/ 22 May 2024

Telstra hangs up on jobs


The Squiz 

Australia’s biggest telecommunications company is axing up to 2,800 jobs as cheaper internet rivals continue to chip away at its bottom line. Telstra’s CEO Vicki Brady says most of the roles are in the Enterprise business – that’s the division that provides services to big and growing businesses. Nearly 400 workers are being let go immediately, with the rest to be done by the end of the year – totalling about 9% of Telstra’s workforce. Treasurer Jim Chalmers yesterday said “we need to make sure that the services don’t suffer as a consequence of these changes.”

That’s a lotta jobs…

It is – and it’s not the first big restructure at the company. Nearly 8,000 jobs went during former CEO Andy Penn’s time at the top between 2015-2022. Remember, Telstra’s had a massive transformation from a government-owned monopoly responsible for everyone’s phones (aka the only way people used to talk…) to a publicly-listed company with heaps of competitors. Brady says the move will help lower costs by $350 million – some to be invested in AI and data services as punters ditch traditional phone calls for cheaper internet-based services like WhatsApp. She’s also promised more than $200 million of that saving will be directed into “industry-leading” redundancy packages.

What’s the reax been?

It’s fair to say unions are furious – James Perkins from the Communication Workers Union says he was “blindsided” by the move and that the impact will be “devastating” for thousands of workers and their families. Telecoms expert Paul Budde says while the scale of the cuts was a big surprise, customers have already been “conditioned to a lower level of service”. Nationals leader David Littleproud has a similar view, saying some towns are already “without coverage… for 2 or 3 days”. One part of the announcement that got a warmer response was Telstra dropping plans for a controversial inflation-linked price rise on its mobile plans. That would have hit customers on 1 July – so maybe treat yo’self with an extra coffee today if that’s you…

Know someone who'd be interested in this story? Click to share...

The Squiz Today

Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.