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14,000 Telstra jobs at risk

Telco denies union claims

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There are fears that as many as 14,000 telecoms jobs could be axed in Australia following the privatisation of incumbent telco Telstra.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has called on Telstra management and the Government to release a confidential 104-page document which it says details the job cuts and other cost cutting measures.

"The document is believed to detail plans to cut more than ten thousand Telstra jobs, many in rural and regional Australia," said the CPSU in a statement.

The union is concerned that in a bid to cut overheads and maximise profits for shareholders, the quality of Telstra's service will dip especially in rural areas. It has also raised concerns about whether other jobs will be offshored to countries such as India and China.

"This document raises serious questions," said Stephen Jones of the CPSU. "In the interest of transparency and informed public debate on Telstra, this document should be released immediately," he said.

The matter is deemed so serious the Australian Stock Exchange is now investigating following the intervention of opposition politician Senator Stephen Conroy.

In a statement the telco said: "Telstra has not taken any decision to cut 10,000 jobs as stated by Senator Conroy or 14,000 as reported in the media."

It also added that it was "not aware of the specific document referred to" and that "there are no documents of which Telstra is aware recommending job cuts of the magnitude referred to by Senator Conway".

Instead, telco said it was concerned that the investigation was being used "for political ends". ®

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