payment.
The Australian Council of Social Services has pointed out that those struggling to live on Newstart include some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised in Australia — almost 20% have been assessed as only able to work part time due to a disability, including mental illness.
Smith receives in one day — $26,575 — what an unemployed person has to survive on for more than two years.
Despite the ANZ reporting a 10% rise in profits on August 18, up to $4.4 billion in nine months, the bank is continuing with plans to shed jobs. Earlier this year the bank said it would cut 1000 jobs, which will add to the number of dole recipients.