EXCLUSIVE: Telstra to cull 560 engineering jobs

Natalie Apostolou
21 May 2009

As Sol Trujillo exits Telstra HQ for the last time, freshly-installed CEO David Thodey is keeping his promise to continue job cuts with around 560 positions soon to be rationalized.

According to internal Telstra sources, redundancy lists have been compiled and are ready for execution hitting the mobile technician and operational areas with a 15% reduction in head count.

It is understood that around 60 mobile specialist technicians in operations and engineering are set to go before June 30. Most of these roles are believed to be Melbourne-based. A further 500 technical staff across all areas of Telstra in network operations and engineering roles are also slated to go.

Telstra could not be contact for comment.

The latest round of redundancies are on top of the estimated 100 technical staff in NSW and the ACT that were shed in the last month.

The Telstra union, the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU), said the Australian government\'s shift in direction on the NBN project gave the carrier a chance to rethink its schedule of planned job cuts and protect its skills base.

Commenting on the 100 redundancies last month, CEPU national president Ed Husic said, "Telstra hardly has enough people on the ground to help restore phone services after natural disasters hit, let alone pitch in with skilled staff to rollout one of this country\'s largest ever telecommunications infrastructure projects.

"By announcing it now wants to go further and see fiber rolled to homes, the government has said it will need up to 25,000 people employed on the NBN project. The demand for skills will be extraordinary."

Under Trujillo\'s five-year transformation plan 10,000 full-time jobs have been slashed. A further 2,000 are slated to be culled.

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