Telstra sheds more jobs across Australia
Telstra will slash more than 280 jobs as the communications giant pushes ahead with its workforce downsizing strategy.
The company confirmed to News Corp that 282 positions would go in the latest round of cuts, which comes after the telco announced last October that it would cut 570 roles.
Telstra announced in 2018 that 8,000 jobs would be axed across four years as part of it's 'T22' strategy which is expected to cost $2.5 billion from its cost base.
Six thousand of those jobs were cut last financial year, with Telstra also significantly downsizing contractor positions.
"I can confirm we announced some workforce reductions on Wednesday this week that are all part of our previously announce T22 strategy workforce reductions," a Telstra spokesperson told News Corp.
Yesterday, Telstra chief Andy Penn said restructuring was critical to the telco's 'T22' commitments.
"We have made good progress on our commitment to remove hierarchies and silos and have redesigned our organisation from the ground up. We have already removed three management layers and are on track to reduce up to four management layers in the organisation," Mr Penn said.
"Around 75 per cent of the net 8,000 direct workforce role reductions we announced as part of our T22 strategy have now been identified. We have also made progress creating 1,500 new roles in areas like cyber security and software engineering."
Nine Newspapers reports the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) was shocked to hear of the latest plan to slash staff numbers, including customer support and IT staff.
The cuts were expected to hit rural and regional areas in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.
"We have seen job cut after job cut over the last year," CPSU national president Brooke Muscat-Bentley told Nine Newspapers.
"None of these changes are making life easier for staff or customers.
"Last October call centre staff worked through a redundancy and now they have been hit again. This round of 272 job loses will just mean longer wait times for customers every time they want to talk to someone and long wait times for technical help."
Mr Penn also said the nation will need to invest $15 billion annually in its telecommunications infrastructure in the coming years if it is to remain internationally competitive.
Speaking at the AmCham lunch in Melbourne on Thursday, Mr Penn said more funds needed to be pumped into the telco networks to ensure Australia did not "fall behind".
"What's important is for Australia to have a really successful telecommunications network and for there to be capital to invest in that telecommunications network in the future," Mr Penn said.
"What does the country need - my estimate would be that there would be $100 billion of invested capital in telecommunications and it probably needs another $15 billion a year across fixed, mobile, enterprise and consumer, satellite to really ensure that Australia has the best telecommunications network that underpins the technology that we need as a country."
He said the extra $15 billion needed to "come from somewhere and shareholders need a return on that".
"If the industry and aggregate aren't achieving that, what's going to happen is we are going to fall behind," Mr Penn said.
"The bigger picture is ensuring that we have the right policy environment to make sure the industry can generate collectively the sort of return to attract the investment to fund the capital that we need to be successful."
Later this month the Federal Court will had down its decision on the proposed $15 billion TPG-Vodafone merger and there's strong expectations lawyers will overturn the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's decision to block the deal.
The merger would result in the joining of forces of the third and fourth biggest players in the telecommunications market and increase competition.
Mr Penn remain tight-lipped about his thoughts on the potential merger but said the industry was "entering a really exciting period with 5G ahead and we think we are focusing on the things we can control".
"We are pleased with how we are going with 5G and we are happy to compete in the market," he said.
Mr Penn also said companies needed to better understand their customers' needs and ensure there was fairness, which has been advocated by ACCC boss Rod Sims to be legislated.
"Rod has been making the point that consumer regulation needs to be overhauled and updated with a new simple law against unfairness," he said on Thursday.
He also said climate change would be "defining challenge of the 2020s".
Mr Penn revealed Telstra would be rolling out a $30 plan with no excess data charges on a no-lock-in contract, alongside cheaper $99 smartphones "to provide an affordable option for low income Australians".
Telstra has previously come under fire for putting disadvantaged Australians including in indigenous and remote communities on unfair deals.
This is being investigated by the ACCC for potential unconscionable conduct.
In 2017 Telstra also had issues were some of their partner stores sold mobile devices and plans to customers that ultimately could not afford them.