Telstra workers rally against privatisation


By Kathy O'Driscoll SYDNEY — Four hundred Telstra workers and supporters attended an anti-privatisation rally at Town Hall Square on February 28 organised by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU). The rally was held under the banner, "No privatisation — Save Telstra — Vote Labor". Democrat Senator Vicki Bourne said that if a Coalition government claims it has a mandate to sell Telstra, the Democrats have a mandate to stop the sale in the Senate. Gareth Evans said that under a Labor government Telstra was owned by the "mums and dads", and Telstra was important for "our" export earnings. He failed to mention that the ALP government has corporatised the company and has already planned for the full deregulation of the communications industry in 1997. CPSU deputy national president Vicky Telfer and CEPU national secretary Col Cooper both warned of the attacks on public services likely under a Coalition government. There was no mention of other services, such as the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas, sold by the ALP government.