Workers protest Sensis sackings

About 200 Sensis workers chanted "Our jobs: yes, outsourcing: no, John Allan has to go", at a rally outside Telstra's Melbourne head office on February 28.

John Allan is the CEO of Sensis, a Telstra subsidiary that has announced plans to sack 700 workers.

Lorraine Cassin, the secretary of the printing division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), told the rally that 400 of the jobs would be transferred to Manila and Mumbai.

AMWU state secretary Steve Dargavel said Sensis makes more than $600 million annual profit, and wants to make even more profit by lowering workers' pay and conditions.

Dargavel also said that Telstra had been a global technological leader before it was privatised, but is now a laggard, as shown by its failure to build a national broadband network.

Cath Bowtell, the ALP candidate for the federal seat of Melbourne, told the rally she was angry at the sackings, but did not indicate that the Labor government would do anything to stop them.

AMWU delegate Chris Breen put a motion to the rally that the participants — many of whom had come in their lunch breaks — stay off work for the rest of the day. The motion was carried.